Tortured Logic: The Long And Winding Goad

Today, it’s another inane installment of the continuing saga of the GOP’s longest-running program wherein the buck stops anywhere but here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the overwrought and not-so-dulcet tones of Kit Bond and friends, in Accountability For Thee, But Not For Me:

U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) was joined by U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other senators today to express concern about recent reports that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder intends to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists.

“We are deeply concerned by recent news reports that you are ‘poised to appoint a special prosecutor’ to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists. Such an investigation could have a number of serious consequences, not just for the honorable members of the intelligence community, but also for the security of all Americans,” the senators wrote in a letter to Holder.

Shorter GOP: "No matter what illegal and unethical policies we may have championed or enabled, no matter what illegal activities may have been perpetrated, no matter what agencies of the federal government we have helped to corrupt, manipulate or mangle…accountability is only for the other guys. Never, ever for us."

If they were at least manning up to the need for investigations of illegality that reach however high such misconduct may have occurred, I might have the slightest glimmer of respect for them. Because, frankly, leaving line agents holding the bag for Dick Cheney, David Addington and the neocon crew isn’t exactly appropriate, now is it?

But nope, that’s not their point.

It’s bad enough that the special prosecutor mandate doesn’t seem broad enough at this juncture to encompass policy making at all levels. Because that sends a signal that if you hold power, you aren’t held to account. Only the little guy is.

Is it any wonder that so many things in this country are a mess right now when "look the other way" is considered appropriate behavior from our leadership?

I wouldn’t condone that as an excuse from my 6 year old. And I’m sure as hell not going to accept it from a sitting Senator who takes an oath to uphold the laws of this country and its constitution.

Emptywheel, Spencer, CCR, Glenn and the ALCU have more on the CIA docs.  I’m still reading through — looks like it will be a highlighter and post-its kinda week.

(H/T to reader wb.)

 
70 Responses to "Tortured Logic: The Long And Winding Goad"
Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 05:13 am 1

Morning all. Need more coffee. Day two of the school year this morning — The Peanut is still excited about getting up and going, let’s hope it continues. :)

How are things with everyone else?


RevBev | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:14 am 2

I only heard a bit, Morning Edition, NPR: LawProf from Duke…Legal Ethics. I only heard part, comments on the investigation. Sounded interesting, may be online


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:16 am 3
In response to RevBev @ 2

Will look that up — thanks. We walked to school this morning, so I didn’t get my usual NPR drive-time listening in today. (Am trying to walk more when the weather is good to save gas and also get some exercise…)

Any particulars on the report that you found most intriguing?


billybugs | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:20 am 4

Screw you I’m a Senator and you’re not ,I can do what I want . And what are you going to do ? Vote me out of office? I’ll have a job as a lobbiest at three or four times what I’m making now.
So go ahead whiney little voter I can do what I please , and I do!
So take your best shot you can’t hurt me !


IntelVet | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:20 am 5

.. to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists.

Who will set these congressmen straight?

1. Their status was unknown whether they were “al Qaeda” or not.

2. Their status was unknown whether they were “terrorists” or not.

Who will hold their feet to the fire?


JimWhite | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:21 am 6
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 1

Morning, Christy. It’s the second day here, too, and with our older one off at college, we now are back on driving duty for our younger one. Got some brownies to send off in a goodie package later this morning…

I keep going back to Jason Leopold’s article on what real intelligence professionals think of torture. It’s worth a read.


ghostof911 | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:24 am 7
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 1

Morning Christy. Things are going well.

It was mentioned in the previous thread that because there are allegations of torture involving children, the public will start paying attention. Kyl, Bond, Sessions et al might want to be concerned about being on the wrong side of that debate.


Diane | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:24 am 8

Morning Christy, I think you’ll need several to shower several times today if you plan on reading those docs.

Love that the party that stands for law & order, only does so if the law can’t reach them.

Unfortunately, they will win the message war. Americans (humans) are vengeful & I don’t imagine human rights advocates will prevail in changing opinion on the tortue issue. The eye for an eye creed is too entrenched. The CIA (government) can get away with anything to protect our country – the R’s don’t want government protecting our health.


DWBartoo | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:26 am 9

Good morning, Christy.

Peanut will continue to love school and especially learning, taking after her parents …

And the GOP will continue to ride their mindless hobby-horses into well-deserved oblivion.

The D’s are taking after THEM …

Not to hold THEM to account, unfortunately … but to emulate … blue dawgs, can’t ya find a better tune to dance to?

But, the people are stirring.

As you know Christy, the G-20 summit will be in Pittsburgh, Sept. 24-25, and the scare stories are mushrooming, “The protesters are terrorists!!!” being the main theme.

May have a little more on these stories later.

DW


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:27 am 10
In response to ghostof911 @ 7

I would like to think so — although the fact that threats were made regarding those children has been known for quite a while. Maybe having it in stark language and not just as someone else’s statement will make a difference in media reportage, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’m sadly cynical these days, I’m afraid.


RAMA | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:27 am 11

I read the senators’ statement but it seems to me they somehow left out three very important words from their complaint. As written, their inadvertently truncated sentence reads: ““We are deeply concerned by recent news reports that you are ‘poised to appoint a special prosecutor’ to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists.”

As corrected, it ought to read: ““We are deeply concerned by recent news reports that you are ‘poised to appoint a special prosecutor’ to investigate CIA officials who interrogated, tortured, and murdered al Qaeda terrorists.

I’m sure their statement will be updated quite soon…right?…so they can continue to celebrate the murder of prisoners in U.S. custody.


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:28 am 12
In response to Diane @ 8

Yeah — I was busy yesterday with some parent association duties I’ve been asked to assume for The Peanut’s school, and a host of other first day of school related things as well. Juggling momma-hood and legal reading isn’t always the easiest thing in the world…


barbara | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:28 am 13

If ethical humanity is not their cup of teabags, perhaps this will do:

- Geneva Conventions gutted
- prisoners tortured
- Americans captured
- Geneva Conventions gutted
- prisoners tortured
- foreit righteous indignation


klynn | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:30 am 14

…but also for the security of all Americans,”

Wow, if that is not a threat. Are they suggesting something they think they will do?

U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) was joined by U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other senators…

Dear Republicans. So you choose to keep the 1% of cancer cells and allow a tumor to grow, instead of removing them?

How many of them were aware of the 1%? I think we need to start asking.


barbara | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:32 am 15
In response to klynn @ 14

Great analogy. Metastatic evil.


demi | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:32 am 16

Hi, hi, Christy. Maybe your not cynical, maybe just realistic. After all, look how many parents didn’t/don’t mind raising children to become casualties in someone else’s wars.


SouthernDragon | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:34 am 17
In response to DWBartoo @ 9

Left ya one at 51 downstairs. Now I really gotta get outta here.

Namaste


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:34 am 18
In response to RAMA @ 11

Sadly, not holding my breath on a statement update, either.


RevBev | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:34 am 19
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 3

No, I really hit the end of it…so want to explore it myself. But the brief windup sounded interesting/relevant. Sorry.


InnocentBystander | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:34 am 20

Sounds like a thinly veiled threat to me. I’d haul these jokers in and give DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSC a go at debriefing them. What information do these people have tying a legitimate investigation to an AQ attack. Is AQ now looking out for the Republican Party’s best interests? Make them cough up the evidence on this potential attack. Might have to use enhanced interrogation techniques (no torture, though).


klynn | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:35 am 21
In response to barbara @ 15

Yep. And at one percent, 99% of doctors would be confident in restoration of health if treated properly.


BlueCrow | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:38 am 22

“Shorter GOP: ‘No matter what illegal and unethical policies we may have championed or enabled, no matter what illegal activities may have been perpetrated, no matter what agencies of the federal government we have helped to corrupt, manipulate or mangle. . . accountability is only for the other guys. Never, ever for us.’”

This is the dogma of The Family as depicted in Jeff Sharlet’s book of the same name. It’s “Jesus+0,” the idea that they are acting in support of his will and therefore can do no wrong because everything happens according to God’s will. Bizarre, but highly effective in subordinating many people’s will to theirs.

It’s really scary out here.


Diane | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:39 am 23

Still taking care of your father-in-law?


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:39 am 24
In response to ghostof911 @ 7

I’d love the clip of yoo saying it’s fine for the president to crush the testicles of children to go viral right about now


DWBartoo | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:40 am 25
In response to SouthernDragon @ 17

Saw it and left a response, SD

Namaste


wigwam | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:42 am 26

I strongly agree with Senators Kyl, Bond, and Sessions that:

Such an investigation could have a number of serious consequences, not just for the honorable members of the intelligence community, but also for the security of all Americans.

Where there are credible allegations of violations of federal law it is the duty of the America’s top law-enforcement officer to have those allegations investigated. And if those allegations are confirmed, there should indeed be serious consequences. I the case at hand, the honorable members of the the intelligence community would get to tell the perpetrators of federal crimes: “I told you this was going to get your sorry ass in trouble.”


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:42 am 27
In response to Diane @ 23

He’s staying with my brother-in-law for a bit. We are doing a sort of “grandpa timeshare” so that all the grandkids can get time with him — we’ve hit that stage in life where time is precious, and we’re all trying to make the most of it.


Leen | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:43 am 28

Hoping we can get Jim Whites new post more attention
Important challenge

Attorney General Holder: What Happened to KSM’s Children? Release All of Paragraph 95!
http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/7511

“There will be no way to put this awful episode of torture behind us until we know where the children of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are and if they have been mistreated while in US custody. As I pointed out this diary, two children of Aafia Siddiqui also are missing.

I call on Attorney General Holder to release the remainder of paragraph 95 of the OIG report and to provide a public report on the location and well being of all four children discussed here. No matter the crimes of their parents, innocent children should never be used as pawns by our government. The behavior disclosed so far is shocking and abhorrent. Unfortunately, the extensive redaction of this section and the continued silence from the government regarding these children raise the possibility that information that is significantly more shocking has been concealed.”


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:44 am 29
In response to perris @ 24

the link of yoo saying it’s fine crushing testicles of children;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz01hN9l-BM


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:46 am 30
In response to perris @ 29

I remember the first time I watched that video — and how sick to my stomach I felt at the callousness of his delivery. It’s breathtakingly devoid of any humanity.


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:48 am 31
In response to wigwam @ 26

It is beyond me how they can internally justify and reconcile the fact that credible allegations of legal wrongdoing exist, but that the DOJ ought to bury them and gloss them over.


klynn | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:49 am 32
In response to perris @ 29

He used the words, “I think it depends…”

Sick. Absolutely sick man.


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:52 am 33
In response to BlueCrow @ 22

You know, it’s funny but my Sunday school teachers always taught that you were to live your values and your faith, not rely on forgiveness as a means to behave badly and then get redeemed over and over again. Moreover, that whole “do unto others” Golden Rule wasn’t supposed to just be a suggestion that you could feel free to ignore.

Clearly, they go to a whole different version of churchiness…


klynn | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:53 am 34
In response to klynn @ 32

And it begs the question, “Mr. President, why did you think you needed to do that?”


IntelVet | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:55 am 35
In response to InnocentBystander @ 20

Is AQ now looking out for the Republican Party’s best interests?

After bin Laden’s “statement” three days before the 2004 presidential elections, you have to ask?


klynn | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:57 am 36
In response to klynn @ 34

So Yoo wrote a justification for the President. He admits that by how he answered the question on his 2002 Memo.

If, the President thought he NEEDED to do THAT, why did the President need a memo in the first place?

Because, he knew he was breaking the law.

It’s that simple.


wigwam | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:58 am 37

And that is the thing that has to be demoralizing to the 99% of our intelligence community who knew this shit was wrong and said so at the time. They are the ones for whose morale I’m concerned. It’s an ongoing scandal for them to see assholes like Brennan promoted, praised, and protected.


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:58 am 38
In response to barbara @ 15

I really liked that, too — metastatic is a perfect descriptor, isn’t it? Through the whole of government and beyond.


DWBartoo | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:59 am 39

Regarding the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh …

From an article by Marty Levine in the “Pittsburgh City Paper” (INFO@STEELCITYMEDIA.COM)

The evidence that protesters are terrorists includes …

“A film of a burnt-out park campfire , allegedly left by tent-dwelling anarchists.”

“Graffiti under a bridge, bearing the obviously anarchist sentiment ‘WE the people …’”

“A secondhand tale, from a young man, ‘who did not want to be identified’, who said ‘he’d been told’ that some protesters had been renting homes on the South Side.”

“Anonymous police sources contending that protesters had been filming local landmarks, and were collecting ‘human waste’ to throw at cops.”

And another anonymous claim: ‘”People are going to die’ as a result of the protests.”

When asked about such claims, the response from the police is “none of that information is public.”

September looks to be interesting, as autumn comes to the City of Bridges.

DW


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 06:59 am 40
In response to demi @ 16

How did the job thing go, btw?


Badwater | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:00 am 41

Republics do not man up.


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:01 am 42
In response to wigwam @ 37

I cannot imagine all of the things folks in CIA, NSA, DOJ and elsewhere who had any sense of ethics and respect for the rule of law have had to do to maintain any internal compass on their own conduct and responsibilties. I know a number of people — really good people — left rather than be tainted by association. Others tried to stay and alleviate things as best they could from inside, hoping to be able to help pick up the pieces where they could then and now.

It’s a mess. That’s for sure.


Badwater | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:02 am 43
In response to IntelVet @ 35

Don’t forget, the Bush family business is cronyism and the bin Laden familes are long time cronies.


tjbs | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:02 am 44

What a piss poor example these senators make.
From their letter” CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists.” meaning guilty until you prove your innocence without a lawyer or contact with the outside world. We have our Starr Chambers to determine the truth weather they are witches or not.

Reading it further, do they object to investigating CIA officials who Tortured and executed SUSPECTS ?


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:02 am 45

Good Morning Christy and Pups.

busy yesterday with some parent association duties I’ve been asked to assume for The Peanut’s school, and a host of other first day of school related things as well. Juggling momma-hood and legal reading isn’t always the easiest thing in the world…

You’re such a good and generous soul Redd, never one to dodge responsibility etc. Just promise us you’ll be careful not to over-do. That school committee/parent association gambit can be a killer. Keep up the walking if and as you can, and volunteer likewise. Stay healthy for yourself and your whole family.

Scout’s honor? ;->


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:03 am 46
In response to wigwam @ 37

I kept saying didn’t I


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:04 am 47
In response to Badwater @ 43

I beleive, not only was bush’s grandfather a strong supporter of hitler and fascism but was intimately involved in the coup attempt against fdr

will look for a link


Diane | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:05 am 48

I am reminded of the three chimps “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:05 am 49

Clearly, they go to a whole different version of churchiness…

I believe it’s the “Do unto others before they can do unto you” sect, as I recall. ugly.


Leen | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:06 am 50

Anyone up for calling emailing, twitter the Diane Rehm show…they are talking about the document release and torture…this hour

Just had a comment make it threw yesterday. Anyone want to try Lots of people listening
drshow@wamu.org
1-800-433-8850
http://wamu.org/programs/dr/

10:00CIA Interrogations of Detainees

Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed a prosecutor to investigate whether CIA interrogators or contractors may have violated anti-torture laws: An update on the Obama administration counter terrorism policies.
Guests

H. Bryan Cunningham, attorney; former deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council, legal advisor to the CIA, and federal prosecutor.

R. Jeffrey Smith, reporter, Washington Post

David Cole, professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and author of “The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable”. Previous books include “Less Safe, Less Free,” and “Terrorism and the Constitution.”


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:06 am 51
In response to Adie @ 45

Well, in this case, it’s only something small — collecting various labels and mailing them in for the school to collect either rebate money and/or points to get equipment and such. Nothing huge.


Badwater | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:07 am 52
In response to Diane @ 48

…and the fourth chimp said “I’m the Decider.”


Diane | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:10 am 53
In response to Adie @ 45

Saw Christy on the panel @ Netroots via cspan, she looked great!


DWBartoo | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:11 am 54
In response to Badwater @ 52

That’s a keeper, Badwater.

Classic.


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:11 am 55

excellent. i hope you didn’t mind my intrusion. it’s just that these things can sometimes pile up until you have no “down” time at all.

p.s., Soooo glad to hear Peanut’s enjoying school. Well, of course she is. We oughta set up a blog pool to guess when your refrig. will be totally plastered with her school-related creations. I still miss those days. ;->


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:14 am 56
In response to Diane @ 53

likewise. silly, and yet not. all us fans out here in our jammies, listening thru the net , hooting and hollering “You Go Grrrrllll!” heh


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:17 am 57

That’s one of the most frightening aspects, when you think of all the good people who became so frustrated that they couldn’t stand it any more, saw no solutions available, and left service.


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:17 am 58
In response to perris @ 47

quick google search brings up this on top;

bush grandfather planned fascist coup in america


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:20 am 59

suppose I am in the cia, then suppose I refuse to break our law and I get as far away from the torture programs as possible

then suppose I see those involved with this crime the first promoted and I am overlooked.

then suppose the prospect of bringing these criminals to justice becomes possible

let me tell you, my moral would SOAR!


wigwam | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:21 am 60

Why should the investigation of credible allegation of violation of federal law be controversial in a nation dedicated to the rule of law?


Diane | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:21 am 61

What does everyone think about the CW that this is an intrusion into the healthcare debate?


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:22 am 62

gotta go gang. today’s the big day we get our mug shots taken for the – um – well, hecque of it. i’ve been practicing my best senior smile. hopeless. gotta just play it straight.


Badwater | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:22 am 63
In response to wigwam @ 60

Because making it controversial is the only cover the Republics have.


wigwam | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:23 am 64
In response to perris @ 46

Indeed, you did.


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:24 am 65
In response to perris @ 59

i like that. i’m gonna hang onto that thot and hope there’s a bunch out there who might just come forward. Thanks perris, also for the link.


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:25 am 66
In response to wigwam @ 64

oops

I guess it didn’t post

I kept saying the professionals in the cia were not on board, that those involved with torture programs were recruits of cheney, his “team b” that would do as he pleased under the guise of the cia


perris | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:27 am 67

adie, always good to see you, howz thingz?


wigwam | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:28 am 68
In response to Badwater @ 63

It suddenly dawns on me that the Villagers believe in the rule of men, not the rule of law. And that is why they insist that Obama has now suddenly “plunged himself into a debilitating controversy.”

To people who believe in the rule of law, the investigation of allegations of crime is a matter of course. So is the resulting prosecution, if the allegations are found to hold water. These things are to be expected. They are not matters that should cause “debilitating controversy.”

A wrongful conviction, however, would be a matter for serious controversy, a wrong in need of righting.


wigwam | Tuesday August 25, 2009 07:30 am 69
In response to perris @ 66

IIRC, you posted that point over at the early-morning swim.


Adie | Tuesday August 25, 2009 05:26 pm 70
In response to perris @ 67

we’re doing o.k., albeit distressingly out of touch.

I know Sherrod Brown surely must be attending county fair this week some time, just south of us. Thank heaven I see no need to shout at him. But I would like to meet him some time.

So, with what I’m given this period of time, I works the crowd, gently, ever so gently. heh. I like letting people make up their own minds, sometimes using info they hadn’t been aware of before. *g*

Thanks to you and the other pups. ;->


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