You could argue that I am “milking the clock”, on my web site, with the topic of torture / enhanced interrogations.
However, it is a very important issue to me. And, considering that the topic has generated 16 pages of comments from the readers, it MUST be an important topic for you, as well.
Besides, everything has a beginning..!!
If the movie: “Star Wars” can have 3 prequels;
If “Batman” can have a beginning;
Well, then my crappy little web site can also present a beginning for my editorials on “Torturing you silly.”
Where did “this” all begin..??
I know that progressives and liberals WANT to believe that President Bush and VP Cheney were sitting in a dark, dirty room at the White House.
Picture Dick Cheney speaking in a monotone voice. George Bush is sitting next to Cheney; giggling like a little school girl, in the background:
“..I like to watch people suffer..” says Cheney.
“..I want to torture someone..” Cheney continues. All the while, Bush can be heard laughing in the background.
“..Nothing blows wind up my skirt more than hearing someone scream in pain..” Cheney offers.
Bush says: “..Don’t worry, Dick. I am the decider. We’ll water board those towel heads. We’ll find out every thing, including where they tied their goat..”
When you read the comments and posts from liberals, this is the impression that is given. That the liberals believe that Bush and Cheney picked these interrogation methods out of thin air, and made the decision (on their own, without constitutional guidance) to use these methods of interrogation.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I will explain, but first; we must return to the relevant time in history.
America had just received the worst attack since Pearl Harbor.
For the first time in American history, we had a NEW problem…
This enemy didn’t wear uniforms. They didn’t identify themselves. They were living amongst us FOR YEARS, before they strike.
The pile of rubble, that once was the World Trade Towers, was still smoking from the fire, while letters filled with anthrax began arriving in the mail; to prominent American’s offices.
To top it off, someone was killing innocent people around Washington DC. They were using a high- powered sharp shooter’s riffle and acting like an assassin.
It looked as though America was under a FULL attack.
The battle in Afghanistan was in it’s beginning stages and we had rounded up a few “key” terrorists.
We needed to know two things, and we needed to know them right away:
“Were there any MORE al Qaeda sleeper cells in America?” We COULD NOT allow another 9 /11 attack.
And: “Where is bin Laden?”
The problem was, the terrorists that we had captured were not talking.
We MUST find out what the enemy will do next.
If President Bush couldn’t stop another attack on America, then he would have failed at his primary job to protect and defend the United States.
We needed to know where the enemy was.
The CIA had methods of interrogation that had been effective in the past. All of the enhanced interrogation technics offered to the Bush administration by the CIA, were authorized by past US presidents. (With, maybe, the exception being water boarding.) LINKS BELOW.
The Bush administration charged John Choon Yoo with the job of finding out whether “water boarding” was constitutionally acceptable. And if water boarding detainees would break our agreements with the Geneva Conventions. (War Crimes Act.)
John Yoo argued that detainees were NOT prisoners of war. That “modern” water boarding did not cause any permanent injuries, death, or any permanent metal injuries, therefore; water boarding was constitutionally acceptable and did not break the War Crimes Act.
At the time (2001 to 2003), John Yoo was in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Council.
Before that time, John Yoo was a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.
Before you think that I am trying to “pass the buck” and blame John Yoo for this whole mess, don’t get ahead of me.
President Bush was the one who signed off on all of this. After all, Bush is “the decider.” Right..!!
However, a president isn’t necessarily a constitutional scholar. It isn’t part of the job description.
So a president must rely on his Department of Justice.
I agree with John Yoo’s assessment of enhanced interrogations.
Most conservatives also agree with John Yoo’s legal argument.
Considering the fact that no other country is formally charging the United States with “torture”, I must conclude that John Yoo’s legal argument could hold up.
However, the progressive left does not agree with John Yoo.
So, for the liberal left; I want to talk about Mr. Yoo.
A guy like John Yoo doesn’t just pop out of the womb and enter a courtroom, sighting constitutional law. We do not create a “John Yoo” in a conservative laboratory fill with smoking test tubes and machines that make a “buzzing” noise.
They MUST learn the trade- somewhere..??
For John Yoo, this education came from Akhil Reed Amar.
Akhil Amar is said to be one of America’s premiere constitutional scholars.
Why heck, the TV show: “The West Wing” used Amar as a technical adviser.
I tried to study and take a “crash course” on the history of Akhil Amar.
Here is some of what I have found:
Amar argues that the Oklahoma City bomber: Timothy McVeigh’s trial was unconstitutional.
Amar suggests that the whole McVeigh trial was unconstitutional BECAUSE they moved it to a different state.
Amar states that the constitution protects each state and gives each state THE RIGHT to try, and convict their own criminals. Therefore, moving the McVeigh trial to another state violated Oklahoma’s State rights.
OK, I can understand what Amar is saying. But I do not agree with him. Do you realize how dangerous this line of thinking is..??
If we didn’t have the death penalty, (Which Amar is strongly opposed to) if McVeigh were alive today; he could use Amar as a way to form an appeal.
Timothy McVeigh could become a free man by using Akhil Amar’s logic. (Being that his trial was deemed “unconstitutional” by Akhil Amar.)
Let me give you some of Akhil Amar’s own words:
“…Europeans are increasingly challenging Americans on the issue of the death penalty and claiming the moral high ground.
This approach to the Eighth Amendment raises an obvious question: If American judges may properly canvass the evolving principles and practices of democratic states on this side of the North Atlantic, why shouldn’t they also consider the evolving norms of other advanced democracies? When regressive States lag, the Constitution brings them up to speed; shouldn’t judges also be concerned when America as a whole lags behind the civilized world?..”
If you have read my site for any length of time, you know that I am NOT a “one world order”, globalization type guy.
I hate it.
“One world order” destroys the individual. It hampers personal freedom. And it cannot be tolerated in America.
To the liberals who read my web site:
You will hear many of us conservatives talk about the “permanent constitution.”
We do not believe that the constitution is a “living- breathing” document, that is meant to be changed. A “ball of wax” that can be shaped by future generations.
Akhil Reed Amar wants to change the way America does things.
Matter of fact, as I write this, Akhil Amar is attending a conference in New York City TODAY- May 4th 2009.
What is the topic of this debate, you might ask..??
“Is the American Constitution Obsolete..??”
To be fair…
I have no idea what Amar might say at this conference. (Because it hasn’t happened yet. It’s happening later today.)
For all I know, Amar might defend the constitution as it was written.
However, if people walked up to me and asked: “..Would you like to attend a conference on whether the US constitution is obsolete..??”
I would smile and say, as kindly as I could; “..That question is so f**king stupid, get the hell out of my face..”
Why would you give this conference any attention, Mr. Amar..??
Folks, if you really want to get to the bottom of this whole “torture” topic, you must follow the money.
Yes, Bush was the president and made the ultimate decision to use these technics.
However, who gave President Bush the legal advice that water boarding was not torture..??
Where did John Yoo gain his knowledge, which formed his educational foundation, which allowed Yoo to come to this conclusion on water boarding..??
From Akhil Reed Amar.
Again, I believe that John Yoo is correct in his thinking. However, you the liberal, does not. You believe that Yoo was very, very wrong.
So you must ask yourselves where John Yoo developed this “thinking outside of the box” mentality when it comes to the constitution..??
I have given you the answer.
The next time you hear conservatives talk about “strict constitutionalism,” understand this…
This isn’t something that we say for the hell of it, or to make ourselves sound “patriotic.”
It is a way of life. Of freedom.
There is a danger of “rethinking the constitution”, and “beefing up the constitution to fit modern times.”
The Danger: You might not agree with the guy that is doing the “rethinking.”
As I just proved to you today.
Written by AR Babonie for The Angry Republic
All of the enhanced interrogation methods had been approved before.