With us or With Them

Via Michelle Malkin, Andrew Cochran:

The decision is actually a huge political gift to President Bush, and the detainees will not be released that easily. The President and GOP leaders will propose a bill to override the decision and keep the terrorists in jail until they are securely transferred to host countries for permanent punishment. The Administration and its allies will release plenty of information on the terrorist acts committed by the detainees for which they were detained. They will also release information about those terrorist acts committed by Gitmo prisoners after they were released. They will challenge the “judicial interference with national security” and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people. The Pentagon will continue to release a small number of detainees as circumstances allow. The bill will pass easily and quickly. And if the Supremes invalidate that law, we’ll see another legislative response, and another, until they get it right. Just watch.

Let’s put aside the inherent nihilism in this response- the first thought of Mr. Cochran is not how to fix the current situation, but the political opportunities made possible by this situation. A goodly portion of the mess this country is in can be traced to this mentality- political power comes first, the good of the country dead last.

Let’s put aside the instinctive rush to simply find a way to do whatever the administration wants- this decision means nothing, it doesn’t mean we should step back and think about what we are doing- none of that. We are right, and let’s just find a way to do what we want to do, by hook or by crook.

Put those aside, and there is still something even more offensive about this passage:

They will challenge the “judicial interference with national security” and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people.

It never gets old, being told you are a traitor and in league with the terrorists because you disagree with current administration policy.

Let me be the first to tell Andrew Cochran, whoever that is, to go fuck himself. Twice.

** Update **

It has been brought to my attention that Mr. Cochran may not be saying this is what they should do, but what they will do. If that is the case, my apologies. If not… well, I am not going to say it again.

132 replies
  1. 1
    David says:

    Now that’s a trackback he’ll be glad to see.

  2. 2
    Nutcutter says:

    Not too well, according to a recent survey of more than 100 highly respected foreign policy and national security experts. The survey, dubbed the “Terrorism Index,” was conducted by the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy magazine. The respondents included Republicans and Democrats, moderates, liberals and conservatives.

    The survey’s findings were striking. A strong, bipartisan consensus emerged on two crucial points: 84 percent of the respondents said the United States was not winning the war on terror, and 86 percent said the world was becoming more — not less — dangerous for Americans.

    The sound and fury since Sept. 11, 2001 — the chest-thumping and muscle-flexing, the freedom fries, the Patriot Act, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the breathtaking expansion of presidential power, Guantánamo, rendition, the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars — seems to have signified very little.

    An article on the survey, in the July/August edition of Foreign Policy, said of the respondents, “They see a national security apparatus in disrepair and a government that is failing to protect the public from the next attack.” More than 8 in 10 of the respondents said they believed an attack in the U.S. on the scale of Sept. 11 was likely within the next five years.

    Many of the respondents played important national security roles in the government over the past few decades. They included Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as secretary of state under George H. W. Bush; Anthony Lake, a national security adviser to Bill Clinton; James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Richard Clarke, who served as counterterrorism czar in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and was in that post on Sept. 11th; and Lawrence Korb, an assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan.

    Noted academics and writers who specialized in foreign policy and national security matters also participated in the survey.

    “Respondents,” according to a report that accompanied the survey, “sharply criticized U.S. efforts in a number of key areas of national security, including public diplomacy, intelligence and homeland security. Nearly all of the departments and agencies responsible for fighting the war on terror received poor marks.

    “The experts also said that recent reforms of the national security apparatus have done little to make Americans safer. Asked about recent efforts to reform America’s intelligence community, for instance, more than half of the index’s experts said that creating the office of the director of national intelligence has had no positive impact in the war against terror.”

    The respondents seemed, essentially, to be saying that the U.S. needs to be smarter (less like a bull in a china shop) in its efforts to combat terrorism. “Foreign policy experts have never been in so much agreement about an administration’s performance abroad,” said Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and a participant in the survey. “The reason is that it’s clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force.”

    The respondents stressed the importance of ending America’s dependence on foreign oil, saying that could prove to be “the single most pressing priority in winning the war on terror.” Eighty-two percent of the respondents said that ending the dependence on foreign oil should have a higher priority, and nearly two-thirds said the country’s current energy policies were making matters worse, not better.

    “We borrow a billion dollars every working day to import oil, an increasing share of it coming from the Middle East,” said Mr. Woolsey, the former C.I.A. director.

    The respondents also said it was crucially important for the U.S. to engage in a battle of ideas as part of a sustained effort to bring about a rejection of radical ideologies in the Islamic world. That kind of battle requires more of a reliance on diplomacy and other nonmilitary tools.

    If the respondents to this survey are correct, the U.S. needs to be moving in an entirely different direction. The war against terror cannot be won by bombing the enemy into submission. The bull in the china shop may be frightening at first, but after a while it’s just enraging. We need a better, smarter way.

    This material from NYT accidentally finds its way onto my clipboard this morning.

    It should cheer everyone up. Basically, it’s like this: When this government tells you what it “needs” to fight a war on terror, here’s the rational response: Yeah, what we need is a new fucking government, because this one obviuosly has no goddam clue whatever.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    They will challenge the “judicial interference with national security” and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people.

    Unfortunately, he’s dead-on. They’ll make one big-ass law allowing for sham trials, NSA spying, warrantless wiretapping…throwing everything but the sink in there…and daring the Dems to filibuster it.

    And when they do, it’ll be “Dems favor AQ over America” headlines until the mid-terms.

  4. 4
    Andrew says:

    Round of applause for JC on his general sense of disgust with Republican politics.

    However, I think you may have misread Cochran. He may (and I emphasize may) be saying that is what the Republicans will do, not what a honest, decent American would do. If that is the case, then I think we may all be in agreement that the Republicans are fuck ups.

    On the other hand, if that is what Cochran thinks should happen, then I concur with the hisself fucking.

  5. 5
    Steve says:

    The Administration and its allies will release plenty of information on the terrorist acts committed by the detainees for which they were detained.

    While I don’t doubt the efficacy of this tactic (witness Jose Padilla, the “dirty bomber” who somehow never got charged wtih being a dirty bomber), isn’t it kind of ironic, in the context of arguing why someone isn’t entitled to a trial, to talk about how much evidence you have against him?

    They will also release information about those terrorist acts committed by Gitmo prisoners after they were released.

    I look forward to this tactic as well. “Why would you want to change our current system of distinguishing the guilty from the innocent – look at all these cases where it failed!”

  6. 6
    DBL says:

    It really doesn’t matter whether Hamadan or any of the Gitmo prisoners are ever tried for war crimes. The important thing is that the Court acknowledged that they can be imprisoned for the duration of hostilities. The Court will not force the Government to release Hamdan and his compatriots to return to the field of battle. That’s all that counts.

  7. 7
    John D. says:

    It really doesn’t matter whether Hamadan or any of the Gitmo prisoners are ever tried for war crimes. The important thing is that the Court acknowledged that they can be imprisoned for the duration of hostilities. The Court will not force the Government to release Hamdan and his compatriots to return to the field of battle. That’s all that counts.

    Bullshit.

    Imprisoning someone without ever charging or trying them is completely antithetical to what America stands for. Am I happy these guys are going to be staying in jail? You betcha. I’ll be even happier when they are tried and convicted, assuming they are guilty.

  8. 8
    mitch says:

    Where is Andrew Jackson when we need him?

  9. 9
    Tax Analyst says:

    John, although I’ve read your blog for some months now, I just started posting a bit the other day. I agree with your call here 100%. It is exactly what anybody who actually gives a damn about our country should be thinking. I might mention, however, that I’ve run into the type of thinking you just busted in Cochran’s piece WAY too often when talking to folks who claim to be “Conservative”…and they seem to take a certain childish joy from the “cleverness” of this sick rubbish. I’ve come to conclude that many are so detached from reality that the whole nauseating farce is just some type of freaking game to them…”Rah-Rah-Rah, WE’RE winning and you are a LOSER…WE won the last Election…so that makes you WRONG…as well as a LOSER.” I have to say when the tide turns, as I believe it eventually will have to, it’s going to be very hard to respond with any sort of grace or to attempt to foster the sense of unity that will be required to make things work here again. I’m just not sure these folks can be pulled on board. And when that happens I’m just gonna want to beat the living crap out of them with my Olive Branch.

  10. 10
    Otto Man says:

    A goodly portion of the mess this country is in can be traced to this mentality- political power comes first, the good the country dead last.

    Well said. The Bush team excels at only one thing, politics. They see everything through that lens, and if they can squeeze out one more vote at the expense of this country’s well-being, so be it.

  11. 11
    SeesThroughIt says:

    They’ll make one big-ass law allowing for sham trials, NSA spying, warrantless wiretapping…throwing everything but the sink in there…and daring the Dems to filibuster it.

    And when they do, it’ll be “Dems favor AQ over America” headlines until the mid-terms.

    Yeah, probably. It’s pretty much the only tactic they have left. Well, that and trashing gays.

    That said: Right the fuck on, John.

  12. 12
    RSA says:

    My favorite part:

    The decision is actually a huge political gift to President Bush, and the detainees will not be released that easily.

    Disagreeing with the president about how Guatanamo prisoners should be tried (e.g., allowing them to be present at their trials) means letting them go. We’ve heard this before, how if we liberals are against torturing enemy combatants, we’re for having them living in luxury hotels. If we want the NSA to get warrants before listening to our phone conversations, we’re appeasing terrorists. Oh, and waving the white flag. Have Bush and his cronies no shame?

  13. 13
    Jim Allen says:

    Good post, John.

    I have two conflicting thoughts, though. On the one hand, I want to thank you for wading through that harpy Malkin’s site so we don’t have to, and on the other I want to ask you what the hell you’re doing still reading that harpy Malkin’s site in the first place.

  14. 14
    Jim Allen says:

    BTW, my reading of Cochran is that he’s saying “this is what they will do”, but also that he approves of it.

    Maybe he should just fuck himself once for now, and we’ll see about the other one later.

  15. 15
    Tax Analyst says:

    Jim, it’s a dirty job…I’m glad John is willing to do it and still able to hold back his gag reflex long enough to share his thoughts on it and open up some space to talk about it.

  16. 16

    A goodly portion of the mess this country is in can be traced to this mentality- political power comes first, the good of the country dead last.

    John Cole has now become an Official Member of the Shrill Left club.

    Or as we like to call ourselves the Pissed Off Radicalized Middle.

    Welcome aboard.

  17. 17
    DBL says:

    John D – Guilty of what? I think it’s safe to assume that most of the combatants we captured in Afghanistan and have now interned at Gitmo neither violated any American laws nor committed any war crimes. All they did was bear arms against US soldiers on the field of battle. Similarly, most of the soldiers captured in WWII or WWI or Korea or Vietnam did not violate any American laws or commit any war crimes, and no one thought there was a problem interning them for the duration of hositlities. What’s the difference?

  18. 18

    BTW. Everybody who wants to see all terrorists released from gitmo, sent back to Saudi Arabia and paid a $100,000 severance package, please speak up now.

    hmm…

    Why am I hearing crickets?

  19. 19
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >Round of applause for JC on his general sense of disgust with >Republican politics.

    Sure glad I didn’t for these people. JC’s partly responsible for this mess and until president dickhead leaves office I won’t cease remining him of the fact.

    But there is a reason for needling him on it.

    I want to make sure come election time we don’t hear any more crap about how the Democrats are not worthy of support because they don’t lie and manipulate the media as well as the thugs currently running things.

    The offenses of this administration against human deceny and proper warfighting as well as our very constitution are so huge saying I’m sorry isn’t enough. At least not yet.

    Twenty-five hundred dead soldiers and 20,000 wounded demand a rekoning with justice and history.

  20. 20
    Kirk Spencer says:

    DBL, as near as I can tell you’re massively misinterpreting the combination of decisions. However, I’m going to assume you’re only viewing this case in isolation, and point out that you’re missing the key point.

    The first case is Hamdi. The keystone there is that a US citizen arrested for the crime of “illegal combatant” was entitled to his day in court – a hearing to officially determine the status was required, and the charge didn’t exempt itself from court review.

    The second case to recall is Rasul. The keystone of that case’s decision is that the detainees at Gitmo have the right to habeus corpus. Or in plain english, Show cause to detain or release. Basically, it continued the preexisting rule that foreign nationals imprisoned by the US are treated by US rules just as US nationals so imprisoned. This had two subsequent actions:
    1) The government initiated military commissions against the detainees to confirm their illegal combatant status (and other crimes);
    2) Congress wrote and passed the DTA.

    Now we have to consider a point external from the court system. Basically, the rules for treatment of detainees depends on their status. If they are prisoners of war they have rights and expectations of release different from those of civil criminals which differ yet again if they are ‘illegal combatants’. The first and last can be held for the duration of hostilities. The second can only be held for a period of time consistne with what the law holds already – no ex post facto changes to sentences or special rules extending (or reducing) sentences for national status are permitted.

    Now we can consider Hamdan. You are, again, literally correct. Hamdan does not order the release of the prisoners. In fact, Justice Stevens specifies that the court is NOT saying the sentences can or must be shorter than the duration of hostilities. But…

    They’re saying the commissions created as a consequence of Hamdi and Rasul are wrong. That the hearings are illegal and need redone so as to comply with the law of the US – to be, in simple, a FAIR AND HONEST TRIAL. What’s also been reiterated in Hamdan is that unless and until a hearing – a FAIR AND HONEST TRIAL – is held, detainees cannot be identified as illegal combatants. They’re either EPWs (er, POWs) or they’re civilian detainees awaiting trial for (civil) criminal charges.

    I think that’s the real kicker in here. What the court’s said is that the president can’t ‘just declare’ guilt of ‘illegal combatant’. And he can’t create a kangaroo court to rubberstamp that conviction. ICs and EPWs can be held for the duration. Civil Criminals, well, it depends on the length of the sentence and how long the war continues. But ALL of that is to be determined in accordance with rule of law.

  21. 21
    John D. says:

    DBL – As long as they are POWs and treated as such, I have no problems with it. This administration, however, has long maintained that they are *not* POWs. So, why are we holding them? The only other justification we have for rendering them hors de combat is that they have committed a crime, hence they are criminals, hence they need to be charged and tried. Terrorism is a violation of international law, and is a perfectly reasonable crime to charge them with — so why haven’t they done so?

    As I’ve maintained here for months, I want to see the law followed. If these guys are terrorists, charge ’em, try ’em, convict ’em. Stop sticking them in legal limbo. The USSR used to disappear people — I’d rather not see my country go down that route.

  22. 22

    All they did was bear arms against US soldiers on the field of battle. Similarly, most of the soldiers captured in WWII or WWI or Korea or Vietnam did not violate any American laws or commit any war crimes, and no one thought there was a problem interning them for the duration of hositlities. What’s the difference?

    What do you mean “all they did”? Bearing arms against America is a WAR CRIME!

    Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic. The fact that we treated the POWs in WWII fairly helped the reconciliation after the war. I don’t know what we’re going to do here. We can never release these guys, as we’ve just reinforced their hatred.

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  23. 23

    Kirk Spencer – good post.

  24. 24
    SeesThroughIt says:

    the Pissed Off Radicalized Middle.

    Not bad, but I think we should use “Normals” instead of “Middle” because it’ll reinforce that rabid partisanship is an abnormal mental state. Also, it’ll make the group’s acronym PORN, which is sure to get the social con dickheads all atwitter.

  25. 25
    Anderson says:

    The Administration and its allies will release plenty of information on the terrorist acts committed by the detainees for which they were detained.

    That would be a first, actually. It’s laughable how vague the charges against Hamdan were.

    The important thing is that the Court acknowledged that they can be imprisoned for the duration of hostilities.

    No. Hamdan didn’t raise that issue, so it wasn’t before the Court. Appellate courts rule on allegations of error brought by the appellants; they do not airily re-do the case from the ground up.

  26. 26
    DBL says:

    John D – I think you are partially correct. It is clear beyond doubt that combatants captured on the field of battle can be held for the duration of hostilities. That has been the law for centuries. No trial is required to keep combatants from returning to the field of battle.

    The only issue here is whether the Gitmo internees are entitled to the protections that the Geneva Convention gives to prisoners of war, i.e., the right not to be interrogated at all (POWs only have to give their name, rank and serial number). IMHO, the answer is no, the Geneva Convention protects regular, uniformed combatants of the signatories to the Convention. I haven’t read all of the Hamdan opinions yet or parsed through the votes to see whether a majority of the Court ruled on this issue or not.

    Whether or not the Gitmo guys are immune from interrogation or not, though, they aren’t going anywhere until the war ends or the US Army concludes that they are no longer dangerous.

    I would note, also, that a holding that captured AQ fighters can’t be interrogated significantly reduces the interest the US has in capturing them alive. You should not be surprised at the likely consequences.

  27. 27
    Andrew says:

    Actually, the really tough moral and practical quandry is that many of the detainees in Gitmo DID NOT bear arms against the US in any way. Many were picked up on mere suspicion of association with the Taliban on the word of political rivals.

    However, after being stuck in an extra-legal limbo and, um, well, being tortured and abused for 4 years, it is completely reasonable to suspect that if these quite possibly innocent people, if they were to be released, would turn to terrorism or fighting with the Taliban against the US to seek some measure of revenge. Could you blame them?

    In all likelyhood we have imprisoned innocents and made them our enemies.

  28. 28
    chopper says:

    man, i so cannot wait for a dem president. if only to see ‘conservatives’ pull the hardest U-turn in american political history and start decrying the ‘unitary executive’ with unlimited powers. it’s gonna be so funny i’ll plotz.

  29. 29
    Steve says:

    They’re saying the commissions created as a consequence of Hamdi and Rasul are wrong. That the hearings are illegal and need redone so as to comply with the law of the US – to be, in simple, a FAIR AND HONEST TRIAL.

    Kirk, good post, but I think you are mistaken about something. As I understand Hamdan, the case deals not with tribunals which were set up for the limited purpose of deciding who was an enemy combatant, but tribunals which were set up (pursuant, I think, to a November 2001 executive order) to try certain detainees for substantive offenses.

    Thus, there’s a whole discussion in Hamdan about whether conspiracy to violate the law of war is a criminal offense, as opposed to actual violations of the law of war. If these tribunals were strictly about deciding who is and who isn’t an enemy combatant, they wouldn’t need to be making determinations about what constitutes a war crime. This tribunal, unless I’m mistaken, was not simply convened to determine whether Hamdan was an enemy combatant; they were actually trying to find Hamdan guilty of a crime.

  30. 30
    Cyrus says:

    It never gets old, being told you are a traitor and in league with the terrorists because you disagree with current administration policy.

    Let me be the first to tell Andrew Cochran, whoever that is, to go fuck himself. Twice.

    It’s got to the point where the only difference between John and Tim F. is their writing styles. I don’t know if I should call that “good” or not.

    On another note, I followed the trackback to protein wisdom under Cochran’s post and was amused to see that Jeff Goldstein, though it seems that unlike you he is disgusted and/or panicked at the ruling itself, shared the disgust at the political opportunism.

    DBL Says:
    John D – Guilty of what? I think it’s safe to assume that most of the combatants we captured in Afghanistan and have now interned at Gitmo neither violated any American laws nor committed any war crimes. All they did was bear arms against US soldiers on the field of battle. Similarly, most of the soldiers captured in WWII or WWI or Korea or Vietnam did not violate any American laws or commit any war crimes, and no one thought there was a problem interning them for the duration of hositlities. What’s the difference?

    “The duration of hostilities” is the tricky part. Everyone to the right of Pat Buchanan would scream bloody murder if we locked up drug dealers for the duration of hostilities in the war on drugs, and with good reason, so the same way of handling terrorists in the war on terrorism is just as suspect. Yes, I know there are a lot of reasons I shouldn’t compare one war often used for partisan politics on a vague abstract noun that we disapprove of when it suits us to another, but if the government only has these powers because of exceptional circumstances, then almost by definition it should/will lose those powers eventually. “Duration of hostilities” provides no guide for when that is, and an easy way to forestall that time indefinitely.

    Also, you seem to buy into the myth that the only alternative to the current situation is to let the terrorists go and give up. As I understand it, most of them — not all, probably, but most — committed crimes or conspired to commit crimes in the United States or in countries that have extradition treaties with us. Charge them with those crimes, and I think the feared harm from giving them PR or whatever will be more than made up for by the demonstration of adherence to ideals like the rule of law.

  31. 31
    Marcus Wellby says:

    man, i so cannot wait for a dem president. if only to see ‘conservatives’ pull the hardest U-turn in american political history and start decrying the ‘unitary executive’ with unlimited powers. it’s gonna be so funny i’ll plotz.

    And you don’t think the left would pull a rather hard U-turn themselves? bunch of lunatics on both sides.

    its the media’s u-turn that will be the most fun to watch, and most revealing. with a dem in the WH you can bet your ass the press will suddenly remember how to do investigative reporting.

  32. 32
    Slide says:

    I love it. I know all the drolling moronic bedwetters of the right think this is a winner for them. This “you’re with us or you’re with them” mentality. But they are sadly mistaken, just like they were when they thought the Schiavo disaster was a “winner” for them. They are getting increasinly out of touch with where this country is right now. They may be firing up their base but they ain’t winning over any independents with this shit that is for sure. Attacking a war vet like Murtha as somehow “with” the terrorists? lol… bring it up you little cowardly bedwetting punks… Come on Congressman King… call the NY Times traitors some more, that will go over well in the suburban NY community where you will be running in November. Lets debate investigating the NY Times for leaks in congress and while we’re at it lets include Scooter’s leaks to Judy Miller.

    Big miscalculation on the part of the GOP. The public no longer buys it boys and girls. You are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Come on.. more flag burning amendments… more gay marriage amendments.. bring it on, bring it on.

  33. 33

    DBL –

    I would note, also, that a holding that captured AQ fighters can’t be interrogated significantly reduces the interest the US has in capturing them alive. You should not be surprised at the likely consequences.

    You’re implying a crime in violation of the UCMJ, so I guess we should not be surprised to see more marines in the stockade.

    However, it should be noted that holding that AQ fighters will be interrogated significantly reduces the interest that AQ members have in being captured alive. You should not be surprised at the likely consequences.

  34. 34
    Pb says:

    Everybody who wants to see all terrorists released from gitmo

    I’d like to see all non-terrorists released from Gitmo…

  35. 35

    You’re implying a crime in violation of the UCMJ, so I guess we should not be surprised to see more marines in the stockade.

    BTW, before the moonbat Darrels of the right jump on that.

    I believe that the backbone of a military is discipline, and adherence to the UCMJ.

    It’s one thing to get an army to shoot, it’s discipline that makes it possible for an army to be shot at and hold it’s ground.

    An army which loses discipline loses the war.

  36. 36
    p.lukasiak says:

    The only issue here is whether the Gitmo internees are entitled to the protections that the Geneva Convention gives to prisoners of war, i.e., the right not to be interrogated at all (POWs only have to give their name, rank and serial number). IMHO, the answer is no, the Geneva Convention protects regular, uniformed combatants of the signatories to the Convention.

    then you should read the opinion. Basically, the court acknowledges what those of us who actually read the Conventions have already concluded — people captured in a war zone are either designated POWs or civilians — that the designation “unlawful combatant” cannot be applied by executive fiat as a means of making an end-run around the protections afforded to these two categories of detainees. Under the conventions, detainees in both categories are entitled to a fair trial before their rights under the Conventions are curtailed. And under no circumstances are torture or any form of treatment inconsistent with human dignity permissible, regardless of whether the detainee is convicted or not.

    In Hamdan’s case, there is virtually no evidence that he committed “war crimes” as defined in international law that would make him eligible for the designation “unlawful combatant”. Basically, he was bin Laden’s bodyguard/driver.

    I’ve no doubt that Hamdan was capable of “terrorist” acts at the time of his capture. And, given the level of mistreatment he has doubtless been subject to as “bin Laden’s driver”, I’ve no doubt that he is even more convinced that the US is the Great Satan that must be eradicated.

    But imagine if Hamdan had been afforded the basic protections provided under the Geneva Conventions for the last few years, rather than been subjected to beatings and torture? Imagine if Bushco had spent four years defying his expectations of America, rather than affirming them in the worst way possible. We might have someone on our hands right now ready to denouce bin Laden and al Qaeda, rather than someone whom we will have to find some way of keeping locked up for the rest of his life despite the fact that there is no evidence of criminal liability under international law.

  37. 37
    KC says:

    What’s funny to me is that I used to think I was conservative-to-moderate. Reading people like Malkin, etc., makes me a liberal now. Conservatism has really become about, to me, three things:

    1. Focusing the power of government in one branch, namely the executive

    3. Cutting taxes for rich people

    3. And enforcing a moral code on others that many of the enforcers themselves don’t always follow

    What’s worse to me is that in advocating these things, many conservatives no longer advocate, but admonish, reprimand, or scream “traitor” at anyone who either disagrees with or questions the veracity of pursuing them at all cost.

    Take item #1. The Geneva Conventions are ratified treaties. In our constitution, whether one likes it or not, treaties are laws just as a statute is a law. For the president to go and ignore a treaty that has been ratified by the Senate, signed by the president, and actively adhered to by our institutions is not something that should be taken lightly. In fact, as the Supreme Court has made clear, it’s highly problematic and wrong. That people on the right could possibly scream about how “activist” or “liberal” the Supreme Court is for telling the president he must execute the law is beyond me.

    I think conservatives need to start reading what Bruce Fein, an attorney in the Reagan justice department, had to say to Congress about presidential signing statements and think about the direction they’re taking this country. Too many conservatives have shifted their allegiance from the constitution, to a president seeking ever expanding power.

  38. 38
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I’m beginning to see a lot of reference to Andrew Jackson and his alleged dismissal of a supreme court decision. I think it’d be nice if people would read history and quit remembering what wasn’t so.

    What Jackson said (paraphrased) was that the State of Georgia was ignoring the decision of the court, and he’d like to see the court enforce its decision. There are really good arguments that the US had no jurisdiction for intervention – that Jackson couldn’t have sent the military to act on behalf of the missionaries and Cherokee even if he’d wanted to. The common assumption that the US military acted in accordance to a President’s wishes and contrary to the decision of the supreme court is wrong.

    The US military began the Trail of Tears movement later, and only after the Echota Treaty between it and a segment of the Cherokee nation. And the Trail of Tears had nothing to do (legally, not practically) with Worcester v Georgia.

    Just an attempt to unmuddy some waters.

  39. 39
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Steve, yep, there’s a crime accused. The crime of being an illegal combatant. Specifically:

    to commit … offenses triable by military commission.

    ellipses in the published opinion

    Sorry, the challenge before the court was Hamdan’s of the legitimacy of the designated commissions to try him. Said commissions set up at the President’s directive to determine a status of “illegal combatant” in response to the decisions of Hamdi and Rasul.

    parenthetical note: I’m summarizing and paraphrasing like mad in these. typos and ‘errors of technical points’ are a given.

    Kirk

  40. 40
    p.lukasiak says:

    Well, I just checked out Andrew Cochran, and it looks like he’s a war profiteer with significant ties to the GOP…

    The Founder and Co-Editor, Andrew Cochran, is Vice President of GAGE, a business consulting and government affairs firm headquartered in Washington, DC. GAGE’s marketing and business development unit engages in securing a variety of funding, new business, and regulatory approvals for clients. Mr. Cochran advises clients on terrorism and homeland security, corporate governance, and appropriations issues…. From 2001 through 2003, Mr. Cochran was senior oversight counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH)…. He also served in the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, was an attorney in private practice, and was a CPA in Ohio prior to his government service.

    That, plus the fact that he is co-founder of the Counterterrorism Blog with noted wingnut Bill Roggio seals the deal.

    in other words, he appears to deserve John’s “go fuck yourself, twice” statement.

  41. 41
    p.lukasiak says:

    Steve, yep, there’s a crime accused. The crime of being an illegal combatant.

    one problem…. “illegal combatant” is not a crime defined under international law. You have to actually commit a war crime, not just show up in a war zone without a uniform.

  42. 42
    Kirk Spencer says:

    p.lukasiak – a) that was sarcasm. b) literally you’re correct, but it’s the defacto charge by which the folk are being held. “we can do this because they’re illegal combatants.” See my post above about ‘technical points’.

  43. 43
    Slide says:

    one problem…. “illegal combatant” is not a crime defined under international law. You have to actually commit a war crime, not just show up in a war zone without a uniform

    but we are at WAR. Don’t you get it. Everything has changed since 911. EVERYTHING. Its dangerous dangerous dangerous now… bad guys… terrorists… jihadists.. Oh, my. We can’t worry about silly things like law.. or justice. We are in a struggle for our VERY SURVIVAL. don’t you traitors get it?

    a very bad attempt at spoofing but I thought I’d give it a try.

  44. 44
    Tsulagi says:

    Activist Judges!! To Gitmo with the lot of them for retraining until they fully understand “yur either with us or agin us.” The Decider knows that is far more important than that obsolete liberal document that rambles on and on starting with “We the people of the United States…” Those judges need to get up to speed in the neo-U.S.

  45. 45
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Whose Bruce Fein?

    “Bruce Fein, a Republican legal activist, who voted for Bush in both Presidential elections, and who served as associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan Justice Department, said that Addington and other Presidential legal advisers had ‘staked out powers that are a universe beyond any other Administration. This President has made claims that are really quite Alarming. He’s said that there are no restraints on his ability, as he sees it. to collect intelligence, open mail, to commit torture to use electronic surveillance. If you used the President’s reasonisn, you could shut down congress for leaking too much. His war powers allow him to declar3 anyone an illegal combatant. All the world’s a battlefield—accordit to this view, he could kill someone in Lafayette Park if he wants! It’s got the sense of Louix XIV: ‘I am the State.’”

    Jane Mayer, _The Hidden Power: The Legal Mind Behind the White HOuse’s war on terror_,The New Yorker, 7/3/06, 46

    Bruce Fein said this:

    “Presidential signing statements are extra-constitutional and riddled with mischief. . . I would further recommend that Congress enact a statute seeking to confer Article III standing on the House and Senate collectively to sue the President over signing statements that nullify their handiwork, at least in circumstances where there is no other plausible plaintiff who would enjoy standing. . . . . If all other avenues have proved unavailing, Congress should contemplate impeachment. . . . “

    From Greenwald

  46. 46

    GAGE’s marketing and business development unit engages in securing a variety of funding, new business, and regulatory approvals for clients.

    What the fuck is wrong with people? The GOVERNMENT IS NOT YOUR PIGGY BANK!

    My God, I’ve never realized how fucking corrupt the GOP Privitization programs really have been. They’re not about spending less money, they’re about diverting Tax dollars to campaign donors! Legalized cronyism.

    Makes me fucking sick. I used to have sympathy for the argument of privitization.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Hey whaddya know, Greenwald provided a link for more fun from Fein.

  49. 49
    t. jasper parnell says:

    You’ve been had.

    Yes, well it was Prom and I was drunk.

  50. 50
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    My God, I’ve never realized how fucking corrupt the GOP Privitization programs really have been. They’re not about spending less money, they’re about diverting Tax dollars to campaign donors! Legalized cronyism.

    Just wait until you hear about their ‘faith-based initiatives’…

  51. 51

    Just wait until you hear about their ‘faith-based initiatives’…

    Oh don’t get me started. If Christ were to come back today he’d be kicking the cadillac driving mega-church pastors in the ass, and throwing Pat Robertson and his buddies out of the temple.

  52. 52
    John S. says:

    If Christ were to come back today he’d be kicking the cadillac driving mega-church pastors in the ass, and throwing Pat Robertson and his buddies out of the temple.

    I agree, and it’s an interesting point because it highlights a rift that is opening in the Republican party.

    You see, I have a bumper sticker that says “Jesus votes Republican.” Now, while many a Dagon-the-fish-god sporting right-winger would honk lovingly in approval, I think that your less zealous Republicans would tend to disagree. And in fact, one of the lawyers in my building waited for me to walk into the lobby one morning to sternly tell me just that. “If Jesus were alive today, he would most certainly not be a Republican. He would be one of those long-haired liberal hippie types.”

    So while the lawyer and I clearly agree with your take, good luck convincing the Christian Crusaders of that.

  53. 53
    Richard 23 says:

    And after they die Satan will pinch off their heads and throw them into the pits of hell where the demons will use them as soccer balls.

  54. 54
    Keith says:

    I never saw the basis for outrage at Kerry’s assertion that the GWOT is reall more of a law enforcement problem than a military one. I think this particular case shows why when you begin to question what to do with detainees and look at duration of various powers of law/”justice” enforcement.

  55. 55
    Punchy says:

    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said after the ruling: “Guantanamo serves as an important detention and intelligence (gathering) facility. These are dangerous people.”

    It’s THIS kinda shit that drives me crazy. First of all, there’s NO intelligence you can gain from prisoners there for 5 years. None. Secondly, they’re not all dangerous. They let some go all the time.

    I guess bullshit is all they know now. They’ve given up on facts and accuracy. Just bullshit from here on out.

  56. 56
    Nutcutter says:

    It’s THIS kinda shit that drives me crazy. First of all, there’s NO intelligence you can gain from prisoners there for 5 years.

    No, no, the idea is to wear them down ……….

  57. 57
    Bas-O-Matic says:

    All they did was bear arms against US soldiers on the field of battle. Similarly, most of the soldiers captured in WWII or WWI or Korea or Vietnam did not violate any American laws or commit any war crimes, and no one thought there was a problem interning them for the duration of hositlities. What’s the difference?

    What really drives me crazy when people tlak about this stuff, and the Supremes are do this too (judicial activist horseshit aside, they are bending over backwards to accomodate the president here), is that everyone breezily talks about the cessation of hostilities in the war without thinking about the fact that the hostilities in which we were engaged in Afghanistan ended four years ago. The “war” on terror (or terrorism) will never end. Ever. It cannot. There will always be terrorists. Al Queda will exist in some for probably fro the duration of our lives if not longer. Even if we kill Bib Laden, there will be some religious extremists somewhere calling themselves Al Queda. That’s not to mention other terrorists who want to harm the US, foreign and domestic. The ability to hold detainees for the duration of hostilities was predicated on the fact that hostilities tend end at some point. When you talk about holding these people until the end of the war on terror, you are essentially saying that we are going to detain them for the rest of the rest of their lives.

    Actually, the really tough moral and practical quandry is that many of the detainees in Gitmo DID NOT bear arms against the US in any way. Many were picked up on mere suspicion of association with the Taliban on the word of political rivals.

    Yes. It is important to remember that the US didn’t do much in the way of ground fighting in Afganistan, primariliy providing air support for the Northern Alliance. It also needs to be remembered that the US was offering a bounty on supposed Taliban and “Al Qaeda fighters.” We frankly don’t know, and cannot know who most of these people are and whether they took up arms in Afghanistan.

  58. 58
    Pooh says:

    Actually, the really tough moral and practical quandry is that many of the detainees in Gitmo DID NOT bear arms against the US in any way. Many were picked up on mere suspicion of association with the Taliban on the word of political rivals.

    This is the point which really gets obscured – if you assume that they are in fact ‘all very bad people’ then the dissonance of the harsh treatment is less – once you add in the fact that many people are there with no showing (even a perfunctory statement of evidence) that they are actually the evildoers they are accused of being (and the fact that people are kept there for long after they are ‘cleared’) then the removal of all vestiges of due process becomes both legally and morally repugnant.

    Long winded way of saying score one for the good guys with this one.

  59. 59
    t. jasper parnell says:

    “Guter, the navy JAG, said that, before long, he and other military experts began to wonder whether the reason they weren’t getting much useful intelligence from Guantanamo was that, as he puts it, ‘it wasn’t there.” Guter, who was in the Pentagon on September 11th, said, ‘I don’t have a sympathetic bone in my body for the terrorist. But I just wanted to make sure we were getting the right people — the real terrorists. And I wanted to make sure we were doing it in a wway consistent with our values.’

    According to Guter the CIA was simultaneously raising similar concerns . . . after interviewing serveral dozen prisoners [the CIA discovered that] more than half the detaines . . . didn’t belong.” After which “a devastaing classified report . . . reached General JOhn Gordon, the deputy national-security adviser for combatting terrorism. After warning “Addigton and Gonzales that potentially innocent peole had been locked up inGuantanamo and wold be [there] indefinately,” which was “‘a violation of basic notions of American fairness,’according to Gordon and other officials, Addington responded “‘These are ‘enemy combatants.’ Please use that term. They’ve all been through a screening process. We don’t have anything to talk about.'”

    According to at least one “Administration lawyer invovled” in an argument about Geneva Convention Article Five hearings the reason for Administrations refusal to consider them arose because “‘They just wanted to make a point on executive power — that the Preisdent can designate them _all_ enemy combatants if he wants to.” Mayer, “Hidden Power, 53-54.

  60. 60
    Darrell says:

    Let’s put aside the inherent nihilism in this response- the first thought of Mr. Cochran is not how to fix the current situation, but the political opportunities made possible by this situation

    How is the situation so broken? Please elaborate. We have an unprecedented situation in which we’re in a war, but not against a nation-state, but against a brutal transnational organization which has organized itself militarily. These terrorist combatents don’t follow rules of war, they target and hide among civilians and don’t wear uniforms, but now the Supreme court tells us these terrorists fall under Geneval convention protections?

    And as for playing politics, perhaps you can find it in yourself to forgive those on the right who’ve been demonized for decades, told that they are “racists” and “haters” for questioning divisive race based affirmative action programs (or for daring to suggest Bush won Florida in 2000).. and told how they’re “against the children” and want the “elderly to eat dog food” for questioning Dem social programs. Bush trying to use political pressure to push for something he appears to sincerely believe in? How revolting!

  61. 61
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Bush trying to use political pressure to push for something he appears to sincerely believe in?

    Even leaving out the “appears” how does believe sincere or otherwise function as a justification for Governmental action?

    If a President “sincerely believes” that the “right to keep and bear arms” means you get to hang on to your limbs is she right to act on it?

  62. 62
    Darrell says:

    This is the point which really gets obscured – if you assume that they are in fact ‘all very bad people’ then the dissonance of the harsh treatment is less – once you add in the fact that many people are there with no showing (even a perfunctory statement of evidence) that they are actually the evildoers they are accused of being (and the fact that people are kept there for long after they are ‘cleared’) then the removal of all vestiges of due process becomes both legally and morally repugnant.

    Well, given that they’ve released a lot of them a dozen or two were re-captured on the battlefield trying to kill our soldiers or civilians, that tells us pretty clearly that they’re not being so strict in who they relase. The fact that so many on the left want to portray these vicious terrorists as innocents who happened to be in the ‘wrong place as the wrong time’ is despicable.

  63. 63
    Darrell says:

    Even leaving out the “appears” how does believe sincere or otherwise function as a justification for Governmental action?

    What is comes down to is how reasonable are the administration’s beliefs. The President as CiC reasonably (in the opinion of many) felt the constitution said that he had primacy in war related matters dealing with enemies captured on the battlefield. This matter is complicated by the fact that the terrorists cannot be considered typical POWs by any reasonable definition.

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    Well, given that they’ve released a lot of them a dozen or two were re-captured on the battlefield trying to kill our soldiers or civilians, that tells us pretty clearly that they’re not being so strict in who they relase.

    That’s complete bullshit and you know it. Ever stop to think that the ONLY REASON they’re fighting us after release is BECAUSE we locked them up and tortured them for 4+ years??

    You show me an innocent, harmless, wrong-place/wrong-time Afghani baker or school teacher in 2001 and I’ll show you a pissed-off, vindictive, vengeful Gitmo release-ee in 2005 ready to “get even”.

  65. 65
    Darrell says:

    That’s complete bullshit and you know it. Ever stop to think that the ONLY REASON they’re fighting us after release is BECAUSE we locked them up and tortured them for 4+ years??

    I want you lefties to run with this one, because it reveals something very basic about how f*cked up your belief system is. I want you to scream how the Gitmo detainees weren’t vicious head chopping murderers, but innocent bakers and school teachers who were driven to become terrorists.

  66. 66
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Darrell

    The fact that so many on the left want to portray these vicious terrorists as innocents who happened to be in the ‘wrong place as the wrong time’ is despicable.

    Some evidence to the countrary:

    According to Guter the CIA was simultaneously raising similar concerns . . . after interviewing serveral dozen prisoners [the CIA discovered that] more than half the detaines . . . didn’t belong.” After which “a devastaing classified report . . . reached General JOhn Gordon, the deputy national-security adviser for combatting terrorism. After warning “Addigton and Gonzales that potentially innocent peole had been locked up inGuantanamo and wold be [there] indefinately,” which was “’a violation of basic notions of American fairness,’according to Gordon and other officials, Addington responded “’These are ‘enemy combatants.’ Please use that term. They’ve all been through a screening process. We don’t have anything to talk about.’”

    According to at least one “Administration lawyer invovled” in an argument about Geneva Convention Article Five hearings the reason for Administrations refusal to consider them arose because “’They just wanted to make a point on executive power—that the Preisdent can designate them all enemy combatants if he wants to.” Mayer, “Hidden Power, 53-54.

    Have you any?

  67. 67
    t. jasper parnell says:

    The President as CiC reasonably (in the opinion of many) felt the constitution said that he

    I’ll see your unnamed many and raise you noted moonbat Bruce Fein

    Again any real evidence?

  68. 68
    Darrell says:

    Have you any?

    Do you have a link/cite where you got that info?

  69. 69
    Darrell says:

    Again any real evidence?

    Article II of the US constitution.

  70. 70
    Punchy says:

    I want you to scream how the Gitmo detainees weren’t vicious head chopping murderers, but innocent bakers and school teachers who were driven to become terrorists.

    Here ya go, Charlie.
    innocent

    I’d link to about 5 more if it didn’t require “moderation”.

    Even BUSH HIMSELF–your King–even acknowledged 4 innocent prisoners. You never care about the facts, though, b/c as a douchebag righty, facts doesn’t matter.

  71. 71
    Pb says:

    Again any real evidence?

    Article II of the US constitution.

    Again any real evidence?

  72. 72
    jg says:

    Darrell Says:

    Again any real evidence?

    Article II of the US constitution.

    Show where in the constitution. What in Article II are you referring to? Actually what is it that other people think is in the constitution that you’re simply parrotting?

  73. 73
    Nutcutter says:

    Another thread queered by Darrell.

    Thanks, John and Tim.

  74. 74
    Pb says:

    Punchy,

    And don’t forget that ‘terrorist’ US soldier who was beaten to within an inch of his life at Gitmo…

  75. 75
    Andrew says:

    Darrell, don’t you have to put on your assless dog costume and go over to Jeff Goldstein’s house?

  76. 76
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Do you have a link/cite where you got that info?

    Can you read?

  77. 77
    t. jasper parnell says:

    To repeat my ownself once again:

    Jane Mayer, The Hidden Power: The Legal Mind Behind the White HOuse’s war on terror,The New Yorker, 7/3/06, 46

    I will, say, however that the demonized conservatives, who have only Ronnie BI and BII to protect them, that Darrell is brave. What with his hemispherectomy, or possibly acephalous handicap

  78. 78
    Ancient Purple says:

    They will challenge the “judicial interference with national security” and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people.

    I am so fucking sick and tired of these false dichotomies. I reject that I have to choose between my safety and my civil liberties. I can have both, but that piece of shit in the White House and his cronies are too damn lazy to follow the law.

    I will tell you exactly who I support: Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock and the other signers of the DoI. They knew full well that penning their name to that document meant they could be immediately hanged for treason (they were colonists and weren’t afforded all the rights of being Englishmen). They did it anyway because the hope of freedom was more important than their own lives.

    Now, we have cowards like Malkin and Darrell and MacBuckets who’s main concern is whether to get rubber sheets or to just by a new mattress because of the colossal amounts of urine they leak everytime they terror level gets raised to orange.

    Terrorists are disgusting scum and need to be eradicated.

    I wish the same fate for cowards who now stain their pants because they can’t reach their back well enough to paint a big, fat yellow stripe down it.

  79. 79
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Another thread queered by Darrell.

    Thanks, John and Tim.

    Come, come, Darrell (didn’t fans of the opposing team chant Daaaarrrreeeellll when the drugged loon was in town? Couldn’t we begin the tradition all over again. Isn’t it possible that Darrell is DAAAARRRRREELLLL, they are both drug adled.) provides the perfect testing ground for the validity of an argument. The less he understands it the better it must be.

  80. 80
    t. jasper parnell says:

    For me, in any event, what was interesting about the Mayer argument is the extent to which Chaney and Addington were dedicated to the idea of expanding presidential power, particular in regards to the Presidents unlimted power over foreign affairs. Not only do they not understand the Constitution, Mayer’s reports lots of Bush’s adivsors looking askance at Addington’s interpretation, but they do not understaned the reasons why, in the wake of Nixon’s disgraceful misuse of state power, limits are necessary to avoid crapping all over democracy. Why, one wishes to know, are their men and women who consider themselves American who cannot abide by the basic features of its democratic system?

  81. 81

    So, you know there’s all kinds of other news out there.

    they found the laptop with the Vet data.

    The SCOTUS also ruled that mexicans who were arrested and were not told they had a right ot talk to their embassy couldn’t have their cases simply dismissed.

    I mean, that last one, it’s actually something that I’m not in total disagreement with the justices on. I don’t think letting criminals go entirely just because of some procedural screwup is a great idea. Ought to be a different solution.

    Anyway… but back to Darrell’s daily wingnut whackery.

  82. 82

    So while the lawyer and I clearly agree with your take, good luck convincing the Christian Crusaders of that.

    I don’t have to convince the Christian Crusaders.

    What we need to do is convince the other 100 million or so people who right now listen to the Christian Crusaders because nobody else is talking.

  83. 83
    t. jasper parnell says:

    they found the laptop with the Vet data.

    To which we all say hurray. But consider had not the godless press trumpeted the loss it would all have been eaiser. Somehow or another. Loose lips and ships, or something.

    In other news. Everyone invovled in the world’s greatest bicycle race is, so it would seem, on performance enhancing drugs. Clearly no one is thinking of the children.

  84. 84
    QuickRob says:

    This decision isn’t that bad, is it?

    Doesn’t it allow the government to hold them indefinitely as opposed to trying them in civil courts?

    And the Supreme Court dissenters made a very good case that the SCOTUS should never have been ruling on this in the first place, and in fact congress has good reason to be angry about this since they are being overruled by the SCOTUS in a manner than flouts ALL precendent in this type of situation.

    Bush doesn’t win or lose, in this decision. It’s very up-in-the-air still.

  85. 85
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Re the Religious. Wheat and tares has always been the answer

    Mt 13:24
    ¶ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
    Mt 13:25
    But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
    Mt 13:26
    But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
    Mt 13:27
    So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
    Mt 13:28
    He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    Mt 13:29
    But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
    Mt 13:30
    Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
    Mt 13:36
    Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
    Mt 13:37
    He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
    Mt 13:38
    The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    Mt 13:39
    The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    Mt 13:40
    As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    Mt 13:41
    The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    Mt 13:42
    And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Want to know who is right? Christ suggests we wait until a hhigher and less subjective authority decides.

  86. 86
    Krista says:

    Oh don’t get me started. If Christ were to come back today he’d be kicking the cadillac driving mega-church pastors in the ass, and throwing Pat Robertson and his buddies out of the temple.

    Reminds me of a great movie.

  87. 87
    Hyperion says:

    some fellow named Ron Paul (R-Texas) is on cspan now saying amazing things….making sense!

    who is this guy? he is blowing my mind!

  88. 88
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Krista,
    Have you seen it? It sounds fantasmical

  89. 89
    Hyperion says:

    ok…maybe there *is* hope.

    now Rep Walter Jones (R-NC) is on CSPAN. i have seen him recently speaking out. both he and Paul are obviously pissed about the war and the folks who got us into it.

    i note that Paul is a libertarian who once ran for president. his speech took my breath away.

    maybe other non-koolaid drinking repubs can be influenced by these two fellows.

  90. 90
    Krista says:

    I’ve only seen bits of it, when they show it on IFC (Independent Film Channel — don’t know if you guys get that.) The ending is beyond classic. It’s so wrong, that it’s right.

  91. 91
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    My own reaction to Cochran’s threat is to steal El Supremo’s line on that aircraft carrier: “Bring it on.”

    I flatly refuse to believe that the American people (especially given their current stratospheric distrust of Bush’s honesty) will fall for this crap — especially when the Republicans try to portray Justice Kennedy as a dangerous pinko-traitor. If they do, I am officially going to give up on human civilization.

    As for Cochran’s predictions that “The Administration and its allies will release plenty of information on the terrorist acts committed by the detainees for which they were detained [and they] will also release information about those terrorist acts committed by Gitmo prisoners after they were released”: fine. Let’s see how much they actually do have on these guys, as opposed to their murky mutterings up to now about how much they have on them that They Just Can’t Tell Us About. Especially given the estimates by virtually all impartial observers that Gitmo is riddled with utterly innocent inmates, thanks to Rumsfeld’s incompetence.

    Right now, where the Administration is concerned, we’re at the stage where Toto has already pulled down the drapes but the Wizard is still yelling “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” That part, you’ll recall, didn’t last very long. (The main difference is that the Wizard claimed to at least be “a very good man”, a claim Bush can’t possibly make with a straight face.)

  92. 92
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Krista,
    I would get it if I got cable, which I don’t so I can’t but if could I would, if you see what I mean.

  93. 93
    Krista says:

    But of course. I wonder if you can get it on DVD somewhere. It’s pretty good for a laugh, particularly if one has been pursuing studies in alternative agriculture…

  94. 94
    Richard 23 says:

    Sad that Ron Paul speaking sensibly is amazing, but you are correct about him. Dr Paul is a voice of reason in a sea of asshats.

  95. 95
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Well aftershocks of alternative agriculture and/or chemistry

    Isn’t Rue Paul?

  96. 96
    t. jasper parnell says:

    A final thought:

    Where are the strident presidential supporters on this the day of all days when the unitary presidency has been weighed and found wanting? Can it be that the waters of monarchy haven risen so rapidly have receeded so preciptiously?

    DAARREELL?

  97. 97

    Where are the strident presidential supporters on this the day of all days when the unitary presidency has been weighed and found wanting? Can it be that the waters of monarchy haven risen so rapidly have receeded so preciptiously?

    Haven’t you heard? Bin Laden released a new audio tape.

    Darrell and Mac Buckets are hiding in their basement soiling their pants.

  98. 98
    Nutcutter says:

    Darrell and Mac Buckets are hiding in their basement

    They share a basement? They’re gay?

  99. 99
    Nutcutter says:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  100. 100
    Perry Como says:

    i note that Paul is a libertarian who once ran for president. his speech took my breath away.

    He’s a Republican in name, but a libertarian by words and actions. He’s the one congresscritter I don’t loathe.

  101. 101
    Perry Como says:

    i note that Paul is a libertarian who once ran for president. his speech took my breath away.

    He’s a Republican in name, but a libertarian by words and actions. He’s the one congresscritter I don’t loathe.

  102. 102
    Andrew says:

    No nuts, it they were gay, they would be hiding in the closet. “Basement” implies that they are pederasts.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    GOP4Me says:

    Hard to believe you moonbats are actually more fun to read than the commentary on my own blog. Some of you, like Nutcutter, have turned that place into a sewer. But for the rest of you, I’d like to thank you for an entertaining thread.

  105. 105
    Nutcutter says:

    Some of you, like Nutcutter, have turned that place into a sewer.

    With my six or eight posts in the last week? My, what a robust blog you must have going over there.

    Fuck off, you crazy butthead.

  106. 106
    Richard Bottoms says:

    What do you mean “all they did”? Bearing arms against America is a WAR CRIME!

    No, it’s not.

    Bearing arms against us on the battle field may make you an enemy, but it’s not a war crime. There are Laws of Land Warfare because, well wars do happen.

  107. 107

    […] John Cole puts it better than I could, even with a thousand parenthetical comments. Put those aside, and there is still something even more offensive about this passage: They will challenge the “judicial interference with national security” and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people. […]

  108. 108
    Casey says:

    wow, Nutcutter, i’m totally agree with your sentensions.
    good, good =)

  109. 109
    searp says:

    The administration and its supporters have been dishonest on many levels, but the notion that all 400+ people held at Guantanamo are vicious terrorists is possibly the worst, and most prejudicial to real justice.

    The real vicious terrorists are held secretly, which we know courtesy of the Washington Post.

    The fact that so few of those held at Guantanamo have been charged with anything at all speaks volumes, as does the fact that Hamdan was charged with conspiracy as opposed to a substantive act. Hamdan was a driver and bodyguard, for Christ’s sake, not a terrorist kingpin.

    The propaganda about being picked up on the field of battle, even that isn’t true. Some prisoners came from Bosnia.

    I personally want an honest accounting. The bad guys who actually have committed crimes, charge them, try them, and convict them. The others? Well, the others are a stain on our honor, simple as that. It is not against the law to live in Afghanistan and hate the United States. If we rounded up everyone in that category, we’d need all of Cuba, not just Guantanamo. If we extended that theory to Iraq, we’d need a medium sized country.

    Guantanamo is an abomination precisely because there was no rigorous sorting process, and it simply isn’t believable to claim otherwise.

    Honesty, believe it or not, is the best policy. The patent dishonesty of the Guantanamo defenders is un-American and un-patriotic.

  110. 110
    p.lukasiak says:

    How to hold the bad guys indefinitely:

    1) forget the idea that the “War on Terror” is a literal war, and start treating al Qaeda as an international criminal organization.

    2) when you capture someone like Hamdan, interrogate him as a suspect in a criminal conspiracy. Compel his testimony regarding through “use immunity” (i.e. what he testifies to cannot be used against him). When he doesn’t testify, hold him in contempt of court — when a grand jury runs out of time, convene a new grand jury.

    Lather rinse repeat.

    ALternately, charge and convict him for obstruction of justice, then throw him into the Federal prison system. He won’t survive two weeks.

  111. 111
    Slide. says:

    The cowardly bedwetters on the right like to call those that they disagree with, traitors and claim that we just don’t “get it”. I love it. Keep it up. Its backfiring bigtime and they don’t have a clue. They are as misguided in this political tactic as they were when they embraced the Schiavo case. How’d that work out for ya? lol

    And who is the latest arightwing nutjob rmchair general that thinks he knows more than those that served? Clarence “pubic hair” Thomas the moronic Supreme Court justice who is too stupid to EVER ask a question at a Supreme Court hearing and who had the audacity to question Justice Steven’s “familiarities with war” Pubic Hair was referring to Stevens when he said,“unfamiliarity with the realities of warfare”.

    Funny thing though, Justice Stevens is a Bronze Star receipient having fought in the Navy during WWII. Justice Pubic Hair? Chickenhawk, just like 99% of this administration.

    Keep it up my right wingnuts, I love that the cowardly bedwetters continue to think that questioning the patriotism of war vets is a winner for them when they all managed to avoid serving their nation. I love it.

  112. 112
    Lee says:

    And when that happens I’m just gonna want to beat the living crap out of them with my Olive Branch.

    I’m going to borrow that one. It is great.

  113. 113
    chopper says:

    Hard to believe you moonbats are actually more fun to read than the commentary on my own blog

    watching paint dry is more fun than reading the commentary on your blog, GOP.

  114. 114
    Tim F. says:

    Dammit Searp, embed your links. Now I have to go sober up John so that we can get our margins back.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    searp says:

    oops, haven’t quite figured it out

  117. 117
    Cyrus says:

    Krista Says:
    I’ve only seen bits of it, when they show it on IFC (Independent Film Channel—don’t know if you guys get that.) The ending is beyond classic. It’s so wrong, that it’s right.

    (Intoned in a menacing, action-movie star voice): I’m everywhere.

    I saw it with some friends at an alternate movie night in college, hosted by the director. Good stuff. You know it’s a classic if the director’s immediate family (his mother, in this case) is in it. It worked for “Return of the King,” didn’t it?

  118. 118
    Pb says:

    Slide.,

    Keep it up my right wingnuts, I love that the cowardly bedwetters continue to think that questioning the patriotism of war vets is a winner for them when they all managed to avoid serving their nation.

    Sadly, pathetic hypocritical smears like that are winners with their base–and since they’ve already lost the rest of America, those nuts are all they have left. Apparently they think this obligates them to dig the hole deeper (instead of making the pie higher or something).

  119. 119
    Slide. says:

    Pb

    Sadly, pathetic hypocritical smears like that are winners with their base—and since they’ve already lost the rest of America, those nuts are all they have left. Apparently they think this obligates them to dig the hole deeper (instead of making the pie higher or something).

    I agree completely. They have to get their base motivated enough to want to vote. The Dubai port deal didn’t help. The immigration debate doesn’t help. Harriet Meiers idiocy set them back so they are worried that the chromosome challenged right wing wacko base of theirs might not show up in November. So what are they to do? Attack the Jew York Times. (not the WSJ which published the same story at the same time). Alas the drawback to their strategy is that it turns off everyone who’s favorite reading material doesn’t require crayons.

    Keep it up nut jobs on the right. Yeah.. lets have more or your right wingers on Hardball saying that the editor of the NY Times should be sent to the gas chamber… yeah… you tell em…lol

  120. 120
    Slide. says:

    With us or with them? Seems like bin Laden WANTED Bush to win re-election:

    It’s late October 2004, a few days before the election, and Osama bin Laden has just released a long anti-Bush jeremiad. At the CIA, the men and women who know bin Laden best, who have been tracking al-Qaeda practically without rest for the previous three years, are sitting around a table discussing what it means:

    What they’d learned over nearly a decade is that bin Laden speaks only for strategic reasons — and those reasons are debated with often startling depth inside the organization’s leadership. Their assessments, at day’s end, are a distillate of the kind of secret, internal conversations that the American public, and by association the wider world community, were not sanctioned to hear: strategic analysis.

    Today’s conclusion: bin Laden’s message was clearly designed to assist the President’s reelection.

    At the five o’clock meeting, once various reports on latest threats were delivered, John McLaughlin opened the issue with the consensus view: “Bin Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the President.”

    Around the table, there were nods….Jami Miscik talked about how bin Laden — being challenged by Zarqawi’s rise — clearly understood how his primacy as al Qaeda’s leader was supported by the continuation of his eye-to-eye struggle with Bush. “Certainly,” she offered, “he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years.”

    But an ocean of hard truths before them — such as what did it say about U.S. policies that bin Laden would want Bush reelected — remained untouched….On that score, any number of NSC principals could tell you something so dizzying that not even they will touch it: that Bush’s ratings [in the U.S.] track with bin Laden’s rating in the Arab world.

    I always said that bin Laden should have a photo of Bush in his cave because no one else in the world has helped his organization more than the Decider.

  121. 121
    GOP4Me says:

    watching paint dry is more fun than reading the commentary on your blog, GOP.

    Usually, that’s only the case if the paint is on a Michaelangelo or a Monet or a Renoir. But lately, you’re right, even watching paint dry on your average bedroom ceiling is more fun than reading those comments.

  122. 122
    Tax Analyst says:

    Lee, Did you want to borrow the remark or the Olive Branch? I’d be happy to loan you either (or both), but the Olive Branch would require Shipping. Feel free to use the Remark, though…

  123. 123
    Tsulagi says:

    Yep, bin Laden just might affectionately have a pinup poster of Bush adorning his walls. Probably gives it a little pat for luck.

    Also, astute neocon Richard Perle finally may be proven partially correct regarding one of his predictions for the ME, that statues of Bush will sprout. But not in Iraq. In Iran where they will mark the invasion of Iraq a national holiday: Thank Allah for the Retard Day. To celebrate and honor TARD, the devout will pretend to choke on pretzels while falling off bicycles.

  124. 124
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Two detailed and deadly notes on the probable high number of innocents in Gitmo — and how in hell they got there — can be found among Kevin Drum’s Feb. 15 and 17 entries (“Digging into Guantanamo” and “The Worst of the Worst”.) He has two more good ones out today. Wht a charming — and competent! — crew we have running the country at the moment.

    I won’t provide the links here because I keep losing the notes that helpful people keep giving me on how to provide them without blowing John’s site to kingdom come.

  125. 125
    Mr Furious says:

    Darrell, don’t you have to put on your assless dog costume and go over to Jeff Goldstein’s house?

    ROTFLMAO! Funniest thing anyone’s posted ’round here in a while.

  126. 126
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Tsulagi has just won my official “Anti-Bush Snark of the Day” award.

  127. 127

    They will also release information about those terrorist acts committed by Gitmo prisoners after they were released

    [whether it’s true or not].

    Willie Horton lives!

  128. 128

    Darrell said:

    Bush trying to use political pressure to push for something he appears to sincerely believe in? How revolting!

    This is pretty funny. Not even the trolls believe Bush any more.

  129. 129
    Wayne Wasserman says:

    This is my first visit here, following a link over at DailyKos, which I frequent: “A principled conservative blogger speaks out against the administration power grab in the name of “national security.” John Cole writes…”

    While I value the many Dem/liberal sites I frequent,it would be nice to find a place to read what serious, fair-minded conservatives think. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read above. Think I’ll stop by from time to time. Thanks.

  130. 130
    Krista says:

    While I value the many Dem/liberal sites I frequent,it would be nice to find a place to read what serious, fair-minded conservatives think.

    We have serious, fair-minded conservatives here?

  131. 131
    Dave Hensley says:

    What Wayne said. Great discussion; the signal to noise is (almost) 100%. I guess I now know: my political affiliation is PORN, though (in gentler, more civilized times) I would probably have been an Eisenhower Republican. Now I’m apparently a traitor, moonbat, communist, some sort of sexual deviant, and I aid and abet terrorists because I’m not willing to shitcan the Constitution because America was attacked by 19 whackjob Saudis armed with box cutters.

    Is anyone else finding the thing that makes their veins bulge the most is the apparent assumption that we’re so stupid that we’re supposed to be taken in by the vapid political theater within the beltway? I mean there’s no attempt at subtlety, no artistry, just the same tawdry issues trotted out yet again, presented with some tired, warmed-over outrage and histrionics, and we’re supposed to fall back in line.

    Geez, sorry about the rant–I’m just overcome at seeing some old-fashioned political discourse occuring. Thanks!

  132. 132

    Not so long ago, Colorado professor Ward Churchill denounced the victims of 9/11 as “little Eichmanns”. For such outrageous remarks he was rightfully fired.

    Yet, compare this to the statements made by Ann Coultur and the recent writings of Malkin, ect. They are no less offensive, yet they are everywhere in the media and are best selling authors. So much for left wing media!

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  1. […] John Cole puts it better than I could, even with a thousand parenthetical comments. Put those aside, and there is still something even more offensive about this passage: They will challenge the “judicial interference with national security” and challenge dissenting Congressmen and civil libertarians to either stand with the terrorists or the American people. […]

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