Friday, April 24, 2009

Rev. Wright Running the Show Behind Obama

The release of the intelligence memos and the hints by Obama and AG Holder that prosecutions may be in order for those who protected us during the dark days after 9/11- have turned the USA into a Latin American banana republic – where the new regime immediately begins the prosecution of the previous regime. We have managed to avoid this kind of outrage for over 230 years, but we are finding that nothing – not the Constitution – not common sense – not common decency - will stop the Obamaites in their focus on righting imagined wrongs.

Everything now fits neatly into the racist tirade by Rev. Wright we all witnessed last summer – the deliberate dissing of our closest ally, the apologies and insulting of America in Europe, the groveling to Muslims and Iran, the hearty handshakes of tyrants in South America, the slashing of defense capabilities, the porkulus bills, the nationalizing of private businesses - and on and on. Those of us who saw Obama’s 20 year association with Wright and friendship with the terrorists as indications of his true character and beliefs have been proven correct, and we fear for our country.

The Real Interrogation Scandal

Andrew C. McCarthy April 21, 2009 NRO (Excerpt)

It’s the disclosure of the memos that should ‘shock the conscience.’

“‘Does it shock the conscience?” Chris Wallace, the Fox News Sunday anchor, pressed former CIA director Michael Hayden about waterboarding. General Hayden gave the only responsible answer that honesty would allow: “It depends on the circumstances.”

Wallace’s question came after the Obama administration’s shockingly irresponsible decision to release government memoranda that spell out, in exquisite detail, the enhanced interrogation methods that were approved for top-tier al-Qaeda detainees in 2002–2003. Certainly President Obama is entitled to his rose-tinted opinion that more is to be gained by shelving the tactics than by further exploiting them. As chief executive, moreover, it is his prerogative to supplant a policy of proven effectiveness with one based on vague, counter-historical hopes of depressing terrorist recruitment. He could easily have altered the policy course, however, without giving a tactics seminar to our enemies.

The revelations will make al-Qaeda a more efficient killing machine: better able to resist our efforts to thwart its attacks. Worse, they will paralyze our intelligence community, which now knows that even a presidential assurance complemented by Justice Department guidance and congressional encouragement will not protect agents from second-guessing and possible legal jeopardy a few months or years from now, when vigilance is no longer in fashion and political power has changed hands. To complete the triple play, the disclosures demonstrate to intelligence agents that the commander-in-chief is not to be trusted: He claimed that coercive interrogation tactics beyond the anodyne Army Field Manual measures were being studied to determine whether their authorization might be appropriate; but the revelations make the “study” a hollow gesture — there is nothing to be gained from authorizing tactics the enemy has already been armed against.

All this folly finds its way back to that simple question: “Does [insert interrogation tactic of choice] shock the conscience?” As Wallace put it to Hayden, and as Obama frames it in policy debates, the question is utterly devoid of context. The “shock the conscience” standard is derived from a 1952 Supreme Court case, Rochin v. California. That, evidently, is enough to qualify it as the high-minded yardstick of permissible government behavior — no need to get into icky complications like circumstances or (dare I say) obligations.

We have “waterboarding,” or simulated drowning. Grisly stuff. Tough guys wrestle the subject onto a slab. Another tough guy does the dirty work, rendering the subject unable to breath, creating the fear of imminent death. How could that not be shocking to even a jaded conscience? Next case.

Except what if the next case involves coercing a subject onto a slab for the purpose of administering injections that will kill him? Or what if we shoot a hellfire missile at a house where a subject is meeting with three other subjects and their guests? Or what if we drop a bomb on a densely populated area, knowing full well that many subjects will be killed and others permanently maimed? Doesn’t all that shock the conscience too? Does it not matter that the subject is a convicted rapist-murderer? The emir of a terrorist organization plotting mass murder? A member of an organization with which we are at war?

Law provides guidance for the human condition in all its endless variety. As such, it always accounts for context. It is a favorite talking point of leftists and libertarian extremists that heightened security measures “suspend” the Constitution even though a crisis is when the Constitution is most needed. Never has anything so vapid been repeated with such indignation. The Constitution is never suspended. It anticipates war and peace, insurrection and domestic tranquility, and prescribes adjustments for different conditions. Free speech is guaranteed but treason is proscribed. Privacy is guaranteed but searches are authorized. Liberty is guaranteed but imprisonment is permitted. Life is guaranteed but the death penalty is permitted.

“The great ordinances of the Constitution,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. instructed, “do not establish and divide fields of black and white.” Everything is contingent. In peacetime, the rule of law is what the statutes prescribe and the courts ensure. But the Framers also knew it would not always be peacetime. That is why, Holmes elsewhere wrote, “when it comes to a decision by the head of the State upon a matter involving its life, the ordinary rights of individuals must yield to what he deems the necessities of the moment. Public danger warrants the substitution of executive process for judicial process.” Executive process doesn’t suspend the Constitution any more than Congress would be suspending the Constitution if it suspended habeas corpus. Rather, executive, legislative, and judicial processes are all parts of the Constitution, their roles waxing and waning based on “the necessities of the moment.”

Rochin itself is testament to the seemingly rudimentary but often ignored fact that circumstances matter. The police behavior in that case — breaking into a home without a warrant, forcing a man to have his stomach pumped to coerce evidence in a run-of-the-mill drug case — did “shock the conscience.” But it might not in other contexts. Here is Justice Felix Frankfurter, explaining the test that he and his fellow justices were inventing: “Hypothetical situations can be conjured up, shading imperceptibly from the circumstances of this case and by gradations producing practical differences despite seemingly logical extensions.” What shocks the conscience in some situations may be less, even far less, than what duty demands in others.

Which brings us to two final points that are especially crucial in wartime (and it is worth remembering that enhanced interrogation techniques were adopted after an unprecedented domestic attack, during a defensive war authorized by Congress). First, war is just, and proportional, only because of evils so pronounced that they have triggered the legal and moral obligation of government officials to use the powers necessary to quell the evil — to protect the lives those officials are sworn to defend. That obligation is no less solemn than any obligation not to “shock the conscience.” Indeed, no faithful “shock the conscience” test can fail to account for it….

In 2002, the only thing our lawmakers wanted to know was whether we were being tough enough on high-value detainees. In 2002, Barack Obama and Eric Holder wouldn’t have dared take a courageous stand against enhanced interrogation tactics for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In fact, back then, when it was expedient to be tough on terror, Holder was telling anyone who would listen that these al-Qaeda savages who murdered Americans absolutely did not deserve Geneva Convention protections.

To carp now about the rule of law is shameful. The rule of law hasn’t changed. But they have



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At 9:29 AM, Blogger René O'Deay said...

The Al Qaida Torture manual, complete with pictures.

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I think that every American citizen should send Barack Obama a letter like this:

April 17, 2009

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. Obama:

I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an adequate representative of the United States of America collectively or of me personally.

You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the United States. You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.

I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First World War and the Second World War were all about if not the consideration of the peoples of Europe? Are you brain dead? What do you think the Marshall Plan was all about? Do you not understand or know the history of the 20thcentury?

Where do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States? This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly from this heritage. Do you not understand this?

Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the king of Saudi Arabia. You don?t show Great Britain, our best and one of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!

You can?t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest generation because you don?t want to offend the Germans but make time to visit a mosque in Turkey. You offended our dead and every veteran when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the German people from themselves. What?s the matter with you?

I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.

You are so self-righteously offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I seriously doubt it.

What about the U.S. House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses to their staff members ? on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my employer. You haven?t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely didn?t!
Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that's $45 million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie executives have already been awarded $51 million ? not a bad take. Who authorized that and why haven?t you expressed your outrage at this group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right now.
I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.


Every real American


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