Scared Monkeys Discussion Forum

Current Events and Musings => Political Forum => Topic started by: Toler on May 21, 2009, 08:50:03 PM

Title: DC Smackdown: Advantage Cheney
Post by: Toler on May 21, 2009, 08:50:03 PM
DC Smackdown: Advantage Cheney
CBS News ^ | May 21, 2009 | (CBS) Pejman Yousefzadeh: Senior Editor of The New Ledger

Before weighing in on the split-screen showdown that occurred today in Washington, let me be clear about the views I have on the questions before us: I write as one who believes that waterboarding is counterproductive at best, and torture at worst.

I write as one who believes that torture rarely is justified. And I write as one who believes that the patient and ingratiating questioning of terrorists conducted by the FBI has done more to give the United States actionable intelligence than have the interrogation methods implemented by the CIA--methods that were used by people who meant well, but who did not get as much valuable intelligence as did their FBI counterparts.

It would be logical to assume, therefore, that I would be open to many of the arguments President Obama made concerning our anti-terror strategy, our system of prosecuting terrorist suspects, and our methods of interrogation. But I would be lying if I didn't say that I believe former Vice President Cheney had the better of the argument.

Judging forensics and rhetoric, it is clear that while President Obama came to make a speech, Vice President Cheney came to have a debate. The debater succeeded in making his points better than the speechmaker because while the President is justly celebrated for his vaunted eloquence, he phoned in his speech and thought that the use of pretty words alone would allow him to carry the day. Meanwhile, the Vice President--no one's idea of a charismatic rock star--was forced to make up for his lack of a silver tongue by tightly and carefully constructing reasoned arguments to support his position. It should come as no surprise that the Vice President was quite persuasive and a force to be reckoned with in the debate.

While the President's speech was the longer one, this length did not make it more thorough - in fact, there are so many holes in his remarks it is difficult to keep track of them all. He maintains that his decision to use military commissions is not a reversal of an earlier position because it is supposedly improves on the Bush Administration approach to the use of military commissions. By this, he means that the Obama Administration will supposedly give detainees greater access to quality representation, and will reform the rules against hearsay. But as the Wall Street Journal pointed out recently, under the Bush Administration, detainees already were the beneficiaries of pro bono legal representation from top-flight, white-shoe law firms.

Additionally, the hearsay rules were the same ones employed by the International Criminal Court, which liberals who support President Obama have repeatedly urged us to become subject to as a country. The President's protestations to the contrary, his decision to employ military commissions does constitute a reversal, one that belatedly acknowledges that the Bush Administration had some good ideas and good points to make about the use of such commissions.

The President tells us that decisions in the past were made out of "fear." This is a straw man argument, meant to denigrate the President's opponents without acknowledging that perhaps, just perhaps, they made their arguments in good faith. But even if we put that objection aside, as Commentary's John Podhoretz reminds us, fear was "the handmaiden of foresight" because it allowed us to think of the worst possible forms of terrorist attack that might take place, and to take action to prevent those scenarios from becoming reality. One can certainly overdose on fear, but the reason we feel fear is so that we can take action before actual harm comes to us. The President ignores this, and argues that fear necessarily equates to irrationality. He could not be more wrong.

More at link.

Title: Re: DC Smackdown: Advantage Cheney
Post by: WhiskeyGirl on May 21, 2009, 09:30:23 PM
Why the hurry to close the Guantanamo facility?  Did Obama give (or sell) the facility away to Cuba or China for redevelopment?  Maybe they break ground at the end of January 2010?  A vacation paradise to jump-start the Cuban economy? 

Tired old excuse "fear" - put that excuse ot bed.  The biggest threat to America is the fear produced by economic terrorism.  Massive debt - no money to keep the border secure, no will by the administration to ensure the safety of Americans.  No will in the Obama administration to secure the border from violence, drugs, guns, and human trafficing.  If the economy tanks further, there will be no money to keep America safe. 

Obama supporters in my circle are buying guns and preparing for rough times ahead.  No 'trust me' statements seem to work.  It is shocking how many are planning for economic survival, not revival.

Barack talks about 'our' values - who writes and changes those values daily?  Why did Barack throw those first in line for compensation during the Chrysler bankruptcy under the bus?  Those who lost retirement funds?  What happened to the value of the rule of law?  Seems like taxpayers keep losing money, others gain.  Will taxpayers lose more in the future?  Be providing warranty compensation for cars made in Mexico, China, and Korea? 

"This responsibility is only magnified in an era when an extremist ideology threatens our people, and technology gives a handful of terrorists the potential to do us great harm."

How 'bout the extremeist ideology that nationalizes everything in the nation?  The government supports expanded internet/wireless/broadband technology, and in the breath wants super control powers to shut it down?  Debt is the biggest security threat.

"We have re-energized a global non-proliferation regime to deny the world's most dangerous people access to the world's deadliest weapons, and launched an effort to secure all loose nuclear materials within four years."

The nuclear genie of destruction has been out of the bomb for more than fifty years.  How can you secure knowledge of how to create the nuclear materials?  Some of the 'smartest' people come from countries that are a threat to our nation.  Some of those, trained, and were educated here, and have internet access - with all it's knowledge, good and bad.

"These steps are all critical to keeping America secure. But I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run, we also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values."

Honor the FOX network FOIA request and divulge the information about the Federal Reserve.  Return to the fundamental values - abolish the Federal Reserve, return power to the states for the daily functions of government.  Keep the Federal hand out of my pocket.

Meanwhile, over 525 detainees were released from Guantanamo under the Bush administration.

Let me repeat that: Two-thirds of the detainees were released before I took office and ordered the closure of Guantanamo.

I trust the Bush administration did not release the scary detainees.  The ones that are left, are the real scary ones.  Good job Bush administration.

Has the Obama administration failed in it's responsibility to secure our violence torn borders?  Failed to keep citizens safe?  I do not recall such violence when Bush was in office.  It may have been bad, but not the horror it is today.  The Obama administration just wants to turn the other way and ignore the problem. 

How can you trust the Obama administration to do the right thing for Americans?  Any concern at all for all those whose lives are touched by border violence?  The drugs?  The human traffic?  The irresponsible use of guns?  The Obama administration just seem to target the folks that look after our safety as a nation, and as families - the backbone that makes this nation great.

People kill.  Guns do not.  Airplanes do not.   Is the Obama administration ignoring the core problem?  People who kill?  People who steal?  Criminals?

"...the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies."

Does the enemy really need another rally cry?  Isn't death of infidals enough?  Death to non-believers?  Gutting the pigs?  The towers were destroyed in NY long before GITMO housed all those people.  Bush did the right thing and let many go.  The hard core remain not only for Obama, but the president that comes after him.

Bush was tested eight months after becoming president.  I recall there were many security upgrades that needed to be made after 9/11.  The nation wasn't in good shape when Bush took control.  The nation was safe for 7.5 years.

"We will not be safe if we see national security as a wedge that divides America -- it can and must be a cause that unites us as one people, as one nation. "

Is the hammer driving the wedge named Obama?  King George?


Title: Re: DC Smackdown: Advantage Cheney
Post by: WhiskeyGirl on May 22, 2009, 07:05:59 AM
I listened to John McCain and others talk about torture.  I've also read or heard that many that go through military training are waterboarded as part of the training.  I've been told that this is to prepare them, should they get taken prisioner.  No one should suffer in pain.  If there was a perfect world, there would be no terror, there would be no torture, and there would be no pain.  I'm not sure that any preparation will lessen the pain. 

Why would anyone destroy airplanes, buildings, and human lives?  Are these the actions of rational, thinking, and caring individuals?  What did they hope to accomplish?  Did they maybe think they would make life better for their cause?  Maybe if we had just given them more money they wouldn't need to destroy? 

Are these the kind of people that think about consequences?  Worry about getting captured?

There is no doubt in my mind that those who suffered through the horror of 9/11 experienced terror, torture, and pain.  Many died that day, many survived, and many continue to suffer.  The 'lucky' ones are still alive. 

Wednesday morning, 9/12, should the nation have pretended that those horrible things never happened?  Business as usual? 

Where were the voices saying "Let's not give the terrorists another recruiting tool."  "Let's just pretend it didn't happen."  "Don't worry, be life is now pain free."  "Nothing to worry about, it won't happen again."  "It was just a few pranksters." ?

John McCain also said that if you torture someone long enough, they'll say anything, or tell you anything.  What does that mean?  A few things come to mind.  Does it mean they'll avoid the truth and start telling lies?  Or, does it mean that at some point, they'll start telling the truth?   Does the truth save lives?

What was the information extracted from these people?  Did it save lives?  Did it save people from terror, death, and pain?  Did the truth save lives?

Or, did they speak lies?  The waterboarding didn't make a difference?  Did lies save anyone?

In the end, thousands died, suffered horribly, and still suffer due to terrorists, airplanes, and man made destruction on 9/11.

The folks that were waterboarded, are they still alive?  What are there plans for the future?

America was assaulted and battered that day.  Does anyone in the Obama administration cry or stay awake worrying about America?  Does any of them have empathy for Americans that suffer?

Empathy for Americans seems to be missing in some of these discussions/positions.  Do any of those in the Obama administration know what it's like to jump from a burning building?  Do they know what it's like to die from horrible burns all over your body?  Can they feel any pain for the innocents in those airplanes, buildings, or city?  Any empathy at all?


Title: Re: DC Smackdown: Advantage Cheney
Post by: WhiskeyGirl on May 22, 2009, 07:15:08 AM
The world's deadliest weapons on September 11th, were human beings. 

How do you lock up terrorists?  If you take away their nuclear missiles, will they just use a mobile human assault weapon?  Do you give them a welfare check and hope they go away?

How do you stop bullies on the playground?  Do you just ignore them and hope they'll go away?  Do you put them in some kind of intervention program and hope they'll just go away?  What if they don't?

What if they keep coming?  How do you keep them from bullying?  Harming others?

How many did the waterboarding save?  What is the alternative?  Let these people go?  Let them pick up the pieces of their lives where they left off?

Maybe next time they'll go down with the plane?  Airplanes and deadly weapons didn't destroy lives and property on September 11, people did.