Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saints And Sinners: Bipartisan

What it takes is not a Democrat or a Republican, per se, but a person with integrity and courage to stick to your values and principles when the fear campaign is on to manipulate you; an attempt to scare you into dropping every principle you ever had.

It's easy to stick to your principles when all is well and your not being tested. It's also easy to understand why an elected official, responsible for our safety, might be tempted to go along with the Bush gulag system and torture, especially when those officials could be blamed, publicly, if there had been another attack on American soil.

Still, should we not expect more of our officials?

They represent us.

I know that we do not want America being turned into the new Soviet Union and we don't want people tortured in our name and with our resources, no matter what said people have done nor how evil we may think they are, even if torture did work, which it doesn't, except to force people to say what someone wants them to say, not necessarily the truth.

Are Americans no longer as courageous as they once were? Are we so frightened that we no longer care about our own souls? I don't want to believe that.

I only hope it isn't true.

When I first read this report, I admit that I got angry. Then I got smart. Look carefully at the names named in this report. Isn’t it interesting that the WaPo reporters made sure to point out the Democrats in attendance when Congress was still operating under a Republican majority? Hmmm….who do you suppose could have leaked this story to the press to perhaps deflect from their own negative stories?

No matter how you slice it, there’s some serious ’splaining that needs to be done, but the lopsidedness of this article makes me more than a little leery of its accuracy.


In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was water-boarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.[..]

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.[..]

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which water-boarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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