No Looking Back Now, Y’all

You know the Rules! We’ve got to move forward! Mistakes were made! Moving right along:

No charges will be filed against the CIA’s former top clandestine officer or anyone else in the destruction of CIA videotapes of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Another part of the nearly three-year-old criminal investigation is continuing into whether CIA interrogators went beyond the legal guidance given them on the rough treatment of suspects during questioning, a Justice Department official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that part of the probe is still under way.

The CIA destroyed its cache of 92 videos of two al-Qaida operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri, being waterboarded in 2005.

Jose Rodriguez, formerly the agency’s top clandestine officer, worried the tapes would be devastating to the CIA if they ever surfaced. He approved the destruction of the tapes. Rodriguez’s order was at odds with years of directives from CIA lawyers and the White House.

So the CIA breaks the law and tortures people, films it, and then destroys the evidence, and the Justice Department just shrugs and says “Meh.”

Keep this in mind the next time some jackass from either party or this administration starts finger-wagging at another nation regarding torture.






95 replies
  1. 1
    scarshapedstar says:

    Dammit, Glenn Greenwald, you pushed him too far and look what happened.

    Shoulda clapped louder.

  2. 2
    Joe Beese says:

    The important thing is that you don’t blame Obama.

  3. 3
    Jamie says:

    Don’t worry be happy.

  4. 4
    GregB says:

    Remember too that these dicks keep claiming how constitutional AND effective this shit was at getting information.

    So why in God’s name would they destroy the how to of this most effective tactic?

    Oh right, because it wasn’t effective and it would be apparent to any one watching it that it was torture.

    Fucking Bush liars and Obama cowards.

  5. 5
    srv says:

    I think Orwell would have something to say about the words “Justice Department.”

    It’s like we’re all livin’ large in a Terry Gilliam movie.

  6. 6
    KDP says:

    Aarggh! Sigh.

    On a more positive note, I just had a lovely conversation with Katie from the office of the Senate Armed Service Committee when I made my call to express my support for repeal of DADT. She happened to mention that she had received multiple calls today relating to this and wanted to know where I had heard about the number. She said last time this happened, Chris Matthews had put up the number on Hardball.

    She also stated that Levin still supports retaining the repeal language, it is McCain pushing for removal. Our calls matter; if you support repeal of DADT, I encourage you to call the senate committee office and tell them that. The language has not been removed from the bill yet.

    Number for the Senate Armed Service Committee is: 202-224-3871

    Last night at my Public Administration class, I happened to mention my call yesterday and one of my classmates whose partner serves in the Navy followed up saying he would be calling and encouraging others to call.

    My apologies for the off-topic hijack of this thread on the crappy decision of the DoJ to ignore the illegal destruction of interrogation records.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    We forfeited the right to point fingers at anyone else about seven years ago. With torture as with the foreclosure mess, the whole Rule of Law thing has become a total joke, which won’t stop anyone from taking the “They hate us for our freedoms” line.

  8. 8
    NobodySpecial says:

    Clearly you firebaggers have no idea how to get anything done. There were never 60 votes to keep those tapes, anyways.

    PS your magical unicorn drowned. It was natural causes.

  9. 9
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Well I hope you’re happy: you filthy, stinking, hippies have now destroyed Obama’s chances for re-election. All because possible torture and the definite destruction of evidence aren’t going to be prosecuted. You and your pet issues make Obama cry.

  10. 10
    Stefan says:

    Rodriguez’s order was at odds with years of directives from CIA lawyers and the White House.

    I like how “Rodriguez’s order was blatantly illegal” becomes massaged into the more gentle-sounding “Rodriguez’s order was at odds with years of directives from CIA lawyers and the White House.” See, it’s not illegal, it’s just at odds with some bureacratic directives. Just as when I rob a bank it’s at odds with years of directives from state and federal law enforcement authorities.

  11. 11
    celticdragonchick says:

    The only thing that shocks me is that they didn’t find an E-2 army private to pin it on.

  12. 12
    Johnny B says:

    Since the revelation that US torture was filmed, I’ve heard lots of people complain, rightly, about the fact that there will be no prosecutions for people who engaged or authorized torture.

    I have a more basic question that I’d like everyone to consider. Why, on earth, would the Adminstration film its torture? Why, on earth, would it keep evidence of its illegality available?

    It would seem the answer must be that there were people in they expected would want to watch. My humble questions: Who? And why?

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    Honestly, I don’t see the big deal. Has the CIA ever been prosecuted for breaking the law? What the hell is the precedent on this?

    The truth is that we’re experiencing the status quo. It’s just the status quo with shocking media coverage. Compare this to the My Lai massacre in ’71.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....rt_martial

    After a four-month-long trial, in which he claimed that he was following orders from his commanding officer, Captain Medina, William Calley was convicted, on March 29, 1971, of premeditated murder for ordering the shootings. He was initially sentenced to life in prison. Two days later, however, President Nixon made the controversial decision to have Calley released from prison, pending appeal of his sentence. Calley’s sentence was later adjusted, so that he would eventually serve four and one-half months in a military prison at Fort Benning.
    In a separate trial, Captain Medina denied giving the orders that led to the massacre, and was acquitted of all charges, effectively negating the prosecution’s theory of “command responsibility”, now referred to as the “Medina standard”. Several months after his acquittal, however, Medina admitted that he had suppressed evidence and had lied to Colonel Henderson about the number of civilian deaths.

    :-p Same shit. Different day.

  14. 14
    celticdragonchick says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    PS your magical unicorn drowned. It was natural causes waterboarded as a potential jihadi.

    Fix’d.

  15. 15
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Zifnab:

    Honestly, I don’t see the big deal.

    True enough.

    Has the CIA ever been prosecuted for breaking the law?

    That’s a negative, Ghostrider…

    What the hell is the precedent on this?

    That they didn’t find a couple of teenage enlisted kids or a hapless clerk to blame.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    You gotta feel a bit sorry for Richard Nixon. If only he’d caught all the tapes and got rid of them.

  17. 17
    Xboxershorts says:

    That’s exactly what it cost us. We have ZERO standing in the world courts now to bring human rights, abuse or torture charges against any other country in the world.

    We lost all credibility. We are, now, officially, a joke.

    I feel a great sense of shame.

  18. 18
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    [rumages thru list of popular post-911 epigrams for something pithy to excuse this behavior]

    Oh, here’s a popular one:
    If you aren’t guilty, then you should have nothing to hide.

    Oh, wait…

  19. 19
    JCT says:

    Keep this in mind the next time some jackass from either party or this administration starts finger-wagging at another nation regarding torture.

    Yeah well, the only reasonable question that that idiot Matt Lauer asked nitwit Bush in his “interview” (cough, cough b-job) was whether he thought that it was legal for some other country to waterboard a captured US serviceman now since his admin did this. Weasel Bush wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. What a surprise.

  20. 20
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Johnny B:
    Fox pay-per-view

  21. 21
    The Moar You Know says:

    It was inevitable that we’d become the new China.

  22. 22
    General Stuck says:

    the public outcry of Obama fail on this was deafening and likely why they put the wingnuts back running the House. Now Darrell Issa can look into this matter properly, soon as he scours the planet for Obama’s birth certificate. Crazy country, ain’t it?

  23. 23
    MobiusKlein says:

    But don’t lie about a blowjob under oath – that’s obstruction of justice. Destroying video tapes? God’s work manifest.

  24. 24

    You DFHs just don’t get it do you? This proves Bush/Cheney were right – they hate us for our freedoms. The freedom to commit war crimes with impunity. The freedom to cover it up. The freedom to do any damn thing we want without anyone ever being held accountable. Yay FREEDUMB!!!!1!!

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    Keep this in mind the next time some jackass from either party or this administration starts finger-wagging at another nation regarding torture.

    No, no, no. It’s torture when nation we don’t like do it. It’s only “enhanced interrogation” when the US does it.

    This decision is truly shameful.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zifnab:

    Honestly, I don’t see the big deal. Has the CIA ever been prosecuted for breaking the law? What the hell is the precedent on this?

    If you can’t get more than two years in prison minus time served for a cop who kills a restrained suspect on camera by shooting him in the back, then you’ve pretty much agreed to give a free pass to any and all law enforcement personnel to do anything they want, including the CIA.

    Once we decided as a society that trained professionals who should know better are actually less liable for their actions than private citizens, we were pretty much fucked.

  27. 27
    Joe Beese says:

    Keep this in mind the next time some jackass from either party or this administration starts finger-wagging at another nation regarding torture.

    In 2008, Indonesia empowered a national commission to investigate human rights abuses committed by its own government under the U.S.-backed Suharto regime “in an attempt to finally bring the perpetrators to justice,” and Obama was asked in this interview: “Is your administration satisfied with the resolution of the past human rights abuses in Indonesia?” He replied: ‘We have to acknowledge that those past human rights abuses existed. We can’t go forward without looking backwards . . . . ” When asked last year about whether the United States should use similar tribunals to investigate its own human rights abuses, as well his view of other countries’ efforts (such as Spain) to investigate those abuses, Obama said: “I’m a strong believer that it’s important to look forward and not backwards, and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there.”

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....3/25/obama

    Vote Jackass in 2012.

  28. 28
    Dennis SGMM says:

    2002:
    “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,”

    2010:
    “Every ten minutes or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little Muslim and throw him against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,”

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    Disappointing for sure, but the WaPo’s version of the story has a little more detail, and indicates that the CIA isn’t out of the woods yet — and that the DOJ is far from finished with its investigation.

  30. 30
    John PM says:

    This is great news for lawyers. Now I can advise my clients to destroy any evidence and claim that the production of the evidence would have been harmful to my client’s image. No more having to worry about that pesky adverse inference jury instruction or default judgment for the intentional spoliation of evidence. I do wonder, though, what the DOJ’s position would be if the other side in a criminal or civil case had destroyed evidence. Clearly, the DOJ would be cool with that.

  31. 31
    bloodstar says:

    I guess the phrase “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” really does apply. After all, they’ll throw you in jail for decades if you tamper or destroy ‘evidence’ even if you don’t know you’re under investigation. But if you’re police, it magically becomes at worse, an ‘oops, sorry, stuff like this just happens’

    Lovely

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    Now that Bush has given us the play by play on his torture fun and games in his new horror non fiction novel, AKA autobiography, or, memoirs from hell and dick cheney’s mechanical heart run undead carcass, I want to hear what Obama has to say next news conference, when some reporter asks what he plans to do about it? or, Holder.

    I understand the public by and large doesn’t give a shit about this, but obama will still have to answer the question at some point.

  33. 33

    All day long, you’ve been writing posts to which the only contribution I could possibly make is “Yes! This!”

    Thanks a whole fucking lot, John Cole, for making me look like an idiot.

    (Also, too: Uggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. This is veryvery bad).

  34. 34
    singfoom says:

    John,

    It’s these civil liberties issues that I go back to again and again when my friends ask me my opinion of the current administration. This is the single biggest problem I have with the current administration (Note to trolls, go ahead, say I want a pony. I want a magic fucking justice pony that follows the rule of law, you know, the fucking philosophical basis of this fucking country. So take your pony shorthand and go fuck yourselves….) is the refusal to clean our own house. If we don’t do it now, we’ll do it 30 years from now and it’ll be worse. Look at South America and all the dirt that’s come up since the 1970s (of course we had shit to do with that as well)

    You know what? I think they should take advantage of the current gridlock and file charges against Bush et al for the torture committed in our names.

    Since the congress is going to be gridlocked, at the very least they should have some fun with it.

  35. 35
    p.a. says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    The only thing that shocks me is that they didn’t find an E-2 army private to pin it on.

    Why should they worry about that? ‘…pin it on…’ implies there would be accountability. You must be an idealist. That’s sweet, but so 1960’s, 1950’s, er, 19th century?

  36. 36
    Cermet says:

    This is a big deal that the news is reporting:the navy launches a major missile from a sub thirty miles from LA with the sun behind it so everyone and their brother can see it and claim that they have no idea what anyone is talking about nor provided any air space warnings (illegal).

    Hey, if it was a run away missle – the sub, if it went down would have released a nuclear reactor in the water thirty miles off LA and 244 warheads would be on the bottom there too.

    Either they are lying their ass’s off or the US nearly lost a sub (the solid motor ignited and they where about to be incinerated) that only saved its ass by launching a fully nuclear tipped warhead (18 MIRV’s) missile (the warhead codes would not be active so the nukes won’t exploded no matter what happens on impact; still, it fell where?)

    They had better be lying (this was a simple test launch) or this is a major international incident which huge implications.

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    Why should anyone care about such things when a majority of the public doesn’t care and Republicans will do crazy things?

    People should just learn to shut up about all these things they think are wrong.

  38. 38

    You know who else was tortured and executed because the government thought he was a threat to security?

    Jesus.

    But try telling the Tea Party that.

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    @Joseph Nobles: (a) They will say that it was the Jews; (b) it was all God’s intended path because Jesus had to be persecuted and murdered in order for everyone to get free tickets to heaven.

  40. 40
    Berto says:

    To all the border-fence fans: This is the part of “illegal” I don’t understand.

  41. 41
    Zifnab says:

    @bloodstar:

    But if you’re police, it magically becomes at worse, an ‘oops, sorry, stuff like this just happens’

    I wonder if that could be some kind of legitimate defense strategy.

    “You stand accused of armed robbery, assault, and murder in the first degree. How do you plead?”
    “Not guilty by reason of being an Oklahoma Deputy Park Ranger, your honor.”

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    You know who else was tortured and executed because the government thought he was a threat to security?

    Yeah, but that’s different. He was tortured and executed by Godless Roman Liberals and shifty eyed Middle Easterners.

  43. 43
    Alwhite says:

    @Johnny B:

    Who: Dick Chaney
    Why: Whacking material

    Ever seen the S&M photos of his dear ol dad?

  44. 44
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Ash Can:

    Disappointing for sure, but the WaPo’s version of the story has a little more detail, and indicates that the CIA isn’t out of the woods yet—and that the DOJ is far from finished with its creating the appearance of an investigation that will conclude like all the others, with no charges filed

    FTFY.

  45. 45
    4tehlulz says:

    @Cermet: I haven’t seen much about this; you would think that the Russians or the Chinese might have had an opinion about this.

    An accident is the only thing that makes sense.

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    @Ash Can:

    Thank you for linking this. It ain”t over yet, and with the confession of the chief suspect in the case, lead prosecutor and his boss will at the very least haz them some splainin’ to do, upon admission by Bush that he conducted something Obama has declared as torture, waterboarding.

    If at least a Hague indictment isn’t forthcoming without tacit support from obama, or at a minimum void of open criticism of such an indictment, then he will likely get tagged by history for letting a war criminal off the hook, mostly due to political considerations, which will put a big asterisk on his presidency.

    Stay tuned, Obama’s term isn’t over yet.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    The fuck with the midlevel CIA pukes – in any just universe, the entire Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Bolton-etc cabal would have been prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

    I’d be happy to give immunity to the footsoldiers and consiglieres if they’d squeal on their dons. But we’ve already declared the dons off-limits, so I don’t know why we’d even bother with a few of their underlings.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    The DoJ had no choice. I understand why, politically, the DoJ chose to behave the way they did with this case, choosing to look forward rather than backwards. I didn’t like it at all, but I understand it.

    Wait a second, sounds familiar somehow…Oh yeah!

    Last year, I understood why, politically, the Obama administration chose to behave the way they did with the former administration, choosing to look forward rather than backwards. I didn’t like it at all, but I understood it.

    Torture

  49. 49
    Michael D. says:

    At least by supporting Democrats, we are supporting people who are committed to working to change this type of stuff…

    Oh…wait. That’s another thing Obama promised to change and has not.

    Why are we shitting on the administration for this broken promise and not others?

    Right. This one is actually IMPORTANT to you.

  50. 50
    SteveinSC says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    It was inevitable that we’d become the new China.

    Long life to Chairman Barack!
    Long, long life to Chairman Barack!
    Long, long, long life to Chairman Barack!
    Long, long, long, long life to Chairman Barack Obama!

    Well, that does it for me. This ersatz Harold Ford has shitcanned himself as far as I am concerned. You people can continue the fiction that this fraud has done anything to restore the good name and honor of our country, but he is nothing more than Bush-lite. It is a sad thing to see the hundreds of years and countless lives given for this country pissed upon by this worthless jellyfish in the White House.

  51. 51
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cermet:

    Either they are lying their ass’s off or the US nearly lost a sub (the solid motor ignited and they where about to be incinerated) that only saved its ass by launching a fully nuclear tipped warhead (18 MIRV’s) missile (the warhead codes would not be active so the nukes won’t exploded no matter what happens on impact; still, it fell where?)
    They had better be lying (this was a simple test launch) or this is a major international incident which huge implications.

    It seems to have just been an optical delusion. The object was moving too slow for an ICBM or SLBM. LGF has the latest update where it is being evaluated as a commercial aircraft contrail with sunlight reflection off the fuselage producing a flame effect.

    *******************************
    UPDATE at 11/9/10 11:39:34 am:

    A likely sounding explanation: it wasn’t a missile at all, but an airliner.

    Southern California’s top meteorologist Kevin Martin from the Southern California Weather Authority states it was nothing but a contrail from an airliner.

    “We see this often when the flights come at the right time, however some people are just out to witness it at the right time,” says Martin. “We had strong winds up there as well as really cold temperatures from a passing storm system. This also had an area of upper level moisture at 250 to 200mb, where airliners fly.”

    Martin described the event as too slow for a missile launch.

    “Even from Los Angeles, an ICBM from Vandenberg is very quick in the sky, not as slow as this looks,” he added. “I found archives from Monday evening from the San Diego area and came to the conclusion this airline was coming in from the west, at the observers. While it may look like a flame originating from the object, it is nothing more than sunlight bouncing off the airliner fuselage.”

  52. 52
    Alwhite says:

    @singfoom:

    Yes, either the nation has the rule of law or it does not. Just like there is no ‘sorta pregnant’ there is no sorta the rule of law.

    We have sewn the seeds of our destruction & wanting the current administration to at least attempt to undo the awful and at the very least shame the guilty is not wanting a pony. What we want is a nation of laws & not of men so that we can be secure in our homes.

    It may not be 2012 or 2016 but soon enough the next W will assume command & extend the evil a little bit further – and there really isn’t that much further to go. The weapons will be in place for them to use & in retrospect future generations (not of Americans because they will not be permitted to know) will wonder why we did not see it coming & demand it be stopped.

  53. 53
    Alwhite says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    That settles it! If LGF says it was not a missile then it was defiantly a missile & from the US Navy!

  54. 54
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Chris:

    Yep. As soon as Pelosi took impeachment off the table in 2006 I had the feeling that Bushco would skate – no matter what. Obama sealed it when he made the comment about looking forward.

    I’m certain that when the Republicans get the gavel in the House they’ll be looking forward as well – looking forward to investigating every last fucking thing that the administration has done since the day that Obama was sworn in.

    You don’t “work with” rattlesnakes.

  55. 55
    WyldPirate says:

    @General Stuck:

    I understand the public by and large doesn’t give a shit about this, but obama will still have to answer the question at some point.

    And with a healthy press corps–instead of the rotten press corpse we currently have stinking up the country–the press should be asking Obama every goddamned day why allegations of the authorization and commission of torture, which are very much war crimes under the Geneva Convention are not being investigated.

    Bush and Cheney wiped their ass with the “rule of law” and the Constitution. However, Obama is just as culpable in my eyes for not having these matters investigated and, if necessary prosecuted.

    Obama will let the banksters off as well.

    The rule of law is dead in this country. What follows next is the death/collapse of the society. It will either be a slow bleed or a violent collapse.

  56. 56
    Paula says:

    Is someone actually using LGF as a news site? lolz.

  57. 57
    SteveinSC says:

    @General Stuck:

    Stay tuned, Obama’s term isn’t over yet.

    Next: Iran.

  58. 58
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Alwhite:

    An experienced meteorologist said it.

    I have seen the phenomenon before myself, and it is interesting…and can fool you at times.

  59. 59
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Paula:

    Is someone actually using LGF as a news site? lolz.

    Is that about as funny as linking here?

    Explain.

    Otherwise, read the fucking statement from the California meteorologist and tell us why he is wrong.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joe Beese:

    In 2008, Indonesia empowered a national commission to investigate human rights abuses committed by its own government under the U.S.-backed Suharto regime “in an attempt to finally bring the perpetrators to justice,

    Yes, the 32-year dictatorship of Suharto along with an investigation that only began after his death is exactly analogous to our situation.

    Putz.

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @SteveinSC:

    Must be nice, the ability to read the future. Tell me, will the Browns trounce the Stillers this year in the last game of the season. I would like to know, to start rubbing it in. Thanx!

  62. 62
    Mike says:

    Share the love:
    Holder, Eric askdoj@usdoj.gov

  63. 63
    Paula says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Actually, yes. I don’t consider this place a news site, or a serious politics site of any kind. I come here to point and snark.

    I’m sorry if you do.

  64. 64
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Paula:

    Here is the link to the story at The Examiner if LGF just gives you too much butthurt.

    http://www.examiner.com/weathe.....-explained

  65. 65
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Paula:

    Then you can be secure in your ignorant flippancy since you would rather snark instead of engaging information on its’ merits.

    Congratulations.

  66. 66
    Martin says:

    I can’t say I’m not disappointed at the outcome, but I’ve been struggling to try and understand what positive result people have wanted out of this.

    The CIA does illegal shit all the time. That’s, well, that’s sort of their job, like it or not (I don’t like it, but that is what they do). The only bigger part of their job is to not get caught, which they failed at here.

    But what’s the downside of all of this information coming out? Of us holding the operations people culpable for these acts? It seems to me that it makes it really damn hard for other governments that we want to work with us to be able to do so. There is a very big distinction between state acknowledged things and not-state acknowledged things in the political world, as our longstanding history with Israel make clear enough.

    I don’t see any effort by this administration to justify what has happened, nor do I see any effort by this administration to continue what has happened. (Nor do I expect any future administration to either – even Republican ones. We’ve been busted.) Any apologies for this will come in 2 generations when those directly affected are too feeble to throw stones at us, as has happened in every previous wrongdoing. ‘Yes, we may have known that we infected people against their will for 40 years, but from this point forward we are officially sorry.’ And that’s not just the US, but every country. It’s shitty, but it seems like a well-adopted strategy of not getting mired in the shit forever.

    I don’t know. It’s a giant bucket of suck, but it seems like people are wishing for countries to stop acting like countries. On the upshot, I think 100% of this information surfaced thanks to the media. Somehow we need to keep that effort alive and make sure it doesn’t get drowned by Indiagate or smoking-on-the-basketball-courtgate.

  67. 67
    SteveinSC says:

    @General Stuck: Well since past is prelude to the future, both metaphorically and stochastically, who won last time?

  68. 68
    MobiusKlein says:

    @celticdragonchick: examiner is also a rightwing tool too.

  69. 69
    Carnacki says:

    @Stefan: If only you had tortured the tellers and videotaped it, you would have been alright.

  70. 70
    Paula says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    So, um, what are you mad at here: that I don’t take LGF seriously as a news site especially in regards to a news story that involves a possible threat of attack given that they are an avowedly conservative site that cherry picks news items to suit their view that people are out to “get” the US?

    Yeah, nothing to snark at here.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @Martin:

    I don’t see any effort by this administration to justify what has happened, nor do I see any effort by this administration to continue what has happened. (Nor do I expect any future administration to either – even Republican ones. We’ve been busted.)

    You mean, you don’t expect torturing POWs to be used in the future?

    Guess again. They (Republicans) haven’t even done the obligatory mea culpa after getting caught, and they’ve screamed loud and clear to anyone who’ll listen that they absolutely think it’s right to torture prisoners; their base certainly doesn’t mind, and that’s all that matters. So yes, the next time a Republican’s in office, expect torture to be completely back on the table.

  72. 72
    Martin says:

    @Chris: Systematically, no, I don’t.

  73. 73
    Poopyman says:

    @celticdragonchick: Here’s the WaPo link to video.

    I’ve seen plenty of airliner contrails and I’ve seen plenty of missile launches. This ain’t no airliner.

  74. 74
    Douglas says:

    @Martin:

    The CIA does illegal shit all the time. That’s, well, that’s sort of their job, like it or not (I don’t like it, but that is what they do).

    Erm… no.
    It is their job to do shit that is illegal in other countries – like getting THEIR national secrets.
    This doesn’t mean they can ignore US law, or for that matter, international law.

  75. 75
    HE Pennypacker, Wealthy Industrialist says:

    Should we be discussing torture when there are so many trash-collecting scandals going on in this country?

  76. 76
    Cermet says:

    @celticdragonchick: Did you see the launch video by the station? Huff post has it up. That was no contrail and if you believe that, then I have a bridge in NY for sale; that is some huge bullshit trying to dodge a major incident then. You can even see the glow from the exhaust motor (like that occurs for a jet?) The missile trail is climbing into the sky vertically – that is no illusion. You see the exhaust gas escaping from the object and it is singular – show me a major jet that has one engine – right.

  77. 77
    Maude says:

    @Martin:
    I read a while ago that another set of the tapes was found in D.C.
    IF so, it will be interesting to see what happens with them.

  78. 78
    Cermet says:

    There is the site for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG7obvwHJu8

    Looks exactly like a missile contrail but look for your self.

  79. 79
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Cermet:

    Although I wouldn’t bet the ranch on a video viewed over the internet I will say (As someone who’s a life long aviation buff and who worked in military aviation) that’s not an airliner. The trail is too dense, for one thing. For another, an aircraft at an altitude where contrails can be created would have to be moving at close to Mach to appear to be going that fast.

    The most likely cause is administration dick waving.

  80. 80
    Sasha says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    You know who else was tortured and executed because the government thought he was a threat to security?

    Jesus.

    But try telling the Tea Party that.

    “Jesus didn’t have a problem with himself being tortured and killed despite being innocent, so there’s no reason I should either.”

  81. 81
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Martin:

    Systematically, no, I don’t.

    This strikes me as naive. David Addington specifically cited past precedent in the form of actions taken during wartime by the Lincoln, Wilson and FDR administrations to justify Bush admin GWOT policy. In the absence of a cycle of recrimination and punishment, the logic of our contemporary national security state (and the lawyers who serve it) is to normalize and systematize the ad-hoc abuses of the past, not to abandon them.

    We also have the problem of a cadre of people trained to torture who now have their personal careers to look out for – i.e. who is going to pay for their expertise and experience if it is no longer in demand. Much more likely is a scenario where the circle of un-persons deemed unfit for any sort of legal protection or humane treatment widens (e.g. Mexican drug gangs) to fit the supply of people willing to torture them, i.e. trickle-down torturenomics

  82. 82
    Chris Grrr says:

    @Douglas:

    This doesn’t mean they can ignore US law

    O RLY?

    @singfoom – I’m with you. This is the biggest failure among many, and it made the thought of walking precincts completely repellent.

    It is a big relief to come here and see others citing the utter failure of the media, the hideously flexible “rule of law” depending on who’s being accused, our country’s total lack of any remaining pretense to moral authority – keeps me from feeling all stabby.

  83. 83
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    It is so distressing to come here and find all my balloonbaggers popped. President Obama needs you now more than ever.
    .
    .

  84. 84

    @Paula: Have you visited LGF in the last couple of years? It’s nothing like it was when it first came to people’s attention. In some ways, it reminds me of BJ.

  85. 85
    General Stuck says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Only thing that popped was yer dim bulb

  86. 86
    4tehlulz says:

    Obama’s refusal to fire the special prosecutor and appoint someone who will give the results we want shows that he doesn’t care about the law.

  87. 87
    timb says:

    @Dennis SGMM: 54 comments before someone says the most important point. It’s not that I want Democrats to act like Republicans; it’s that I want the media double standard that accepts bad behavior from Republicans with a shrug to end

  88. 88
    timb says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: Chuckles Johnson is more hated by wingnuts than any other person in America not named Obama

  89. 89
    Lavocat says:

    I picture Holder poolside with a mojito, not giving much of a damn.

    Nice country ya got there.

  90. 90
    Fuzz says:

    The weird thing that’s happened to the CIA in the past 9 years is that it’s become a branch of the military. Most of the drone attacks in Pakistan are CIA piloted, and the Times reported a few weeks ago that they have a 3,000 strong army of Pashtuns in Afghanistan who work for them, collecting intel, fighting the Taliban, etc. There’s about as many agents in Afghanistan as there were in Vietnam. In the same way that Nixon and Bush took the public out of the war, the Obama administration is ceding a lot of war fighting to the intelligence agency.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ash Can:

    Bennett’s comment about Rodriguez made me want to puke.

  92. 92
    DougW says:

    It’s really bad that the government is willing to put our sons and daughters at risk of torture… Since we’ve clearly tortured our opponents in the middle east, we have given permission to every country in the world to torture our military citizens. I wonder how the Bush and Obama administrations can sleep at night, knowing what awaits our military boys and girls. Who could believe that we could endanger all of our troops in the third world? While I don’t believe that Republicans could do a better job, I’m really surprised that Democrats have become such war mongers. Please make this an issue in the next election cycle. Thanks for all your help…

  93. 93

    as shitty as this announcement is, i hope it doesn’t lead to a highly principled stand which gets more Republicans elected so they can do even more shit like this.

    sigh… it’s self-feeding.

  94. 94
    beergoggles says:

    Next time I’m on jury duty, I’m applying the same standard as the DOJ to my verdict.

  95. 95
    celticdragonchick says:

    Maddow on tonight debunking the missile thing.

    I have seen rocket launches out of Vandenberg several times, including th launch of the Hubble Telescope. Rocket contrails last well after sunset since they go much farther up in altitude than a jet contrail, and they tend to be brilliantly colored. A jt with two engines mounted on the aft empinage (like a B727) will leave a single contrail.

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