THIS WEEK’S SYNDICATED COLUMN: ARREST BUSH

Bush Confesses to Waterboarding. Call D.C. Cops!

“Why are we talking about this in the White House?” John Ashcroft nervously asked his fellow members of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee. (The Principals were Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General Ashcroft.)

“History will not judge this kindly,” Ashcroft predicted.

“This” is torture. Against innocent people. Conducted by CIA agents and American soldiers and marines. Sanctioned by legal opinions issued by Ashcroft’s Justice Department. Directly ordered by George W. Bush.

An April 11th report by ABC News describes how CIA agents, asked by previous presidents to carry out illegal “black ops” actions (torture and killings), had become tired of getting hung out to dry whenever their dirty deeds were revealed by the press. When the Bush Administration asked the CIA to work over prisoners captured in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, Director George Tenet demanded legal cover. The Justice Department complied by issuing a classified 2002 memo, the so-called “Golden Shield,” authored by Office of Legal Counsel Jay Bybee. “Enhanced interrogation techniques”–i.e., torture–were legal, Bybee assured the CIA.

Tenet was a good boss, a CYA type. He wanted to protect his agents. So he got the Principals to personally sign off on each act of torture.

“According to a former CIA official involved in the process,” ABC reported, “CIA headquarters would receive cables from operatives in the field asking for authorization for specific techniques.” Can we beat up this guy? Can we waterboard him?

The Bushies weren’t otherwise known for dwelling on details. Osama was in Pakistan; they invaded Afghanistan instead. Two years later, he was still in Pakistan. They invaded Iraq. Bush and his top officials still found time to walk through every step of torment a detainee would suffer in some CIA dungeon halfway around the world.

“The high-level discussions about these ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were so detailed, [Bush Administration] sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed–down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic. These top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top Al Qaeda suspects–whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding, sources told ABC news.”

Bush knew.

Not only did he know, he personally approved it. He likes torture.

“Yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue,” he confirmed. “And I approved.”

When the U.S. signs a treaty, its provisions carry the full force of U.S. law. One such treaty is the U.N. Convention Against Torture, of which the U.S. is a core signatory. As Philippe Sands writes in his new book “Torture Team:” Parties to the…Convention are required to investigate any person who is alleged to have committed torture. If appropriate, they must then prosecute–or extradite the person to a place where he will be prosecuted. The Torture Convention…criminalizes any act that constitutes complicity or participation in torture. Complicity or participation could certainly be extended not only to the politicians and but also the lawyers involved…”

George W. Bush has publicly confessed that he ordered torture, thus violating the Convention Against Torture. He, Cheney, Rumseld, Rice and the other Principals must therefore be arrested and, unlike the thousands of detainees kidnapped by the U.S. since 9/11, arraigned and placed on trial.

Because the torture ordered by Bush and his cabinet directly resulted in death, they must additionally be charged with several counts of murder. Fifteen U.S. soldiers have been charged with the murders of two detainees at the U.S. airbase at Bagram, Afghanistan in 2002. They were following orders issued by their Commander-in-Chief and his Principals.

One of the Bagram victims was Dilawar, a 22-year-old Afghan taxi driver. “On the day of his death,” reported The New York Times on May 22, 2005, “Dilawar had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days. A guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend…Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.”

At least four detainees have committed suicide at the torture camp created by George W. Bush after 9/11 at Guantánamo Bay. Twenty-five more made 41 unsuccessful attempts to kill themselves. The conditions of their confinement–ordered by Bush and his Principals–constitutes torture. It no doubt prompted their deaths.

If George W. Bush were an ordinary citizen, there can be little doubt that he would face a long prison sentence for the scores of acts of torture he authorized both specifically and generally. Four of the seven white hillbillies charged with the kidnap-torture of a black woman in Logan County, West Virginia are now in jail for at least the next ten years.

If Bush weren’t president, he would face murder charges. The maximum sentence in a federal murder case is death.

If Bush and his co-conspirators are not above the law, if the United States remains a nation where all citizens are equal, they must be arrested and indicted. But by whom?

The Supreme Court has never resolved the question of whether a sitting president can be arrested by civilian authorities. Even if he were charged and convicted, many legal experts say he could issue himself a pardon.

However, leaving the presidency in the hands of an self-admitted torture killer is unacceptable. Congress could ask a U.S. Marshal to arrest Bush as part of impeachment charges. But the ultimate outcome–removing him from office a few months before the end of his term–seems woefully inadequate given the nature of the charges. In any case, Democrats have already said that impeachment is “off the table.”

Bush could be extradited to one of the countries where the torture and murders were committed–such as Afghanistan or Cuba. But he could claim immunity as a head of state.

There is, however, a person who could begin holding Bush and the others accountable for their crimes.

She is Cathy L. Lanier, the 39-year-old chief of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. Chief Lanier, take note: you have probable cause to arrest a self-confessed serial torturer and mass murderer within the borders of the District of Columbia. He resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Go get him.

History is calling, Chief Lanier. Your city, and your country, needs you.

COPYRIGHT 2008 TED RALL

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35 Responses to “”

  1. Aggie Dude Says:

    This president has confessed to numerous impeachable offenses….why? because nothing will happen, and he knows it. These people are above the law, period.

  2. Angelo Says:

    Hamilton and Madison over did it. Prosecution of tyrannical executives amounts to just another competing interest.

    Bob Woodward has Bush confessing that he knew 30,000 innocents would die in the initial invasion of Iraq (that’s 9-11 times 10).

  3. dan Says:

    if only she would do it. or at least attempt to set this precedent. of course the secret service would get in her face and stall her while a legal team (the supremes?) contrived some sort of loophole whereby the executive would be pronounced to be above the law; yet again, i might add. also, if the average working-class schmuck cop can get away with murder (of swarthier, poorer, and “usual suspect” types at least), then certainly a rich white president can. standards are so low for presidential behavior that i think that any action by chief lanier would simply be dismissed as reactionary rather than an excellent start. but i like where you went with this. if only bush could be held to any standards WITH consequences.

  4. Jimbo Says:

    What do you suppose would happen if she were to approach the White House with a couple of officers?

    Is Bush likely to allow himself to be peaceably taken into custody? Is Cheney going to site idly by and wait for them to visit his humble abode? No, this cabal has set itself above the law, and there will be no accountability while Bush’s term winds down.

    Will the media even be allowed to report an attempt at arrest? There hasn’t been an objective and free media since 2001. If Ms. Lanier were to entertain this action, she would be tossed out on her derriere or “disappeared”.

    And I’m sure that the torture is but a tip of the iceberg. As the years pass, we’ll see more and more outrageousness and egregiousness unraveled.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know what else could be done in the short term. If Barack succeeds Bush and has true moral fiber, he’ll have the entire prior administration brought up on charges for their innumerable crimes. Hillary won’t be as righteous, though I’d love to see her go after them for the 16 years of grueling spotlight and spineless insinuations she’s endured.

    As an aside, Pelosi is a useless tool. “Off the table” is such a defeatist approach. You’d never see the Republicans curl up and take it like a Democrat. Even when caught red-handed, these Republican pedos and closeted pervs all act with righteous indignation and come back fighting.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    This is so god-damned depressing. What do I tell my 9 year old son about right and wrong? The bad guys get away with it? Will the avengers be able to seperate the rulers and the common folk? Or are we all to share in their vengeance? Most likley the latter. Dorme bene…

  6. The Reverend Mr. Smith Says:

    You need another radio show. It seems to be the only way to get the public-opinion ball rolling these days.

    P.S. “Hillbilly” is a racial slur, or at the very least a class slur. It’s akin to calling the so-called Jena Six thugs “ghetto Leroys”. I just wanted to point that out as a big-time Rall fan who lives about 45 miles from the much-maligned and beautiful state of West Virgina.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Murat Kurnaz, a German citizen, was arrested in 2001 and spent five years in Guantanamo Bay. He has written a book about his experiences, and here’s an excerpt:

    http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,2275535,00.html?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone who paid attention in 2000saw televised evidence that George W. Bush is an unrepentant sadist. Who is going to say, publicly and loudly, that George W. Bush and his band of carpetbaggers hijacked the Presidency and have used every protection devised for a ‘legitimate, decent and law-abiding’ President to flout and diminish the Constitution? Which of us isn’t afraid that the likes of Dick ‘Five Deferment/Darth Vader’ Cheney won’t ‘reach out’ and touch us for our having the GALL to dissent and criticize and question their illegal acts? Fellow citizens, we can’t get much closer to Nazi Germany, although we have gotten pretty damned close with Bush and his buddies in the White House. When Bush gets closer to his final days in Office, we’ll see him revert to his obnoxious, can-do-no-wrong attitude. Bush will pull a Gary Hart (apologies to Mr. Hart, who was/is not a war criminal and mass murderer) and dare the authorities to prosecute him. What goes around, comes around, Herr Bush. You have forgotten that this is America, where we CAN and WILL fix the bad things, sooner or later. You will collect your government check and perfect benefits and perks from your BASE, but you will be indicted, tried and found guilty and put in the slammer for the rest of your pathetic life!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    There is precedent for the arrest of a President. Franklin Pierce (a bush relative) was arrested for driving (or was it riding?) drunk. He wasn’t removed from office, though. And given how the modern Republican Party has become the party of, by and for Bush, they’re not likely to do what the Democrats did, which was refuse to nominate Pierce.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I always assumed Pelosi took impeachment off the table because she didn’t think it was enough for Bush to merely lose his job. I thought she wanted him to pay the full measure of his debt to society, just as he demanded from others when he was the Governor of Texas.

    What is more important to her than justice?

  11. Aggie Dude Says:

    I reiterate again….did anyone believe a German in 1945 who insisted they weren’t a Nazi? What would any teenage girl in Berlin at the time tell you about the senseless brutality of supposed ‘revenge’?

    We’re completely screwed guys.

  12. devil Says:

    pelosi took impeachment off the table because it was her end of some sleazy back-room deal, the details of which we’ll most likely never learn. it might have been a party-wide thing, like “you dems can win the mid-terms, and we won’t use our black box voting machines to prevent it, but in exchange, you have to help us set the sheep straight and get them to realize impeachment is not an option.” or it might have been something that involved only pelosi, like an order from her mafia bosses to protect their buddy bush. could have had something to do with her ending up as speaker. who knows? the bushes are a major crime family, running coke and heroin, and pelosi is totally mobbed up, as corrupt as any republican, so it seems pretty reasonable that they’d be scratching each other’s backs. that’s how politics works in america, after all: the dems and repigs pretend to be two separate parties, putting on a convincing show for the rubes who still think the US is a democracy, and behind closed doors, they work all their shady, creepy deals to line their own pockets and cement their power over us.

    or, giving pelosi the benefit of the doubt, it could have been threats that made her sell out. cheney could have shown her paul wellstone’s severed head in a jar and told her that she was next, or that her daughter was next… or hell, maybe they have some pics of her with a rubber ball gag in her mouth and red paddle marks all over her naked ass..? she IS a politician, after all. she’s probably a sexual deviant just like all the other greedy, grasping, power-hungry sociopaths who seek high office (and the CIA is probably really good at snapping compromising photos; hell, they’ve had over 60 years of practice).

    blackmail, threats, pay-offs… that’s how things are really run in this country. we’ll never know the REAL reason pelosi took impeachment off the table, just like we’ll never know how deeply bush sr. was involved in the JFK hit, or how deeply bush jr. was involved in the JFK jr. hit, or who actually planted the thermate charges that leveled the WTC. but we can rest assured that whatever it was that changed pelosi from an anti-bush firebrand into a sell-out bushie lapdog, her transformation was as fake and contrived and as planned out in advance as all the other “surprises” that take place in DC.

    it’s all bullshit, all scripted, all designed to manipulate and con. there should be a rule in america– if you actually go through the hassle of voting, and if you allow yourself to get caught up and emotionally invested in politics, then you should never, ever be allowed to make fun of professional wrestling or its fans. they’re no more laughable than you are.

  13. benny Says:

    You are the man Ted. One of the few people left willing to tell it like it is. By the way, what do you think of Obama’s recent comments on Rev. Wright?

  14. Angelo Says:

    Devil,
    what happened to pelosi was a bunch of purple democrats got elected, and she wants them to keep their seats. Here’s your conspiracy:

    most voters are dumb.

    Most conspiracy theories hide a more scandalous reality. There are people who think we faked the moon landing. Here’s the problem:

    If the whole point of the most expensive venture imaginable was to show off to the world, then it is really a scandal that we did not fake it.

  15. Jimbo Says:

    Well, I’d like to see the Pelosi ball-gag pictures, in the interest of full disclosure.

  16. Aggie Dude Says:

    You have forgotten that this is America, where we CAN and WILL fix the bad things, sooner or later.

    This is a serious problem with Americans’ mentality that I am going to take issue with here. We can’t and will not fix bad things. What we have done as a nation has been fatal to many, and permanently crippled humanity, to say nothing of American economic, military, and legal prominence. When the beacons of the world start going dim, we are all headed for dark times.

    And we keep insisting that America has been a beacon to the world.

    We can’t fix all bad things, and I will bet the farm to you that no one is going to ‘fix’ what the Bush Administration has wrought on the world.

  17. devil Says:

    “There are people who think we faked the moon landing.”

    yep, and i’m one of them.

    “If the whole point of the most expensive venture imaginable was to show off to the world, then it is really a scandal that we did not fake it.”

    everyone always talks about government projects being “expensive,” but where the hell do you think all the money goes?? do you think the government is burning it in a fireplace or something? yes, the apollo program was very expensive– and THAT was “the whole point.” big fat government contracts, complete with big fat kickbacks to the committee chairs who awarded them– that’s what america’s all about. hell, why do you think we have wars? dig up gen. smedley butler and ask him… he’ll tell you all about it.

    honestly, i’m always shocked to see how reluctant people are to believe in conspiracies. if you have 5% of the population controlling 95% of the wealth, how can you think for a second that those 5% who own and run everything would ever even consider allowing real democracy to exist? they would have all their power and wealth and privilege voted away from them, and they know it. the only thing that scares those people is real democracy (to them, “one man, one vote” = mob rule). how can people not see that the elite would never place their positions in jeopardy by allowing us to have real democracy? why the hell WOULD they?

    of course, they can’t come right out and tell us to get screwed– they remember the french revolution (even if the masses have forgotten it). since they don’t want their heads rolling around in baskets, and since, as you said, most voters are dumb, then it’s a simple matter to just let the sheep THINK they live in a democracy. the elite meet behind closed doors to run the world in places like the bohemian grove and the WTO meetings, while the dummies flock to the polling places and pretend to have some say in decisions they know nothing about. media lies and idiotainment keep us dumb bastards placated, and the 5% do whatever they want. they are the queen ants, the media and the militarized police are their workers, and we are their aphids (insect metaphors are awesome and my using one validates my entire argument, and yes, i am saying that the elite drink nectar from our asses).

    seriously, long-winded rants aside, why is it so hard to believe that people who own everything and have almost all the money and power in the world would have secret plans to get more money and power? don’t you think they want more? what would happen if they came out and said so? wouldn’t it be a lot smarter of them to get more money and power by tricking “the peasants” (that’s what they call us), rather than trying to blatantly steal it and risk violent revolution (the only thing that scares them)? what do YOU think goes on at those secret WTO meetings? at meetings of the federal reserve board? at cheney’s secret energy task force meetings? what the hell ARE any of those things, if not conspiracies?

    i know this whole conspiracy tirade is sort of off the subject, but just think about this: congress itself, in the late 70s, concluded that the JFK hit was, in fact, the product of a conspiracy. that determination was based on hard, physical evidence (an audio recording of the assassination). yet, in the six years i spent as a public school teacher, i never once saw a single reference to that fact in any history book (and believe me, i looked. a lot). all i ever saw was “oswald, oswald, oswald” and “lone gunman.” all the books i looked at were published well after congress had determined that there were at least two shooters that day. yet NO history book mentions it… isn’t that in itself evidence of some sort of conspiracy?

    “Well, I’d like to see the Pelosi ball-gag pictures, in the interest of full disclosure.”

    i admit that i would like to see them as well, but there you go– another example of the boorish, simple-minded electorate thinking with their hind-brains. no wonder the elite have been able to so effectively use sports, porn, stupid TV shows, contrived scandals, and scary crime stories to keep us distracted from all the bullshit they pull…

  18. Angelo Says:

    check out this TR classic.

    was this one ever posted online? I think it is my new fav.

  19. Aggie Dude Says:

    Devil…

    I agree whole-heartedly, but would like to add one comment.

    I C your Jefferson and Madison with a Latour and Kaplan!!

    Democracy itself is a populist scheme to placate the masses, because it is so easily co-opted into a hedonistic resource grab. This is why new ‘democracies’ all over the developing world turn into genocidal nightmares (a la Robert Kaplan’s view). The flip side of this same coin, of course, is that America’s strength, power and stability don’t necessarily come from the concept that we’re democratic.

    “The United States of America” was a creation of Enlightenment-era investment in the new concepts of science and scientific action.

    Science is never about truth with a capital T (a la Bruno Latour’s view), it is about what works. Most ‘science and technology’ fails and we forget about it shortly thereafter.

    American success is a tautological argument….we’re great because we say we’re great, because we work well enough to have climbed to the top. There’s little more elaboration that’s necessary than that.

    Democracy rarely achieves the best results to problems and crises, we just insist that it does because that’s our current ideological flavor. It is ultimately self defeating though.

  20. G. M. Palmer Says:

    aggie —

    I wouldn’t say that it’s self-defeating but, rather, unsustainable — that’s why a republican system is a better choice theoretically but runs the risk (just like with the Romans) of giving away everything (i.e. the vote) for short term political gain. In that instance it just begins to resemble (and become) democracy (mob rule) and therefore unsustainable.

    For a whole lot about this, check out Unqualified Reservations though they are unabashedly not Democrats (in any sense of the word).

    Poetry rocks,
    Michael

  21. The Reverend Mr. Smith Says:

    I agree with Devil on everything but the moon landing. If it had been faked, nobody would have done something as mundane as play golf. It ‘s the same with the 9/11 inside job theories. They would have blown up the White House before they’d hit their own Pentagon. Maybe I’m just a sucker. As for Boho Grove, I’m glad somebody’s talking about it here. I’m starting to think that Hillary is going to be picked at this summer’s Owlfest ™. They want to throw “us” a bone (ie: a “historic” woman) while still protecting the corporate interests. Obama never really stood a chance and McCain is too obvious. Watch. It’ll be Hillary, by maybe 1-2% and endless blather about “turning the page”. I accurately predicted Albert Hofmann’s death (yesterday, which I believe is when He died) and I think I might be on a roll. Gawd help us all.

  22. Angelo Says:

    –The Space Program–
    GOV: We’re going to the moon
    EXPERTS: Here’s what we need.
    GOV: here’s a trillion dollars.

    –Health Care–
    GOV: We need better health Care.
    EXPERTS: Its been done. Copy France.
    GOV: uhhh, (BAMF)
    (a puff of smoke has obscured all vision. GOV is gone.)
    EXPERTS: It wont cost you…hello?

  23. Anonymous Says:

    As far as Moongate is concerned, just point the Hubble at the moon, show us the flag and the landers, and the theory will disappear, maybe.

  24. iridescent cuttlefish Says:

    Wow! People on a fairly widely read blog who have a pretty good concept of what really goes on behind the illusions that the rest of the “audience” so steadfastly clings to. Kudos to y’all and to you too, Ted, naturally, for the waterboarding column…I think.

    My first impression was the aforementioned “Wow!”, but the more I think about it, the more I’m disturbed by a sort of sneaky subtext. Maybe it’s not even all that circumspect or subterranean, come to think of it—what is the following supposed to mean, anyway?

    If Bush and his co-conspirators are not above the law, if the United States remains a nation where all citizens are equal, they must be arrested and indicted. But by whom?

    “A nation where all citizens are equal”?! Really? Ferchrissakes, whodathunk? And here I’d always been under the impression that the guy with the 100 million dollars always got a better brand justice than the poor schmuck with the public defender, that might pretty much makes right regardless of the inspiring words we write about our shining city on the hill, etc, and now you’re telling me—in the light of some relatively minor war crimes arrogantly acknowledged by a drunken frat-boy president and his gang of Rand-Straussian pseudo-Trotskyite Will-to-Power nerds, themselves just the latest stage puppets of the most filthy rich folks behind the scenes—that I’ve been too cynical all my life?

    A new “wow” (not quite so excited this time.) So, all we have to do is turn the clock back to before the drunkard & the nerd posse took office and everything’ll be fine? This begins to remind me a bit of Alex Jones talking about how he actually voted for the bastards “in good faith…and then 911 happened, changing everything.” Tell you what—before I have to reach for my bucket (or risk offending you with further comparisons to self-promoting hacks of the limited hang out circuit), let’s get back to the text…all that “anger” & stuff.

    Once you emptied that righteous spleen of yours of all that outrage & indignation, you might have gone on to mention some of the highlights of Bill Katz’s Waterboarding and U.S. History just for a little context, you know? My favorite section of that little overview was our Philippine adventure—we were such a beacon unto the dark & savage world there, boyo! How American is this:

    During a triumphal U.S. speaking tour General Frederick Funston, bearing a Congressional Medal of Honor and harboring political ambitions, bellicosely promoted total war. In Chicago he boasted of sentencing 35 suspects to death without trial and enthusiastically endorsed torture and civilian massacres. He even publicly suggested that anti-war protestors be dragged out of their homes and lynched.

    Funston’s words met far more applause than criticism. In San Francisco he suggested that the editor of a noted anti-imperialist paper “ought to be strung up to the nearest lamppost.” At a banquet in the city he called Filipinos “unruly savages” and (now) claimed he had personally killed fifty prisoners without trial. Captain Edmond Boltwood, an officer under Funston, confirmed that the general had personally administered the water cure to captives, and had told his troops “to take no prisoners.”

    In an article, “The ‘Water Cure’ from a Missionary Point of View,” Reverend Homer Stunz justified the technique. It was not torture, he said, since the victim could stop it any time by revealing what his interrogators wanted to know. Besides, he insisted, it was only applied to “spies.” The missionary also justified instances of torture by pointing out that U.S. soldiers “in lonely and remote bamboo jungles” faced stressful conditions.

    And the upshot of all this, the lesson we learned from this shamefully typical episode?

    “…A San Francisco park was named after General Funston.”

    Smashing.

    There is nothing new here, dude–same shit, different century. I mean, by all means arrest Bush and every last one of our war criminals, but you’re going to have to pardon all those dangerous potheads in prison in order to make room for the new inmates.

    Of course, Henry Kissinger won’t be available, as he’s got board meetings, college lectures and appearances on the Colbert Report on his schedule, but maybe you could help coax him out into international waters where the rest of the world is waiting. How many skulls you figure that scary motherfooker has, what between Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Chile? (And I’m not talking about the “casualties of war,” either. Civilians…mass murder, torture…)

    Then there’s the problem with collecting all those corporate heads and TV talking heads and newspaper columnists. Sure, war profiteering and slave labor exploiting corporations are clearly war criminals who should be arrested and indicted, as are those fine folks in the 4th estate who are working so hard to project & protect the illusion to which you yourself alluded, but like you say, Ted, “By whom?”

    It’s all a matter of perspective, eh? Like good ol’ patriotic Gen. Curtis LeMay waxing profound (for a military man) when he looks back, over martinis with McNamara, on “all the gooks he’s bombed back into the stone age”…(Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc)…“I guess if they’d have won, we’d be the war criminals now, huh?”

    But Nuremberg was Nuremberg, right? Their Nazis were obviously worse than out Nazis (oh, wait…were we supposed to mention our own boys in black?)…right? I know it’s considered boorish and passé to use this particular “n” word or to do the Hitler comparison thing, but if we look at the results of the world set up by the “triumph of capitalism” (as opposed to the “failure of socialism,” nevermind that the allegedly socialist states defeated by our glorious march of freedom & progress were themselves hierarchical strong-man constructs), we can leave the German Nazis where they belong: safely in their graves (well, except for the ones we diverted from all that bother in Nuremberg so that they could keep their lab coats, which are always white anyway…or the ones who like it nice & dark, so that they could merge their organization with the OSS to form the CIA and go on to enjoy life as patriotic Americans, natürlich.)

    So what is this world that America’s shining example has given us? Maybe we could drop the pretense of “freedom & democracy” and just look at the Naked Facts, as Norbert Blüm does in this delightful survey of what he calls Justice Versus Neoliberalism and Globalisation (even though all these brave new worlds & new world orders are nothing more than the logical conclusions or accelerations of what’s always been the case—very tiny percentages of the population owning outright most of the planet’s resources, including other humans, and controlling more indirectly the world’s governments and social movements):

    • The 358 richest families own one half of the world’s assets.
    • 1 billion people have no access to clean water
    • 600 million do not live where they want to live, and instead have been displaced or have fled
    • 30,000 people die every day for lack of food or drink
    • 250 million children are forced to work in the same regions where 900 million adults are out of work

    But free trade = freedom, right? And what was that patriotic refrain again? Oh yeah:

    “…if the United States remains a nation where all citizens are equal…”

    I just can’t get enough of that one. I’m picturing a baby born on Chicago’s South Side and a baby born into America’s First Family, the DuPonts. They will each have their history—centuries of brutality & deprivation for one baby and multi-generational privilege for the other—but you are in a sense correct: it’s only in America that you get a chance to see how one is the result of the other. It’s a touching story, too; a regular microcosm of the American Way (even if it does leave out the most fascinating episode—old Pierre Samuel du Pont’s role in Jefferson’s Shame/Our Gain). But still, it’s something to be proud of, like that famous equality you can see on any street in the land.

    Unless it’s the other America you mean, the one you could still find in 1491 Since that time, you see, the only thing that distinguishes us from the other bastards who’ve been running amok over the rest of the world since the real Fall From Grace is that we’re a better class of liars (and believers).

    But, hey! How’s about that Drug War, anyway?

  25. Anonymous Says:

    They arrested the president on 24, how much of the process they used with the AG and what not could actually really be done based on the constitution?

  26. Anonymous Says:

    You all are crazy! You’ve got to be crazy! Why do you hate the President so much? Do you think he’s the only President to authorize torture, listening devices, etc.? Every one of you have no concept of the world issue going on here. Let me illuminate this for you. If we don’t torture the terrorists, we don’t get information. If we don’t get information, we’ll get attacked again. You peacenicks need to go back to sipping your lattes and tree-hugging and let the real men do the work of protecting this country. I didn’t hear any of you belly-aching when Clinton sold our military secrets to China and Korea. Or when he bombed a serbian factory and killed thousands of civilians. As a former Marine who has put my butt on the line numerous times, it sickens me to hear the President maligned and sophomorically called upon to be arrested. Trust me, there’s things that he knows that you don’t, and reasons why we’re doing things that you don’t know, so before you judge and call him a criminal, you may want to reconsider. By the way, how many more terrorist attacks have been perpetrated on U.S. soil since 9/11? One, two,…how about none!

  27. Angelo Says:

    Cuttlefish should win this blog’s first Commenter’s Award for most links posted.

    I have always found it interesting that people take Hobbes’ views on Anthropology as gospel seeing as how Hobbs never studied ancient peoples. If I hear “…nasty, brutish and short” again, I will…you know.
    Even Bushes speech-writers admit that “prosperity” will be the death of us., even as they define prosperity as access to a dishwasher.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Perhaps Devil could use some zen. I have worked for the federal, state and local government and let me tell you, they aren’t competant enough to fake something as big as the space program.
    Yes, 5% of the population controls the rest but I’ve personally come to grips with that. Chinese Philosophy helps since the Chinese are probably the most controlled people on the planet.
    Peace, my friends.
    Give ’em hell Ted!

  29. soul of wit Says:

    What the fuck is it with people who post term papers?

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Tell the Marine to shut up and follow orders.

  31. devil Says:

    what the fuck is it with people who come to a blog and bitch about having to read? see that blue thing on the right? it’s called a scrollbar.

    and iridescent cuttlefish, do you speak tentacle sign language? and cephalopods MIGHT just be even cooler than insects, so you’ve given yourself quite a bit of credibility with that nick…

    “As far as Moongate is concerned, just point the Hubble at the moon, show us the flag and the landers, and the theory will disappear, maybe.”

    woe to anyone silly enough to trust “photographic evidence” in this, the age of photoshop.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Hey anonymous who wrote: “Tell the Marine to shut up and follow orders.”

    If you’re man or woman enough to shut me up, bring it on!

    Next, its obvious that my truthful statements, amongst all this theoretical crap, have urged you to have someone tell me to shut up. The truth about the liberal left in this country is they have no plan of action, no moral backbone, and leave the hard work to to the conservatives, then want to take all the credit.

    If someone attacked my family, and said they were from the Methodist church down the street and that I was going to be attacked again, the next person from that church that comes around is going to get waterboarded in my toilet, until I get answers from them regarding any plans of hostility towards my family. Its the same with the U.S. We don’t live in a global village, where there’s peace and harmony. People are out to erradicate us, and force must be met with force.

    Hey, anonymous, by the way, did you ever serve in the U.S. military?

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Marine!! Was the Fuhrer a kind man???

  34. Kurt Says:

    Um… Marine guy… Seriously, even the Military Code of Uniform Justice specifically says that you cannot waterboard or torture people. You are advocating a position that is ILLEGAL for Marines as well as civilians, CIA and FBI agents.

    Secondly, if you weren’t a mouth breathing asshole, you would know that torture rarely results in good intel. In fact, torture is mostly successful at getting people to recant their religion or getting people to claim that they have a different political philosophy than they actually do. It was also effective in getting people to admit to being witches. It got John McCain to sign a statement that said among other things that he was both a Communist and a War Criminal. You don’t really think that John McCain is a commie do you? Since he admitted to being a war criminal on several occasions when he wasn’t being tortured, I won’t ask you your thoughts on that. This isn’t about how brutal the other side is, it is about US. We are better than that, and violence begets violence. I am not a pacifist and I believe that there are instances when armed conflict is essential, but this isn’t one and our behavior in killing millions seeking revenge for thousands is shameful.

    Last but not least, we have a long tradition of having civilian control of our military. From your comments, I get the impression that you think that the Military should be of higher authority than the civilian legal structure of our country. So, Mr. Marine, why is it that you, a self-described patriot and “real man,” hate our country’s system of laws and legal traditions. Also, if you are such a tough guy, why are you scared shitless of people who literally live in caves and have such limited capcity to strike that the best they can do is crash some airplanes into buildings? Have you read much about asymetrical warfare? We must really suck at it, since even the ill-equiped Japanese on Mindinao were better at containing the asymetrical war going on there throughout WWII.

  35. Jimbo Says:

    To the retarded Marine guy:

    Go listen to Rush while you turn off your brain. What you sanction is illegal, plain and simple. Your “truthful statements” are laughable.

    As far as moral backbone, I see how that works for you conservative pedos and toilet jockeys. “Saying” is different than “doing”, no matter how big your mouth is.

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