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A very uncomfortable question – Part 2 June 9, 2009

Posted by Paige of Quarrel in we're only gonna die.
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On the June 8th Countdown, Keith Olbermann asked:

If enhanced interrogation actually saves lives and the man who allegedly killed Dr. George Tiller says there are more attacks planned on abortion targets, shouldn’t we be subjecting that man to enhanced interrogation techniques?

True, it was asked rhetorically, but hopefully the idea doesn’t die off and some one will ask it of a Republican.

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A very uncomfortable question for Republicans June 8, 2009

Posted by Paige of Quarrel in we're only gonna die.
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Update: It looks like Keith Olbermann brought up this question in his #1 spot on tonight’s show.  Nice.

***

Two seemingly unrelated news items:

#1 – In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted May 20-23, 55% of Republicans (and 38% of Democrats) say physical abuse of terror suspects is sometimes OK.  Approximately 40% also support torture (compared to 27% of Dems).  We know that the majority of Republicans consistently poll as being opposed to abortion, and, as shown in the debate over recent abortion poll numbers in May, an arguably growing number of them believing it should never be legal even in cases where the woman’s health is in danger, a position that’s been pegged lately at around 20%.  Even though anecdotal evidence would say that the 20% who think abortion should never be legal and the 40% who support torture are probably far more aligned, let’s assume a minimum of around 8% of Republicans identify with both.  Even with this estimate, we know a number of high profile Republicans and commentators are definitely in this group.  Think Fox News channel.

#2 – Scott Roeder called the AP from Sedgwick County Jail to say that he has not been cooperating with investigators and will not until he speaks with his lawyer. He also said, “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal.”

This looks to me like the question to ask Fox News channel types right now: Roeder represents exactly the type of so-called “ticking time bomb” scenerio you’ve been using to justify torture of terror suspects.  Roeder is an anti-abortion terrorist, not a lone actor, and says he has knowledge of other “events planned around the country.”  He’s not talking right now.  To prevent the further loss of life in these other attacks, should we be torturing Scott Roeder for information right now?

If they could manage to answer that in anything that even resembles a cogent argument, they’re bound to lose some single-issue voters one way or the other.  I know they won’t be asked and I know they wouldn’t really answer, but this is yet another wedge in the fractured Republican Party.  The point should be pressed by the left wing, and it should be pressed now while both sides rally over healthcare.

Spy vs. Pol May 15, 2009

Posted by Paige of Quarrel in we're only gonna die.
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It appears the nation is caught in the midst of a classic she said, CIA said.  We’re being asked to chose between believing a career politician (never a good bet, IMO) and the top sekrit spy agency that carried out torture and doesn’t want to be investigated for it.

They both have something to gain by lying here and both sides keep changing their arguments and Pelosi was not allowed to keep notes about her single briefing but the CIA was, only we’re not allowed to see those notes (although Republican Senator Kit Bond was?!).  This is like a bad episode of The People’s Court.  Only this episode isn’t about a broken electric bicycle.  It’s about war crimes.

I choose option C.  I don’t believe any of them.  This is why I absolutely think Obama, the Congress and the country should move on and forget about truth and reconciliation or prosecution or any of it.  Why?  There are tons of countries out there that now have universal jurisdiction and are probably much better positioned to assess what really happened.  America can’t be in charge of figuring out if America did something wrong.  That’s like letting Sudan investigate itself.  It makes no sense.  We weren’t waterboarding Americans (that we know about yet).  This was a crime against citizens of other countries and other signatories to the Conventions should be able to investigate (and prosecute).

Let’s stop having this pointless back and forth right now, move on with fixing our economy, our broken system that allowed this all to happen, and our reputation and agree to abide by the findings of the ICC.

P.S. – You know how every single time the CIA has something to be defensive about they hold a press conference in front of that wall with all the stars for lost agents?  Can we call shenanigans on that?  Yes, spies died.  That kinda goes along with the job, right?  It shouldn’t be the backdrop – literally- for every discussion we have as a nation about when they might have crossed the line.  That’s like the Pentagon holding all its briefings in front of Arlington Cemetery or the White House making major policy speeches in Dealey Plaza.