Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, April 28, 2009


but unlike his position during the investigation of President Clinton and of the allegations that he lied under oath and violated the law, Senator McCain doesn't think that the Bush administration's breaking the law and null and voiding our treaties should be investigated or punished.

Apparently, in Mr. McCain's world as well as in other GOPer's, it's only unlawful when a DEMOCRAT violates his oath of office.

Here is John McCain in his own hypocritical and outrageously partisan words:

"But we are not asked to judge the President's character flaws. We are asked to judge whether the President, who swore an oath to faithfully execute his office, deliberately subverted--for whatever purpose--the rule of law," - John McCain arguing for the impeachment of Bill Clinton for perjury in a civil suit, February 1999.

"Anyone who knows what waterboarding is could not be unsure. It is a horrible torture technique used by Pol Pot," - John McCain, October 2007.

"We've got to move on," - John McCain, April 26, 2009, reacting to incontrovertible proof that George W. Bush ordered the waterboarding of a prisoner 183 times, as well as broader treatment that the Red Cross has called "unequivocally torture."

So let's get this straight: John McCain was a defender of the rule of law when Mr. Clinton lied under oath about sexual misconduct, but believes we should "move on" concerning the issue of the Bush administration breaking the law and torturing.

There is no defending this rank hypocrisy and stupidity.

More hypocrisy, this time from John Boehner:

House GOP leader John Boehner has called on the Obama administration to release unspecified intelligence documents that supposedly will demonstrate that torture has been effective.

But Boehner won’t say whether the CIA should release a key classified report that is said to find no proof that torture foiled terror plots, according to his office.


Dave Miller said...

Notice that neither of the people cited spoke on whether or not waterboarding was illegal.

The GOP would at least be honest if they were to say yes, it produced some results and, yes, it was illegal or torturous.

For a group that so often decries "relative truth," their ability to change and morph on this issue is fascinating.

Arthurstone said...

Does it make any difference at all if torture produced 'some results' if it's illegal in the first place?

Shaw Kenawe said...



This has been a simple answer to a simple question.

Dave Miller said...

Arthur, not to me, but apparently to some.

But let me throw a wrench in all of this.

As people think about this, are we really more upset about the fact that the Bush Admin made this a sanctioned program, instead of keeping it in the dark, as it probably had been for many years?

James Wolfer said...

Dave, I think its both. Its the fact that it was a program. We had another program that later was realized to have violated human rights the last time we were attacked: after Pearl Harbor we denied Japanese-Americans (and later, German americans and italian americans) the right to freedom and imprisioned them in internment camps.

After 9/11 we started torturing our POWs and decided that even US citizens could be denied rights if suspected of terrorism.

TRUTH 101 said...

Spiro Agnew was known as the Law and Order Vice President among other things. He was on the receiving end of some law and order and had to resign his office. To not investigate and prosecute those that knowingly violated our laws against torture would be a slap in the face of Vice President Agnew and everyone else who believes in the rule of law.

Dave Miller said...

Pretty good point Truth. I remember old Spiro and his tax issues.

I am not sure his problems were a result of his tenure in office though, and as such, maybe not covered by the famous "It's legal if I say it is legal" Nixon White House.

dmarks said...

James said: "after Pearl Harbor we denied Japanese-Americans (and later, German americans and italian americans) the right to freedom and imprisioned them in internment camps."

That's a big hole in my knowledge of WW2. I had no idea there were German-American and Italian-American prison camps in the US too.

James Wolfer said...

I learned about it today, too.

From wikipedia's article

Upon the bombing of Pearl Harbor and pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act, Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527 were issued designating Japanese, German and Italian nationals as enemy aliens.[20] Information from the CDI was used to locate and incarcerate foreign nationals from Japan, Germany and Italy (although Germany or Italy didn't declare war on the U.S. until December 11).

Presidential Proclamation 2537 was issued on January 14, 1942, requiring aliens to report any change of address, employment or name to the FBI. Enemy aliens were not allowed to enter restricted areas. Violators of these regulations were subject to "arrest, detention and internment for the duration of the war."

James Wolfer said...

and some more from the same article:

After the Pearl Harbor attacks, Roosevelt authorized his attorney general to put into motion a plan for the arrest of individuals on the potential enemy alien lists. Armed with a blanket arrest warrant, the FBI seized these men on the eve of December 8, 1941. These men were held in municipal jails and prisons until they were moved to Department of Justice detention camps, separate from those of the Wartime Relocation Authority (WRA). These camps operated under far more stringent conditions and were subject to heightened criminal-style guard, despite the absence of criminal proceedings.

Crystal City, Texas, was one such camp where Japanese Americans, German Americans, Italian Americans, and a large number of US-seized, Axis-descended nationals from several Latin-American countries were interned.
I never learned this in my history class (or I slept through it, doh!)

dmarks said...

I wonder, though, how many there were? Of the Italian-Americans and German-Americans?

Let's check Wikipedia. The German- and Italian-American pages are linked through the popular Japanese-American page.

They report 15,500 German-Americans and a little less than 250 Italians. Not a trivial number, I think. Interesting.

I've never seen this reported as a stain on American civil liberties, like the Japanese-Internment has. Sure, it is a much smaller number than the Japanese-Americans, but I think it counts.



Back to the subject of the blog post, both Obama and McCain have tried to play both sides of the torture/etc "lets move on and forget it" vs "hold all accountable" issue.

The President has done a much much better job of playing both sides than McCain, and has earned only a small amount of criticism for it.

James Wolfer said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, Bush broke the law and we went after Clinton for much less...
On the other, we never went after FDR for it. But FDR didn't have legal precedent and pre-existing Congressional law saying it is illegal, while Bush went against all of that.

As for Obama, no matter what he does, he will be roasted by someone, especially the right. They cannot praise him for anything and will find whatever they can to try and throw him under the bus. I mean, c'mon, they've been talking impeachment since November's election.

Carl F. said...

The Republican Party is now the party of extremists.

A majority of Americans do not agree with the GOP and reject their spokesman: Rush Limbaugh.

You can't win elections with 13 million people--Rush's audience.

Stick a fork in the GOP. They're done.

TRUTH 101 said...

They're done until the Democrats screw up and give them a way back in Carl. I hope you're correct for a long time though.

James' Muse said...

It is funny (not really) that they say "torture works" but can't give any examples (other than Cheney's loudmouthing nonsense of "secret memos" that he's supposedly seen...

James' Muse said...

Its like they are confusing Jack Bauer with GWB.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

Carl F: "The Republican Party is now the party of extremists."

And 46% of the public is "extremists" ? That's half when you round to the nearest 5. Seems more like a victory of hyperbole of the "you don't agree with me? You are a kook!" type.

"You can't win elections with 13 million people--Rush's audience."

You don't show in national Presidential elections with 60,000,000 voters if you only have 13,000,000. It's the most basic arithmetic. And that is from when the number of voters is put to the test: an actual election. It cuts through all the spin about Limbaugh and extremists.

"Stick a fork in the GOP. They're done."

A little bit Custerish. Then come the elections... especially mid-term elections when the "out" party usually advances. Then the fork-stickers will say. "Hey, where did all these voters come from? That's not 13 million!!!!"

And yes, I've heard Republicans (when ahead) say the exact same sort of arrogant things like this that Dems say. Rumors of the other party's demise are always exaggerated, and amount to hubris for the winners.

GOP strategists would advise the Dems: "Go ahead, ignore us. Greatly underestimate our numbers. Insult everything we stand for (including stands held by half of the voters in the country). Pretend we don't exist, and don't even bother to compaign against us."

Truth: I wonder if you were one of those who called for bipartisanship and balance-of-power (when it came to political parties) during the past 8 years :)

Carl F. said...


I'm NOT a registered Democrate. I'm unaffiliated.

I've looked at the numbers, especially the party young people are registering with. The data show the Democratic Party new registration outnumbers Republican new registration two to one.

That is not good. The Republican Party has lost an entire generation, just like the Dems did under Ronald Reagan.

It's not hubris to state the obvious.

The GOP handed itself over to the radical fringe and what is the result?

It's would be as though the Dems handed their party over to Abbie Hoffman in the 60s.

Americans don't go for extremists on either end of the spectrum.

Americans support a woman's privacy and right to abortion, the younger generation has no problem with accepting gay people and treating them with respect and equality. None. And a majority of Americans want some sort of healthcare coverage.

The GOP does not embrace those issues.

Look what they did to John McCain because he wasn't a purist on the radical right's core issues. That's why he had to choose that joke of a woman as his running mate.

She drove away independents and every other rational voter.

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, you're going to get a tongue lashing from dmarks; he loves his Sarah.

Arthurstone said...

This is quite good.