What He Said

Greenwald nails this one:

Let’s spend just a moment thinking about what this means. We’ve known since December, 2005, that Bush officials, including at the NSA, committed felonies by eavesdropping on Americans without the warrants required by law — crimes punishable by a five-year prison term and$10,000 fine for each offense. All three federal judges to rule on the question have found those actions to be in violation of the law. Yet there have been no criminal investigations, let alone indictments, for those crimes, and there won’t be any, due to Barack Obama’s dictate that we “Look Forward, Not Backward.” Thus, the high-level political officials who committed crimes while running the NSA will be completely immunized for their serious crimes.

By stark contrast, an NSA official who brought to the public’s attention towering failures and waste at the NSA — revelations that led to exposés that, as Shane put it, were “honored with a top prize from the Society for Professional Journalists” — is now being prosecuted for crimes that could lead to a lengthy prison term. Why doesn’t Obama’s dictate that we “Look Forward, Not Backward,” protect this NSA whistle-blower from prosecution at least as much as the high-level Bush officials who criminally spied on American citizens? Isn’t the DOJ’s prosecution of Drake the classic case of “Looking Backward,” by digging into Bush-era crimes, controversies and disclosures?

Meanwhile, who wants to bet we won’t “look backward” when it comes to this:

Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released Thursday.

Shortly after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he “agreed” with the decision, according to the document. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to “take the heat” for destroying the tapes.

“PG laughed and said that actually, it would be he, PG, who would take the heat,” according to one document, an internal C.I.A. e-mail message.

The message is clear- you torture people and then destroy the evidence, and you get off without so much as a sternly worded letter.

If you are a whistle blower outlining criminal behavior by the government, you get prosecuted.

I expected better from Obama and Holder.

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230 replies
  1. 1
    homerhk says:

    I honestly can’t get too excited about this. Yes, torture and war-crimes should be prosecuted but so should egregious leaks like this be. Just because for understandable albeit regrettable political reasons the former isn’t being pursued, does that mean that nothing else should be?
    Is this going to be the response to every indictment the DOJ makes?

  2. 2
    Ash Can says:

    This whole issue continues to bother me as well. My guess — and I really am only guessing — is that Obama’s priority is his policy agenda, and prosecuting the previous administration’s wrongdoing will build walls and burn bridges and prevent him from enacting the various measures he wants. Since I, and millions of others, did in fact hire him to enact that agenda, I can live with it. But I’d hate to think that justice and a decent policy agenda are an either-or proposition.

  3. 3
    Ugh says:

    Can we just abolish the CIA, NSA, and DIA now, please? We could also raze the Pentagon to the ground and turn it into a nice park, or condos if you prefer.

  4. 4
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I heard the asshats on NPR yesterday talking with some minor functionary in the Washington Press Corpse and yunno what their take was on all of this?

    Thank goodness they didn’t go after the reporter.

    Great. Gives everybody an idea of how fucking clueless the stenographers are each and every day.

  5. 5
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Man, I don’t know who this “John Cole” character is, but boy is he gonna get flamed.

    We’ll make a DFH of you yet.

  6. 6
    Menzies says:

    @Ash Can:

    This. We all expected better from Obama and Holder – but the truth is that if he were to prosecute the last administration, “dangerous precedents” aside (because who cares about them) he’d tie his own administration up in a huge caseload before the GOP even waded in to defend its own shit.

    What I want to know is when the whistleblower got there – hearing about Bushites burrowing into non-appointed positions is beginning to worry me with stories like these.

  7. 7
    Svensker says:

    Ugh.

  8. 8

    @Ash Can: All I can say is, once climate change and financial regulation are either passed, or irrevocably stalled in this Congress, the Obama Administration had better start investigating the crimes of the Bush administration, especially torture.

    While Obama has presumably abandoned the use of torture in his Administration, only a full investigation followed by prosecutions, where justified by the evidence, can give lasting impact to that change. Otherwise, the next Republican in the White House can just start it all up again, without fear of consequences.

  9. 9
    jrg says:

    “Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.”
    –Jean Rostand

    Seriously, what disincentive is there to prevent president Palin from invading France in 2013? EDIT: or torture, or out a CIA agent, or wiretap illegally, or detain people illegally, or…

  10. 10
    Third Eye Open says:

    “I carried their anthem, convinced it was mine.
    Rhymeless, unreasoned conjecture kept me in line.
    But then I stood back and wondered what the fuck had they done to me.
    Made accomplice to all that I’d promised I would never fucking be.”

    Too radical for a Friday morning?

  11. 11
    flukebucket says:

    I expected better from Obama and Holder.

    After the FISA flip flop I knew what Obama was capable of and I still voted for him.

    This ain’t shit. The authorization he gave the CIA to hunt down and assassinate American citizens has been described as egregious by many.

    But I will still smile and vote for him again if the opportunity presents itself.

    I have heard it called Realpolitik.

  12. 12
    El Cid says:

    Whistleblowers should always expose illegal activities and government malfeasance, whether or not the relevant government (or corporate) agencies think the revelations extreme and horribly unwanted and counterproductive to their purposes, and legal attention should be focused upon the illegalities reported upon and not the laws broken in reporting said illegalities.

    This is pretty elementary.

  13. 13
    El Tiburon says:

    Destroy the evidence? How about go on national tv and brag about torture a la dick Cheney. No, the trick is to be a powerful pol and u have no worries.

  14. 14
    SGEW says:

    I expected better from Obama and Holder.

    We all did. Now I’m almost as cynical about the whole thing as I was in 2006; it was a nice couple of years of that strange “hope” feeling, and I’m loathe to lose it, but c’est la vie.

    Honestly, unless Obama eventually (i.e., before the end of his second term) reverses the trend towards executive unaccountability, reins in the security apparatus (at least a little!), and attempts a full investigation into the Bush administration’s criminal activity (as he is required to do by the CAT), I will consider Obama to have been a fatally flawed president. No matter how many other ponies he gives us. It’s a tough deal, I know.

    But then, I consider pretty much all U.S. presidents to have been fatally flawed. After all, it depends on how you balance it out: FDR is considered a magnificently great Democratic president, as he gave us the New Deal, ended the Great Depression, defeated International Fascism, and only wrongfully detained a very small fraction of the total American citizenry without Due Process. Jefferson owned slaves; etc., etc. So the calculus for judging these sorts of things uses a pretty fucked up metric already.

    Obama will probably get a pass, god damn it all.

  15. 15
    JohnR says:

    I expected better from Obama and Holder.

    So did I, but I got over that long ago. If Lieberman wasn’t such a weasel, he’d be snuggled up tight to this administration. Obama talks a good game, but in the end his efforts amount to GOP appeasement with faint damns, if that. The Tea Party bozos are doofuses, and everything the Republicans say is a lie, but I look at what the Obama administration has done and see nothing but half-assed half-measures as their great accomplishment. I suppose it could be worse, but it smarts to realize that now we’ve only got Bush-Lite (now with thought!). Well, at least the murderous crackpots and End-times fanatics are out, but the Constitution is still shredded, and doesn’t look like it will get fixed now that Obama has solidified the Bush-Cheney precedents. Maybe nobody could have done better, but it doesn’t appear that Obama even really tried.

  16. 16

    First off, being a “whistleblower” does not include going to the newspapers with your information. You can call them leaks, and say they were done for good, or bad reasons, but using the term “whistleblower” is classic GG truth bending, that implies this person at the NSA should get legal protection under federal whistleblower law, when they are not entitled to it. And it is not true that there are no investigations into torture. And the book on Obama/Holder has not yet been written on any of this, yet. And I believe congress passed the new Fisa law retroactive for crimes committed with eavesdropping, so they should get the blame. And Obama for voting for it, though as we hashed out here when it happened, his vote would not have mattered, and he was in a campaign for POTUS at the time.

    Overall, I share GG’s disappointment that no Bush official has paid any real price for their crimes, but that doesn’t mean he gets to form the specifics into something they are not.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    Okay, let me rephrase: when government agents become aware of massively illegal, hideous, and malfeasant activities and there is no reasonable expectation that these will be halted and investigated by internal mechanisms, they should go and provide this information to a free press, and the prosecutorial emphasis should of course be upon the disgusting government activities, and not upon the leaker.

    Because the leaker was doing exactly the right thing, just as Daniel Ellsberg was right to expose the ‘Pentagon Papers’ and not depend upon internal IG investigations which would have been utterly pointless.

    But what’s most important is that Glenn Greenwald is a dirty fucking hippie and we hate his wording.

  18. 18
    chicago dyke says:

    We all did.

    speak for yourself.

    it saddens me that people will excuse torture, murder, illegal spying on citizens and the excuses politicians make for doing so or enacting so. party affiliation doesn’t matter. we didn’t expect Bush to investigate himself and his administration, but the “opposition” party should be all over this, now that they’re in power. that it is not is blatantly telling. wake up, people.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    @low-tech cyclist: This occurs to me as well. I’d love to see him continue to enact his agenda over the next two and a half years, get re-elected, then turn his attention to “unfinished business.” If he got it out of the way early enough in his second term, he’d be able to turn his attention back to lightweight, easy-to-enact feel-good legislation to finish out his term and not leave the country on the inevitable downer that prosecution would result in.

    A realistic scenario, in my estimation. But how likely it is, given Obama’s otherwise-endearing distaste for political mudfights — and this would be the mother of them all — is another matter entirely.

  20. 20
    Michael D. says:

    I would like to ask Obama this question:

    “Do you believe dictators should be prosecuted and held accountable when they use torture or commit heinous crimes?”

    Then…

    “Why do you believe the leaders in the last administration should not have to answer for their crimes? Should we not ‘Look forward, not backward’ with these leaders? And if not, why?”

    He would give a non-answer. That is, if the follow-up was even allowed. But there is an answer that is always unstated.

    American Exceptionalism

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    these days, i can barely summon enough rage to flip-off the guy with the giant hand-painted “Save Our Country / Impeach Obama” sign in his yard. i find myself thinking… well, he’s a teabagger douchetard, but frankly, that sign’s got a point.

    it’d be nice if i didn’t think it’d be a good idea if Obama got his ass kicked over this stuff. but well, i do think it.

    my feelings are mitigated only by the fact that no other president would be any better on civil rights issues.

  22. 22
    jrg says:

    A realistic scenario, in my estimation. But how likely it is, given Obama’s otherwise-endearing distaste for political mudfights—and this would be the mother of them all—is another matter entirely.

    I’d like to see something like that, too. At some point in the next few years, the GOP is likely to take at least one house of congress again. Wouldn’t it be great to see them forced to take a stand on Bush’s most egregious shit? Particularly if investigations reveal even worse abuses?

  23. 23

    @Ash Can:

    This occurs to me as well. I’d love to see him continue to enact his agenda over the next two and a half years, get re-elected, then turn his attention to “unfinished business.”

    Yes, and I think he will, if reelected. But the pipe dream that we are going to see criminal prosecutions of high ups like Bush and Cheney and their main Capos, isn’t going to happen, though I would like to see it. If it happens, It will be done through something like a truth commission, because the chances of finding a jury that would unanimously vote to convict Bush or Cheney are near nil, because they will scream we did it to prevent another 9-11, and then you will have a stamp of approval for all the hideous shit they did.

  24. 24
    Aimai says:

    What a great day to be alive. I was gloomily imagining that the long war of shirt tucking, metaphorical hand spitting, harrumphing, and “I say to you “GOOD DAY”-ing every time the general sees the dread initials g g was over. How foolish! The general remains staunchly available to criticize all wrong think on the narrow but important question of…wait…what were we being lectured on again? How some situation of whistleblowing was utterly unlike another so long as Glenn’s for it god must be agin it?

    My blood pressure was too low this morning anyway. Thanks, general, for letting us all know that for you the war will never be over.

    Aimai

  25. 25
    SGEW says:

    @chicago dyke: speak for yourself.

    Fair enough. Sorry. I admit to being abashed that I believed some of the hype (I mean, th’ guy taught Con Law, so I thought, you know). But it seems that cynicism wins the long game, again.

    @Michael D.: American Exceptionalism

    I agree that there’s a strong element of the U.S.A.’s particular (“peculiar,” even) brand of cryptodivine exceptionalism in the overall political context, but I think that the exceptionalism at play here in the executive branch would be the same if he was the president of, say, Slovenia (and believed in Slovenian Exceptionalism); i.e., “I am exceptional because I am me.”

  26. 26
    homerhk says:

    A further question – I get that the ‘whistleblower’ leaked sensitive information – but did what he leaked show the nsa had committed crimes or just that they had been involved in some activities that could be fairly criticised?

    I’ll also say that if one imagines a world where in March 2009 Obama ordered prosecutions of Bush, Cheney and the other warmongerers, would Obama (a) have passed healthcare, (b) still have the support of about 45% of the population, give or take, (c) be able to enact financial reform, (d) or do any of the many other great and good things he has already accomplished. Add to that, would he even be alive now?

    Also, why would prosecutions of Bush/Cheney or investigations into their conduct stop President Palin from doing the same thing once she got into office?

  27. 27

    Thanks, general, for letting us all know that for you the war will never be over.

    Why, you’re perfectly welcome aimai, glad to be of service.

  28. 28
    Ajay says:

    This is a real shame for Obama/Holder to not take this head on. Holder clearly is not doing his job.

    Both made this a political decision disregarding the laws. Its all about reelection, legacy and political captial.

    It also keeps the door open for these things to be repeated again and again without any repercussions.

  29. 29
    Mike Kay says:

    @Ajay:

    It also keeps the door open for these things to be repeated again and again without any repercussions.

    This is false.

    I’ve heard this often, ie “if we don’t prosecute, they’ll do it again. It’s false.

    All of Nixon’s men went to jail. All of them. And ten short years later, the republicans were doing Iran-Contra.

    I mean, in a similar vain, you don’t really believe all the wingnut propaganda that the death penalty is a deterrent.

  30. 30
    Comrade Jake says:

    Seems like small potatoes in the big scheme of things. Not that that will stop GG from whining endlessly over it though.

  31. 31
    rootless-e says:

    I’ve reached the point where I am skeptical of even what seems sensible coming from Greenwald. This story from him is narrative happy and he will write stuff like this no matter what the actual facts. Possibly correct here, but I don’t know.

    Given the way that Clinton and Carter were continually attacked by illegal leaks of information from Republican moles in the government, I am not surprised to see these guys try to send a signal.

    For a “computer software expert” from the NSA, Mr. Drake seems to have been remarkably stupid about the security of his internet communications with the journalist.

  32. 32

    Well now, please everyone, I dint mean to harsh a righteous Obama bash. He has been getting an excess of praise lately, so there is extra credits in that account. I will be off to hug me plastic Unicorn and won’t lecture aimai no more today. Peace out:)

  33. 33
    Mike Kay says:

    Bush and Cheney would be in prison right now, if we only listened to failed attorney Glenn Greenwald and elected John Edwards,

  34. 34
    Michael says:

    OT – but I’ve been getting an increasing feeling of unease over next week.

    I’m seeing stuff like this, cryptic and here ‘n there over the innertubes:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....s?page=2#2

    To: marktwain

    4/19 will be interesting.

    2 posted on Friday, April 16, 2010 8:58:56 AM by Travis McGee (—www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com—)
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

    The guy’s real name is Matt Bracken. He’s a total douchebag writer, claims to have been a SEAL, and I’ve long suspected him of having big “ins” with the militia assholes.

    I’m wondering what they have up their sleeves.

  35. 35
    Jennifer says:

    Gotta agree with the first comment – just because some people get away with breaking the law doesn’t mean a blind eye should be turned to all law-breaking.

    This guy got in trouble for leaking, not whistle-blowing to Congress. In case the second, he would have been protected by the law. The issue, I believe, is that NSA had spent x millions on a new system that turned out not to work very well (or at all). While on the one hand I’m not sure that this rises to the level of a leak that harms national security, on the other hand, his criticisms would have been more appropriately made to Congress. Of course at that time the Republicans held the majority and the failed new system was the initiative of a Republican administration for whom Congress merely acted as a rubber-stamp, so maybe not; it’s doubtful anyone would have done anything about the failure, given that they did nothing about the myriad OTHER failures of the Bush administration, other than fully fund each and every one of them. So maybe I’m changing my mind here…

  36. 36

    @Ash Can:

    A pretty good friend of mine is a prosecutor, and when I asked him what he thought was going on, he said the most likely answer was probably that no one at Justice thinks they can secure a conviction.

  37. 37
    A. Lurker says:

    And for the DOJ’s next trick, I’m sure they’ll devote every resource they can to identifying the fuckers in the military who released that video to wikileaks of the Apache pilots gunning down unarmed civilians in Iraq, while letting the actual war criminals get away with the Just Following Orders defense.

  38. 38
    Instantly Moderated Commenter says:

    @Mike Kay:

    All of Nixon’s men went to jail. All of them.

    This is laughably wrong. Cripes. At least reference the wiki before you say stuff like this.

  39. 39
    Paul W. says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Yup, that’s how I feel. This is a long game, other countries which have had egregious administrations have typically NOT turned around the year after they were kicked out and begun to prosecute them or investigate recent travesties (except when the new administration is likely to be ramping up their own grab at powers).

    We have 8 years, I don’t think we’ll see any real positive movement on even a “truth commission” until a second term. That’s just the way it is.

  40. 40
    rootless-e says:

    I also have to say that this whole issue of accountability is a total fraud.

    1) There has been no accountability for “security” agency employees in the history of the USA and probably in the history of the world. The idea that Obama would come in and turn that around is beyond utopian.

    2) The idea that “restoring” a standard that has never existed to government agencies is more important than, for example, reversing the stampede towards feudalism, is an idea that only appeals to people who really deserve the label “liberal elitist”. Should Obama/Holder prioritize going after CIA malfeasance over reforming the NOLA police department? Only for people who think that the lives of ordinary people matter less than matters of “principle” at the top.

  41. 41
    Mike Kay says:

    @Instantly Moderated Commenter: oh fuck you. Aside from nixon, who was pardoned, who wasn’t prosecuted regarding Watergate? Who? Who?

  42. 42
    Punchy says:

    Rule #1 — Expect anyone with the name “Porter” to act like an immature frat boy.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    Yes, it’s unfortunate/a damn shame/downright criminal that the Obama Executive Branch doesn’t reign in the Executive Branch. But, ultimately, you know who’s really supposed to reign in the Executive Branch? The Legislative and Judicial Branches, that’s who.

    Yes, Obama should be a more benign dictator. But we need a sturdier Congress (which seems to have been developing in recent months), and have the SC become less like the Scalia Court. We talk about Obama “turning around the supertanker,” but it’ll take a lot more than just one man in a too-powerful position.

    We need Obama in the White House. We need to keep pressure on Obama in the White House. There’s no way out of this conundrum.

  44. 44
    Morbo says:

    @Brien Jackson: This is exactly what I imagine the case to be; could be wrong of course.

  45. 45
    Mike Kay says:

    How many people did Mandela prosecute when he became president?

    Surely, Mandela prosecuted the people who put him in jail for 27 years?

    What a corporatist, puzzy.

  46. 46
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Citizen_X:

    I agree. It’s not Obama’s job to go after the past administration and it’s not his fault that we have a legislative branch in need of a massive spinal transplant. Ford didn’t go after Nixon, did he?

    On the “whistleblower” I am of mixed feelings on that but I think he should have worked within the ‘system’ rather than leaking the information to a reporter. Or at least have tried and then maybe gone for the reporter if/when that failed.

    Maybe GG ought to aim his flamethrower at the legislative branch and see if he can warm any of them up to go after the crooks from the Bush administration. I doubt he would have any more luck that we have but at least he would be focusing his anger where it belongs. The only way you get the legislative branch to pick this up will be to exert tremendous pressure on them. Do that and I am sure that Obama would join the chorus of voices calling for hearings (at the least).

    I don’t expect him to do this himself. A president investigating a past president isn’t something that is going to look good no matter how you dress it up. Get the people who should be doing it to do their job.

  47. 47
    Mike Kay says:

    How many people did Mandela prosecute when he became president?

    Surely, Mandela prosecuted the people who put him in jail for 27 years?

    What a corporatist, puzzy.

  48. 48
    Menzies says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Pretty much this. I’m a pretty big fan of an executive branch that responds to Congress and the judicial branch instead of lording over them, and in the last eight years we’ve had two reasons why that hasn’t worked.

    One of the ways to make sure the executive branch is held responsible for their abuses, fuck-ups, and other assorted foibles is if the legislature is controlled by the opposition. It’s fortunate that the Democrats are their own opposition, because otherwise we’d have to rely on the Republicans to provide it, and we all saw how that went the last time.

    The other way is with an active (not activist) judicial branch that is willing to step in and tell the other two branches when they get too big for their britches. Unfortunately, people like John Roberts, Nino Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Sam Alito weren’t really interested in curbing the abuses of the Bush Administration, though they’ll probably suddenly become highly interested in those of the Obama Administration.

    As a recently-minted voter (in need of re-registration) and coming from a territory where one party controlled everything except the gubernatorial seat for the last four years, and behaved exactly like Newtie’s boys, the fact that we have to rely on a circular firing squad to keep Obama honest is disheartening. But if it’s necessary – fire away.

  49. 49
    bkny says:

    hmmm, whatever happened to those whistleblower protection amendments….

  50. 50
    Menzies says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Well, one of my community advisors when I was a freshman here seemed to think Mandela “let his blacks run wild,” looting and pillaging, instead of prosecuting his opposition. He didn’t use those exact words, but they were pretty close. Clearly, in the neocon view, a population that has been thoroughly abused and oppressed, upon being given new political power, should respond with meek acceptance and immediately move along.

    In other words, we’ll be greeted as liberators.

  51. 51
    kay says:

    I don’t know enough about this yet to have an opinion.

    I will say this, though.

    I object to this: Think about to whose interests the Obama DOJ is devoted given that — while they protect the most profound Bush crimes based on the Presidential decree of “Look Forward, Not Backward”

    That’s an accusation that Holder is not independent, and that’s not fair, and it isn’t justified by what we know.

    I don’t think the President should tell the DOJ who to investigate. I don’t think the President should weigh in at all. I objected when Obama made that statement, and AG Holder also objected. I would also object if Obama had said “we intend to investigate the following people”.

    It is perfectly fair and accurate for Greenwald to state that Obama “hand-picked” Holder. That’s true. If Greenwald isn’t satisfied with Holder, he can absolutely lay that on Obama. I don’t think it’s fair to say Holder is obeying a Presidential “decree”, because that means he isn’t independent, but is a political prosecutor. That’s a serious charge. I don’t think he’s earned that.

  52. 52
    rootless-e says:

    @Aimai: One of the many interesting things I heard about in Eschaton comments before it was turned into a non-stop whine fest was Richard Rorty’s brilliant line about the American left’s change of song from “Solidarity Forever” to “Yellow Submarine”. Those of us on the Obamabot side are walking the picket line and not too impressed by people crossing the line because they think union leadership fails to work to consensus standards.

  53. 53
    A. Lurker says:

    @Mike Kay: You do realize that Mandela established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring the horrors of apartheid out into the light, right? What the men in charge are doing here is the opposite: doing everything they can to make sure the public does not find out what really happened in our name.

    Heck, I remember some time around Obama’s inauguration some of the liberal blogs were hoping that he’d do the same re: torture, spying, war crimes and other acts of cronyism under the Bush Administration, until he gave a press conference where he stated that no intelligence official would be prosecuted or even investigated for anything they may or may not have done illegally during that time. Apparently, that immunity doesn’t extend to people who try to bring these abuses to light.

  54. 54
    Adam C says:

    @homerhk:

    (a) Democrats passed a meager health care bill with the support of zero Republicans. Oh, and we were constantly reminded that it was Congresses plan, not Obama’s.

    (b) Pretty pointless – Bush seldom had more than 45% support – but given that more than 45% of the population supports prosecution for torture and other war crimes, also pretty dubious.

    (c) I’ll believe in Obama’s financial system reform when I see it, and not a second before.

    (d) “Great and wonderful”, huh? Not much comes to mind, but I doubt it was anything he needed Republican support for. The Right’s already gone completely deranged; hard to see how they could get much worse.

    I can’t believe how little you guys are willing to settle for.

  55. 55
    rootless-e says:

    @A. Lurker: If Thomas Tamm was being indicted, you’d have a point.

  56. 56
    Mike Kay says:

    @A. Lurker: and my comment is still correct. Mandela didn’t prosecute anyone. Not even the people who put in him prison for 27 years or the people who tortured and killed Steven Biko.

    I await glenn’s denunciation of Mandela.

  57. 57
    Nick says:

    @Ajay:

    It also keeps the door open for these things to be repeated again and again without any repercussions.

    Anyone who thinks this really is lost…if Democrats pay a political price for prosecuting torture, and they will because half the country supports torture, no one will ever prosecute again and future administration will give free range to do whatever they want.

    And btw, the first administration to commit egregious acts of civil rights abuses?

    Washington.

  58. 58
    Mike Kay says:

    @Adam C: Too bad golden boy john Edwards didn’t win, he’ would have rammed through single payer.

  59. 59
    Nick says:

    @Brien Jackson: No jury in America is going to convict a former President of war crimes.

    Not

    Going

    to

    Happen.

    DFH pipe dream, but hey, lets blow ourselves up naively trying.

  60. 60
    rootless-e says:

    @Nick: Lines like

    It also keeps the door open for these things to be repeated again and again without any repercussions.

    Are really Orwellian. As if the murderers of Archibishop Romero, the people who planned the coup in Chile, the supporters of Suharto, the organizers of Cointelpro, the murderers of Fred Hampton, the commanders at Kent or the forgotten Jackson State massacres, William Colby, Captain Medina, or any number of other human rights abusers in the US government ever paid a price.

  61. 61
    homerhk says:

    Adam C, I didn’t really see how you answered my questions but I’ll respond nonetheless:

    (a) we can debate the meagreness of the plan, but let me ask a clearer question. Would you exchange giving 31 million more people access to healthcare for investigations into torture? If no, then that should end matters AFAIC.
    (b) Bush actually had pretty good numbers until his second term, but really that’s irrelevant to my point. I don’t want Bush as president I want Obama.
    (c) it’s going to pass – and again my point is that even if it’s uncertain to pass it would certainly NOT have passed if the DOJ had started prosecutions
    (d) I am not going to repeat the good things he’s done because I don’t have the time, but this blog has been pretty good in pointing them out so I know that you’re aware of them.

    Big picture, Obama had and has a difficult enough job getting his agenda through (i.e. the agenda on which he campaigned and the reason why he was voted into office) what with unemployment, teabaggers, lunatic republicans and a disgraceful media. Why does anyone think that he would add to his difficulties by pursuing prosecutions that would inevitably be portrayed as politicallly motivated and would be unlikely to result in any convictions. Just wasn’t ever going to happen.

  62. 62
    Nick says:

    I am extremely disappointment that Obama and Holder are not posthumously prosecuting Washington/Adams for their role in the atrocities in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

  63. 63
    Mike Kay says:

    If DFH dreamboat John Edwards was elected president, would his baby mama and bastard kid received secret service protection?

  64. 64
    Mike Kay says:

    @Nick: I’m surprised FDR didn’t arrest Hoover and MacArthur and prosecute them for killing veterans at the Bonus Army March.

    of course, FDR was a secret republican, corporatist, puzzy.

  65. 65
    homerhk says:

    Sorry, one more point. I am not a US voter so Obama is not technically my president. As a citizen of the world, however, he is the most important leader there is. I am not “settling” for him. I support him wholeheartedly. Does that mean that I agree with everything he’s done? No, of course not. What it does mean is that, on balance, I consider him to be one of the better Presidents of my lifetime – certainly a whole load better than Bill Clinton (whom I also liked a lot, don’t get me wrong).

  66. 66
    WereBear says:

    Maybe it’s just Obot thinking; but if prosecuting Bush administration war crimes meant we would have been plunged into another Great Depression; that’s just adding suffering on top of suffering.

    There’s still waaaaay too much dust in the air to get to the bottom of things. So much of the electorate is still coming to grip with the facts.

    Wanting to prosecute a President and VP for war crimes is the right thing to do; but that’s like going after the Pope for covering up child molestation!

    In each case, it has to have a groundswell of constituency support; or it will be spun as egregious prosecution by prejudiced enemies.

  67. 67
    rootless-e says:

    @homerhk:

    Big picture, Obama had and has a difficult enough job getting his agenda through (i.e. the agenda on which he campaigned and the reason why he was voted into office) what with unemployment, teabaggers, lunatic republicans and a disgraceful media.

    Because Glenn and the other Wilsonian-Progressives want Obama to govern on the agenda they think is important and they are offended that some black guy thinks he can ignore their “advice”.

  68. 68
    Ajay says:

    @Mike Kay:

    All of Nixon’s men went to jail. All of them. And ten short years later, the republicans were doing Iran-Contra.

    You are mixing up here. I never said or implied that all crimes would be stopped by future administrations.

    I would say its natural if you know that you are not going to be prosecuted, you will do it often. Magnitude/frequency of such transgressions will only increase.

    Regardless, this is a serious crime which requires it to be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law regardless of party affiliation.

  69. 69
    homerhk says:

    rootless-e,

    yes I think there is a lot of this going around. GG has got lost up his own backside unfortunately so that even when he has a legitimate point (and I do grant that this particular article makes a striking comparison between the two cases) I find that I don’t want to go searching up there anymore to get it.

  70. 70
    rootless-e says:

    @Ajay:

    I would say its natural if you know that you are not going to be prosecuted, you will do it often. Magnitude/frequency of such transgressions will only increase.

    But of course whenever the Republicans and worse get into power they believe that they will never lose their grip on power.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: There is no U.S. analog whatsoever with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so comparisons to Mandela ‘prosecuting’ anyone are pretty strange.

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.

    For there to be a U.S. analogy, Bush Jr. era and perhaps Obama administration officials would be summoned to testify before the commission, and those summoned but failing to appear before the U.S. Truth and Reconciliation committee or not fully disclosing the information demanded could indeed be prosecuted.

    A total of 5,392 people were refused amnesty and 849 were granted amnesty, out of 7,112 petitioners (there were a number of additional categories, such as withdrawn).

    Though on occasion charges were minor or reversed with the highest figures such as Botha.

    Thus this was a truly odd comparison to make. Mandela may not have launched a series of one-sided prosecutions, but the former regime and its opponents were indeed subject to both testimony and legal repercussions.

  72. 72
    moe99 says:

    OT but this is video worth watching:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....1271360625

    The GOP really tied themselves to garish whore.

  73. 73
    El Cid says:

    @rootless-e: I think it is also bizarre that people — bloggers or otherwise — particularly concerned with apparent illegal activities by governing officials and thinking that investigations and prosecutions of those officials may be warranted (as opposed to those leaking information on illegalities) are alleged to be thinking so because Obama is black. That’s a pile of reeking shit, whether or not you obsessively hate Greenwald and/or consider yourself a supporter of Obama.

  74. 74
    D. Mason says:

    @Adam C:

    As long as there is a (D) by a candidates name s/he can do no wrong in the fever swamp. Meet the loyalists of the new guy, same as the loyalists of the old guy.

  75. 75
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Cid: How many people did Mandela prosecute? How many indictments did Botha face?

  76. 76
    Mike Kay says:

    @D. Mason: So says a Glenn-groupie. Dude, he’s not even cute.

  77. 77
    Nick says:

    @El Cid: I think you need a new snark detector.

  78. 78
    Morbo says:

    Something tells me Mike’s physician has given up on testing his reflexes.

  79. 79
    Tsulagi says:

    I expected better from Obama and Holder.

    You must be a PUMA. Hamsherite of the Left at least. Don’t be an enemy of the pragmatic, you need to flow with the art of the possible, hippie. It may not be perfect, but prosecuting Drake is possible because R-baggers would go for that even though publicly as with everything they’d likely say they’re opposed. However, they would be pissed about going after Porter Goss or similar so that’s not doable. It’s a stand against the far left. Plus, also too.

  80. 80
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: Read the link. Don’t play silly games. Unless you’re pulling some silly bullshit about Mandela not being a prosecutor.

    Try to play these games with somebody else.

  81. 81
    Tom Betz says:

    I’m hoping that Holder’s hand will be “forced” by the massive body of evidence his “investigations” uncover (plus whatever is revealed by the discovery process implemented by defense attorneys in cases like this one) during Obama’s first term, and the indictments of the Bush war criminals start being unsealed just about February 1, 2013.

    I know, it’s not much to rely upon, but it’s something.

    If that doesn’t happen, it will be up to the Spanish courts to bring about justice.

  82. 82
    El Cid says:

    @Nick: That’s possible. It’s been a while since I bought new plugs.

  83. 83
    Mike Kay says:

    @Tsulagi: Draft John Edwards ’12

  84. 84
    El Cid says:

    How many people did Jerry Lewis prosecute, huh? What about Albert Einstein?

  85. 85
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Cid: can’t answer the question, can you, it’s too embarrassing. How many people were prosecuted when Mandela was president? How many indictments did Botha face?

  86. 86
    NobodySpecial says:

    I hope Cole’s happy with the results of his enabling.

  87. 87
    scarshapedstar says:

    I expected better from Obama and Holder.

    And RAHHHHHMMMMM don’t forget RAHHHHHMMMM, you firebagger you!

    [/meta-sarcasm]

  88. 88
    Tsulagi says:

    @Mike Kay: Bravo. I haven’t seen such a reflexive fluffer since the salad days of the Bush admin.

  89. 89

    @D. Mason:

    Oh get off it. Look, I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, I don’t have a problem with anyone who wants to criticize the administration for their position on prosecuting Bush-era war crimes/torture. What I do wish, however, is that more of those people would acknowledge that the likelihood of getting anyone convicted in court is, at best, slightly higher thn zero. The contingent who actually believe Bush and Cheney would be rotting in jail if only Rahmbama would stop covering for them are fairly tiresome. Other than that, I don’t have a particular brief for or against anyone.

  90. 90
    Mike Kay says:

    @NobodySpecial: Damn straight! I just made a huge donation to jane hamsher’s PACs! She’ll hold obama accountable!

  91. 91
    Adam C says:

    @homerhk:

    False dilemma much? Whose support for health care reform was going to be lost by prosecuting war crimes and felonies? Seriously – is there someone else out there asking whether it’s worth it to concede on “sochalist” health care as long as we don’t shine a light on Bush administration crimes?

    Or maybe as WereBear says, going after felons in government would plunge the country into a Great Depression. Hey, as long as the trains run on time.

    Do you know what would counter the impression that prosecutions were politically motivated? Letting the public see the evidence. If Obama weren’t so busy actively suppressing the evidence of crimes committed during and since the Bush era, prosecution would become a lot easier. But I suppose even admitting what happened isn’t pragmatic.

  92. 92
    Mike Kay says:

    @Tsulagi: hahaha, touched a nerve.

  93. 93
    rootless-e says:

    @El Cid:

    You can think what you want, but the level of condescension, the constant assertions of “naivete” and frank stupidity, the eagerness to identify some Machiavellian white puppetmaster (Rahm), and the lecturing tone that a bunch of white “progressives” have maintained since the primaries makes me as suspicious as the unhinged and apparently unmotivated anger of the teabaggers.

    UPDATE 1: How’s that for a Greenwaldian sentence?

  94. 94
    Rick Taylor says:

    Another issue where I’m disappointed in the Obama administration is one Atrios keeps harping on; he hasn’t pushed as much as I would like to allow judges to change the terms of mortgages (cramdown). This is something he campaigned on, speaking about it in one of the debates with McCain. The usual disclaimers; I still think he was by far the best of all the candidates, I’d vote for him again in a heartbeat, etc.

  95. 95
    Tsulagi says:

    @Mike Kay: Ritalin didn’t slow you down during your homeschol days did it?

  96. 96
    Mike Kay says:

    @Tsulagi: Tsk, Tsk. Punching hippies is so low, you corporatist.

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: Did you read the quoted text? Did you read the link?

    The question is not embarrassing because there is no question you are asking. You are not asking a question.

    Do you mean all criminal prosecutions of any variety during the time that Mandela was president? There were surely thousands. It’s true that I don’t have data, but you don’t care about the response.

    If you’re asking the trivial question of how many people that Mandela, as President, handed down, versus relevant prosecutors and judicial authorities, I would presume the answer would be none, and I would truly be amazed that anyone beside yourself would find this relevant.

    If what is more likely you were discussing the transition from the fascist apartheid regime to multi-racial democracy, it was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the body charged with carrying out the investigative and amnesty functions of the TRC.

    Therefore those applying for and granted amnesty in exchange for testimony were not subject to prosecution; those who were refused the offer of amnesty were subject to prosecution as ‘common criminals’, so, in effect, Mandela prosecuted them.

    You specifically asked about Botha:

    PW Botha was convicted in 1989 of holding the TRC in contempt, fined, and given a suspended five-year sentence, but this was overturned on appeal in the Cape High court.

    So, in your wording, Mandela indicted Botha on contempt of the commission and Mandela sentenced him to 5 years of prison, but Mandela suspended the sentence and then Mandela overturned Mandela’s earlier decision.

    “Mandela” also indicted and prosecuted the following:

    Adrian Vlok, former Minister for Law and Order during apartheid, Johannes van der Merwe, former Commissioner of Police, and three other police officials, were prosecuted for the attempted murder of Rev. Frank Chikane in 1989. Through a plea bargain agreement criticised by human rights groups, (see, for example, the Khulumani statement) they were given a suspended sentence of ten years imprisonment. Vlok had previously appeared before the TRC and been granted amnesty for the limited number of crimes he confessed to, but these did not include the attempted murder of Chikane. [SABC news]

    Will you keep dodging the question? How is the situation in the U.S. — with no Truth and Reconciliation Commission with legal authority to compel testimony and grant amnesty to those requesting it in exchange for their testimony — analogous to the South African Truth and Reconciliation established by Mandela’s government?

    Do you have anything of substance to say? Do you think that there’s a High School Debate Team clock and ref which will award you extra points for irrelevance?

    Further, you have in a truly cowardly fashion dodged my question: How many people did Jerry Lewis prosecute?

    Are you scared? Are you peeing your diapers? Are you running to Mommy to hold you? Why won’t you answer how many people Jerry Lewis prosecuted? No one to protect you? Afraid? No one to step in to protect you?

  98. 98
    El Cid says:

    @rootless-e: It’s possible — all sorts of movements in the U.S. and the world have been subject to racism.

    I do remember a vehemence and sneering dismissal, with similar invectives by ‘progressives’ or actual leftists against Bill Clinton, and I’m presuming that wasn’t stimulated by race.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    What I do wish, however, is that more of those people would acknowledge that the likelihood of getting anyone convicted in court is, at best, slightly higher than zero.

    And any conviction that did occur would be immediately overturned by the Roberts court. Remember them? The ones who decided that corporations have free speech rights equal to those of actual citizens?

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    I agree. Bankruptcy judges are the absolute best existing arbiter of that situation. They know how to do that, they understand how to tier debt and evaluate debtor v lender, and we have an orderly and fair process and dedicated court already in place.
    This was an extraordinary situation, re: mortgages. It calls for a hammer.

  101. 101
    Punchy says:

    Sorry to go OT:

    If this isn’t rape, then what is?

    And I love how ESPN whitewashes the story using the innocent headline, “Ben exposes self”, when in fact, if the statements are true, he actually raped someone.

    Alas….those hick GA lawmen are easily purchased, so we’ll never know the extent of his criminality. (BTW, isn’t exposure a crime by itself?)

  102. 102
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Cid: I feel so sorry for you.

  103. 103
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: Keep it to yourself, I don’t want to know your feelings.

  104. 104
    Mike Kay says:

    @Punchy: I blame Obama and Eric Holder.

    RAHM! also, too.

  105. 105
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Ash Can:

    This.

    Unfortunately I’m trying to think of an administration that came in and made open and public (i.e. not Nixonian ratfucking behind the scenes) prosecution of malefactors from a preceeding admin of the opposite party a priority over policy, and I can’t come up with much of anything. Perhaps Carter a little bit. The past history in this area is very thin and more than a little bit discouraging. Rule of law, we honor it in the breach.

  106. 106
    rootless-e says:

    @El Cid:

    One “tell” to me is the identification of the Chief of Staff as the mastermind. You’d think that someone with Obama’s history and obvious intelligence would be assumed to be directing Emanuel and not the other way around. I don’t recall any theories that Clinton was being managed by his CoS.

  107. 107
    Mike Kay says:

    @El Cid: How much is RAHM! paying you?

  108. 108
    Maude says:

    @Rick Taylor:
    Cramdown has to go through congress. It could be part of new bankrupcy legislation.
    Can’t you hear it now?
    Those —- who didn’t have the money, bought houses and now what the gubmint to bail them out.

    @rootless-e:
    The names that set off the small number of commentators at Atrios are: Rahm, Obama, Harry Reid and Geitner. And now, men.

  109. 109
    ericblair says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Look, I can’t speak for everyone, but personally, I don’t have a problem with anyone who wants to criticize the administration for their position on prosecuting Bush-era war crimes/torture. What I do wish, however, is that more of those people would acknowledge that the likelihood of getting anyone convicted in court is, at best, slightly higher thn zero.

    Unfortunately, I agree. I live for the day that I see Cheney and Bush at the defendant’s table, but I can’t see it happening unless there’s a huge public groundswell demanding it. The Obama administration would have to be seen as acquiescing to public pressure and not leading the charge.

    Anyways, shouldn’t this criticism, warranted or unwarranted, be going solely to Holder? Unless people are expecting a weird sort of Bizarro-world Saturday Night Massacre where Obama keeps firing AGs until they agree to appoint an investigator or lay charges, Obama should be keeping his hands off of it.

    Slightly off-topic but important, SEC lays civil charges against the Squid.

  110. 110
    eemom says:

    damn, a Greenwald party and I missed it? : (

  111. 111
    ricky says:

    @rootless-e:

    Regarding the question raised in your update; if the answers you receive should question your continued excessive use of udpdates, despite previous notations of the same, can I respectfully expect a wrathful retort in a third or fifth update
    depending on how many intervening updates were required to answer other criticisms? That said, I cannot judge it unless you provided links here, here and perhaps way over there to similar sentences proving your work is not a one trick pony.

  112. 112
    Randy P says:

    @Michael:
    I’m creeped out about 4/19 even without seeing e-mails like this. We all know already that it’s a big day in nutbag mythology, so for damned sure there’s a bunch of armed nutbags ready to create their own mini-Wacos.

    But the Huckleberries thing (or Hooterees or Hottentots or whatever they called themselves) has me somewhat reassured that the FBI: (a) Takes these people seriously, (b) Is aggressively investigating them, and (c) can take effective action if need be.

    Remember, we heard that the Hooterrees had already been on the FBI radar screen for quite awhile before they decided to escalate.

    So I’m half afraid of hearing about some violence on 4/19, but also half expecting to hear about more mass arrests.

    Edit: Why does so much software assume that you can’t possibly have intended to have a list (a), (b)… that goes up to c, and that you must have intended the copyright symbol? As I move closer to permanent curmudgeonhood, that one issue may account for 10% of my grumbling to myself.

  113. 113
    FilmFlam says:

    I’m tired of making excuses for Obama. The whole “he won’t press for the prosecution of violators within government because he has a higher political agenda that is more important” bs is getting old. I think I’ve reached the point where I see the Government as the enemy, and it does not matter who is in charge. It’s naive to put your hopes into one man – after a while, they are all corrupted by the power and influence, no matter what their background or history. There has not been a Cincinnatus in America since the death of G. Washington.

  114. 114
    El Cid says:

    @rootless-e: I have never understood the obsession with Rahm Emanuel. I think the guy seems a bit of a jerk with a number of unpersuasive arguments, but I don’t try to think of myself as an inside player with the ability to go beyond reasonable evidence to say who exactly is behind whatever.

    [However, although one interpretation could be the one you suggested, i.e., presuming the COS is the one with the power, another interpretation is that people are seeking specifically not to blame Obama but to locate the responsibility for policies or rhetoric they really hate elsewhere.]

  115. 115
    ricky says:

    @Tsulagi:

    Other than 9/11, was there a “salad day” in the Bush administration?

  116. 116
    D. Mason says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I didn’t mention anything about prosecutions. My comment was directed at what the people here will settle for – sorry for the lack of clarity. Obama, like every other President, has done some good things and some bad things. Rational people can disagree about the ratio of good to bad on any President, fierce loyalists take offense to any criticism of their idol. A stroll through the comments section here quickly reveals who’s who.

  117. 117
    El Cid says:

    @rootless-e:

    I don’t recall any theories that Clinton was being managed by his CoS.

    I don’t remember that, but there are parallels with how Clinton was criticized as following Rubin on economic policy much as Obama is said to be beholden to Geithner & Summers.

  118. 118
    Randy P says:

    @D. Mason: I’d classify myself as a fierce loyalist, but I still believe there are issues where Obama’s feet should be held to the fire. I don’t have any problem with the concept of pressuring the guy, and pressuring him hard, to do the right thing. Or doing an end run around him and convening Congressional War Crimes hearings if that’s what it takes.

    I can believe that he’s 100% dead wrong on the approach to the war crimes, believe that ultimately ignoring this stuff does severe damage to our national character and our moral stature, but also believe he may turn out to be the greatest and most effective president of my lifetime. Those are not contradictory positions.

    I think my kids are great human beings but could be better in some ways. Those aren’t contradictory positions either.

  119. 119
    Mike Kay says:

    @D. Mason:

    Obama, like every other President, has done some good things and some bad things.

    Name one good thing Bush did?

  120. 120
    The Moar You Know says:

    if Democrats pay a political price for prosecuting torture, and they will because half the country supports torture, no one will ever prosecute again and future administration will give free range to do whatever they want.

    @Nick: Can’t argue with this. The idea that the majority of the populace will “come to their senses” and be aghast at the goings-on of the former administration is ludicrous.

  121. 121
    Mike Kay says:

    @FilmFlam: Nice to see Terry Nichols has internet access.

  122. 122

    fierce loyalists take offense to any criticism of their idol.

    And wankers cry and get their nickers in a twist when evidence and accuracy of their criticism is demanded.

  123. 123
    rootless-e says:

    @ricky: I can’t be expected to respond to those who are clearly in the pay of of my opponents so I have nothing to say – there is no response needed or warranted by this dishonest and ill-constructed deliberate slander and rabid attack on my reputation so I will not respond other than to, in detail, review all of the character flaws of yours that come to my mind over the next three hours of typing ….

  124. 124
    ricky says:

    @Randy P:

    …there are issues where Obama’s feet should be held to the fire. … Or doing an end run around him and convening Congressional War Crimes hearings if that’s what it takes.

    If Congressional Democratic leaders had nothing to fear, this would be a perfect area where they could give Dennis the K a committee and see if he is up to the challenge.

  125. 125
    Nick says:

    @FilmFlam:

    There has not been a Cincinnatus in America since the death of G. Washington.

    Mr. Washington, the man who send federal troops to quell protesting tax payers?

  126. 126
    ricky says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I wake up mornings thanking my lucky stars my loyalty is merely solid instead of fierce. It keeps me regular without the annoying inflammation.

  127. 127
    Randy P says:

    @rootless-e:
    Wait. There are people getting paid for their comments on blog flame wars? How do I get some of that?

  128. 128

    @D. Mason:

    Fair enough. Apologies for misreading your post.

  129. 129
    Mike Kay says:

    @rootless-e: brilliant snark.

  130. 130
    ericblair says:

    @Randy P:

    Wait. There are people getting paid for their comments on blog flame wars? How do I get some of that?

    Yeah, really. I’d be happy to take GSA schedule rates on that.

  131. 131
    ricky says:

    @Mike Kay:

    There was no one named Rahm in his administration.

    No animals bipeds were harmed during the cutting of brush at the Crawford Cult/Ranch House.

    There is two. Took no time at all. More where that came from as soon as Tsulagi can give the time frame of them salad days and I can look for the dressing.

  132. 132
    eemom says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Seconded. Hey rootless-e, how about starting an official Greenwald parody blog? I’ll kick in some paypal $$ to start…..then if it takes off we could throw in Hamsher……set up a PAC……

  133. 133
    ricky says:

    @eemom:
    Count me in. I’ll bring the lists. I would bring the salad, but
    it is Tsulagi’s day for that.

  134. 134
    rootless-e says:

    @El Cid: @eemom: I’m not too convinced there is a revenue model – so we just need an investor.

  135. 135
    ricky says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    “The idea that the majority of the populace will “come to their senses” and be aghast at the goings-on of the former administration is ludicrous.”

  136. 136
    aimai says:

    I’m not interested in being the “can’t we all get along” person. I’m just tired of the eternal “choose yer sides” style flame wars here at balloon juice. Its just silly. Obama has lots of supporters. And they have lots of different interests, politically speaking. And they are going to want Obama and his team to do lots of stuff that they either can’t, or won’t, or can’t and won’t right now but might later. And some of us are going to feel disappointed, and some of us are going to feel pleased, and some of us are going to write letters or blog posts complaining about it, or cheering it, or otherwise noting it. Every single time GG makes a point about something it is not necessary for the *&^% purists to decide that each other person on the center/left continuum needs to be excoriated as a traitor/dreamer/fool/liar/racist/ this minute because GG made a point that was tangentially at issue. I don’t get the GG hysteria here–I see that its real and I see that it a constant but I just don’t get it. On balance, I like GG’s work and I find it stimulating and thought provoking. I think we need “civil liberties absolutists” just like I think we need people who really care about recycling, or really know something about oven temperatures or moon exploration. We always need experts even if we don’t always want to hear what they have to say.

    Its just weird to me the way certain things come to stand in for certain other things (GG stands in for Jane Hamsher, stands in for the “Rahm is really Obama’s brain” thing which stands in for the idea that people who look at power politics as a struggle for access to powerful people are absolutely identical to stone racists who think Obama is an empty suit) and everyone involved (and its always the same people) leaps to their self appointed task as though their blog lives depended on it.

    Can’t we all get along? Apparently not.

    aimai

  137. 137
    beergoggles says:

    What strikes me about this and the recent announcement Obama made about hospital visitation for us homos is that it’s all done at the discretion of the president. Elect a Republican and we can kiss goodbye to being there for the last moments of our loved ones lives and we get full on torture fetishists running our government again.

    Bravo Obama, you’ve effectively forced us to vote for you for a second term now.

  138. 138
    horatius says:

    @El Cid:

    Mike Kay just wants to use the word puzzy repeatedly. Don’t pay any attention to him.

  139. 139
    slag says:

    This issue highlights what has been underlying some of my distrust of this administration from the beginning. I don’t trust a constitutional scholar who deals with civil liberties this way. I just don’t. Every time I think on this stuff, I can’t help but feel that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  140. 140

    @aimai:

    We always need experts even if we don’t always want to hear what they have to say.

    There are no experts in politics. There are only people who want or think one thing, and people who want or think something else. Each thread post offers commenters the opportunity to say what they want or think. With the only requirement being to back up what you say. For instance, I heaped praise on GG;s article on the media in a thread or two here the other day/ Because I believed it was well thought out and articulated. Some others may not have seen it that way.

    Each thread is a new beginning in the BJ blog adventure, and because it is often raucus I think is a good thing, kind of like the way democracy is supposed to work. Lecture over.

  141. 141
    slag says:

    @rootless-e: You’re not using your context clues. Greenwald and others always sound like that. All through the Bush years too. It’s just how they sound.

  142. 142
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The ones who decided that corporations have free speech rights equal to those of actual citizens?

    Now that’s just not true. The Roberts Court held that corporations have free speech rights superior to those of actual citizens, since the conservative judicial view that “speech equals money” inherently gives an overwhelming debate advantage to wealthier speakers and no single individual citizen in this whole country can afford to go dollar for dollar with a major corporation.

  143. 143
    Mike Kay says:

    @horatius: but you just did

    ps who doesn’t love puzzy? they make such great pets.

  144. 144
    Citizen Alan says:

    @El Cid:

    I have never understood the obsession with Rahm Emanuel.

    Speaking only for myself, I dislike Emanuel because he is (a) overtly hostile to Progressivism to the point of encouraging first Bill Clinton and now Barack Obama to actively run against it, and (b) he has a pattern of failing upwards. The biggest reason we have such commanding majorities is because Howard Dean ignored Emanuel’s insistence that the Democrats should just concede every Red district in the country to the Republicans and concentrate all our money on just the close races. Jon Tester, Jim Webb, Travis Childers and dozens of other Democrats would not be serving in office today if Rahm’s “vision” for a gradual, decades-long path to electoral victory had been pursued. Yeah, I know, some of them are DINOs and a pain in the ass, but they are Democrats and they secure our majority and make it at least possible to pursue progressive legislation, even if they eventually vote against it.

    And yet somehow, Rahm is one of the most influential members of the Obama Administration and Howard Dean has been banished to the occasional cable talk show.

    We saw the same kind of wrong-think in the late stages of the HCR debate. It’s been widely reported that Rahm, in response to Scott Brown, wanted to scrap the whole thing and go incrementalist. I just thank God we had Nancy Pelosi (whose job Rahm covets despite the fact that he’d be a catastrophe for the Democratic agenda in the House).

  145. 145
    J sub D says:

    The Obama administration doesn’t want to set a precedent that executive branch officials are accountable for their actions.

    Color me completely unsurprised.

  146. 146
    Paula says:

    lol. Popcorn time!

  147. 147
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Nick:

    Mr. Washington, the man who send federal troops to quell protesting tax payers?

    Washington was/is portrayed in sculpture etc as Cinncinatus because Washington voluntarily stopped being president just as the Big C twice laid down his position as dictator to return to gratefully to his plow. The violence either wrought in their term of office has nothing to do with anything.

  148. 148
    the pair says:

    “I expected better from Obama and Holder.”

    That makes one of us. Look at Holder’s dealings with Chiquita

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....41919.html

    and the way he folded like Superman on laundry day when it came to the KSM trials and you’ll see the very picture of a morally bankrupt toady (see also: Gonzales.) He’s acting less like an Attorney General and more like Obama and Rahm’s personal lawyer.

    As for Obama, look at his stance on “State Secrets” or the “get out of testimony free card” he gave Karl Rove among dozens of other examples. I’m not sure what it will finally take for otherwise intelligent people to see Obama for the vile human being he truly is, but I’m starting to worry it will be something huge and irreparable.

  149. 149
    the pair says:

    @rootless-e:

    Clinton wasn’t managed by his Chief of Staff – they left that job to Rubin and Greenspan.

  150. 150
    the pair says:

    @aimai:

    “…the ‘Rahm is really Obama’s brain’ thing which stands in for the idea that people who look at power politics as a struggle for access to powerful people are absolutely identical to stone racists who think Obama is an empty suit.”

    It would help if Obama didn’t describe himself as a “blank page” and avoid any (non-corporate) ideology the way a hemophiliac avoids straight razors. Besides, you think Rahm can’t call the shots? How Anti-Semitic!

  151. 151
    Cain says:

    @FilmFlam:

    bs is getting old. I think I’ve reached the point where I see the Government as the enemy, and it

    I hear there is a big gathering on April 19th that you can attend to voice your concern.

    cain

  152. 152
    gil mann says:

    As soon as I read the post, I was gonna leave a comment saying “Without having read it, I’ll bet a hundred bucks this thread is dominated by Mike Kay, defending the indefensible and just generally being a dick,” but I didn’t because it would’ve been embarrassing if I’d been wrong, plus some of you might’ve tried to collect.

    Can’t believe I thought making the wrong call was even a possibility.

  153. 153
    Cain says:

    @D. Mason:

    some good things and some bad things. Rational people can disagree about the ratio of good to bad on any President, fierce loyalists take offense to any criticism of their idol. A stroll through the comments section here quickly reveals who’s who.

    I’m being rational about it. Can we get convictions? What will the process do to the nation. You want to punish the evil-doers and put them in jail as a lesson. The only lesson at that point is “how do we not get caught the next time”. As someone noted above, there was convictions for Watergate, but when Reagan was in charge all kinds of criminal activity was going on.

    If you have such a trial, what kind of polarization will you get. Are you willing to throw everything away for this issue? That’s really the bottom line because the political party doing the convicting will not be in power in the next election. You’re talking about a country where there is at least 15% of the country who actually believed a health care bill has death panels in it.

    This is nation can’t handle it. Sorry. Let’s get the foundations of our country in order. We can do a lot more moralizing when our jobless have jobs and not fighting two wars.

    cain

  154. 154
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    A pretty good friend of mine is a prosecutor, and when I asked him what he thought was going on, he said the most likely answer was probably that no one at Justice thinks they can secure a conviction.

    Bingo.

    It’s easy being green(wald). You can sit on the balcony of your apartment and pontificate, without worrying about political blowback adversely affecting your ability to complete the agenda the American people elected you to accomplish, without worrying about the fact that folks like that will lie to a grand jury and destroy evidence without a second’s hesitation, and without worrying about the difficulty of getting an unbaised jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, where a majority of the folks who show up when they get a jury summons are retired and have ties to the military or the intelligence community.

    I happen to agree that all of those bastards should be investigated, indicted if the facts warrant it, tried, and if convicted sent to a real prison for a long time. Unlike Kermit, I live in the real world and understand why that may not be feasible. Sucks, but there it is.

  155. 155
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Yes, this exactly.

  156. 156
    Mike Kay says:

    @gil mann:
    Thank you, thank you. Your words endlessly warm my heart.

    Can you tell me who’s gonna win tonight’s Boston-Baltimore game? You’re pretty good at telling the future.

    Well, you weren’t completely right, yes, I did dominate, but I didn’t “defend the indefensible”, not once. Instead I mocked the purity police. You know, the pie-in-the-sky, holier-than-thou who supported golden boy, John Edwards. You’d think after Edwards blew up in their face (no pun intended), they’d atleast take one foot off their pedestal. But no, they’re still up there wagging their fingers, with all that egg on their face.

    I don’t get it – if glenn’s a dick, that’s okay. If I’m a dick, that’s wrong.

  157. 157
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tom Betz:

    it will be up to the Spanish courts to bring about justice.

    Don’t hold your breath. Baltazar Garzon is in a heap o’ trouble.

  158. 158

    @burnspbesq: Oh, yer just another Obama loyalist / Fierce type too.

  159. 159
    JohnR says:

    @homerhk:

    Oh, of course – I forgot! Why, Obama wouldn’t have been able to get the feeble half-measures passed that he did, if he’d actually supported and defended the Constitution of the United States, as he swore to do. Silly idealistic me!

    “Can you tell me who’s gonna win tonight’s Boston-Baltimore game? You’re pretty good at telling the future.”

    Oooh, me! me! That’s an easy one – pick the team that actually knows how to play baseball and can pitch, catch and hit. Here’s a hint: they pahk the cah up theyah.

  160. 160
    lawguy says:

    Ok John, I take back mostly everything I’ve said about you and being in Obama’s pocket. I apologize.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JohnR:

    Why, Obama wouldn’t have been able to get the feeble half-measures passed that he did, if he’d actually supported and defended the Constitution of the United States, as he swore to do.

    No, he wouldn’t have. You can argue that he should have focused on war crimes trials and given up any idea of a stimulus package, a healthcare bill, extensions to unemployment, and even the Lily Ledbetter bill, but you can’t claim that he could have had war crimes trials and gotten all of that as well. That’s drifting into Magic Ponyland.

    You may not think that the tradeoff was worth it, but don’t try to claim that the tradeoff never existed.

  162. 162
    Mike Kay says:

    @JohnR:

    “Why, Obama wouldn’t have been able to get the feeble half-measures passed that he did”

    Only in the firebag-blogosphere is a 10 year package that starts at a trillion dollars considered feeble. And then it expands, the same way medicare and social security expanded.

  163. 163
    rootless-e says:

    @aimai: I don’t like Greenwalds smug libertarian politics. I find him to be unreliable in the sense that he’s willing to bend reality to fit his narrative more than makes me comfortable. And his self-righteous inability to engage in actual discussion annoys the hell out of me. If that makes me a “purist”, then I’ll live with it thanks all the same.

  164. 164
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You may not think that the tradeoff was worth it, but don’t try to claim that the tradeoff never existed.

    When the next Republican president is sticking American citizens in gulags for being “soshulist sympathizers” or “objectively pro-terrorist,” I guess I’ll just comfort myself in the knowledge that our health care system is not quite as catastrophically bad as it was before Obama came along.

  165. 165

    @Citizen Alan:

    The biggest reason we have such commanding majorities is because Howard Dean ignored Emanuel’s insistence that the Democrats should just concede every Red district in the country to the Republicans and concentrate all our money on just the close races.

    In the name of holy Jesus, how in the fuck does this myth persist?

  166. 166

    @rootless-e:

    And yet, there was a time when Greenwald was cited daily, hourly, on blogs as being one of the few voices capable of documenting the crimes of the Bush Administration. There was a time when conservatives were gunning for him in almost every sense of the word for the damage he was doing. The man was once a hero, to put it mildly, for people who cared about right and wrong.

    But when you say something bad about Obama, you’re done. Not with everyone, but with enough people to make your name mud. And Greenwald, thankfully, doesn’t care.

  167. 167

    @the pair:

    Holder hasn’t backed down from his position on trying KSM in civilian courts, so far as I know.

  168. 168

    @Norman Rogers:

    to be fair, a lot of people had the same issues with Greenwald then as they do now. I’ve never been a fan of Greenwald, for basically the same reason I’ve never been a fan of Taibbi’s; even when you enjoy them, you’ve got to spend the next hour figuring out which parts of their writing isn’t exactly straight-forward.

  169. 169
    Mike Kay says:

    @Citizen Alan: You sound like Glenn Beck spouting off about FEMA detention camps.

    As I said earlier, prosecuting Watergate to it’s fullest (everyone went to jail, sans Nixon) didn’t stop Iran-Contra from happening ten short years later. The Church Committee didn’t stop future abuses by the CIA under Bill Casey. The quagmire of Vietnam didn’t stop the quagmire of Iraq from occurring. Putting Charles Keating, Boesky,andMilken in jail didn’t prevent Bernie Madoff from happening. Long prison sentences didn’t stop bootlegging during prohibition. The death-penalty doesn’t act as a deterrent. There is no evidence that prosecuting criminals deters future criminal acts.

  170. 170
    rootless-e says:

    @Norman Rogers: I didn’t cite him. And I don’t know why agreeing with someone on topic A should make it necessary to sign on to their whole schitck. For example, I always thought Krugman was an idiot about NAFTA and foreign trade, I thought his criticisms of Obama’s campaign were stupid, and basically I find his economics analysis to be conventional crap – but I admire him as a strong voice for honesty and liberal morality. Greenwald has always struck me as a self-righteous prig, though.

  171. 171
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    In the name of holy Jesus, how in the fuck does this myth persist?

    This “myth” was reported in Time magazine:

    “My big thing is, come August, September, October, this is a resources game,” Emanuel told TIME late one night after a day of West Coast fund raising. He was a bit more direct after a recent meeting he had with Dean to discuss the matter. Emanuel cursed and stormed out to go to the floor and vote, according to witnesses. “I wish the Democratic divisions could go away,” Pelosi said when asked about the Dean dispute. “There’s so much at stake here.”

    Democrats do not complain about the amount Dean is raising, just that he is spending too fast. At the end of April, his committee had $9 million on hand and the Republican National Committee had $48 million. In an interview from Oregon, Dean defended his approach with the simple logic that what the Democrats had been doing was not working and said he has a responsibility to think beyond ’06. “There hasn’t been a long-term business plan for a long time,” he said. “We’re going to win some races in places people don’t expect with this 50-state strategy.”

    But that strategy runs counter to the highly tactical approach that Emanuel has pursued, which is to pick winnable districts and candidates who can win them.

  172. 172
    Jrod says:

    I think we can all agree that Mike Kay is the shittiest troll on this site. At least BoB can be entertaining once in a while, whereas MK is just an annoying dick.

    In before MK’s response in which he sarcastically thanks me for the compliment or some such, because that’s just fuckin’ comedy gold that never gets old.

  173. 173
    Mike Kay says:

    @Norman Rogers:

    talk about projection:

    *

    But when you say something bad about Obama Glenn, you’re done. Not with everyone, but with enough people to make your name mud. And Greenwald Obama, thankfully, doesn’t care.

  174. 174
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jrod: Glen’s groupies are so thin skinned. They can dish it out, but boy-o-boy, they can’t take it. Like another glen (glenn beck), they’re so laughingly pathetic.

  175. 175
    Cain says:

    @Norman Rogers:

    But when you say something bad about Obama, you’re done. Not with everyone, but with enough people to make your name mud. And Greenwald, thankfully, doesn’t care.

    We’re not objecting that you’re saying mean things about Obama. Obama is an adult unlike the last one and can handle it. Our objection is that you’re willing to throw everything else out the window for something that would probably not work.

    edit: but who knows? Obama has pulled off heatlhcare, maybe he can do that. He’s the magical pony after all
    cain

  176. 176
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mike Kay:

    And the fact that we executed Timothy McVeigh hasn’t prevented the rise of homegrown right-wing extremism either. I guess we should have just let him off with a pat on the head and “looked forward instead of backwards.”

    You really are a fucking dolt, aren’t you.

    And why shouldn’t a future Republican start herding political opposition into death camps? As far as our Democratic leaders are concerned, there’s obviously nothing wrong with torture, wrongful detention, and unindicted suspects who were arrested on trumped up charges later committing suicide by stuffing towels down their own throats while their hands are tied behind their backs. Hell, Obama himself approves of the President’s unfettered right to order the assassination of U.S. citizens who are merely suspected of terrorism related activities, and since the GOP has made it quite clear that everyone who votes Democrat is a de facto terrorist sympathizer, I can’t see how any Democratic leader would have cause to complain about the practice being directed against them.

  177. 177

    @Citizen Alan:

    You’re conflating an awful lot of that report.

  178. 178
    Mike Kay says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    It’s sad to see supposed members of the reality based community acting no different than Fixxed News and Sarah Palin and talk about “death panels”.

  179. 179

    @Mike Kay:

    No, you’re a pretty annoying troll.

  180. 180
    Mike Kay says:

    @Brien Jackson: Thank you Brien. Someone has to stand up to glen.

  181. 181
    Jrod says:

    @Mike Kay: I rarely read Greenwald, you idiot. GG has nothing to do with the fact that you are a douchebag who ruins every thread he posts in.

  182. 182
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jrod: oh stop with your hippie punching, you bully.

    Tell me one comment I made (not directed to you), that you disagreed with?

  183. 183
    Jrod says:

    I disagree with posting 30 times an hour to make the same half-assed sarcastic “jokes” about RAAHHMM and the like.

    We get it already, you think Hamsher and Greenwald are the worst people on the planet. Move the fuck on already, and quit clogging up the threads with the same shit over and over and over every time Greenwald’s name is so much as whispered.

  184. 184
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    We’ll see. It’s funny though, isn’t it. The Democratic “plan” for retaking Congress after 1994 consisted of an endless parade of folks grovelling apologetically for being Democrats and for daring to interfere with the Republicans’ divine right to rule, and it led to disaster after electoral disaster. And then, beginning in 2006, Dean came up with this revolutionary idea: let’s be proud of the fact that we’re Democrats and attack the Republicans for their litany of failures. And that worked. And we had huge gains in 2006 and 2008, to the astonishment of the MSM who insisted that Dean was nuts and that the Democrats couldn’t possibly win in places like Virginia and North Mississippi.

    But that’s over, now. Dean is banished, Rahm is ascendant, and even though Teabagging loons are threatening third party candidacies everywhere, Rahm and Obama’s handpicked dishrag, Tim Kaine, has done nothing to take advantage of this opportunity by recruiting name brand Democrats. Everyone has just bought into the same cautious, cringing approach that worked so splendidly from 1994 through 2004. And once we lose the House and Obama gets threatened with impeachment for some preposterous trumped up charge, then we can triangulate for the next six years. What rapture!

  185. 185

    @Citizen Alan:

    And then, beginning in 2006, Dean came up with this revolutionary idea: let’s be proud of the fact that we’re Democrats and attack the Republicans for their litany of failures. And that worked.

    Well, there was also an extremely unpopular Republican President, a tragically inept response to a large national disaster they had a week to prepare for, a downward spiral in Iraq, an attack on the foundation of the most popular government program in the history of the nation, plus deteriorating economic conditions in general. But sure, if you ignore all that, it was all Howard Dean’s brilliance.

  186. 186
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I’ll try to use small words, dolt. The “death panel” lie was just that — a lie, because there was nothing in the bill that any literate person could have possibly interpreted to call for the creation of such panels.

    My belief that the Republicans will engage in fascistic behavior when they take office again is based on the fact that they’ve already done it. They did torture. They did arrest people without evidence and hold them without access to lawyers. They did make a serious attempt to abolish habeas corpus. They had gulags on four fucking continents! Is any of this getting through to you, you mongoloid buffoon? And lest we forget, the original plan, before Sandra Day O’Connor intervened to save the Republic with a 5-4 opinion, was to try these people with military tribunals, convict them based on evidence obtained through torture plus secret evidence the defendant would never even be allowed to see even at trial, and then execute them at the same site. They were even planning on constructing a cemetery at Gitmo for anyone executed there whose remains couldn’t be repatriated!

    And you think it’s inconceivable that a future Republican President, now that it is clear that he or she will be supported lockstep by Congressional Republicans and will never be held accountable by Democrats or by our useless whore media, would hesitate to do so again. And what’s funnier, you think it’s laughable, just laughable, to think that a future Republican President would never do such things to you.

  187. 187

    @Cain: Throw everything out the window?

    Project much? He’s done a pretty good job with what he’s had to work with so far. The problem is, when you hold him accountable for the things that should also be done to ensure that this country returns to the values that separate it from the likes of Yemen and Pakistan and whoever else, you run into a blind, almost insane mindset that says that IF you criticize Obama, THEN you must be AGAINST all that is decent.

    No, as an adult, I’d really like to see him fire his Attorney General and get someone in there who understands the Rule of Law, sir.

    That’s all. Calm down. Have a cookie. It’s Friday. Go see a movie or something.

  188. 188

    @Mike Kay: yeah, they’re the same thing.

    One guy is the President of the United States of America.

    The other is a blogger.

    Makes sense when you’re high, does it not?

  189. 189
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jrod: look, you have find/search on your browser, pick out a comment(s) and if the substance any of them were wrong, I’ll apologize and retract them.

    If you’re saying you don’t like my mockery and sarcasm of the firebaggers, well, why would that make you angry, especially when you say you don’t care about glenn. I mean, we have people on this very thread attacking rahm and yes, it gets old (it got old over a year ago), yet it hasn’t bother me, I haven’t objected to the substance or the frequency or the age of the attacks, I’ve read right past them. I guess, I don’t care enough about rahm.

  190. 190
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    So, your position is that Bush was so bad and the Republican brand so tainted, the Democrats could have retaken Congress even if they’d let Republicans run unopposed or with only token opposition in scores of House and Senate races? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t matter how bad the Washington Generals are, the Globetrotters still have to show up or they lose by forfeit.

  191. 191

    @Norman Rogers:

    you run into a blind, almost insane mindset that says that IF you criticize Obama, THEN you must be AGAINST all that is decent.

    Jeebus, quit yer whining. You get to say what you want and so do others.

  192. 192
    Mike Kay says:

    @Norman Rogers: Oh, again with the hippie punching (“make sense when you’re high”). Shame on you. Thankfully I’m above such hippie baiting.

  193. 193
    Mike Kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Well, he has a reply to that. He says criticizing glenn is wrong because he’s only a critic. yes, it’s Orwellian.

  194. 194

    @Citizen Alan:

    The DNC doesn’t really do candidate recruitment.

  195. 195

    @Citizen Alan:

    The DNC doesn’t really do candidate recruitment.

  196. 196
    slag says:

    @Jrod: I’m not so sure I agree with this criticism. You may be undervaluing the vast expanse of wit and wisdom it takes to become the Rick Astley of every Balloon Juice comment thread.

  197. 197
    gil mann says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I don’t get it – if glenn’s a dick, that’s okay. If I’m a dick, that’s wrong.

    If Glenn’s blog came in the form of a pop-up ad that couldn’t be disabled, that comparison might make sense.

    And to think, I used to consider JSF and that God of Meat guy annoying. They’re Brookstone Sleep Sound machines by comparison.

  198. 198
    The Raven says:

    Well, hey, more food for corvids.

    John, I’m sorry. I still wish you leaders worthy of your loyalty.

    Croak!

  199. 199
    Bill Murray says:

    I would pay for some of the costs of the GG parody blog, if it meant that Mike Kay, rootless-e, eemom and General Stuck never posted at BJ again.

  200. 200

    @Bill Murray:

    Carl Spackler: License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that’s all she wrote.

    I bow to your greatness, Carl.

  201. 201
    Mike Kay says:

    @Bill Murray:

    Priceless. you can’t make this stuff up.

    the irony of one of glenn’s groupies assembling an enemies list (the glenemies list).

  202. 202
    Jrod says:

    Just because people are calling you an annoying dick doesn’t mean they’re part of the GG mafia, trying to silence you before you put an end to their evil plots.

    We’re just pointing out what an annoying dick you are.

    But go ahead with your paranoid delusions, since they’re the only halfway funny things you’ve posted all day.

  203. 203
    John Cole says:

    @aimai: What she said.

  204. 204

    @John Cole: I might agree, If I could tell what she said. Sounded like leave GG and his fans alone, and accept his wisdom like good little progs. Is that the blog rule here now? I would like to know, so I can break it, of course.

  205. 205
    slag says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I think what she’s saying is that we’d be better off debating the issue and forgoing the tribal warfare. Although I could be wrong. I’m starting to read certain BJ threads with the same level of interest I have in reading the backs of serial mass market paperbacks–distractedly in the grocery store checkout line. So, there could be a few allusions in there I missed.

  206. 206

    @slag: Pretending there is no trouble in paradise will not return serenity.

  207. 207
    Mike Kay says:

    @Jrod: for someone who “says” he doesn’t like my comments, you sure are attracted to my comments.

    all I know is, I lay out the bait, and you bite on it every time – hook, line, and zinker.

  208. 208
    slag says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I’m not sure debating the issue is akin to pretending there is no trouble. Indeed, I think it’s more akin to putting the trouble in its proper place and disregarding the nonsense.

    That said, I tend to place a lot of weight on these particular issues. But then, I’m so old that I remember back when Abu Ghraib was just a few bad apples. And some kids these days consider bitching about civil liberties purists to be one of their a top priorities. So, nonsense, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.

    To each his own.

  209. 209
    Mike Kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: I enjoy the posts that idealize (and sometimes idolize) glenn or jane for the unintended humor. And when someone points out their inconsistency, they continue the comedy by coming up with a rationalization. And they’re the first to project the label “bots” on to others.

  210. 210
    Dannie22 says:

    @ Mike Kay

    you have at least one fan. I always enjoy your comments and I don’t care who knows it. Carry on !

  211. 211

    And some kids these days consider bitching about civil liberties purists to be one of their a top priorities.

    And see, I tend to look at some kids who bitch with shaky facts and arguments and cry when confronted with arguments that contain some of those inconvenient items as being one of their top priorities. Or, sloppy and intellectually lazy with a watb on top.

    To each his own.

  212. 212
    slag says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: If you are against people agreeing with the content of John Cole’s post, then your problem is mostly with John Cole and you’d be better off directing your ire in that direction. And maybe consider avoiding the unwarranted witless epithets in the process.

    Again, nobody’s suggesting we ignore the problems.

  213. 213
    Mike Kay says:

    @Dannie22: Thanks, hon. No worries. Balloon Juice regulars have a great sense of snark (unlike Glen’s followers).

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-1680429

  214. 214

    @slag:

    My problem is with smarmy little fuckers like you and the other whiny precious progs. Cole’s post was shit, but he lives in the front pager realm. You and I live in the comment section realm. That epithet witless enough for ya.

  215. 215
    liberal says:

    @Tsulagi:
    Heh.

  216. 216
    Jon says:

    I’ve always believed that when the government of the United States tortures people and spies on its own citizens, and then the next president and congress do nothing about it, the most important thing for us to do is ridicule those who keep pointing it out.

    I don’t understand why everyone can’t keep a sense of proportion like this.

  217. 217
    D. Mason says:

    @Mike Kay:

    National Do Not Call registry. Thanks George.

  218. 218
    John Cole says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: How was my post shit. There simply was nothing to it. Obama and Holder clearly have two sets of standards.

    One for the torturers and those who enabled them- we “can’t look backwards.”

    And one for whistleblowers of criminal government activity- multiple counts against Drake.

    What possible, plausible defense can you offer for this? It escapes me.

  219. 219
    D. Mason says:

    @John Cole:

    There obviously is no defense. It’s political calculus which is usually indefensible.

    BTW I might have mentioned how much I miss the middle of the road Balloon-Juice already. I’m mentioning it again.

  220. 220

    @John Cole:

    First off, if you had bothered to read GG link to the original story, the guy was not leaking “crimes” of the NSA to the reporter. He was leaking .

    But the description applies to articles written by Siobhan Gorman, then a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, that examined in detail the failings of several major N.S.A. programs, costing billions of dollars, using computers to collect and sort electronic intelligence. The efforts were plagued with technical flaws and cost overruns.

    This is mismanagement, and has nothing to do with civil liberties as such. Second, as I stated in my first comment, GG, an experienced lawyer uses the term “Whitleblower” a legal term for people who follow whistle blower laws. This guy leaked classified info to a reporter just like Libby with Plame, and as far as we know, didn’t go to congress first and follow the law. That may sound like splitting hairs, but it would be another kettle of fish if Obama was prosecuting an actual Whistleblower, or punishing them in any way, as opposed to prosecuting a guy who broke his oath and the law, and was too stupid to cover his tracks.

    And for people screaming about Obama not following the rule of law, well it begins with prosecuting a leaker of classified info. So I think it is shit to compare with Bush’s et al crimes at this stage. And there are several investigations going on currently into what happened with the torture program, and generally investigations occur before actions are taken, and Bush’s crimes are like way more complicated than investigating this case, both legally and politically.

    So what are you and GG saying? No one should get prosecuted for felonies until Bush is? I don’t have a problem with people expressing frustration and wishes that Obama and Holder prosecute Bush, but this comparison was shit imo. Especially since investigations are under way as we speak to first find out what happened.

    And I am still pissed with GG over his nonsense regarding the recent FISA case the DOJ threw to the plaintiffs in that case.

    Why didn’t you have a thread on that one?

  221. 221
    LanceThruster says:

    Can the prosecution of the whistleblower be used to reveal further government malfeasance or would they get to hide every other criminal act under the guise of “national security”?

  222. 222

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: The only one boo hooing would be… yourself.

    If John Cole is a front pager, and you’re a lowly commenter, then what is that if not classic titty baby carping?

  223. 223
  224. 224

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Aw, baby yawned. Cutesy pootsey.

  225. 225
    Ab says:

    It surprises me that two years in there are so many people “surprised” and “disappointed” at the administrations decisions. We been sleeping for the last two years? Hell, look at Obama’s record in Congress. He’s always been establishment.

  226. 226
    Jon says:

    This guy leaked classified info to a reporter just like Libby with Plame

    Exactly right. In both cases someone leaked information, and in both cases in was at the behest of the vice president of the United States, and in both cases it was information that the administration was desperate to make public. It’s really uncanny how similar the two situations are.

    Also: when the government tortures 100 people to death and spies on Americans, all with complete impunity, I become extremely angry at Glenn Greenwald. I can’t understand why everyone isn’t sensible like me.

  227. 227

    @Ash Can:

    Obama’s priority is his policy agenda, and prosecuting the previous administration’s wrongdoing will build walls and burn bridges and prevent him from enacting the various measures he wants.

    If Obama had have attacked the Bush administration, then the Republicans would have been demolished for the next 20 years and Obama could have enacted all the policy he wanted much more easily.

    Your argument is like the battered wife saying, “I can’t call the cops because that will burn bridges with my violent husband and stop me protecting the children.”

  228. 228

    @flukebucket:

    But I will still smile and vote for him again if the opportunity presents itself. I have heard it called Realpolitik.

    No, it’s called cowardice, stupidity, and running from reality.

    What you’re saying is: “If the Democrats exposed all the Republican wrongdoing, then the Democrats would suffer.”

    You are being completely illogical.

  229. 229
    stillnotking says:

    228 comments so far and nothing about what anyone thinks this means for the future of the country. Like, I dunno, whether it represents the foundation of a secret-police apparatus.

    By all means though, keep arguing about whether Obama’s voters should feel “disappointed”. You know, the important stuff.

    The American Left. I swear to God.

  230. 230
    WATB says:

    Sad to see John ensared in GG’s drama bait. The defense for the NSA’er may spin this as the evil political persecution of a whistleblower. The prosecution will argue it doesn’t qualify under the law as protected whistleblower activity, it’s just the plain old disclosure of classified information. A crime that’s been on the books for decades. We’ll have to see how the case turns out. Hyperventilating about it now that it’s “chilling” will look pretty silly later if a jury agrees with the prosecution. If it was criminal, I think chilling the aspirations of similar criminals is the point. If it the defendant is found not guilty, then the prosecution will be chilled from bringing weak cases like it again. If GG wants to accept the defendant’s version of the facts as gospel, that’s fine, he was trained as a Wall Street defense litigator at Goldman Sachs’ favorite law firm, Wachtel Lipton, and old habits sometimes die hard. But recognize he’s doing that before we’ve heard the prosecution’s case.

    John Durham’s investigation into CIA torture and its destruction of the torture tapes conflicts with GG’s thesis of how the Obama DOJ won’t look backward. It seems GG wants to pretend Durham’s investigation doesn’t exist because it doesn’t mesh with his larger narrative of Obama/Holder the Sellout. Again, it will look pretty silly if Durham gets some indictments for CIA torture and tape destruction. So tying GG’s false premise to the news about Porter Goss with a nice bow doesn’t really work – it clashes with the facts and makes my ass look fat.

    I expected better from my favorite writer.

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