Tuesday, April 28, 2009

C'mon in, the water's fine

The long collapse of the GOP into a regional fringe party heard another big crash today as Arlen Specter, one of the last Republicans with any interest in legislating, became a Democrat. To be honest, he didn't really have a choice, with polls showing he would get clobbered in the primary. By jumping ship, however, he kept his hopes alive for winning in the general, provided the Democrats support him. Certainly he worked that out with Harry Reid before this announcement.

Still, this shows how crazy the Republicans have become by forcing all the moderates out. With the eventual seating of Al Franken, the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the senate. The Party of No has to talk to the hand now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Turning over another rock

And finding the horror squirming in the light. That's what happened this week as more torture information is being revealed. Today McClatchy reported that the Bush administration pressured interrogators to torture detainees into claiming a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida.
A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."
That's right. People were tortured not because they were lying, but because they were telling the truth.
"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.
Cheney and Rumsfeld didn't give a damn whether it was true or not. They didn't give a damn that torture didn't work. They just wanted some cover. This began as early as the summer of 2002.

Last night Rachel Maddow interviewed former executive director of the 9/11 Commission Philip Zelikow who had written a memo against the use of torture. Not only did the Bushies ignore it, they sought to suppress it, to pretend it never happened.

They knew it was illegal. They didn't care. It was party time. These scumbags gave themselves absolute power over other people's lives, bodies and sanity and crushed them just to show how tough they were. They and their enablers on the Democratic side, like Jane Harman, who is shocked, shocked, I tell you, that they would abuse their self-bestowed powers.

Obama who is reluctant to get involved in an investigation and possible prosecution, has gotten hammered (yes!) by the Left for it, has still left the door open. We'll see if anyone steps through it.

I've said this before and I'll keep saying it until it happens or I die, these people belong in prison.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In our names

Obama's decision to release four OLC memos confirms what a lot of us already knew. The United States of America engaged in criminal acts of torture.

This is the result of  a government that has lost its moral bearings. These memos show that the Bush administration at the highest levels instituted torture even when it knew it was on shaky legal standing. One of the authors of these memos, Jay Bybee is still deciding fates of Americans as a federal judge. He needs to be held accountable. They all need to be held accountable. 

If you are an American, if you believe in the Constitution, if you believe we are better than this, make some noise. These monsters cannot be allowed to get away with this, for if they do, the next time (and there will be a next time) it might be you. Pat Leahy wants an inquiry, which is a start, but we need a special prosecutor. Tell the White House. Sign the ACLU's petition, or FireDogLake's petition.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't let the door hit you in the ass

Rick Perry wants to secede from the Union. He rants at an anti-tax rally attended by idiots who just had their taxes cut, for chrissakes and says the U. S. government is oppressive.

Oh please. You fucking conservatives told us to sit down and shut up when we pointed out that Saddam had no WMDs. You called us traitors for saying the war in Iraq is wrong. When Bush dismantled our constitutional rights you didn't utter a peep.

Every one of your stunts, from Freedom Fries to Sarah Palin to teabagging is intellectually and morally bankrupt. These protests weren't about taxes. They were a petulant lizard-brain tantrum by people used to having their way, leading a mob of imbeciles who have no idea what any of this is about.

Now we have a President and a Congress finally trying to clean up the mess you made you don't want to play any more. Yeah, that's patriotic. That's really helping your neighbor.

Go. Take your stupidity with you.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring flowers at La Casa.

I'm always glad to see flowers make it through the winter.

The little purple irises bloom first.

The Japanese cherry is in full bloom this week.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's it, I'm done

Obama should have everything fixed by now, and it's not. Therefore the only thing left to conclude is that the Republicans were right and we should all be free-marketeers. Sarah 2012!