War criminal

This week’s 60 minutes interview with obvious war criminal and moral reprobate (and, head of the CIA “interrogation” i.e., torture program) Jose Rodriguez was disturbing as hell, but fascinating to see how this pathetic little man justified his heinous actions to himself.   The fact that this guy is running around free as if he’s not guilty of blatant and obvious war crimes really bugs me.  Anyway, nice response from Amy Davidson:

Rodriguez did not forthrightly argue that torture—the contained drowning of waterboarding, slapping and stress positions, keeping detainees in a “cramped confinement box with an insect,” keeping them naked and awake for days on end by any means necessary, holding electric drills to their heads and telling them that their female family members would be raped in Middle Eastern prisons—was an awful necessity when there was no other option. Instead, he underplayed what he and his operatives had done (making suspects “uncomfortable”) and bragged about its use in proving the manhood of the torturer (“We needed to get everybody in government to put their big boy pants on and provide the authorities that we needed”; “The objective is to let him know there’s a new sheriff in town.”). He talked as if torture were an expression of strength, rather than momentary domination masking the most abject moral and practical weakness…

Lesley Stahl says, “Other people call it torture. This was—this wasn’t benign in any—any sense of the word.” Rodriguez responds,

I’m not trying to say that they were benign. But the problem is here is that people don’t understand that this program was not about hurting anybody. This program was about instilling a sense of hopelessness and despair on the terrorist, on the detainee, so that he would conclude on his own that he was better off cooperating with us.

I think that bit right there really suggest something about the mindset of this guy.  That he could say it wasn’t about “hurting” anybody and in the very next sentence say “instilling a sense of hopelessness and despair.”  Ummm, wow.  And, how was it they were instilling hopelessness and despair?  By repeatedly hurting (i.e., torturing) people.   The rest of Davidson’s commentary points out the evidence that the FBI’s non-torture interrogatiosn were actually more effective.

I get why Obama let this all go, but I honestly feel like Obama’s own moral weakness in not calling these torturers (and a complicit American public) to task is the great moral failing of his presidency.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

5 Responses to War criminal

  1. He has failed morally on so many poiints like threatening to withhold social security checks and active duty military pay as hostage over increasing the federal deficit. I could go on and on here.

    • Mike says:

      Mr Marriagecouch says: “I could go on and on here.”

      Then why don’t you? Make your case rather then just your usual fanciful comments that contain 50% allegations and 30% filler.

  2. The accumulated weight of Obama’s deceit is overwhelming:

    * During his campaign for the presidency and since, Obama repeatedly assured us that he would protect Medicare against cuts; but he now presses for passage of bills that include savage cuts in Medicare.

    * To obtain passage of his first stimulus bill, Obama assured us that 90% of the jobs created would be in the private sector; but as he well knew, most of them were to be in the public sector.

    * Early in the health care debate, Obama assured us that he had not said that he favored a single payer system; but he was on record as having said exactly that.

    * Obama gave primary voters a firm assurance that if he became the nominee of the Democratic party he would (unlike Hillary Clinton) abide by the campaign finance limits of public funding; but as soon as he became the party’s nominee, he reneged on that pledge.

    * During the presidential campaign Obama criticized the presence of former lobbyists in the Bush administration and solemnly assured us that he would appoint no lobbyists to his administration; but once elected he proceeded to appoint even more lobbyists than his predecessors.

    * Obama criticized the size of George Bush’s deficit and promised to stop deficit spending if elected; but he has already quadrupled the size of the deficit he objected to and recklessly continues new federal spending in the trillions.

    * When campaigning Obama criticized bills before the congress that were too long for anyone to be able to read and promised to stop that; but the bills he has been backing throughout his first year are infinitely longer (2000+ pages) than the ones he criticized.

    * Candidate Obama promised an end to the corruption of earmarks and pork, but in the bills he has supported this year there have been more and bigger earmarks than ever before.

    * Candidate Obama promised us that CIA personnel involved in the interrogation of terrorists would not be prosecuted; but his administration is now doing exactly that.

    * Obama assured a joint session of Congress that the health bill he supported (pre-Stupak) would not provide public funding for abortions; but bitter resistance on the part of House Democrats to inclusion of language to that effect soon proved that it did.

    * Candidate Obama promised that he would make sure that there was always enough time for the public to read legislation before it was enacted; but he has done exactly the opposite, repeatedly pressing for even faster passage of even longer bills.

    * Candidate Obama met fears that he would be a tax and spend liberal by promising, emphatically and repeatedly, that those earning under $200,000 would see no increase in their taxes of any kind; but he now urges passage of a healthcare bill that breaks that pledge in many different ways, and his unrestrained increase in federal spending makes more tax increases inevitable.

    * Candidate Obama promised bipartisanship and an end to partisan bickering; but in a display of especially ruthless partisanship his allies have shut Republicans out of all key meetings on his health care initiative, with the unprecedented result that domestic legislation of historic importance garnered not a single Republican vote in the Senate.

    * Candidate Obama criticized his opponent’s plan to tax employer paid healthcare benefits, and promised he would not tax them; but the bill he now backs will do just that.

    * Obama had promised that he would not sign a healthcare bill that would add one dime to the federal deficit; but the bill he now backs adds trillions in new federal spending, offset only by new sources of revenue that are both uncertain and more properly seen as offsetting the already existing deficit.

    * Obama coerced congress into passing his stimulus bill by promising that if it were passed unemployment could go no higher then 8%; but unemployment is now at 10%, and he could not possibly have had good reason to exclude that possibility.

    * Obama promised that his cap and trade legislation will create jobs; but its massive tax increases will certainly hobble the economy and destroy jobs, while green jobs in significant numbers can at best be hoped for, but never promised.

    * Obama has repeatedly assured the American people that if they like their current health plan they can keep it; but the House bill which he supported created huge incentives for employers to drop their coverage and shift their members to a public option.

    * Obama has just as often assured the public that under his health plan everyone will be able to keep their current doctor; but many are certain to lose their doctors when ObamaCare’s large cuts in Medicare funding induce more doctors to withdraw from Medicare coverage, as they also would were employers to transfer patients to a public option to save money.

    * Obama assured a joint session of Congress that his health plan would not fund illegal aliens; but his allies had been busy voting down amendments to that effect. (This was the point of Joe Wilson’s outburst.)

    * Obama claimed that Caterpillar’s CEO had told him that Caterpillar would begin hiring again as a result of the stimulus bill; but that individual immediately announced that he had said no such thing, and that Caterpillar would in fact be laying off more workers.

    * Candidate Obama promised that Guantanamo would be closed by January 1, 2010; but it is still open.

    * Candidate Obama promised that his administration (unlike his predecessor’s) would be so transparent that TV cameras (C-Span) would be there for key deliberations; but an unprecedented level of secrecy prevails as the final stages of Obamacare are negotiated behind closed doors and kept so secret that even the Senate majority whip admitted that he had no idea what was going on. Requests for Obama to honor the promise of C-Span cameras are being ignored.

    * To gain traction for his attempt to return a would-be socialist dictator in Honduras to power, Obama claimed that he had been overthrown in an illegal coup; but the congressional research service pointed out correctly that ex-President Zelaya had been removed for constitutionally sufficient cause by legal and constitutional means.

    * Obama claims that he wants a public option only to increase choice and competition; but the House bill would clearly reduce choice both by squeezing unsubsidized private health plans out of the market, and by setting rigid conditions on acceptable plans that would narrow available options.

    * Candidate Obama claimed that violent radical Bill Ayers was just another guy in his neighborhood; but the record shows that the two had worked closely together.

    * Obama assured us that his stimulus bill would create or save a million jobs; but he was claiming as fact what could never have been more than a wild (and highly improbable) guess, and his more recent attempts to justify that guess have been fraudulent.

    * Obama assured us that his health plan would never ration care, or “pull the plug” on grandma; but the legislation he backs sets up panels to make crucial decisions on when to withhold care, and it makes such deep cuts in Medicare that rationing is inevitable.

    * Obama now assures us that health insurance premiums will not go up if ObamaCare becomes law, insisting indignantly that people who say this have not read the bill; but the legislation forces insurers to cover preexisting conditions, which will compel them to raise premiums substantially.

    Obama assured us that there were “shovel ready jobs” in his stimulus plan and then laughingly admitted in a New York Slimes interview that there were no shovel ready projects. You want more I have more

  3. Mike in Chapel Hill says:

    John, you ought to cite the source of this list: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/21/lies-of-obama/
    It has been copied and pasted in all sorts of other locations, too.

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