At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution

So much fail:

The Justice Department on Monday charged a former Central Intelligence Agency officer with disclosing classified information to journalists about the capture and brutal interrogation of a suspected member of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah — adding another chapter to the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on leaks.

In a criminal complaint filed on Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused John Kiriakou, the former C.I.A. agent, of disclosing to several journalists the identity of a C.I.A. analyst who worked on a 2002 operation that seized and interrogated Abu Zubaydah, including using the suffocation technique known as waterboarding. The journalists included one at The New York Times, the complaint charged.

“Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of C.I.A. officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a statement. “Today’s charges reinforce the Justice Department’s commitment to hold accountable anyone who would violate the solemn duty not to disclose such sensitive information.”

Mr. Kiriakou, 47, played an important role in the fight against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks. He is the sixth person to be charged in connection with accusations of leaking classified information by the Obama administration, more than under any previous president.

At the same time, the Justice Department cleared the American Civil Liberties Union of wrongdoing for its efforts, on behalf of defense attorneys representing Abu Zubaydah and other “high value” Qaeda suspects, to identify officials involved in their clients’ interrogations. The attorneys were hoping to call such officials to testify in eventual trials to make the case that their clients should not be executed because they had been tortured while in the custody of the United States government.

Among other things, the F.B.I. complaint accuses Mr. Kiriakou of being a source for a June 2008 front-page Times article, written by reporter Scott Shane, that identified a C.I.A. employee who played a major role in the capture and interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and another high-level Qaeda figure, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

Robert Christie, a spokesman for The Times declined to discuss the matter. “We’re not commenting at all,” he said.

Remember, folks, in the national security state, the real criminals are not the torturers, but those who talk about the torturers. All the criminals who did this shit? We need to keep on walking, not look backwards, yadda yadda yadda. The people who talked about the criminals? Lock those fuckers up.

189 replies
  1. 1
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Isn’t Kiriakou the guy who bragged that waterboarding worked, and the source for all subsequent claims about how effective it has been?

  2. 2
    cathyx says:

    And Bradley Manning.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    Don’t cry over John Kiriakou, Cole, he’s one of the agents who engaged in waterboarding.

    Kiriakou has personally promoted the use of waterboarding on ABC News, saying it works and it’s harmless. He also wrote a book advocating the use of waterboarding.

    Of course, John Kiriakou could murder children and rape nuns and Cole would be making excuses for his prosecution by evil Obama.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Thought so too. Glad to see his ass get some prosecution. Agree with Cole that prosecutions ought to reach deeper into the torture industrial complex, but this guy deserves to get the cold hand of the law.

  5. 5
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @David Koch: Well, maybe John feels bad about the railroading of poor Allen West too.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    All the criminals who did this shit? We need to keep on walking, not look backwards, yadda yadda yadda.

    Except that this guy is one of the criminals who did that shit, and then bragged about it to reporters to justify himself.

    At least he’s getting prosecuted for something related to his actions.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    Yea, it sucks, but would suck a lot more if Obama was still torturing people. Obama handed over the blueprint for this evil shit, with the Bybee memo, and GWB confirmed he gave the order to waterboard 173 times. The truth is nobody, or few care enough to give it a second thought. And if you are going to put the leaders of the previous administration and other pol party on trial for crimes against humanity, you will need an impartial jury and a majority degree of public support. I see none of that likely anytime soon, so on we go.

    people for leaking classified info, it is more likely that they have simply done a better job of investigating

  8. 8

    yeah, not many tears for Kiriakou. he loves waterboarding, IIRC.

    That said, you are absolutely correct about the fail. HUGE fail.

  9. 9
    David Koch says:

    @cathyx: Manning is a criminal. He exposed indigenous undercover sources. Even the liburel newspaper, The Guardian, objected to releasing such names, because, as they said, it would lead to their deaths.

    Funny how liberals were horrified when Bush and Cheney exposed uncover CIA agents and their operations, but rally to Manning.

  10. 10
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not all whistleblowers are created equal. Drum majors like to blow whistles too. Helps make sure everyone struts around in synch. That’s what this guy was doing. Fuck him. And stop getting played on the idea of “leaks,” John.

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    Remember, folks, in the national security state, the real criminals are not the torturers, but those who talk about the torturers.

    In Torture Club, the rules are:

    1) You do not TALK about Torture Club.
    __
    2) You DO NOT talk about Torture Club.

    .

  12. 12
    JC says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Wait a minute – is this a version of ‘Person X has bad views, so let’s be glad he is convicted of a crime unrelated?”.

    He isn’t being convicted of WATERBOARDING, but of LEAKING.

    The Obama administration has been very good, these last four months, on a number of different issues. And truly good on the issues that affect the most people (with one exception, detailed below).

    But the things the administration has not been good at:

    a. Individual rights, with regard to security and war issues (charges for leaking, reserving the right to kill american citizens, drone and bomb, anyone, anywhere, etc, with ‘just trust us’.

    Counterpoint: Who really expects ANY competent administration, to fetter itself? That is what the OTHER parts of government are for – news, Congress, etc.

    If there doesn’t exist much of a pushback on Obama, well, that’s really the nation’s fault. And we will pay for it, when someone without obama’s integrity is in office.

    b. Curbing the banks and hedge funds, with great vim and vigor. (“I WELCOME their hatred!”)

    We see this NOW, it seems, on the dealmaking with regard to letting off the big banks on robo-signing. We saw this with financial regulation that didn’t fix the very flawed system that profits hedge funds and big banks. (though it did constrict their abilities a bit, at least.)

    Counterpoint – every politician needs a well-funded base. Obama and administration had to pick and choose ‘the least evil’ group, who had access to great cash, and who demanded the least from him.

    In this environment, he MUST keep the banks, at least somewhat on his side, for fund raising and parity’s sake, as well as for the sake that he risks alienating other Democrats, who he needs to pass any legislation.

    But, other than those two failings, the Obama since the debt ceiling duel, has been pretty awesome, in almost all regards.

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    @David Koch:

    Don’t cry over John Kiriakou, Cole, he’s one of the agents who engaged in waterboarding.

    Kiriakou has personally promoted the use of waterboarding on ABC News, saying it works and it’s harmless. He also wrote a book advocating the use of waterboarding.

    Of course, John Kiriakou could murder children and rape nuns and Cole would be making excuses for his prosecution by evil Obama.

    I don’t know why I am bothering by responding to trolls, but here goes. He isn’t being prosecuted for waterboarding anyone. If he was, I would be thrilled and yell “ABOUT FUCKING TIME.”

    He’s being prosecuted for blabbing about what happened- not the actual crime itself. Can you not see why this is problematic? That our country is so fucked up that torturers get a pass, but people who talk about it, pro or con, get the heavy hand of the law.

    Everyone here bemoans the blue wall of silence when cops misbehave and everyone clams up, well here we have the Justice department acting as de facto enforcer for the wall of silence around national security misdeeds. It’s horrible, and the intent is to send a message to anyone who thinks about talking in the future, whether it be to expose the torture, or in the case of this asshole, to brag about it.

    We tortured and killed people in our custody. This needs to be discussed openly and publicly, and people need to be prosecuted for the acts, not a couple jackasses being prosecuted for talking about it. Rip the scab off and clean out the pus, not covering it up in layers of gauze and walking on by.

    This is not hard.

  14. 14
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JGabriel: Kiriakou bragged about how great it was to be in Torture Club. Like Allen West bragging about firing a gun while interrogating a prisoner.

  15. 15
    ShadeTail says:

    If this were a case of a torturer getting prosecuted for torturing, then I would agree with you folks blasting Mr. Cole for this. But it isn’t; this is a guy getting prosecuted for talking about the torture. Whether you like the guy or not (and I definitely don’t, considering his history) is completely beside the point. This is about the government abusing its power to keep things under wraps. It doesn’t matter who they are hounding. If they can do it to one person, they can do it to anyone.

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    @JGabriel:

    2) You DO NOT talk about Torture Club.

    While true in general, ordinarily, if you don’t want to talk about something you don’t publicaly charge people who know about it, and will likely talk some more about it in their public trial, where details sometime surface. Just a thought.

  17. 17
    David Koch says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Agree with Cole that prosecutions ought to reach deeper into the torture industrial complex

    Problem is no jury will ever convict some one for waterboarding Khalid Sheik Mohammad or Abu Zubaydah. It would be just if they did, but you can’t even get a jury to convict a sexy mom>/a> who murders her daughter.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    dedc79 says:

    I don’t see how it matters whether the guy was a jerk, a waterboarder, or whatever other bad stuff people have suggested in the comments. Decisions about criminal prosecution shouldn’t turn on that.

    I’d probably be classified as an Obot by many people on this site, but I find this prosecution pretty disgusting. It was hard enough to deal with the fact that they were not going to go after people like Yoo. That they’re going after people who leaked information about govt sanctioned torture is a bridge too far.

  20. 20
    4tehlulz says:

    I don’t remember this much bitching about Scooter Libby being charged with obstruction of justice/perjury instead of treason.

  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John Cole: He’s being prosecuted for revealing the identities of people collecting intelligence. That’s bad now? So did Manning. So did Libby. Should he also be prosecuted for torture? Yes. This is not hard, to coin a phrase.

  22. 22
    David Koch says:

    @ShadeTail:

    But it isn’t; this is a guy getting prosecuted for talking about the torture.

    Wrong.

    He’s not getting prosecuted for talking about torture, he’s getting prosecuted for revealing undercover agents.

    Liberals were outraged when scotter libby and Rove did it. Now, not so much.

  23. 23
    Cermet says:

    @David Koch: This person knows little and is little more than an empty box car making noise, and you are just adding more noise – the naming of a critical CIA undercover agent who specialized in finding the sources of illegal nuclear weapons/fuel causing their critically important sources to be compromised was a terrible blow to our ability to shut down/track down real weapons of mass destruction being either released or sought. The Manning releases were minor embarrassments that had little national security implications – most were by minor diplomats and a few higher – zero chance that they were or ever would be in danger. As for their sources, low level gossip that is typical among diplomats – give an example of a serious leak done by Manning to back up your belief and I’ll listen.

    This also ignores the criminal lies that cheney used to enable bush-ass-wipe’s illegal war on iraq and the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and how many thousands were children? All for non-existent weapons of mass destruction – and to punish a amerikan they exposed a real and critical CIA operative!

  24. 24
    Catsy says:

    @JC: It’s more like “Person X has committed crimes for which he will likely never be prosecuted, so let’s be happy that he’s at least facing justice and jail time for something.”

    Think Al Capone and tax evasion.

    Not necessarily disagreeing about the Obama stuff, but I think the above is a perfectly defensible and moral position to take with regard to this piece of shit.

  25. 25
    David Koch says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t know why I am bothering by responding to trolls,

    Talk about projection.

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ShadeTail: That’s a bizarre way to frame the issue. He’s being prosecuted for revealing identities of intelligence agents. That’s against the law. Done. It takes crazy somersaulting leaps of logic to turn it into “leaking information about torture.”

    @4tehlulz: Nope, probably because Glenn Greenwald didn’t lead all his friends by the nose to bleat about it.

  27. 27
    David Koch says:

    @Cermet: Oh, so only exposing agents you like is wrong.

    Way to stand on principle.

  28. 28
    smintheus says:

    @ShadeTail: It’s almost completely beside the point, yes. The only way it’s relevant is this: Kiriakou was out there selling his version of events because he wanted to justify his own complicity in torture. In doing so, he tripped himself up by giving DOJ an excuse to prosecute him.

    Clearly government hacks are settling scores with Kiriakou for telling too many truths or semi-truths about torture, and they especially hate the idea that any of them might have to pay for their crimes. So it’s a noxious prosecution. People, even loathesome toads, have a right to tell the public about government employees who engage in torture under the color of law.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think this is yet another case where the first line of the story is set to snap right on all the “civil libertarian” vulnerable body parts:

    The Justice Department on Monday charged a former Central Intelligence Agency officer with disclosing classified information to journalists about the capture and brutal interrogation of a suspected member of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah — adding another chapter to the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on leaks.

    “Unprecedented” “crackdown” on “leaks” about “brutal interrogation” seems like a far-from-neutral way to frame a story about prosecuting someone _who was himself a brutal interrogator_ for outing intelligence agents.

    It’s just like the nimrods who said that Marines pissing on Taliban corpses wasn’t the big deal, the big deal was that they were in a war zone in the first place. No, see, the pissing on corpses part was bad too. So is revealing classified information.

  30. 30
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @smintheus: Revealing classified information is still a crime. Revealing classified information and also bragging about how cool waterboarding is doesn’t mean that the prosecution is about talking about waterboarding, much less that it’s some kind of ass-backwards whistleblowing.

  31. 31
    lol says:

    @Cermet:

    I think the jury might still be out as to whether any sources died because of Manning’s leaks now that the unredacted versions of the cables have made their way out of Wikileaks.

    Manning might have a whistleblower defense if he had leaked the coptor video and stopped at that. Or if he had selectively leaked cables related to abuses. But he didn’t.

    Manning released a shit ton of cables into the wild purely for the lulz. If no one died, it’s only by accident. Manning didn’t check, Manning didn’t care. He grabbed what he could and started sending it out. Drunk drivers get arrested even if they don’t kill anyone but somehow Manning should get a free pass?

    That’s why his attorney is going to run with some weird reverse vampire gay panic defense.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @David Koch: You’re a troll, now? That term has lost all meaning.

  33. 33
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John Cole:

    Everyone here bemoans the blue wall of silence when cops misbehave and everyone clams up, well here we have the Justice department acting as de facto enforcer for the wall of silence around national security misdeeds.

    How is this a parallel at all? This is like a cop beating the hell out of a suspect, bragging about it, doing a media dog-and-pony show about how appropriate it was, then getting brought up on charges that have to do with speaking without department clearance rather than changes of police brutality. “Enforcing” the “wall of silence” is just a fanciful interpretation of the way the story opens.

  34. 34
    David Koch says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What’s funny is the NY Times has never framed waterboarding as “brutal interrogation” when directly discussing waterboarding.

    It’s only “brutal” now, in the derivative, because one of their sources is being prosecuted.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Dammit, _charges_ of police brutality, not “changes.” Stupid edit function. Someone should get Glenn Greenwald to complain about that, so maybe something would happen to fix it around here.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of C.I.A. officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

    Yo, Eric! Dick Cheney is still a large after outing a CIA agent who was under deep cover running an operation gathering intelligence on Iranian nuclear ambitions and programs! When are you going after him, Eric?

  37. 37
    smintheus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Classified info is leaked all the time in DC without prosecution. Even administration officials do it without declassifying it. It looks like selective prosecution aimed at protecting the torturers, and the ability of the government to order agents to torture in the future.

  38. 38
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @David Koch: And the vestigial “news” media suddenly has a crusade about a source that happens to caress the erogenous zones of “civil libertarians.”

  39. 39
    David Koch says:

    @Baud: Cole’s just angry because I mocked him. His thin skin on his soft underbelly got the better of him.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    Speaking personally, my line is drawn between revealing practices and revealing identities. To my mind, that crossed a line. Practically inhaled the Libby case, still wrong here.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, I just heard an NPR story on this that included a clip of Kiriakou justifying water-boarding, “lives were at stake…”. We aren’t talking about Daniel Schorr or Joe Darby here.

  42. 42
    Catsy says:

    @smintheus:

    It looks like selective prosecution aimed at protecting the torturers, and the ability of the government to order agents to torture in the future.

    Uh, what?

    Prosecuting a torturer for leaking information intended to defend and promote torture is… protecting torturers and the government’s ability to torture?

    In what universe does that parse?

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Daniel Ellsberg. Edit function, yadda yadda yadda

  44. 44
    MosesZD says:

    I said this was what he was when he was running in the primary. All you had to do was look at his entire political career without rose-colored glasses to see he was a sell-out to corporations and crap like this. An empty suit full of pretty speeches.

    I’m still voting Green. I don’t care if Saint Romney of the Magic underwear becomes President. Almost everything Obama does reinforces the worst of Bush/Cheney.

    One bad President can make a mistake. But when next one follows and reinforces those mistakes… It becomes bi-partisan policy instead of ‘a mistake.’

  45. 45
    John O says:

    This kind of thing would never happen under a Paul Administration. LOL.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @smintheus: The idea of “protecting the torturers” doesn’t match up very well with the fact that this guy is, in actuality, a torturer. The Obama admin seems to have a jones for issues of “classified info” — that is, they seem to take it pretty seriously. Are they overzealous about it? I don’t know enough to say. But this particular story feels like spin upon spin, clouding the issue by linking it to “leaks” (which feel virtuous and on the continuum with whistleblowing).

  47. 47
    smintheus says:

    @David Koch: Yes they have. It took the NY Times too long to describe torture in frank terms, but they have been doing so for a while now. Here is an example from 2009 referring to “brutal interrogation techniques”.

  48. 48
    John O says:

    @MosesZD:

    “Power” and its expansion are bipartisan features, not bugs.

  49. 49
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    “brutal interrogation” – Lets see how close we can get to saying torture without using the word.

    As for the article, it took 1.5 paragraphs to find out exactly what he was charged with, disclosing the name of a CIA agent. Shorter Charlie Savage: “President Obama continued his reign of terror by charging someone for proclaiming he killed John Foster, or maybe because the accused broke the law.”

  50. 50
    John Cole says:

    @David Koch: I thought you were reality check with a new name. If not, my apologies.

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MosesZD: Yeah, how dare Obama’s DoJ prosecute someone who tortured people then bragged about it for years. What a sellout corporatist. Vote Vermin Supreme!

  52. 52
    scav says:

    @John O: Oh, they really only happy in two-party systems?

  53. 53
    Catsy says:

    @MosesZD:

    I’m still voting Green. I don’t care if Saint Romney of the Magic underwear becomes President.

    I would like to thank you for helpfully and clearly identifying yourself as a complete fucktard whose opinions on politics have no value whatsoever. You have outed your stupidity so unequivocally that I have no fear of anyone with any sense taking you seriously or wasting time trying to talk sense into you.

    Good show!

  54. 54
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Exactly. See my earlier comment about how well the article is set up to make the whole case shade into another example of something else entirely.

  55. 55
    General Stuck says:

    @MosesZD:

    It becomes bi-partisan policy instead of ‘a mistake.’

    Thank you for weighing in. I was beginning to think the firebagger species had gone extinct in the wild. There is no bi partisan policy on torture. Bush did it and Obama didn’t. Whether the administration that didn’t torture decides to prosecute the former that did torture, is a different calculus not to be conflated with the core question of perpetration of a crime. Prosecutorial discretion is a mainstay of legal jurisprudence in this country, at every level, with its own calculus.

  56. 56
    smintheus says:

    @Catsy: If he leaked the name of an agent involved in torture, then that opens the torturers up to reprisals or prosecution and makes them unhappy.

  57. 57
    Kola Noscopy says:

    But John, clearly, the O-Stration (I stole that from someone here; thanks!) is only filing these charges so that the case can end up before the Supreme Court, where the it hopes to be ruled AGAINST so that whistle blowers will NOT be prosecuted.

    This is obviously a move in SUPPORT of transparency, not against it, come on…

  58. 58
    Keith G says:

    @John Cole:

    This is not hard

    Yes it is.

    There are none so blind as those who refuse to be a fair judge of the misdeeds of the Obama administration*.

    *For the record….a hell of a lot of good and several mellow harshing fuckups.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @smintheus: Doesn’t look like the name he disclosed was one of those involved in the torture:

    disclosing to several journalists the identity of a C.I.A. analyst who worked on a 2002 operation that seized and interrogated Abu Zubaydah, including using the suffocation technique known as waterboarding.

    That’s a pretty poorly constructed sentence.

  60. 60
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    There are none so blind as those who refuse to be a fair judge of the misdeeds of the Obama administration*.

    Misdeeds? name them.

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I missed this the first few times through:

    Among other things, the F.B.I. complaint accuses Mr. Kiriakou of being a source for a June 2008 front-page Times article, written by reporter Scott Shane, that identified a C.I.A. employee who played a major role in the capture and interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and another high-level Qaeda figure, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

    In other words, the NYT story makes the central complaint the Obama administration’s cracking down on… the NYT. “Among other things.” You’re being played by journalists intent on making it a story about brave journalists and their brave sources.

  62. 62
    Phaedrus says:

    Hmmm – didn’t Dick Cheney leak a CIA operatives name… is there a statue of limitations?

  63. 63
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: The “misdeed” of prosecuting someone for revealing classified information, including the names of CIA agents, in a media campaign to defend the wonders of waterboarding? That’s a strange definition of “misdeed.” It only looks like a misdeed if you fuzz it up enough to make it look like Bradley Manning Redux.

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Phaedrus: Libby was the source. Kiriakou was a source. This is wrong why again?

  65. 65
    smintheus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maybe, maybe not. If memory serves, that was a small group working closely together, and the torture began immediately upon capture (the captive was shot, and his captors threatened to withhold medical treatment unless he cooperated).

  66. 66
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Try this CNN article as well, less hyperbole, more info.

  67. 67
    kc says:

    Firebagger! Emoprog!

  68. 68
    Lojasmo says:

    @John Cole:

    John, you are taking an untenable position.

    There is not enough palm for the face.

    Military intelligence officers can not divulge classified information. Full stop.

  69. 69
    David Koch says:

    @John Cole: You’re a big man for apologizing.

    But it makes me sad, because I’ve been using this handle all year, since the Walker tapes came out:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2457032

    I guess you really don’t read our comments.

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Thank you for that. It’s pretty remarkable how different the opening is, and how different the framing of issues is from start to finish. IMHO it’s because the NYT is directly involved in the case.

  71. 71
    FlipYrWhig says:

    John, Lojasmo‘s take seems pretty clear and simple, no? You were in the military, I was not. What am I missing on this score?

  72. 72
    John O says:

    @John Cole:

    Sorry, I agree with Cole, admittedly as usual.

    Torture was a crime that needed exposing. It’s not pretty, but the truth should come out and we should deal with it like big boys and girls, and stop prosecuting people who tell the truth. It ISN’T hard.

  73. 73
    Larv says:

    @ShadeTail:

    But it isn’t; this is a guy getting prosecuted for talking about the torture. Whether you like the guy or not (and I definitely don’t, considering his history) is completely beside the point. This is about the government abusing its power to keep things under wraps.

    Isn’t it important that his reason for talking about the torture wasn’t to protest it, but to celebrate it? It’s not like this guy was a whistleblower, he apparently just liked to talk to the media about classified information. And that’s still a crime for somebody with a security clearance.

    I don’t see anything wrong in principle with a crackdown on leaks. If you’re going to classify information you’re going to have to enforce it. Most leaks are bad leaks – simple loose lips, intentional leaks used to manipulate the media (Judy Miller?), and even espionage. I’d have more of a problem if I’d seen any credible claims that the Obama administration is abusing the classification process or targeting whistleblowers in particular. But leaker =/= whistleblower.

    And I don’t get John’s linking of this with the failure to prosecute the Bushies for torture. Is the idea that because the administration made a political decision not to go down that road, they’re now hypocrites for prosecuting other crimes?

  74. 74
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That’s what it seems like to me. Savage’s piece read like an opinion piece.

    Now, the question becomes, is leaking classified information – and not the kind Kiriakou was leaking – the only way we’ll get some of the Bush administration people prosecuted? On a related note, has an administration ever investigated the previous one?

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John O: But you’re making a leap in the first place to assume that what got the guy in trouble was talking about torture, rather than revealing classified information including names of intelligence agents. He did both things, allegedly. The second one is a crime. He’s being prosecuted for it. If he was talking about torture and didn’t name sensitive names, would he still be subject to prosecution? Contrariwise, if he was talking about founding an Iraqi children’s soccer league, said nothing about torture at all, and in the process named sensitive names, would he still be subject to prosecution?

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    I think our esteemed blog host was trying to make a valid point of frustration with the fact that Bush and Cheney committed horrible crimes in our name as Americans, and per usual, he let the emo run his noggin. And used a bad example to make that point. You can almost set your clock by it.

    I expect, an obligatory follow up post, once again affirming the idiot factor as the culprit, and life goes on. Yawn

  77. 77
    JPL says:

    John, It’s a good evening to post some animal porn. After reading about the tragic murder of the cat in Arkansas, Tunch can use some internet hugs. It’s been overall a shitty day..

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @John O: he’s not being prosecuted for revealing torture. HE was one of the torturers and he thinks it was a good thing. He’s being prosecuted for revealing the name of an agent involved in investigating al Qaida.

    I share Cole’s regret that we aren’t going after the torturers, but that, to me, is a separate question.

    OT: Sheldon Adelson’s wife just gave Newt 5 million. I guess Sheldon spent his January stipend already. And Mitt Romney just hired Bachmann’s debate coach. That should be humiliating.

  79. 79
    John O says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    No Bush Admin people will ever be prosecuted. Never. They’re all members of the same tribe now.

  80. 80
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck:
    John Yoo is still a free man.

    Okay now seriously, just a couple off the top:

    -No ivestigation or prosecutions of torture
    -Not even a “Truth Commission” – Maybe better than prosecutions
    -Continued warrantless surveillance
    -Continued military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights
    -Asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens viewed as terrorists
    -Fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses

  81. 81
    John O says:

    Look, I get that revealing names may have been a bridge too far, and the guy sounds like a world-class wanker of a human being, but this is just example #eleventybillion of the messenger getting shot.

    Everyone should own their own actions, and the torturers are no exception. It’s just sad that we’ve never discussed the fact that actual crimes against humanity, agreed upon by the USofA, were committed in the last Admin and ignored in this one, while someone with a big mouth gets the hammer dropped on him.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John O: Belafon (formerly anonevent)‘s link above to another version of the story might help the discussion. I have no idea what’s _really_ going on, but IMHO the NYT piece is playing up things that the CNN one Belafon flagged is not, and that feels significant to me. The CNN one, if anything, is uncritically describing the government’s case, which maybe is its own problem. But the NYT piece strikes me as breathless in a Greenwaldian manner.

  83. 83
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: Ignore the lined out thingy.

    Can we waterboard Cole til we get back edit function?

    FYWP

  84. 84
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @Lojasmo:

    Full stop.

    This has got to be one of the dumbest rhetorical phrases ever known to man.

    Which is why ACL uses it all the time, of course. What’s your excuse?

  85. 85
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I read the guys Wikipedia page. He claims that the torture worked the first time, but remember, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times. Also, and I think this is the best part, Kirakou was never present for the waterboarding. You know that would be his defense if he was ever charged.

  86. 86
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John O: It’d be much fairer to say that someone with a big mouth who tortured people is getting prosecuted for the big mouth rather than for the torture. But the stuff about silencing whistleblowers and sanctioning abuses… that’s just not here in this story. It’s creeping in there via Manning. This guy isn’t Manning, and IMHO even Manning isn’t the Manning he’s been depicted as in the Book of Holie Martyres.

  87. 87
    RP says:

    Here’s the thing…I think we all agree that leaking classified info. is a crime if you’re in the military. Cole and other are suggesting that a whistleblower shouldn’t be prosecuted if he or she is leaking the info. to reveal a crime — IOW, if the leaker is trying to serve the public interest. In that case, the leaker’s motives are very important when deciding whether or not prosecution is justified.

    That’s why Cole’s defense of Kiriakou makes no sense. If he wasn’t leaking the info. to stop waterboarding, why should he benefit from a whistleblower defense?

  88. 88
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @General Stuck:

    Whether the administration that didn’t torture decides to prosecute the former that did torture, is a different calculus not to be conflated with the core question of perpetration of a crime.

    Stuck, I was hoping that during your time away from BJ you might have had a brain implant. Alas.

    That said, please provide verifiable evidence that the O-stration has not and is not torturing people.

    Thanks.

  89. 89
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @RP: And it would be great if we were arguing about that type of thing with this guy. But, from what I have gathered, what he was leaking was the names of people, which if I understood the bottom part Savage’s article at all, whose pictures turned up in the cells of prisoners at Guantanamo. Though, to be fair, Savage looked like he was trying to muddle the facts, either that or he needs to learn how to finish an article.

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RP: I think the argument is that any prosecution is, regardless of what the government might say, in actuality a clampdown on exposing the US’s complicity in torture. Even if he didn’t intend to blow the whistle, that’s what put him in the crosshairs, and the rest is just trumped-up payback. That’s the thought process as far as I can tell.

  91. 91
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kola Noscopy: Man, when you get down to something as obvious as proving a negative you’re really scraping bottom. Raw persistence is only going to take you so far, young man.

  92. 92
    Keith G says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I was voicing support for Cole’s idea that (regardless of the current prosecution) no one has been held to answer for the regime of torture and other civil liberties violations that was run out of the West Wing.

    In my mind, the John Kiriakou case is an ironic footnote.

  93. 93
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @Larv:

    Is the idea that because the administration made a political decision not to go down that road, they’re now hypocrites for prosecuting other crimes?

    duh

  94. 94
    David Koch says:

    @RP:

    the leaker’s motives are very important when deciding whether or not prosecution is justified.

    Can’t agree. You can’t let people like Jonathan Pollard off the hook because he felt that he was acting in good conscious for his people.

  95. 95
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    You used the term misdeeds, which usually is associated with the illegal. Not policies you don’t like. and as far as your list, well, I will respond, one by one

    John Yoo is still a free man. As far as I know, bad lawyering is not a crime, though it maybe should be. Disbarment should happen, I agree. But this is not Obama’s call.

    -No ivestigation or prosecutions of torture this is not a misdeed, and falls under the prosecutorial discretion of my earlier comment. You may not agree with the decision, but are free to complain, just not conflate that with illegal misdeeds.

    -Not even a “Truth Commission” – Maybe better than prosecutions I happen to agree that this would be better than prosecution, for all sorts of reasons, but mainly the doubtful proposition of finding an impartial jury and getting a conviction. Again, prosecutorial discretion, and likely well placed. I would just argue the game isn’t up on that, and if it is to happen, the second Obama term would be the time to do it.

    -Continued military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights False. Bush’s proposed tribunals would have denied “basic rights” and the SCOTUS shut them down. They have been used throughout history, and there is no evidence that Obama’s use of them would deny basic rights.

    -Continued warrantless surveillance

    False again. There is no evidence that Obama is conducting surveillance that is unlawful per the current FISA law, with warrants in the manner prescribed by that law. The law itself may have problems, but that is a legislative matter.

    -Asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens viewed as terrorists We have been through this before, and while as a policy it is perfectly proper to oppose what Obama did with Al Awsri, but it was not illegal per the rules of war that the US declared on Al Quaida.

    lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses Not sure what you are getting at here, but though the Obama administration has drawn some lines on public disclosure, most people who follow this stuff on the whole says Obama has been a more open president in recent memory.

  96. 96
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Raw persistence is only going to take you so far, young man

    .

    OMG. THANK YOU for calling me “young.”

    You made my week.

  97. 97
    RP says:

    @David Koch: I’m not really endorsing that argument, just trying to walk through the logic of Cole’s argument.

  98. 98
    General Stuck says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    That said, please provide verifiable evidence that the O-stration has not and is not torturing people.

    I heard he was beating his wife, also too, you nut.

  99. 99
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kola Noscopy: a lot of us take you for fourteen.

  100. 100
    RP says:

    Is the idea that because the administration made a political decision not to go down that road, they’re now hypocrites for prosecuting other crimes?

    I guess the NYC DA shouldn’t prosecute any other rapes after letting Strauss-Kahn go free.

  101. 101
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @General Stuck:

    So, to summarize, you gullible idiot: You KNOW that the Obama administration is not torturing anyone because THEY SAID SO.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    And governments do not lie.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH…

    I think the hummingbirds have taken up lodging in the space where your brain used to be and are whispering thoughts to what’s left of your brain stem. Hence, the hilarious typing you post here.

  102. 102
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Fourteen year olds are often far more intelligent and perceptive than the olds who assume they know nothing.

    I’ll take that as a compliment.

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    @John O: You realize that this was a Bush admin person who is at least being prosecuted for leaking covert ops personnel names? Why hang on to the fallacy? This is not prosecution for leaks, this is a name dropper who loved to torture and was giving out working agent names to brag about it. Full stop, crime.

  104. 104
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @RP:

    I guess the NYC DA shouldn’t prosecute any other rapes after letting Strauss-Kahn go free.

    He was not convicted because after an investigation began his accuser was found to be without credibility, as you already know.

    Please explain how the same applies to the potential prosecution of Bushco war crimes, you apologist.

    thanks.

  105. 105
    WyldPirate says:

    Awwwww shit. Cole had the temerity to criticize President Immaculate Perfection’s administration. This ought to get all the Obama cultists here raging in no time…

    Must be ABL stinkbait….

  106. 106
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kola Noscopy: Yeah. Kind of like the way we know you’re not a pedophile because you said so.

    What? Below the belt?

  107. 107
    General Stuck says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    You have become quite the mad little court jester on Balloon Juice. Claps approvingly.

  108. 108
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @ruemara:

    Full stop, crime.

    The use of the weak ass “full stop” as an argument in support of a position is brainless and has become an almost fool proof indicator of its user being an Obot.

    Even Cole used it once that I can think of, when the Bot Juice momentarily leaked into the thinking side of his skull, as happens from time to time here.

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Dude, read the article. The guy being prosecuted leaked the names of CIA agents in order to defend his own use of torture on prisoners. He didn’t “whistleblow” anything, unless you now think that saying, “Yeah, I tortured him, and it was so totally awesome I’d waterboard you right now if I could!” counts as whistleblowing.

    This is not who you or Cole want to hitch your wagon to as a poster boy for unfair prosecution by the Obama administration. As others have said, it would be like picking Al Capone as your poster boy for unfair IRS persecution.

  110. 110
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Yeah, uh huh. Just like that.

    And if you deny that you are a c**k sucking crack w***e who eats her dead mother’s p***y for breakfast, then we’ll know you are just like the O-stration too.

  111. 111
    General Stuck says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    This comment may just get that timeout you been angling for.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    Maybe the guy being waterboarded was enjoying it and didn’t want it to be stopped! Maybe having someone charge in to break it up would have been more traumatizing to him than the waterboarding!

    It amazes me how you can think of these things that never even occur to us small-minded Obots.

  113. 113
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @General Stuck:

    Well it doesn’t surprise me that you’re OK with the label of PEDOPHILE being thrown around here, but the naughty bleeped out words I used are too vulgar for your tender feelings.

    As for me, I think the P word is much more vile than p***y. At least p***y has a legitimate use.

  114. 114
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Doesn’t surprise me or the many other nonbots here one bit.

  115. 115
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kola Noscopy: You kiss your dead mother with that mouth?

  116. 116
    ShadeTail says:

    Hey, folks, stop talking to the waste of DNA that names itself after literally sticking something up a person’s ass. Seriously, it’s trolling is not worth the electrons on your monitor.

  117. 117
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: Others of good faith see this differently.

    When you have time, start with the State Secrets Privilege. Then, Google around civil liberties issues – always interesting.

    And again, for moi, it is not about this administration being evil or bad en toto, but that a few good things that should have happened did not. Of course Obama is better than what was and better than the alliterative, but that is such a really low bar to clear. Future American could benefit from him being stronger against the growing security state. When Scalia is to the left of the administration on a 4th Amendment issue, that is chilling.

  118. 118
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Spare me the moral lecture, Bot. You call enough names and fling enough poo here to fill your cavernous vaginal maw many times over.

    And you’re obviously obsessed with child abuse, and we all wonder why…

    Besides, my 84 year old mother likes me to kiss her. With tongue.

  119. 119
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    Seems Not Republican Cole put on his turd hat today and wants to focus just being a turd. Fuck you you fucking clown.

  120. 120
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    Seems Not Republican Cole put on his turd hat today and wants to focus on just being a turd. Fuck you you fucking clown.

  121. 121
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    And you’re obviously obsessed with child abuse, and we all wonder why…

    Not at all — I just like to piss you off. Full stop.

  122. 122
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @ShadeTail:

    Hey, folks, stop talking to the waste of DNA that names itself after literally sticking something up a person’s ass.

    Hey, Hall Monitor, get a clue: HOMPHOBIC!

    We like things stuck up our asses. Maybe you should pull that tree branch out of yours.

  123. 123
    Keith G says:

    @ShadeTail: Or if they do engage…then don’t complain or get all self righteous.

  124. 124
    WyldPirate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My discontent–and I think Cole’s as well–is that the investigation and prosecution of torture didn’t start a long fucking time ago instead of the ball-busting of leakers/whistleblowers by the Obama administration.

    My other huge problem is that Obama seems to be perfectly content with perpetuating a two-tiered system of justice in this country. The rich, powerful and well-connected fucking skate and the powerless peons get their nuts slammed into the legal and penal vice.

    Those are my two major MOTHERHUMPING problems with Obama and the Justice department. Other than that, his admin is mostly fucking just peachy keen given the dysfunction of the legislative and judicial branches.

  125. 125
    WyldPirate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My discontent–and I think Cole’s as well–is that the investigation and prosecution of torture didn’t start a long fucking time ago instead of the ball-busting of leakers/whistleblowers by the Obama administration.

    My other huge problem is that Obama seems to be perfectly content with perpetuating a two-tiered system of justice in this country. The rich, powerful and well-connected fucking skate and the powerless peons get their nuts slammed into the legal and penal vice.

    Those are my two major MOTHERHUMPING problems with Obama and the Justice department. Other than that, his admin is mostly fucking just peachy keen given the dysfunction of the legislative and judicial branches.

  126. 126
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Not at all—I just like to piss you off. Full stop.

    lol

  127. 127
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    I have no problems with people accurately describing policies they are disappointed with. I do have a problem when they use terms like “misdeeds” to label them. It is this conflation that pisses me off, to where I say so.

    And I am well up on the State Secrets thing. And Obama has not used it a single time to cover up crimes, like Bush did. And has thrown at least one case to the plaintiffs of one of Bush’s old lawsuits. Google Judge Vaughn Walker and EFF.

    Others of good faith see this differently.

    I codlocked your accusations as false, some of them, and stated why. That is not an opinion, it is calling bullshit on bullshit and has nothing to do with seeing things differently for “people of good faith”.

  128. 128
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @General Stuck:

    Codlock? wtf?

    I googled and nothing.

  129. 129
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    I was expecting Cole’s pride to goad him into doubling down on this misguided post in the comments but I think the commentariat actually got through to him on this one. Our host iz learnin’.

    Maybe by 2013 he’ll even strongly disagree with Greenwald every once in a while.

  130. 130
    SteveinSC says:

    @Kola Noscopy: Right, right, I see how I was wrong before. We need to start at the bottom of the shit-pile Bush and Cheney created and punish the smaller fry for this or that indiscretion until we get to the self-proclaimed war criminals themselves. But, oh, wait we don’t want to look back, except when we do. The exquisite prigs are out in full force trying to divert the subject from the real criminals who pissed on the graves of the Founding Fathers, made liars of our WWII prosecutions and have condemned our military to hideous tortures in the future. Slick.

  131. 131
    burnspbesq says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Libby was the source. Kiriakou was a source. This is wrong why again?

    Because revealing the identity of covert intelligence operatives is a crime. The guy Kiriakou outed was every bit as covert as Valerie Plame. It’s a crime, no matter who does it or what you think about their motives.

  132. 132
    smintheus says:

    @General Stuck: This is false:

    No ivestigation or prosecutions of torture this is not a misdeed, and falls under the prosecutorial discretion of my earlier comment. You may not agree with the decision, but are free to complain, just not conflate that with illegal misdeeds.

    The UN CAT requires all signatories to investigate and prosecute credible allegations of torture and prisoner abuse. It most definitely does not leave any wiggle room to opt out of those prosecutions on any grounds other than the finding that an allegation is not credible.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Let me see, a self-admitted torturer is being prosecuted for leaking names of CIA agents? Why should I be upset? As I understand it, he is not being prosecuted for talking about torture. Would I be happier if he and the others involved in the tortures were being prosecuted for that? Oh, hell yeah. But I won’t waste any tears on this asshole.

    Also, for those wondering why nothing happened to Cheney over Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby fell on his sword and the link to Cheney was not able to be made.

  134. 134
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: I see it differently.

    That is not an opinion, it is calling bullshit on bullshit and has nothing to do with seeing things differently for “people of good faith”.

    When you have time to do the research that I pointed to, you will see that some very smart, expert, and well meaning people find different conclusions and they do so without needless puffery.

  135. 135
    burnspbesq says:

    @John O:

    It’s not pretty, but the truth should come out and we should deal with it like big boys and girls, and stop prosecuting people who tell the truth. It ISN’T hard.

    So you’re prepared to look the other way when someone commits a felony that puts another person’s life in jeopardy? Good to know.

    In one sense, Kiriacou is exactly like Bradley Manning. His supposed service to his country can be taken into account at sentencing.

  136. 136
    WyldPirate says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    Don’t fucking flatter yourself, numbnuts. Cole is right. Unlike some of you Obama cultists, Cole isn’t afraid to point out that Obama’s shit does, in fact, stink.

  137. 137
    WyldPirate says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    Don’t fucking flatter yourself, numbnuts. Cole is right. Unlike some of you Obama cultists, Cole isn’t afraid to point out that Obama’s shit does, in fact, stink.

  138. 138
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    I told you I am aware of the State Secrets situation with Obama. And It is not up to me to google for evidence of your allegations. If you have that evidence, post it. Otherwise, you are simply spreading lies and bullshit. It is the height of irresponsibility to make accusations you can’t provide evidence for. And the feelings, or opinions of “people of good faith”, have nothing to do with it.

    I nailed shut your bullshit, and you have nothing to offer to support what you claimed. That is not “puffery”, it is a simple fact. Prove me wrong.

  139. 139
    General Stuck says:

    @smintheus:

    It most definitely does not leave any wiggle room to opt out of those prosecutions on any grounds other than the finding that an allegation is not credible.

    I seriously doubt that. It’s the evidence thingy, you know, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt that is a basic legal principle in this country, and should be everywhere. Simply finding an accusation as “credible” does not meet that standard for prosecution for convicition, in anything but a kangaroo court.

  140. 140
    mclaren says:

    Is anyone going to prosecute the torture that the Red Cross says is still going on at Bagram airbase under Obama’s presidency?

    Will any members of the press corps ask president Obama why he continues to authorize the torture of prisoners at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan? Or, if Obama has not authorized their torture, why these prisoners are being tortured?

    No. Of course not. Repeat after me: “There is a crazy person at the BBC. Everyone back away slowly.” (eemom)

    “The Red Cross has butt rabies.”(General Crackpot Fake Name)

    “The BBC and the Red Cross are racists and grifters.” (Anti-liberal Black Lady)

  141. 141
    mclaren says:

    @General Stuck:

    It is the height of irresponsibility to make accusations you can’t provide evidence for.

    General Crackpot Fake Name:

    mclaren has butt rabies.

    General Crackpot Fake Name:
    mclaren is off his thorazine drip.

    General Crackpot Fake Name:
    Go away, mclaren, you insane lunatic!

    Provide us with scans of documents demonstrating the medical evidence for your claims, or stand revealed as a sociopathic compulsive pathological liar.

  142. 142
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: You seem to be the one making an accusation and doing so crudely. Those who want to gather information about the alternative views that I pointed to will do so and I am fine with that. I am secure enough in this that I do not have the need to call names or become scatological.

    About an issue you raised some time ago:

    Murder is a serious misdeed that harms our society. To knowingly allow someone to get away with murder is also a misdeed.

    Torture is a serious misdeed that harms our society. To knowingly allow someone to get away with torture is also a misdeed.

    I will add our society cannot exist as it has been conceived if our civil liberties are (even slowly) chipped away. The chipping away of any part of our civil liberties is a serious misdeed. Not loudly and aggressively confronting even the slightest limitation to our civil liberties, may well be an existential concern to future generations and as such to my mind is a misdeed.

    That is one of the few bright lines that I draw in this world. You are free to disagree.

  143. 143
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    Blah blah blah. You make allegations of crimes and provide no evidence to back it up.

    You are free to disagree.

    That’s what republicans say when they unload reams of alternate reality, with their own sets of facts.

  144. 144
    different-church-lady says:

    Yup — full on troll quorum now.

  145. 145
    General Stuck says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Not as bad as it once was on threads like this. so there’s that.

  146. 146
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I think the commentariat actually got through to him on this one.

    could you provide some evidence supporting that assertion?

    thanks.

  147. 147
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: No…actually I did not. I said that in a few instances they were wrong in what the administration did. Maybe our dictionaries differ as much as our temperaments do.

  148. 148
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Yup—full on troll quorum now.

    Yes. We are in full control of the ship now.

    Which means YOU are now a troll.

  149. 149
    AA+ Bonds says:

    hhhhhhhhhhhh

  150. 150
    AA+ Bonds says:

    not at this thread, which is very beautiful, but at the linked story

    It’s very hard to throw in with liberals sometimes

  151. 151
    AA+ Bonds says:

    It’s like some of y’all never fucking learned from LBJ in ’66-’68 . . . it’s like some of y’all don’t even want to learn about all the ways liberalism shits the bed, and liberals get rolled out of it

  152. 152
    Keith G says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    Yes. We are in full control of the ship now.Yes. We are in full control of the ship now.

    You can have it, I’m going to bed.

  153. 153
    Adam C says:

    @General Stuck:

    There is no bi partisan policy on torture.

    Yes there is. The policy is that the president can torture prisoners if he damn well wants to. If Obama isn’t torturing prisoners, it’s because he doesn’t want to, and for no other reason.

  154. 154
    General Stuck says:

    @Adam C:

    More BS, Obama issued Executive Orders as soon as he took office, clearly stating there would be no torture on his watch. So now, he is guilty of “bi partisan policy of torture” because he could if he wanted to. LOL

  155. 155
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    Which means YOU are now a troll.

    Sure. Just not a particularly good one.

  156. 156
    General Stuck says:

    @Keith G:

    You claimed Obama was wiretapping without a warrant. This is a false accusation of a crime committed. You never rebutted my specific smackdowns of the rest of your fantasy world deposited in the BJ comment section. You are entitled to those fantasies, but when you post them here, somebody else has the right to request evidence. This used to be a stalwart of this blog, but has since gone to shit.

  157. 157
    General Stuck says:

    You know. We all bitch rightfully about our sorry press. But the point of exception needs to be made that we still have some superb and relentless national security investigative journalists. Such as Dana Priest, James Risen, Jane Mayer, among others. They managed to drill down to the truth of what Bush was up to, I am certain they are doing the same with Obama. When one of these folks makes a claim of Obama lawbreaking, then I will listen. The rest is just background noise without a leg to stand on.

  158. 158
    WyldPirate says:

    @General Stuck:

    Fuck you, you goddamned, rat-bastard, sack-of-fucking-lying shit Obama bunghole-licker. We’re still fucking torturing people , you pinhead.

  159. 159
    General Stuck says:

    @WyldPirate:

    LOL, long time no here from. So how is our fav anal obsessed liberal cracker?

    And that story you link to was debunked a long time ago, as prisoners at the Bagram site were treated with compliance to Army Field Manuel regs. You may think that is wrong, but was not torture. See what happens when you listen to Mclaren.

  160. 160
    Kola Noscopy says:

    @General Stuck:

    Obama issued Executive Orders as soon as he took office, clearly stating there would be no torture on his watch.

    HAHAHAHAHAHa

    And you, being an insane O-Troll, take him at his word.

    Look, I’m not dissing Obama in particular; I wouldn’t believe ANY president who confirms or denies anything, simply on their say so…the U.S. government is known to have lied over and over and over throughout history; O-stration is no different.

    Which is why I’d want independent verification.

  161. 161
    WyldPirate says:

    @General Stuck: @General Stuck:

    Funny how you raged about the shit Bush did but give Obama a pass on the same thing. Hypocrisy wears well on you, shit-for-brains.

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    You may want to check out if Wyldepirate is going steady with anyone? You never no when true love strikes. You do have his kind of handle.

  163. 163
    Adam C says:

    @General Stuck:
    What’s BS about it? An Executive Order is something he or any other president can reverse at any time. His policy is that he can torture if he wants to. Witness to this is the complete absence of any investigation or prosecution of torture by the previous administration.

    The bipartisan policy is that it’s legal if the president does it.

  164. 164
    General Stuck says:

    @Adam C:

    What’s BS about it? An Executive Order is something he or any other president can reverse at any time. His policy is that he can torture if he wants to. Witness to this is the complete absence of any investigation or prosecution of torture by the previous administration.The bipartisan policy is that it’s legal if the president does it.

    One of the most asinine comments ever made on Balloon Juice. Unless you are a spoof of some kind. Get back to us when he reverses his current POLICY in the EO and starts torturing people like Bush.

  165. 165
    Adam C says:

    @General Stuck:
    Your face is asinine.

    I pointed out that his policy is clear that he can torture if he wants to. Your response is that he doesn’t torture. That doesn’t in any way counter what I wrote.

    Get back to us when you can fucking read.

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Adam C: So when Obama signed an executive order on improving Native American education, does that really mean he has the power to destroy Native American education, because it’s just an executive order that can be rescinded at any time?

  167. 167
    General Stuck says:

    @Adam C:

    I pointed out that his policy is clear that he can torture if he wants to.

    Say what? What do you think EO’s are for. They set policy. That is what they are for. And until the EO is reversed, THAT IS THE FUCKING POLICY. And there has been investigation into Bush’s torture, and the fact that to date there are no prosecutions, has zilch to do with Obama’s own policy on torture. It could well be that Holder doesn’t think he could get a conviction in this country. It has zilch to do with the fact that torture is illegal and has been for a long time. If you want to criticize Obama for that, not prosecuting then okay, that is fair game. But that is all it is.

  168. 168
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Sorry, wrong link, the one I mentioned is here.

  169. 169
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That is a cool website that I have bookmarked for future reference. Thanks for linking to it.

  170. 170
    Larv says:

    @Adam C:

    The bipartisan policy is that it’s legal if the president does it.

    Well, I’d quibble and say that the effective policy is that you won’t be prosecuted for it. And while I agree that’s a less than ideal situation, I don’t see that Obama had many good choices. If the Bushies had been prosecuted and acquitted (really the most likely outcome) THAT would have legally established torture as an executive privilege. As it stands it’s still legally ambiguous – no court has ruled on it. It sucks, but I’m not sure it’s not the best of a bad lot.

  171. 171
    Ben Wolf says:

    Impossible to argue the Obama Administration has definitively put an end to torture when it continues renditions.

    http://www.propublica.org/blog.....cies-murky

  172. 172

    […] released that photo should be prosecuted.” And about the Kirakou case, John Cole sarcastically celebrated: “At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution, and then added: “He’s […]

  173. 173
    General Stuck says:

    Renditions have been around for a long time.

    In confirmation hearings in 2009, CIA director nominee Leon Panetta said that the Obama administration would not conduct what’s known as “extraordinary rendition,” which he defined as “when we send someone for the purpose of torture or actions by another country that violate our human values.” Rendition that delivers suspects to another country to be prosecuted in that country’s judicial system is still an “appropriate use of rendition,” he said.

    The abuse of it with Bush et al using it wholesale to have another country torture terror suspects for us. The articles are using supposition to claim Obama is leaving the door open for that to be done, if need be. When it has traditionally been used in ordinary law enforcement extradition of suspects of high security concerns. Like say, drug lords from Columbia to the US, etc. OR the Israeli’s capturing Adolph Eicman so many years ago.

    I didn’t see any claim that it had been used to have tortured a single terrorism suspect under Obama. If this were to happen, Obama will have violated his own policy on torture, as his EO include banning renditioning prisoners for the purpose of torturous interrogation. And really, you should follow the links from your link to Propublica and read the articles for those links.

    “Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place” for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. “What I heard loud and clear from the president’s order was that they want to design a system that doesn’t result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured — but that designing that system is going to take some time.”

    This is the type of shallow, intellectually lazy commentary I was talking about earlier. I know there are a lot of people out there in the left wing fever swamps that want to equate Obama to Bush, so they get anxious and make fools of themselves with tripe like this.

  174. 174
    Ben Wolf says:

    This is the type of shallow, intellectually lazy commentary I was talking about earlier. I know there are a lot of people out there in the left wing fever swamps that want to equate Obama to Bush, so they get anxious and make fools of themselves with tripe like this.

    I suggest you re-read it, because the quoted passage says the exact opposite, and your attacking someone making a statement friendly to the administration.

    Furthermore, accepting that torture via rendition has ended relies entirely upon accepting Leon Panetta’s word. The fact that the administration has refused to disclose any details, and has indeed hidden behind state secrets, strongly suggests torture is continuing.

  175. 175
    Ben Wolf says:

    I didn’t see any claim that it had been used to have tortured a single terrorism suspect under Obama.

    Raymond Azar.

    Now you’ve seen a claim.

  176. 176
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Furthermore, accepting that torture via rendition has ended relies entirely upon accepting Leon Panetta’s word

    No, it relies on you or others having no evidence that it is continuing for terror suspects to be tortured. And it is not only what Panetta said, it is what Obama has said, and put into policy via an EO. Now if you want to claim he is lying, have at it. But you have no evidence, just a suspicious mind and a raging case of Obama derangement syndrome, and willing to jump many sharks to justify claiming Obama is bad as Bush. Go to Greenwald et al, with that crap.

    I suggest you re-read it,

    The quote says exactly what I said it said. You are hanging onto a term, “rendition” for proof of guilt Obama must be torturing people, because Bush used “rendition”. Where you apparently are unable to do nuance that rendition has for a long been used for non torturing people. And you have no evidence Obama is using it to do the same time. What is wrong with you? Are you stupid?

  177. 177
    Ben Wolf says:

    And let’s not mince words: rendition occurs when a fugitive captured on one country’s soil is legally handed over to another for trial. What both the Bush and Obama Administrations have done is create a world-wide program which literally kidnaps people off the streets. This is extraordinary rendition and is by definition illegal.

  178. 178
    Ben Wolf says:

    The quote says exactly what I said it said

    A quote which states the Obama Administration is trying to create a system whereby people aren’t tortured is somehow equating it with the Bush Administration?

    Read it again.

  179. 179
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Yes, a claim. a few months after Obama became president. If true, then it was a violation of Obama’s policy. Did Obama order it? I doubt it. And there are no other credible reports of such treatment, beyond what is allowed in the Army Field Manual. He was tried in the US for bribing US officials, in open federal court, and after his testimony about his treatment, he got a sweet plea deal. Imagine that.

  180. 180
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    What both the Bush and Obama Administrations have done is create a world-wide program which literally kidnaps people off the streets. This is extraordinary rendition and is by definition illegal.

    Bullshit. Obama has dismantled the extensive infrastructure Bush created for extraodinary rendition for the purpose of torturing terror suspects, as well as the CIA doing it itself at a string of secret prisons. Obama cannot guarantee that some rogue CIA person violates his policy, if they have. As there is no real proof of that, other than breathless blog posts. And claims of an alleged criminal on trial for non related terrorism actions.

  181. 181
    Ben Wolf says:

    @Stuck

    Ah, the old “extenuating circumstances” claim. You’re ducking and dodging.

  182. 182
    General Stuck says:

    A quote which states the Obama Administration is trying to create a system whereby people aren’t tortured

    duh, the quote states Obama wants to continue rendition for legal purposes of extradition, developing a system that prohibits torture.

  183. 183
    General Stuck says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Ah, the old “extenuating circumstances” claim. You’re ducking and dodging.

    Say what? ducking and dodging. Anybody can make a claim, anytime. so some guy the US is trying for bribery makes a claim, and that signifies Obama is torturing people just like Bush. That’s some major shark jumping.

  184. 184
    General Stuck says:

    Let’s see. The left thinks Obama is torturing terrorist suspects like Bush, and the right thinks Obama is a terrorist. Like we used to say. Far out, man.

  185. 185
    piranhaintheguppytank says:

    Perhaps Kiriakou was prosecuted because the Dept. of Justice [sic] discovered he had a conscience. Sort of like if Ebenezer Scrooge, following his transformative encounter with the three yuletide spirits, had been brought down by his fellow One-Percenters.

    There is nothing more dangerous to the Looters-and-Pillagers that control our government than people who know the difference between Right and Wrong.

  186. 186

    […] actually tortured or allowed torture. Glenn Greenwald notes the problem here. John Cole comments here. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  187. 187
    piranhaintheguppytank says:

    Correction: In my previous post, I suppose I should have said “facing prosecution”. It’s important to at least maintain the illusion that due process still exists.

  188. 188

    […] about the Kiriakou case, John Cole sarcastically celebrated: “At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution, and then added: “He’s […]

  189. 189

    […] released that photo should be prosecuted.” And about the Kiriakou case, John Cole sarcastically celebrated: “At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution, and then added: “He’s […]

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  1. […] released that photo should be prosecuted.” And about the Kiriakou case, John Cole sarcastically celebrated: “At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution, and then added: “He’s […]

  2. […] about the Kiriakou case, John Cole sarcastically celebrated: “At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution, and then added: “He’s […]

  3. […] actually tortured or allowed torture. Glenn Greenwald notes the problem here. John Cole comments here. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  4. […] released that photo should be prosecuted.” And about the Kirakou case, John Cole sarcastically celebrated: “At Long Last, Someone Will Face a Waterboarding Related Prosecution, and then added: “He’s […]

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