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The US government argues that it possesses "absolute control" over the memories of Guantánamo torture victims because what happened to them was classified — yet it released those "CIA memories" to Hollywood filmmakers. Sure, it's like something from a Philip K. Dick story. But don't complain. Content is king again!
The US government argues that it possesses "absolute control" over the memories of Guantánamo torture victims because what happened to them was classified — yet it released those "CIA memories" to Hollywood filmmakers. Sure, it's like something from a Philip K. Dick story. But don't complain. Content is king again!

Originally posted at Rall.com.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great point on brazen hypocrisy (8+ / 0-)

    I'm not attorney, but I believe if they open the door to de-classification, then what's good for the goose is good for the Gitmo detainees.  Sue away!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:59:32 AM PST

    •  It's pretty obvious that (13+ / 0-)

      this is a lawyerly gambit to prevent Gitmo concentration camp victims from getting their day in court and holding the government accountable for their treatment under the Convention Against Torture, to which the US is a signatory.

      They don't really believe this shit. They're just being clever.

      Still, I long to live in a nation where prosecutors and government attorneys are ordered not to resort to such shitty tactics to cover up wrongdoing. It's shameful.

      •  I have long suspected that the real reason (10+ / 0-)

        the Gitmo detainees have never been released is precisely because they are going to tell their stories of extreme abuse, which flies in the face of what we thought our country was about.

        They are going to wait for these guys to die.

        Smart move. . . for sociopaths!

        Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

        by Einsteinia on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:21:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ted, please make note to self: (9+ / 0-)
        Still, I long to live in a nation where prosecutors and government attorneys are ordered not to resort to such shitty tactics to cover up wrongdoing. It's shameful.
        and when you find this place please drop me an email, cause it ain't happening in the land of take-yer-shoes-off at the airport.

        2013 Petties Blog Awards winner for Funniest Pet Blog

        by Gottlieb on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:22:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I long to live in a country where the people who (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kombema, Joieau, marina, Don midwest
        Still, I long to live in a nation where prosecutors and government attorneys are ordered not to resort to such shitty tactics to cover up wrongdoing. It's shameful.
        are responsible for the wrongdoing are prosecuted. I've always understood why President Obama didn't, Clinton as well, but not prosecuting only leads to more and more horrendous crimes. Clinton not prosecuting the people involved in Reagan's worst crimes directly led to bush's worst crimes. How many of those criminals were part of bush's administration?

        Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

        by Mike S on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:33:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the case of Gitmo (7+ / 0-)

          the responsibility has been documented to go straight to the top: to Bush, Cheney, Rice, etc. They were informed of the details of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and personally signed off on them after lengthy meetings. These individuals should be prosecuted.

          I believe the top officials in the present administration similarly should face tough legal sanctions.

          Not only have they personally signed off on drone strikes, which violate Reagan's presidential directive banning political assassinations as well as international treaties prohibiting collective punishment (since most of the victims are civilian bystanders), they have continued torture at Gitmo (for example, by force-feeding hunger strikers).

          Relative to this topic, however, their refusal to investigate "enhanced interrogation techniques" under Bush amounts to obstruction of justice, an impeachable offense that brought down Richard Nixon. I am certain that, left to his own devices, Eric Holder would have looked into these horrendous crimes. The signal/order not to came from the top from the start.

          •  Ted, Ted, Ted... Which part of "Look FORWARD" (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, YucatanMan, marina, LakeSuperior, OHdog

            didn't you understand??

            Seriously though, it's discouraging as shit that the Establishment continues to violate Constitutional- and international law so brazenly. It's the arrogance and amorality of a declining, once-great empire. Looking backwards, against the wishes of our president, it's clear that history most certainly does repeat itself.

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:24:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Don't forget David Addington (0+ / 0-)

            who is still doing his dirty work behind the scenes, I presume, at the Heritage Foundation. I've always thought he was the real brain behind the evisceration and perversion of our laws.

  •  Next thing you know they'll start lobotomizing (5+ / 0-)

    … people and calling it "recovery of copyrighted material."

    If anyone is still in a position to testify after that, they'll say, "You can't believe what he says as a witness to his own treatment. He's brain-damaged!"

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:27:31 AM PST

  •  Great Cartoon: (6+ / 0-)

    The immoral, illegal and lawless acts of the CIA are occurring under which who?

    It happened under (R).  It continues under (D).  The Policy remains the same.

    Waking Up Yet?

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:45:02 AM PST

  •  Well, even NYT uses "enhanced interrogation" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, LakeSuperior

    not sure if they have gone back to the word "torture"

  •  Why place Obama there (0+ / 0-)

    to suggest he's responsible for the torture depicted in Zero Dark Thirty? He wasn't President when that happened, and put the kibosh on the torture techniques almost as soon as he was inaugurated.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:29:16 AM PST

    •  Because the Obama Administration (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, corvo, OHdog, Don midwest

      cooperated with the filmmakers and provided the "classified" info about Bush-era torture to them. That's what is being depicted in the third panel above.

      •  That, sir, (0+ / 0-)

        is a Republican allegation (by Peter King, notably) that the Obama administration and the filmmakers have flatly denied:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

        The only information given to the filmmakers was also given to the press corps and it focused on the President's role, NOT the torture authorized by the former President.

        One more Republican talking point that made it into a Ted Rall polemic.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:05:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OHdog

          does not say what you think it does.

          Mark Boal denies receiving "classified uinformation." A Google search readily reveals mainstream, non-right-wing stories stating that Obama officials cooperated with the filmmakers.

          In addition: http://www.pogo.org/...

          •  Those links (0+ / 0-)

            do not say what you think they say.

            None that I can find, including the POGO link, say boo about any disclosures of the torture (note, I don't say 'enhanced interrogation' because that's bullshit and I think everyone agrees on that) program -- which is the claim you're making.

            And Sec. Panetta revealing information he shouldn't, at an awards ceremony, hardly qualifies as support for your case.

            This President has many flaws. One of them is NOT being wishy-washy about torture of US prisoners nor supporting it in any way. Your cartoon falsely claims otherwise.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:08:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Although things change (0+ / 0-)

              here's a recent article on the status of torture allegations in court--classified, unclassified, state secrets, national security, a sham? I can't keep up.
              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

              we're not going to agree on that.

              However, I will take issue with your statement that Obama hasn't been wishy-washy on torture. Sure he has.

              First, choosing to "look forward" and not investigate or prosecute Bush-era torturers is wishy-washy. At best. I view it as condoning.

              Second, one of Obama's first acts as prez was to reassure the CIA that they wouldn't get their comeuppance for crimes they committed under Bush. Wishy-washy? Helluyes.

              Finally, torture under Obama:

              http://www.counterpunch.org/...

              •  That latter article (0+ / 0-)

                is a hit job writ large. It tries to find legal loopholes and then assumes by fiat that the President will exploit them.

                As to the former two points, both statements are true, and I believe the President did wrong both times and sets up for a sense of unaccountability for the NEXT president who chooses to torture our prisoners.

                However -- those truths do not justify the claim of your little cartoon, which remains unsupported by fact.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:15:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  More often than not I agree with you, rap, (0+ / 0-)

                  but cartoons have to reflect facts accurately? Really? That's a pretty odd statement, actually. I always thought that editorial cartoons make a point, and often use exaggeration to do so. What has really given me pause in regard to Ted Rall's work is how many people here HR him because they don't like how he expresses his opinion, and I am very much against that kind of sanctioning. Several people visit his diaries only to tell him how much they hate his work. Is that really necessary? And it is also contrary to Markos' "directive" on how to act in other people's diaries:

                  The "guest in someone's house" rule
                  Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly.
                  That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance.
                  ...snip
                  You don't need to go after the same people every day to remind them that yes, you still don't like them.
                  http://www.dailykos.com/...
                  Bolding is also in the original, not mine.

                  I'm not saying you in particular have been uncivil, but there are some here who have been behaving atrociously in Ted's diaries, and I strongly condemn that. I may not agree with him in some things, but damn it - he has a right to say what he thinks. I would guess that he has been spared the ban hammer treatment by the admins for exactly that reason, because they also think the "Lord of the Flies" style of ganging up on him has been horrible. Maybe a couple of his comments have been a little over the top, but considering how massive the attacks have been at times, he has done a stellar job of pushing back without being insulting. I think he should be commended for that. And for offering a really important, non-centrist pov that expands our tent and needs to be heard here, too. How many here have said they don't like the rightward drift of the Democratic Party? They are being hypocritical if they despise Ted's attempts to fight against just that in his way.

                  „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                  by translatorpro on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 02:21:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He has a right to say what he thinks-- (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    translatorpro

                    don't I have the right to say what I think -- that Ted Rall is an iconoclast for iconoclasm's sake, whether or not facts align with his polemics?

                    That doesn't help the Democratic Party, and it doesn't help the progressive cause, and if Ted has the right to say what he does on DKOS, then I have the same right to push back when he's making fact-free smears against public figures he doesn't like because reasons.

                    Also, neither of us really have the "right" to do anything here; our participation here is at Markos' pleasure.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 06:10:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And Ted is still here, despite being HR'd to (0+ / 0-)

                      hell and back, so I guess Markos doesn't agree with you, or he'd have been bojo'd by now.

                      And seriously, taking a CARTOON at face value? Whoever does that is beyond help, as far as I'm concerned. And you do just this:

                      You don't need to go after the same people every day to remind them that yes, you still don't like them.
                      - Markos
                      So no, I'm not on your side in this one. How about just ignoring his diaries? And as for not helping the Democratic Party, do you think Debbie W-S's part-time job as Chairman is helping? Or Timothy Kaine's(in the past) totally useless - even counter-productive (think 2010!!!) stint as Chairman? I think that is much worse and has clearly had more far-reaching repercussions on the Democratic Party than a CARTOONIST has. Jeez.

                      „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                      by translatorpro on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:08:01 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This may disappoint you (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        translatorpro

                        but I'm not interested in what 'side' you're on. I notice also that you bypassed completely the question of whether I have the same "right" that Ted Rall does.

                        "(I have/he has/she has) the right to voice an opinion" is most often uttered when someone voicing that opinion faces a rebuttal they don't want to rationally argue, as an effort to silence the rebuttal rather than refute it.

                        I didn't HR Ted, I didn't tell him to GTFO. I told him he was wrong. You're the one going ballistic over that, not me, and notably, not Ted.

                        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                        by raptavio on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:23:19 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I agree you have a right, I never questioned (0+ / 0-)

                          that, which is why I didn't mention it specifically. Of course, everyone does.

                          What I do question is how effective it is to make the same point over and over again, ad nauseum, or to show up in every diary of a person you know you are going to dislike. I'm not going "ballistic", by the way - that is a gross exaggeration, but I just find reading the same arguments repeatedly counter-productive. I'm interested in a variety of viewpoints, not the same ones over and over. Personally, I  think that working to elect better Democrats, or doing just about anything is a better use of time than railing against Rall.

                          He is not answering, I suppose, because he's not around? Speaking of which, I have better things to do right now, too. Cheerio.

                          PS: I recc'd you even though we do not agree. I believe in civil discourse and that it's possible - even here. You were the one starting to lose your temper...I was not.

                          „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                          by translatorpro on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:47:19 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The only thing I find irritating (0+ / 0-)

                            is your presumption to tell me what my emotional state is. You've no cause to think you know me that well.

                            If our time is to be spent electing better Democrats, part of that task is pushing back against people pushing false anti-Democratic memes, wouldn't you say?

                            Oh wait, you wouldn't, apparently.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:08:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Something is wrong with this picture: (0+ / 0-)
                            You're the one going ballistic over that, not me..."
                            by raptavio on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 04:23:19 PM CET
                            The only thing I find irritating (0+ / 0-)
                            is your presumption to tell me what my emotional state is ...
                            by raptavio on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 06:08:26 PM CET
                            Really? Good way to make yourself look a little silly. On top of taking cartoons very, very seriously... threatening our proud, leftist Democratic values, no doubt...

                             

                            „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

                            by translatorpro on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 07:09:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I spoke of your actions. (0+ / 0-)

                            You spoke of my emotions.

                            There's a big difference.

                            But nuance doesn't seem to be your strong suit.

                            Nor does detail, like Rall doubling and trebling down explicitly on what he was trying to communicate, despite your risible efforts to say there's nothing to see here, move along.

                            Your throne-sniffing of a mediocre cartoonist is admirable, but I've nothing more to say to you.
                            End of line.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 08:53:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Telling the truth a "hit job?" (0+ / 0-)

                  Since when? The fact is that Obama provided cover for the U.S. citizens responsible for torture by refusing to prosecute what are quite obviously serious war crimes. I'm with Ted on this; it's the same thing as condoning torture. It also establishes a precedent that could allow possible future human rights abuses.

                  Reading the article from Counterpunch, the impression I am left with is that Obama did not take the definitive measures necessary to disassociate the U.S. completely from torture, leaving the door open for us to use torture by proxy and even for U.S. agency personnel to conduct torture in some circumstances. Has the U.S. quit supporting regimes using torture? No. Are you naïve enough to believe our intelligence agencies are not obtaining and using intelligence gathered by those proxies? You seem intelligent enough that I don't believe you are that naïve. You can wait for Abu-Graib-type pictures to document as unassailable fact that foreign proxies are doing our dirty work, after the fact of gross abuses, or you can read the writing written clearly on the wall that leaves the door open for such abuses to continue and take a proactive stance to prevent future abuses.

                  So, why attack Rall and the Counterpunch article? Does your need to defend Obama and Democrats trump your need to defend basic human rights? That is what I find most disturbing about your arguments here.

                  •  Deadthreading? (0+ / 0-)

                    You certainly made a lot of strawmen there, and in fact accused me of a couple positions that directly contradict what I said elsewhere in the thread.

                    If you want to invent my positions to rail against them, I guess you don't need me to participate.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:08:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

                      The initial paragraph deliberately reiterated what you had already acknowledged for the purpose of perspective. It was not a strawman argument; your acknowledgement is at direct odds with your later statement:

                      This President has many flaws. One of them is NOT being wishy-washy about torture of US prisoners nor supporting it in any way. Your cartoon falsely claims otherwise.
                      It should first be pointed out that your grammar is incorrect here, leaving it open to misinterpretation. As written, it should be taken that one of the President's many flaws is NOT being wishy-washy about torture of U.S. prisoners, etc. Well, that wouldn't be a flaw, if it were true that he was wholly committed to opposing torture.

                      Regardless, I'm assuming from context that you meant to say he is unequivocal in his opposition to torture, and that it is not one of his many flaws. OK, fine. But if one is unequivocally opposed to torture, one does not:

                      --set precedent by allowing torture to go unpunished when those most responsible for gross violations are readily at hand, leaving their crimes to stand and the door wide open for future illegal human rights abuses (as you yourself have acknowledged)
                      --continue supporting countries that use torture, clandestinely making use of intelligence that may be gathered from such proxies by using torture
                      --attempt to hide it, as this administration has done by not allowing detainees to discuss their torture at our hands, and by withholding further release of evidence of U.S. use of torture
                      --allow and condone the torture of force-feeding prisoners
                      --block recourse to those subjected to torture at our hands
                      --leave loopholes allowing circumstances where torture could be allowed

                      Are you unable to discern how these two positions of yours are contradictory?

                      Secondly, these were your very words:

                      That latter article is a hit job writ large. It tries to find legal loopholes and then assumes by fiat that the President will exploit them.
                      The author--who has apparently written extensively on this subject over a number of years and administrations--simply points out that the ambiguity of Obama's Executive Order does nothing to prevent a possible return to the status quo of complicit torture by the U.S., or even direct involvement outside areas of "armed conflict." This administration could have used language far more explicit, and they could have discontinued support for regimes using torture, but it has chosen to do neither. The article observes that what wasn't said and done by this administration may well allow torture in other places to continue unabated or to even increase. Nowhere in the article is the assumption made or suggestion given that this administration specifically will be the one to exploit the loopholes. That is merely your baseless assertion. It was I who argued that our government and this administration will most certainly be the willing beneficiaries of illicit fruit from the poison tree, which is in effect exploiting loopholes. My earlier objections and arguments in response to your mischaracterizing exposing the truth as a "hit job" still stand, along with the further objection of your falsely sloughing them off as strawmen without any reasoned rebuttal.

                      Next, neither should questions that probe and seek clarification for your motivations and agenda be disingenuously labeled strawmen arguments, as they are intended to invite and provide an opportunity for you to explain yourself. Your words:

                      That doesn't help the Democratic Party, and it doesn't help the progressive cause, and if Ted has the right to say what he does on DKOS, then I have the same right to push back when he's making fact-free smears against public figures he doesn't like because reasons.
                      I heartily disagree. I don't think some of Obama's actions (not just regarding torture) are necessarily good for the Democratic Party, and I think they are definitely in opposition to progressive causes. The cartoon taken as a whole is not a fact-free smear, even if there is room for debate on one minor element. You have stated you disagree with some of Obama's actions, as has Ted and as do I. It is wrong for you to automatically make the assumption that someone doesn't like someone else because they disagree with them or find fault with their actions. Using your rationale, your disagreements with Obama mean you don't like him. If you wouldn't want someone to make that assumption about you, you shouldn't do it to others. I can't speak for Ted, but despite being highly critical of some of Obama's acts and positions, I still like the guy. BTW, sometimes those not enamored of another can still be more objective than otherwise.

                      Last, it seems you're nitpicking of a minor point in a cartoon is missing the forest for the trees and glossing over the broader truth. It's like complaining the political caricature draws the face too long, the nose too wide, the ears too big. The cartoon depicts the hypocrisy of an administration that likes to talk the talk about torture, but whose actions often belie the words. Panetta was a senior government official in this administration, and where he and how he leaked the information is irrelevant beside the fact that he leaked it. Obama is the titular head of our government and in charge of this administration. You're of course entitled to your opinion, but I think you're misplacing your priorities and quibbling over a triviality, obscuring valid scrutiny.  

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