Tortured Logic: Dangers Of The Slippery Slope

PBS Now recently interviewed Lt. Col. Stuart Couch on our treatment of detainees and the dangers of the slippery slope of torture. Couch is incredibly honest and open in the interview, and it makes for some compelling viewing.

As Couch Says:

We cannot compromise our respect for the dignity of every human being. And that goes to somebody that is alleged to have committed heinous crimes against citizens of this country. That doesn’t change the immutable characteristic that they’re still a human being, and it’s a slippery slope that in the name of national security we decide to compromise that. If we compromise that, then al-Qaeda has been able to affect much more of an impact on this country than they have by driving a couple of planes into the World Trade Center or crashing one into the Pentagon. Because they’ve torn at the very fabric of who we are as Americans.

I’ve been saying this for a long time: if we sacrifice the rule of law for a false sense of security, then we have cravenly given up our souls to pretend we are safe. Which means we hand Osama Bin Laden the victory he was seeking by our own hands.

As Philippe Sands says in his part of the full show:

The U.S. has a unique position around the world. There is no country that is more closely associated with the rule of law. That has given the United States, for good and for bad, a tremendous moral authority around the world. If the U.S. loses that moral authority, it will become that much more difficult for the United States…to protect itself.

In an era where we have yet to fully own up to what has been done in our name, and where the Obama administration is currently fighting to keep some of the evidence of this misconduct hidden from public scrutiny, there will always be questions about what was done and by whose orders.

It is an ugly truth that whatever has been done will eventually come out, and the damage from those illegal actions will be enormous. But if we try to hold it in and cover it up? That will only allow that damage to fester and speculation to run even more rampant — which means when it does come out much later, things will be far worse.

Behold the America that Dick Cheney wrought by making decisions forged in fear and not in law. No matter how many changes we make in our current policies, the ghosts of illegal decisions past haunt us still.

Much more from ProPublica.


 
46 Responses to "Tortured Logic: Dangers Of The Slippery Slope"
Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday September 15, 2009 05:08 am 1

If you have the time, watch the full report — you can find it here.


demi | Tuesday September 15, 2009 05:51 am 2

Good Morning, Christy
Don’t the Adults in DC remember what they learned as children? The longer you hold the lie, the worse the stomach ache gets, and when it finally comes out, and it always does, the consequences are worse. And, the longer the slope, the harder the impact is when you reach the bottom.


Christy Hardin Smith | Tuesday September 15, 2009 06:03 am 3
In response to demi @ 2

The consequences are always so much worse, aren’t they? And the waiting is pure agony because you know it eventually all spills out in the end.


demi | Tuesday September 15, 2009 06:18 am 4

The other metaphor I was thinking about is how when you let the fleas and ticks on the dog go untreated, well, it just gets out of control.


klynn | Tuesday September 15, 2009 06:54 am 5

Because they’ve torn at the very fabric of who we are as Americans.

My parents stated on 9/11, “I will not live in fear nor allow our country’s foundations of freedom to be destroyed because THAT is the desired effect of today’s tragedy. Fear that destroys freedom”

And they were/are so correct.

If you look at 9-11 through a lens of espionage, it takes on an interesting growth pattern as an act. Everything that followed 9-11 was more espionage based than “protection of a nation” based.

Not to put my tin foil on…


nonplussed | Tuesday September 15, 2009 06:58 am 6

The day The buildings fell, as crass as it sounds, my first thoughts were of the Governmental reaction to the day’s events. I was very concerned of the impact upon our civil liberties, believing that hysteria would take hold and the terrorists to accomplish their goals. The people in charge are apparently too foolish to realize exactly how accommodating they have been, as they have ceded one cherished belief after another, be it a Constitutional Right, an ethical value, or just an element of plain old common sense to irrational fear.


demi | Tuesday September 15, 2009 06:59 am 7

(psst….Christy, please see comments 16 – 22 on Gregg Levine’s Now THAT’s Terry post. Just a heads up.)


foothillsmike | Tuesday September 15, 2009 07:00 am 8

Behold the America that Dick Cheney wrought by making decisions forged in fear and not in law

I am not sure that Cheney’s actions were forged in fear but rather anger and retribution.


klynn | Tuesday September 15, 2009 07:07 am 9

The U.S. has a unique position around the world. There is no country that is more closely associated with the rule of law. That has given the United States, for good and for bad, a tremendous moral authority around the world. If the U.S. loses that moral authority, it will become that much more difficult for the United States…to protect itself.

I have written often in comments that our only trump card diplomatically was our moral authority based on the rule of law.

Someone saw “that” as where to strike. Destroy moral authority based on the rule of law, and you render the US powerless.

And, I’ll add, if you look at other terror attacks on US soil and US entities (military and diplomatic compounds) there really is no swirling of espionage actions around those terror attack.


bgrothus | Tuesday September 15, 2009 07:20 am 10

Yes, as our economic power fades, moral authority is a compelling accounting. But we have lost that, and we are not working hard enough to get it back.

Perhaps patience will be a virtue here, but as Dawn Johnsen falls farther down the ladder of importance, it does not seem as though we are headed toward that high road any time soon.


ybnormal | Tuesday September 15, 2009 07:41 am 11

“…the ghosts of illegal decisions past haunt us still.”

How true – and reality will haunt us too.

In this Der Spiegel interview with John Helgerson, who “…was responsible for drawing up the 2004 report into CIA interrogations of terror suspects which has now been released by the Obama administration”, when the interviewer asks about torturing Zubaydah in March ‘02, well before the first authorizing memorandum in Aug ‘02:

Did the lawyer who signed the memorandum simply authorize a technique months after this technique had already been applied?

Helgerson answers:

“My problem is I cannot go beyond the published report. But you are basically right. There was some legal advice given orally to the CIA that had then been followed up by memorandums months later.”

– Retroactive legalization


foothillsmike | Tuesday September 15, 2009 07:51 am 12
In response to ybnormal @ 11

Sounds like Nixon saying the law is what I say it is.


DWBartoo | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:02 am 13

As you say, Christy, “it” will all eventually come out …

Anyone capable of operating even a little ways up the thought chain certainly must know this reality, or be able to imagine its likely “outcome”.

Yet, clearly, the Political Cla$$, of which President Obama is merely a practicing member, seem defiantly unable and unwilling to grasp that essential truth and to act, rationally and reasonably upon it.

Just as clearly, there are obvious “reasons” why this is so.

Yet we will not pursue these “reasons” to their illogical conclusions.

It simply isn’t done.

The fact that what HAS been done, was done in our names, that is you and me, and every other American flesh and blood human being, appears to little vex the average American.

Likewise, the fact that of all the monies spent on “defense” on this rather crowded little planet, the largest amount, more than half of it, is spent in OUR names, seems to attract little notice or even curious interest.

That huge amounts have been spent to bail out the “too big to fail”, oddly enough, has been noticed.

Far be it from me to suggest that that is not a good thing.

But one wonders; “Why is it that the public notice certain things, and not others?”

And then, we slowly realize that most people really do not wish to think for themselves.

Fortunately, for those who do not wish to engage in the messy business of thinking things through, there are those, willing, if not actually “able”, to tell the thinking- averse precisely “what” to think (with “talking points” etc.), “how” to think, and even “what” to do.

When one hears that the movie about Darwin cannot find an American distributor because the subject is “too controversial”, then one wonders.

When it is socially unacceptable to suggest that older folks should have some “end of life” plans with which to deal with the inevitable reality all flesh and blood humans face, because to do so reminds people (grownups, ostensibly) that they are going to die and that is not a nice thing to do.

And silly me, I worry that the species, itself, may be facing an untimely demise …

Owing primarily to an unwillingness to change some bad “habits” or even, so it would seem, to consider doing so.

Ending war might be a good idea, for example, but, habitually, it is just simply too danged profitable for an elite few (and, to be blunt, about the only thing America can claim “exceptional” domination in the pursuit of, these days).

On the bright side, not a single solitary flesh and blood person, with whom I have shared the “news”, seems thrilled or happy that America determined that it could torture children.

Adults? We’re still working on it.

Thank you Christy, for being on the “frontlines”, for doing the manifold things you do (including some of the most-thoughtful and humane of writing), and the encouragement and example you daily offer the rest of us.

DW


Leen | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:22 am 14

thanks for this Christy.

The big problem we all ready slipped big time the whole world knows it. Now the question is can we regain footing.

Not much attention being given to OBL’s recent release.

The other day on Washington Journal I got through with James Kitfield. He attempted to dismiss the anger in the middle east about the occupation of Palestinian lands and the expansion of illegal settlements
“James Kitfield joins us to discuss his recent trip to Spain to investigate their efforts in thwarting al Qaeda, largely seen after the 2004 Madrid Bombing. He also describes how those and other efforts lend to increase security in the United States. ”

I asked about Al Queda’s intentions and paid homage to the innocent people who were murdered on 9/11
http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Me…..ndent.aspx

His explanation of why Al Queda is so pissed off with the U.S. is in direct contradiction to almost every thing that the former head of OBL unit has said about Al Queda’s intentions and why they are so pissed off
Toward a Sensible Israel Policy
http://www.antiwar.com/scheuer/?articleid=5281

Bill Maher clearly did not like what Micheal Scheurr had to say about our policies involving Israel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF4_oaTIH8g

Nothing about the expansion of illegal settlements on the MSM (not on Rachel.s , Keith’s ) you know the liberal media


demi | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:31 am 15
In response to DWBartoo @ 13

DW, as always, you’re a peach. One quibble though, regarding our species disappearing. What’s the determination of timely or untimely? Crazy me. I’m tring to think for myself.
Hope you have a great day.


Leen | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:39 am 16
In response to DWBartoo @ 13

“And silly me, I worry that the species, itself, may be facing an untimely demise …”

That was one my gurus George Carlins take on the survival of humans

This is the best
“nothing wrong with the planet the planet is fine…the people are fucked”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyxuVFzKypU


Cellar47 | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:49 am 17

It’s perfectly obvious “who we are.”

This country was founded on rape, theft, and wholesale genocide on the grandest scale imaginable.

We are behaving true to form.


Leen | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:50 am 18

Just watched the clip again. People like Couch give me hope


JimWhite | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:55 am 19

Thanks, Christy. It is indeed our moral authority that has been sacrificed when Cheney unilaterally took us over to “the dark side”. Getting it back will not be fast or easy, especially with Obama fighting accoutability.

Now off to watch the video…


perris | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:58 am 20

saying programs of torture tear our soul preaches to the quire

the fact is we get less information, create more terrorists and more terrorist events, more enemies, fewer allies when we torture


DavidByron | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:02 am 21

What an oily sickening set of jingoist statements from those guys. USA! USA! USA! We’re number one even when we’re actually the worst in the world. “The U.S. has a unique position around the world.” Really? Uniquely awful perhaps? Where do people get off making these oily statements. And we all have to pretend its true! These guys are the torture apologist equivalent of saying, “My biggest flaw is that I am just too hard working.” in a job interview.

The truth is there’s no slippery slope for America on torture. America is and has been for a long time, the leading country on torture and terrorism. We’re number one on something alright, but it isn’t, “There is no country that is more closely associated with the rule of law.” It’s that US torture and death squad training are second to none. US state and state sponsored terrorism is second to none. If there’s a slippery slope the US is at the bottom of that slope and busy digging a big hole. Al-Qaeda would represent a huge step UP in morality from the US government — after all Osama was just an employee. We taught him all he knows, we didn’t teach him all we know.

And then there’s the lovely propaganda bit about how Al-Qaeda hates us for our strong moral values.

“If we compromise that, then al-Qaeda has been able to affect much more of an impact on this country than they have by driving a couple of planes into the World Trade Center or crashing one into the Pentagon. Because they’ve torn at the very fabric of who we are as Americans.”

Actually Al-Qaeda mainly just wants to stop America murdering hundreds of thousands of Muslims. Those bastards! Now if they could effect that change I would agree that they would have really changed America’s values.


DavidByron | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:06 am 22

This statement by Christy is back to front:

I’ve been saying this for a long time: if we sacrifice the rule of law for a false sense of security

The exact opposite happened: the government sacrificed our sense of security to enable it to ignore the rule of law.

Think about it.


rxbusa | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:18 am 23
In response to foothillsmike @ 8

Oh I definitely think it was fear. If I step away from my own anger and just look at him from a few steps back, I perceive a cowardly, fearful person. One who mistakes cruelty for toughness.


Leen | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:20 am 24

ot
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/I…..52009.html
Israel violated international law during Gaza war: UN

We can be assured that those liberal MSM folks Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow will not be reporting anything about this tonight


Cujo359 | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:25 am 25

But if we try to hold it in and cover it up? That will only allow that damage to fester and speculation to run even more rampant — which means when it does come out much later, things will be far worse.

I try to imagine what would have happened had Germany and Japan been allowed to ignore their crimes at the end of WWII. The inevitable conclusion is that we would have fought more wars with them, because nothing would have changed. It’s only when people are confronted with the reality beneath their own myths about themselves that they start to contemplate who they really want to be.


TobyWollin | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:27 am 26

And let’s see now – can we pick a group that has not been demonized over the past 10 years? The Right did its job extremely well and now, even when the Bush/Cheney Regime is no longer in power, all the fear and anger that they helped to gin up – is coming to full flower in the groups that come out and are spewing racist-based garbage against basically anyone who is not them.

“Carefully Taught”

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein III

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear;
you’ve got to be taught from year to year;
it’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear;
you’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
of people who’s eyes are oddly made,
and people whose skin is a different shade;
you’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late;
before you are six or seven or eight,
to hate all the people your relatives hate;
you’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be carefully taught!


Cujo359 | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:30 am 27
In response to Cujo359 @ 25

[For some reason, the part after the quote didn’t appear]

I sometimes wonder what would have happened had Germany and Japan been allowed to ignore their own crimes at the end of WWII. I think the obvious conclusion is that we would have fought another war, maybe two by now. Until people are made to confront the reality of who they are, they won’t change. It’s only after we realize who we are that we can realistically decide what we want to be.


tjbs | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:33 am 28

We’re insane, plain and simple.
Insane people start wars of aggression.
Insane people torture.
Insane people lock up people for profit.
Insane people believe we’re number 1 at ?Death and death machinery and wholesale destruction.
Insane people pull triggers on drones “just following orders”.
Insane people run an off shore torture /death camp and act like those tortured are the worst of the worst when the insane torturers who are the most vile humans are employed by us.
Insane people expect A.G. Eric Holder to DETAIN the worst war criminal alive today, DICK CHENEY, by law as REQUIRED by the Convention Against Torture.
Insane people watch death cheney on Sunday talk shows from his estate ,brought and paid for with GI ’s blood and the fruits of torture.


yakative | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:34 am 29

Many thoughtful and “tortured” responses. I find it difficult to imagine anyone countering Couch’s (or Christy’s) statements. I prefer to look at this hopefully as one responder. Let’s not beat ourselves up too much about this. There is something left to fight for in this world.


ybnormal | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:41 am 30
In response to foothillsmike @ 12

RE
In response to ybnormal @ 11 (show text)
Sounds like Nixon saying the law is what I say it is.

Yes, or in this case, making the law what we CYA by making it as.


ybnormal | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:44 am 31
In response to DavidByron @ 22

Your comment strikes me as going off on a tangent. The issue is not whether your’s or Christy’s views are the chicken or the egg. The issue is that the process has been started, and the cycle continues.


Cujo359 | Tuesday September 15, 2009 09:44 am 32
In response to tjbs @ 28

I think what Glenn Greenwald calls “the myth of American exceptionalism” explains an awful lot about why these things happen. There are people who honestly wonder aloud why anyone would want to attack us. They either don’t know, or ignore as liberal propaganda, the things we have done that have led to this. Why is that? One reason is that the folks who run things don’t want the truth told.

A number of years ago, the Smithsonian did an exhibit on what happened between indigenous Americans and the incoming European population. Originally, one of the plaques said something along the lines that settlers often tried to exterminate Indians, which was true. Our Senator at the time, Slade Gorton, objected to this as being somehow anti-American, and the plaque was changed to say something along the lines of that there were big misunderstandings and many people were killed.

See my last. Until we know who we really are, we won’t start changing. And we don’t want to know.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday September 15, 2009 10:07 am 33

And yet ANOTHER issue (health care public option, continued unlimited detentions with no habeaus corpus, FISA, etc. etc. etc.) that Obama either manipulated or danced around in the campaign, or fucking lied. Why the hell those in power aren’t being held accountable is still burning my ass, because it’s a loud and clear signal to all those in the future in power, HEY, ANYTHING GOES!!!

At this point I would just settle for some of the folks in the OLC that wrote the “legal” framework scalps. At least that would send a message to folks in that office in the future. “Oh, you want me to write an opinion saying summary execution by the police is legal in certain cases” at least if he sees a predecessor doing hard time it’ll make him think about it.

Goddammit, this has been my problem with the Democrats for FOREVER. The fucking Republicans can impeach a President over a lie (though probably not perjury) about a blowjob, and the Democrats don’t have the balls to go after an administration that tortured, locked up an American citizen on American soil and threw away the key with no charges or lawyer, spied on citizens with no warrant whatsoever? THIS SHIT IS MORE MADDENING THE GODAMMED HEALTH CARE FIASCO.

Because we’re doomed to see more lawbreakers in the future. Not if, only when. Why not?? What’s to stop any President from doing ANYTHING???????


DWBartoo | Tuesday September 15, 2009 11:21 am 34
In response to OldFatGuy @ 33

What is to stop any AMERICAN President from doing any damn thing he OR she might wish to do (assuming there was sufficient “incentive” in doing”it” for those too big to … actually behave responsibly)?

In a word, OFG, nothing.

Nothing at all.

Not even the Divine Right of Kings was enough for bad old Prince John to have his way, he was forced to sign the Magna Carta.

However, fear-laced appeals to “Security” trumps all “reason” in the Age of the Divine Right of Money.

OFG, we must imagine that other peoples of other nations are not happy with this state of affairs, but so far as Americans are (apparently) concerned,
“unlimited” power is just the ticket, because, using that ole imagination once again, Americans MUST assume that however badly the Prez may treating the people of this country, it is axiomatic that he is treating people in other countries in even worse fashion.

Contemplate Iraq or Afghanistan …

Now were the president of some other country to be possessed of the power sought by the American President you can bet that the American public would be urged to considerable indignation and even disgust.

Consider if the French l(!) leadership were to be lording it over their citizens and the rest of the world in the fashion of America?

Or the Iranians, for that matter. (Who are, rather heavy-handedly over-doing the “lording-over” bit, even as we contemplate …)

Prediction: Barack Obama will be the last of the politically “traditional” Presidents, owing to his seemingly consistent and deliberate failure to rise to the genuine NEEDS of “the people”, and we shall soon, very likely, all be at the tender mercies of calculatedly unhinged demagogues.

Let’s think about that: Essentially, America’s sociopathic elite, the self-styled wisdoms, wits and saviors of the great white race … will be able to do any damned thing they please.

Unless “ordinary” people of sane and rational perspective somehow find, within themselves, the courage to stand against the madness, whatever the cost and for however long it may take, we may expect the future to be nasty, brutish, and short.

Oh, and … we can’t wait for others to “lead” that burden falls equally to all of us.

However hard, painful, protracted or seemingly futile it may be.

IT IS UP TO US. (Proposed change to motto on US coinage)

DW


OldFatGuy | Tuesday September 15, 2009 11:40 am 35
In response to DWBartoo @ 34

Right, in a word, nothing.

And yet the outrage in the streets is over the government offering to sell health insurance as a choice for the public to purchase.

THAT’S the outrage.

We’re getting exactly what we fucking deserve, and I’m glad I’m old and nearing my end. I’m sad for my son, his children, and others like them. Cause it ain’t gonna be purty.

Health care has been my most passionate issue since I was old enough to think about politics. But unless we end this, nothing else matters. What good is the best health care in the world if you live in a country that can disappear you, torture you, or kill you at will?

This fucking shit was supposed to have been settled over 200 years ago.


mardam | Tuesday September 15, 2009 11:41 am 36

Conservatives and others (including many liberals) love to use the phrase “These colors don’t run.” We may not run, but we sure as hell act like we’re scared shitless sometimes.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday September 15, 2009 11:46 am 37
In response to DWBartoo @ 34

Oh, and forgot to mention…

I’m ready.


DWBartoo | Tuesday September 15, 2009 11:54 am 38
In response to OldFatGuy @ 35

Hell, OFG, you and I may be old, but … WE don’t have the nightmare of “white people being in the MINORITY!”.

The only thing that was “settled” those 200 hundred years ago was that we had “got” a republic, and in spite of Old Ben Franklin’s admonition, we HAVEN’T been trying very hard to ” keep” it.

I may be sounding a wee bit disheartened, OFG, but I’ll tell you true, I’ve never seen the amount of awareness among the public that I see today.

I think we should stick around, things are bound to become interesting.

I’m in no hurry to leave.

WE got some butt to kick (figuratively, of course).

And, who knows, we might even find some pleasure in building a more sane and rational world … beats hell out of being dead … forever.

(I guess I’m just getting more ornery and curmudgeonly every day.)

;~DW


mlmc | Tuesday September 15, 2009 11:55 am 39

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary, the evil it does is permanent.” Gandhi


rjrnab | Tuesday September 15, 2009 12:02 pm 40

We’re depending on this all powerful righteous Executive ( That keeps getting more powerful every other term ) that many are tricked into believing is our elected leader
to just fix everything ASAP. Our republic has been run by the selfish-rich manifest destiny believers since the begining of the industrial revolution atleast. The age of
enlightenment was snuffed out by 1835 or so. We got FDR to bring us back from the
Great Republican Depression, only to finish a war set up to start in Versailles in 1920.
(That was where Wilson brushed off Ho Chi Mihn about the corrupt French Colonialists
in Vietnam). The French learned, when our we? That should have been us on the streets
in D.C. in 2000 when Bush grabbed our government in a death nell, ( Americans see Iranian Protesters demonstrating on the streets of Tehran in 2009). ((Like That)) ’cause
that is what it is coming down to.


OldFatGuy | Tuesday September 15, 2009 12:05 pm 41
In response to DWBartoo @ 38

I’m afraid I’m a bit more disheartened than you, though as I stated @ 37, I’m ready to do what I can.

As for your observation about awareness today, yes, I would agree. But I would argue that it is because of this thing you and I are conversing on right now.

And I would further argue that those elites know this and are aware of it and as we speak steps are already being taken to minimize the risk of this continueing for too far into the future.

First they bought the media, and had a generation of idiots. Now they’ll buy all the ISP’s and have another generation.
Sorry DW, as I said, I’m a bit more disheartened than you. But disheartened or not, I’ll do whatever this old fat body has left to do to fight for what’s right. I’ve never been more disheartened, never more fearful, but also never more ready to fight in my life.

T H I S I S O U R G O D D A M N E D C O U N T R Y, AND IT’S NOT FOR SALE!


AngelsAwake | Tuesday September 15, 2009 12:19 pm 42

It’s not even just respect for other people. It’s deeper than that.

It’s the fact that we should say, ” We would rather die than do this thing”; it is not so much that we do it out of compassion but out of honor. Better that a nation collapse than that nation torture. Better we do the good thing, and avoid the evil thing, no matter what the cost.

A people should be better than this!


DWBartoo | Tuesday September 15, 2009 12:26 pm 43
In response to OldFatGuy @ 41

Maybe, OLG, we ar NOT disheartened?

I agree with your last line completely!

So?

Maybe we are not “disheartened” at all? It is far more likely, that we are seriously, and intelligently, … PISSED OFF!

And the Political Cla$$ makes a very grave, even “fatal” error, to dismiss, out of hand, such righteous disgust.

Consequence is in the air.

None of the “shit” is going to go away, OFG, it is just going to become deeper and deeper.

And no one will be able, any longer, politically OR economically, to deny that truth or successfully stop those who are pointing out the OBVIOUS.

The times they are a-changin’.

All the squawking is from those who aren’t comfortable with that truth.

It turns out that the earth ain’t the center of the universe after all.

(Also, America, as a country, ain’t, necessarily, necessary to the future of the planet or the species. Both might be able to muddle along just fine without her. How’s that for a poke in the eye? Kind of puts “exceptionalism” in its proper “place”, doesn’t it? )

DW


worldwidehappiness | Tuesday September 15, 2009 03:50 pm 44

Politicians generally run on long-term sacrifice for short-term gain.

Managers should run countries, not politicians.

Politicians are rewarded for lying and that’s the last characteristic you want for someone running the country.


freeman | Tuesday September 15, 2009 04:10 pm 45

Stuart Couch makes a good point toward the end of this interview . “Most importantly , I would say the lesson is , we cannot comprise our respect for the dignity of every human being .
If this ideal were followed through to it’s conclusion war nationalism and indeed , most of what passes as politics , would be no more than a footnote in our history as a species .
The question remains , can we survive without fully embracing it’s lesson ?


shekissesfrogs | Tuesday September 15, 2009 08:22 pm 46
In response to DavidByron @ 21

Agreed.
The so-called lost “moral authority” exists only in the minds of Americans.
Nothing has truly been lost, but reality has been revealed.
The truth about our legacy is has been written, and is available all over the internet but most of us are unaware of it.
We were raised on jingoistic propaganda about the singularly specialness of our nation. What hubris! I assume this has been passed down through the generations from our calvinist pilgrim or plymouth brethren progenitors.

One thing that the US and our allies did to German citizens is they shamed them, made them face the crimes of the nation and carry the guilty collectively as well as individually. Denying it was made a crime. – but all of it was not exactly the truth. That is what we need for our nation today, so we can say “Never Again”. Only Germany has internalized the lesson of what men are capable of.
Take a real look at the Nuremberg trials. The Americans oversaw trials at Dachau.
They were a sham, judgement and punishment were imposed by victors. Many crimes by the Nazi’s and Germans were contrived, made up whole cloth like the Malmedy Massacre.
Oh, and boy did we torture to extract confessions. We put germans into those concentration camps and starved them, and used them as forced labor to exact revenge.

Eugenics programs were the order of the day among intellectuals in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_Society
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morganthau_plan
http://www.worldaffairsbrief.c…..haul.shtml
http://scrapbookpages.com


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