Patterico's Pontifications

8/24/2009

Justice Department Advises Prosecutors to Reopen CIA Investigations (Updated)

Filed under: Law,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 11:47 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Department of Justice officials have recommended prosecuting “Central Intelligence Agency employees or contractors for harsh interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan that went beyond approved limits.” The decision is at odds with President Obama’s frequently stated position that he did not want to second-guess Bush Administration decisions:

“Obama has repeatedly said he wants to move forward rather than dwell on Bush administration actions after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. But the White House said the decision was up to Holder.

“The president thinks that Eric Holder, who he appointed as a very independent attorney general, should make those decisions,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. where Obama was on a weeklong vacation.

Republicans will likely accuse Obama of being soft on national security while some liberal backers will be upset if the probe is limited to those who conducted interrogations while excluding the officials who approved the policies.”

Classic Obama … “leading” from the rear. Unfortunately, as a result, some CIA employees will be the victims of costly, potentially politically-motivated prosecutions.

The Obama Administration also announced the formation of a special interrogation unit for high value detainees to be supervised by the White House. The Obama Adminitration apparently views this as an acceptable policy because President Obama, unlike his predecessor, can be trusted to make good decisions.

In fact, apparently Obama is so trustworthy and wise that it’s now appropriate to remove a layer of review and completely politicize the interrogation issue. The prior program, in effect since early 2002, was under the supervision of the CIA Director or senior personnel. Moving oversight into the White House not only makes this an even greater political hot potato, it also undermines the authority of the CIA Director. No wonder CIA Director Leon Panetta had a screaming fit last month at the White House.

A frequent topic of discussion is how to get good people to go into politics but I’m far more worried about getting good people into mid-level foreign and domestic policy areas — especially in the State Department, the CIA, and the military. Politically-motivated prosecutions won’t help recruitment or retention.

UPDATE - From Jim Geraghty’s Campaign Spot at National Review:

Eric Holder, back in January:

“Eric H. Holder Jr.’s confirmation as attorney general is speeding toward approval thanks in part to his private assurances to a key Republican senator that he does not intend to prosecute intelligence agency interrogators for their actions during the prior administration.”

Now we know what Eric Holder’s “private assurances” are worth.

– DRJ

161 Responses to “Justice Department Advises Prosecutors to Reopen CIA Investigations (Updated)”

  1. I personally support trying those agents whose interrogations resulted in the death of the detainee. There are several of those cases. If it’s determined that murder was the cause, I think there’s a law or two that make murder illegal. Not sure though. Gotta double check.

    Another problem is that what they did with the gun and the drill is illegal. From the WAPO:

    The federal torture statute prohibits a U.S. national from threatening anyone in his or her custody with imminent death.

    I don’t like the odds for the perpetrator of that one.

    Newt (25a0c1)

  2. Look shiny object here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  3. I like that the CIA is getting prosecuted. Ha ha ha and in you face I think.

    The CIA is a highly politicized and creepily fascist organization that spends billions and billions and it’s biggest successes in the last twenty years have all been instances of kneecapping Bush policy.

    Let these CIA losers spend some time in jail thinking about how their dirty socialist pansy administrators made their agency an easy political target cause no one has any respect for CIA loser pansies anymore.

    The truth is really a lot unavoidable that if you can pass the screening for CIA employment you are obviously a freakish human being, un-American, and very very likely a repressed homosexual gay person. You probably own several Celine Dion cds on top of that.

    Nasty CIA pansies will be very popular in jail I think. This is because they are gay.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  4. *its* biggest successes I mean … at least I spelled losers right. That’s the key part.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  5. There are more than a few high-priced DC lawyers salivating over this decision…the retainers are going to pay a lot of office rent, and for vacations in Tahiti.

    BTW, if an interrogator told a detainee that if he didn’t talk, he would be put back on the streets of … and the story would be let out that he provided an immense amount of valuable information;
    would that constitute a death-threat under those laws you are so concerned about “Newt”?

    AD - RtR/OS! (cbe8a1)

  6. Overall, a bad call for the WH.

    Now the WH owns the interrogations. It will be tough to pawn off any misconduct or missed opportunities onto CIA management – and it’s not like CIA interrogators are going to be too willing to cover for the WH after they’ve been targeted for political attack.

    aub (c53de8)

  7. Who was that old-line NY reporter who wrote the book
    The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight“?
    If he were still around he could do a great sequel.

    AD - RtR/OS! (cbe8a1)

  8. Bring on the trials!

    The GOP could never hope to do as much damage to Obama as he’s about to do himself. They’re going to prosecute CIA agents for threatening terrorists? For not turning off the lights at night? For not being sufficiently nice to scum who want to kill us? For, god forbid, even smacking one of them upside the head?

    It’s a prosecutor’s nightmare, having to convince a jury to convict people whose actions may very well have helped keep the jurors and their families from being killed in a terrorist attack.

    This will do wonders with Obama’s standing with independents and moderates (sarcasm) who will wonder about the priorities of someone who is more worried about whether a terrorist gets a good night’s sleep than gaining information to help save American lives. Coming on top of public revulsion at Obama’s health care and environmental extremism, his ratings may soon be worse than even Bush’s.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  9. The CIA has been useless since the Church hearing in 1976. I always thought that Frank Church‘s death from pancreatic cancer at a relatively early age was divine retribution although I am agnostic. What Church didn’t do to them, Stansfield Tuner finished under Carter. When the Iranians took over the US embassy in 1979, not one CIA agent spoke farsi. Having said that, I am opposed to persecution (no, that is not a typo) of working agents, unlike gadflies like Valerie Plame.

    This is Obama’s way of distracting the looney left from his failures in domestic policy. When the economy tanks next year after this bear market rally has run its length, I expect him to try to go after Bush and Cheney. We will also see lots of Black Panthers and ACORN next year. Obama’s playbook is written by Chavez.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. America does not need the current CIA; let its important overseas missions be handled by the military. The next president who cares about America’s security should create a leaner organization focused on the human intelligence mission and not Washington bureaucratic politics.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  11. Actually, as steve sturm points out in comment 8, this action is a double benefit. Screws with the CIA and makes the Obama administration look like overzealous anti-Americans. This will really help the GOP in next year’s elections.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  12. Why not investigate Holder for his recommending pardoning Marc Rich to BJ? That makes more sense than having this America-hatiert in the DOJ “investigating” the CIA. We know where this will go, with “revelations” coming out in dribs and drabs to distract the public from this bogus POTUS’s socialist agenda. Obama wants to change the subject as his ObamaCare heads down the toilet into the sewage tank where it belongs.

    daveinboca (d0db99)

  13. Although I agree that our intelligence agencies and state department are in badly need of reform, we saw exactly how they acted when Bush had the temerity to do so – nothing but damaging leaks from both institutions at will. Sadly, all three of them richly deserve each other at this point – and all three will be even more highly damaged if these investigations are allowed to proceed.

    “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight“?

    The writer was the great Jimmy Breslin, I believe.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  14. It seems Obama isn’t going to be happy until everything is under his White House’s control. Can anyone say ‘dictator’?

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  15. I keep having visions of Eric Holder under the guillotine once the BDS Crowd decide to start eating their own.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  16. The GOP could never hope to do as much damage to Obama as he’s about to do himself. They’re going to prosecute CIA agents for threatening terrorists?

    The problem is that 1) threatening terrorists with death is against the law and 2) Because they are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, some of those detainees don’t even fit the description of “terrorist” until their culpability is proven in court.

    Newt (9747f7)

  17. Yeah, i’d go along with you, hf, but these are exactly the people we don’t want convicted, they
    do the hard work, while others write reports, Unless they’re trying these people in Berkeley, the cases won’t go anywhere. But the point is to discourage people who would dare be proactive and go the extra step

    narciso (996c34)

  18. Newt:
    1- So? you think that the public is going to send a guy to jail for taking actions that kept them safe? Or appreciate the guys who approved the prosecution? Repeat after me, the public doesn’t care about process, they care only about the end… and in this situation, the end is keeping them safe. 2- Again, so what? another legal distinction that wins no points with the public.

    Winning elections comes down to taking positions that resonate among the people whose votes you need. Arguments such as yours might win debating points from legal scholars, the ACLU and the loony left, but flop with the public at large. It reminds me the Pauline Kael quip: surrounded by the hard left which eats this stuff up, Obama can’t envision that his actions are going to not go over with anybody else.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  19. Because they are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, some of those detainees don’t even fit the description of “terrorist” until their culpability is proven in court.

    Comment by Newt

    You have got to be kidding. Right ? Or are you really that stupid ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  20. I’ve updated the post with a link to Jim Geraghty, who remembered something AG Holder assured Senator Kit Bond back in January. What a difference 7 months makes.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  21. Mike, look at the rest of his comments, he really is that stupid.

    rls (e465df)

  22. Mike K – I do not think it is stupid as much as painfully naïve, and blissfully unaware of the implications of their positions. Better off with a double tap than running Þhe risk of being scapegoated by the Left in one of their witch hunts.

    JD (3f1cb1)

  23. Nevermind. Holder’s private assurances are worth as much as Barcky’s public statements.

    JD (3f1cb1)

  24. “The federal torture statute prohibits a U.S. national from threatening anyone in his or her custody with imminent death”–WAPO

    No, it doesn’t say that. But, since the source is the Washington Post…no one should be surprised that their claim is incorrect.

    The WAPO is a leftist propaganda outlet…not a dispenser of facts.

    Dave Surls (502db9)

  25. Considering Newt’s output here, of course he’d site WAPO as an authoritative source. Newt must refer to his cranial capacity.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  26. I’ve updated the post with a link to Jim Geraghty, who remembered something AG Holder assured Senator Kit Bond back in January. What a difference 7 months makes.

    Sen. Bond’s characterization was called false at the time [01/29/09]:

    An aide to Holder quickly disputed Bond’s interpretation of Holder’s comments to the Missouri Republican, saying Holder had made no such promise to anyone.

    steve (689f06)

  27. I’m glad that threatening to murder people’s families is now considered a wholesome conservative value. But then again, when wasn’t it?

    AJB (3008d4)

  28. I always thought that Frank Church’s death from pancreatic cancer at a relatively early age was divine retribution although I am agnostic.

    I suppose that the CIA’s right to support nun-raping death squads and overthrow democratically elected governments is really important to you.

    AJB (3008d4)

  29. steve,

    Kit Bond may have engaged in wishful thinking or Eric Holder may have been playing both sides of the fence. (Your link specifically says Holder “straddled the line on the issue” so I’m going with Holder-the-fence-sitter.) But Arlen Specter had the best line:

    “Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, was asked specifically in a Tuesday press conference whether Holder had taken a position on criminal prosecutions during his own private meeting with the nominee last week.

    “I do think President Obama has the right approach when he said it is preferable not to look backwards but to look forward,” Specter said. “If every administration is going to re-examine what every prior administration did, there would be no end to it. This is not Latin America.”

    It may not be Latin America but we’re doing our best to get there.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  30. An aide to Holder quickly disputed Bond’s interpretation of Holder’s comments to the Missouri Republican, saying Holder had made no such promise to anyone.

    It’s important to note that Holder’s aide called Sen. Bond a liar before Holder’s confirmation vote.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  31. It may not be Latin America but we’re doing our best to get there.

    This logic is weird.

    Torturing and killing extra-judicial detainees is apparently as American as apple pie, but holding the torturers and murderers accoutable is what those barbarians down south do?

    AJB (3008d4)

  32. narciso I think it’s important to remember that these facisty Holder trials are just an exponent of how lowly regarded this institution is and it’s all on them cause of how they suck and also how they tend to a lot be traitors and pansies… the good apples let a whole lot of crap go on in their name and now when they’re on the receiving end of an unfair prosecution well that’s just too bad and there’s a LOT of injustice in the world most of it is happening to people what don’t prance around under the direction of some fat-ass fairy named Leon.

    They just don’t. I’m more concerned about justice for those ones.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  33. I suppose that the CIA’s right to support nun-raping death squads and overthrow democratically elected governments is really important to you.

    Comment by AJB

    Yes it really is. And you are a leftist bot that goes around posting stupid comments that have nothing to do with the subject but seem important to the geek that programmed you.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  34. AJB – Chavez, F.A.R.C. and Ortega!

    THREAD OVER!!!!!11ty!!!!!

    daleyrocks who wants to keep his tonsils and feet (718861)

  35. “Because they are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty”

    Why do leftards like Newt keep assuming these terrorists have to be put on trial? FAIL!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  36. sunburn:

    An aide to Holder quickly disputed Bond’s interpretation of Holder’s comments to the Missouri Republican, saying Holder had made no such promise to anyone.

    It’s important to note that Holder’s aide called Sen. Bond a liar before Holder’s confirmation vote.

    Holder issued an ambiguous statement that was open to interpretation, after which Holder’s aide called Bond a liar for not interpreting it correctly? I missed the part where the aide called Bond a liar, but let’s assume you’re right. Doesn’t that mean I can call you liar when you misinterpret my statements?

    DRJ (3f5471)

  37. Mike K – Obviously AJB is just as upset about the CIA’s actions concerning the Wilson/Plame attacks on the Bush administration, it just didn’t have time to mention them.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  38. Going on a witch hunt against those trying to prevent another terrorist attack is such a great campaign cause for the democrats. LOL, it’s like they actually want everyone to despise them and vote them out.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  39. If the shoe were on the other hoof, I expect you would be clamoring for an expansion of an investigation of very serious violations of the law, going all the way to the top. You sure felt that way when Prez Clinton lied, flat-out committed perjury under oath, and under penalty of subsequently being alone in a room with a lamp-throwing Hillary, about getting a blowjob from a chubby intern flashing her thong.
    This time it involves something different, something much more meaningful and bound to principle for you. Let’s see: blow job v. creating swiss-cheese-solid legal opinions to permit what the law, and the sane world, calls torture of the illegal variety.
    I know. You folks abhor the blow job.
    Those of us who wore the uniform — especially those of us who were found suitable to go into the infantry — don’t like the idea of our guys being allowed and encouraged to torture their guys, because we knew/know that means of greater chance for same if we are captured.

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  40. “An aide to Holder quickly disputed Bond’s interpretation of Holder’s comments to the Missouri Republican, saying Holder had made no such promise to anyone.”

    Why didn’t Holder have the sack to speak for himself if there was a supposed misinterpretation?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  41. Larry Reilly – Personally I was more impressed by the hand dipped Presidential cigars. How many of those did Bent Dick Bill send you to smoke Larry?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  42. Mary seems to be quite unaware of the proceedures used by the IslamoFascists when they capture non-Muslims. I suggest he reviews the video and pix from Fallujah, the Danny Pearl video, and various other vids posted by the IF’s on how they humanely treat (if a beheading can be humane) those they capture.

    Moron!

    AD - RtR/OS! (cbe8a1)

  43. “I’m glad that threatening to murder people’s families is now considered a wholesome conservative value. But then again, when wasn’t it?”

    LOL. I support a political party that mindfucks terrorists to win wars…you support a political party that drops atomic bombs on civilian population centers to win wars.

    Our side threatens (and even kills, God spare us!) terrorists…your side burns civilians alive by the hundreds of thousands, all the while spewing pious platitudes about how fine and noble YOU are…and how savage and barbaric WE are.

    All other things being equal…I’ll take my side over your side any day of the week.

    Dave Surls (502db9)

  44. Mawy’s using big words now, but she still can’t eat at the adult’s table. Remember not to drool when chewing your food, Mawy.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  45. Let’s see, Congress has had these reports since 2004 or 2006 and they have been reviewed by three Attorney Generals and before today only one case was referred for prosecution.

    What changed?

    Oh yeah, a new administration that wants to throw a bone to its base and distract from its other problems.

    But the Justice Department is not politicized. Do not look over there at Black Panthergate or Inspector Generalgate, etc., etc.

    What religion is Obama again?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  46. … because we knew/know that means of greater chance for same if we are captured.

    Right, because if it wasn’t for that evil Bush administration, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban would follow the Geneva Convention to the letter.

    JayC (5122d1)

  47. Larry Reilly, as a combat arms veteran I want to know our side is doing everything it can to get us the intel so we can do our mission and to protect our populous. Threatening a terrorist during interrogation is not something I am worried about affecting our survival chances if terrorists capture us. It’s not like it would ever change the techniques our worst enemies ever use against us.

    Face it, liberal philosophy is for cowards who want to die hiding in their beds without ever having to do anything difficult in life. Unfortunately for its followers, reality just won’t permit that to happen. Short of acute physical injury, we need to force terrorists to tell us what they know. Anything they did to us at SERE school is fine. Mind games can be very effective.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  48. Mike K – Obviously AJB is just as upset about the CIA’s actions concerning the Wilson/Plame attacks on the Bush administration, it just didn’t have time to mention them.

    Comment by Apogee

    I think its RAM is having trouble since the nun-raping allegations were over 20 years ago.

    As George Orwell once said about another era, ” Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.
    I am not interested in pacifism as a ‘moral phenomenon’. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’ the German army by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen. As an ex-Indian civil servant, it always makes me shout with laughter to hear, for instance, Gandhi named as an example of the success of non-violence. As long as twenty years ago it was cynically admitted in Anglo-Indian circles that Gandhi was very useful to the British government. So he will be to the Japanese if they get there. Despotic governments can stand ‘moral force’ till the cows come home; what they fear is physical force. But though not much interested in the ‘theory’ of pacifism, I am interested in the psychological processes by which pacifists who have started out with an alleged horror of violence end up with a marked tendency to be fascinated by the success and power of Nazism. Even pacifists who wouldn’t own to any such fascination are beginning to claim that a Nazi victory is desirable in itself. In the letter you sent on to me, Mr Comfort considers that an artist in occupied territory ought to ‘protest against such evils as he sees’, but considers that this is best done by ‘temporarily accepting the status quo’ (like Déat or Bergery, for instance?). a few weeks back he was hoping for a Nazi victory because of the stimulating effect it would have upon the arts”

    I think this applies to the current leftists who are trying to dismantle our defenses against an opponent at least as vicious and nihilistic as the Germans in WWII.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  49. **“The federal torture statute prohibits a U.S. national from threatening anyone in his or her custody with imminent death”–WAPO

    **No, it doesn’t say that.

    U.S. Code, TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113C > § 2340

    “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
    (2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
    (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
    (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
    (C) the threat of imminent death

    Newt (39a8a6)

  50. Oh. I forgot. “torture” is listed as a “crime” in the code noted above:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I.html

    Newt (39a8a6)

  51. Ray, its pretty clear that anyone would be a fool to rely on Larry Reilly for something critical.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  52. Those of us who wore the uniform — especially those of us who were found suitable to go into the infantry — don’t like the idea of our guys being allowed and encouraged to torture their guys, because we knew/know that means of greater chance for same if we are captured.—Larry Reilly

    Yeah, the Jihadists are reasonable like that…definitely a bunch of tit for tat type guys.

    PC14 (82e46c)

  53. Doesn’t that mean I can call you liar when you misinterpret my statements?

    DRJ, You called Holder a liar based on hearsay that was promptly contradicted by Holder’s aide:

    Now we know what Eric Holder’s “private assurances” are worth.

    And how typical that National Review left out that part (the aide’s prompt contradiction) of the story even though it was only a couple paragraphs long.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  54. “DRJ, You called Holder a liar based on hearsay that was promptly contradicted by Holder’s aide”

    sunburn – I’m confused. Isn’t what Holder’s aide said hearsay but what Bond said directly from Holder?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  55. Some of us were relying on Obama’s assurances that he wasn’t going to continue the political civil war that was going on the past eight years. How silly of anyone to accept Obama’s word.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  56. Newt @49 – We’ve been through this before. The purpose of the interrogations was to obtain information, not merely torture, that’s why that statute doesn’t fit. Try again.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  57. sunburn,

    You’re quick to call people liars. In fact, it looks like you’re the only one saying someone is a liar. I never said Holder lied, nor did Bond.

    I can assure you I intend to do something but not do it because I change my mind. That doesn’t make me a liar, but it does mean my assurances aren’t worth much.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  58. This prosecutor is just read meat to distract the left from a single-payer backflip.

    By the way, I thought the whole Dem line was to keep keep CIA operatives’ secret no matter what. I seem to remember “frog-marching” was the order of the day. Won’t this persecution — I mean investigation — expose CIA operatives?

    But, for the smartest administration ever, it seems to be a dumb move. A whole lot of loyal Dem bureaucrats at the CIA aren’t going to like this. I mean, they did their dead-level best to ruin Bush, and this is how they’re repaid?

    The left in America today seems to be an especially odd bunch of moral relativists.

    Ag80 (248b73)

  59. Newt – How about prosecuting the interrogators for threatened cruelty to animals. That caterpillar thingy with KSH was really dastardly even though they didn’t go through with it. PETA couldn’t have liked that.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  60. I’m thinking this is sort of like the next administration reaching back and busting Obama for illegal campaign contributions after he leaves office and tossing his butt in jail since people declined to investigate this time around.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  61. Newt,

    Someone from the same IP posted under the name Andrew on another thread. If you are the same person, please pick one name and stick with it.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  62. #49

    Now try actually reading it, simple simon.

    Dave Surls (502db9)

  63. A sack of Newts?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. Andrewer is sock-puppeting again today? Priceless.

    JD (6dacf4)

  65. Meanwhile, Obama continues extraordinary rendition … boy it sure was important to replace the Bush administration with one that did not do all those icky things …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. I never said Holder lied

    DRJ,

    What did you mean by this crack, then:

    Now we know what Eric Holder’s “private assurances” are worth.

    And please try to avoid descending into the Jeff Goldstein “It means whatever I say it means” school of lame rhetorical stunts.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  67. SPQR,

    Not only have Obama/Holder (the “very independent” Eric Holder) authorized extraordinary rendition, but it’s for a bribery case. Of course, it could involve terrorist financing but it’s bizarre:

    Contractor Raymond Azar is arrested in Afghanistan, hooded, stripped and flown to the U.S. His alleged crime? Bribery. A human rights activist calls the case ‘bizarre.’

    DRJ (3f5471)

  68. sunburn,

    I already explained that: “I can assure you I intend to do something but not do it because I change my mind. That doesn’t make me a liar, but it does mean my assurances aren’t worth much.”

    I am a liar if if I say X knowing I intend to do Y. But if I say X and then later decide to do Y, I may be unreliable but that doesn’t make me a liar. It just makes me unreliable and a person whose assurances aren’t worth much.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  69. Isn’t it hilarious, DRJ, that you have to explain simple english to the trolls?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  70. JD’s 1st Rule of Trolls again seems to be proven true.

    JD (6dacf4)

  71. You know, it’s odd that the trolls always attack DRJ. It’s like they can sense that she’s particularly annoyed by their ugliness.

    Sunburn’s Goldstein quip makes more sense when you add in Goldstein’s constant quitting his own blog trend and DRJ’s taking a break as co-blogger. Why did she take a break? I thought it was because she got tired of jerks in the comments. maybe I’m just crazy, but it seems like they are going after DRJ a lot more than usual lately.

    Holder made a promise and later was unfaithful to it. Liar? Of course that’s the more likely reason. but maybe he just doesn’t care about his promises. Whatever’s going on, this administration just doesn’t keep its word. That’s why it’s so easy to paint them with ‘death panels’ or ‘easy on terrorists’. You just never know what they are going to do. Tomorrow, Obama could promise tax cuts and invade Pakistan. Or he could put a tax on bacon and pull out of Afghanistan. It really doesn’t matter what he said yesterday, so we just don’t trust that dude.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  72. Juan,

    I appreciate your concern but I don’t feel targeted and I didn’t stop blogging because of comments. And, oddly enough, I guess I’m defending Holder here because I don’t think he necessarily lied. I suspect Holder expressed his intention not to prosecute CIA interrogators and changed his mind after he learned more or for some other reason. Thus, maybe Bond read too much into Holder’s statements or maybe Bond was right and Holder made it sound like a promise. I don’t know what was said but I know that I don’t know enough to claim anyone is a liar.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  73. Holder comes from a firm that represented 17 of these Yemeni ‘gentlemen’ in Gitmo, recall that Bin Laden is originally of Yemeni/Syrian background not Arabian (SAudi is the family name, not the ethnic origin)he let an oil smuggler and tax cheat be pardoned, rendered a 6 year old boy
    back to Cuba, as property of the state His preferred candidate to head the OLC regarded Bush administration attorneys, like mob consiglieri. His deputy atty general, who ok the Black Panther
    decision comes from the same firm as Jamie
    Gorelick, who also represented companies involved
    in a post 9/11 class action suit, after her stint
    as 9/11 commissioner. There is nothing haphazard in any of this.

    narciso (8ffafd)

  74. [...] Lex, Law Blog, Gawker,  Macsmind, , The Corner on National …, The Foundry,,  Weekly Standard,Patterico’s Pontifications, Flopping Aces, Gateway Pundit, The Plum Line, Weekly Standard, Commentary and Stop The ACLU, Hot [...]

    The Obligatory C.I.A./Eric Holder/Leon Panetta posting | Political Byline (e78bc3)

  75. drj, sorry that I misunderstood. I just don’t pay attention enough. I wasn’t trying to defend you or anything, you clearly are holding your own.

    But come on! Holder is a total creep who appears to be on the wrong side of our war. I can’t believe he didn’t know exactly how he truly felt about this kind of witch hunt when he made that promise. It was a huge issue at the time. Maybe, just maybe, he just changed his mind, but that’s hard to swallow.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  76. Good point that we don’t exactly know what promise was made.

    but Obama and his admin have come out pretty clearly about ‘moving forward’, etc. This kind of game playing is so annoying. These are supposed to be the greatest leaders on the planet today.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  77. I am a liar if if I say X knowing I intend to do Y.

    Somewhere, Jeff Goldstein is smiling.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  78. LOL, are you disputing that Sunburn?

    Why are you putting words in people’s mouths and redefining simple criticisms? If you don’t recall the Obama administration/campaign talking about not doing this, then you’ve been living under a rock…

    Here’s an idea… instead of attacking someone randomly, why not make an argument. Are you defending Holder and this witch-hunt? Why?

    Juan (bd4b30)

  79. Whether Holder made a promise or not is irrelevant. The mistake was believing anything he said. Never trust a leftist to do anything but the worst.

    ray (3c46ca)

  80. My guess is that when Bond announced his vote for Holder, he placated surprised friends and colleagues by claiming he’d received confidential ‘no-prosecution’ assurances from Holder. When the nominee’s aide quickly and publicly said no such promise had been extracted, Bond said nothing…and voted for Holder anyway.

    Can the DoJ can prosecute Yoo for writing “bad” legal opinions? Hardly.

    I expect the Durham criminal investigation will plow a fallow field, primarily due to a lack of witnesses and evidence. The DoJ itself first heard all this from the CIA inspector general five years ago–and it never went anywhere.

    steve (fbc8c6)

  81. BTW, wasn’t Andrew banned by our host?

    [Yes, but I missed it or forgot it. I'm back on track now. -- DRJ]

    AD - RtR/OS! (cbe8a1)

  82. Are you defending Holder and this witch-hunt? Why?

    Why are the supposed “Law & Order” types so outraged that Holder is simply doing his job as he best see’s fit?

    If you can support a cop who arrests someone for the crime of…what crime did Gates get arrested for again…certainly you should support the prosecution preliminary investigation of people who beat suspects to death.

    At least in a rational universe you would.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  83. Because Holder has never “done his job as he best see’s fit”, he’s always politicized the department. You are completely ignorant of his past?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  84. Juan,

    I welcome your help — I can use all I can get! And while I’m not imputing bad motives to Holder, I’m not excusing him either. The members of this Administration speak with vague words that mean all things to all people. They may not lie but they are reliably unreliable.

    Finally, I’m cynical on this issue. I think the Administration has always been willing to prosecute the Bush Administration and the CIA from President Bush down to the lowest employee, but it was also willing to drop the entire matter. I think the Obama Administration’s goal is to use this for political ends and if the polls were in Obama’s favor and liberals were solidly on the Administration’s side, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  85. he’s always politicized the department

    Funny,

    Are we to assume politics has nothing to do with the Obama Derangement Syndrome on display here?

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  86. sunburn, you can’t stick to one spin, can you?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  87. sunburn,

    You believe the allegations against Gates are bogus and the allegations against the CIA, the military and the Bush Administration are true. If that’s correct, aren’t you just as wrong as someone who assumes the opposite is true?

    DRJ (3f5471)

  88. Yes, but at least I’ll admit to my biases.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  89. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications-Justice Department Advises Prosecutors to Reopen CIA Investigations (Updated) [...]

    Prosecutor appointed by Eric Holder to investigate CIA. Panetta reportedly, “Pissed!” « The Western Experience (565823)

  90. I wonder what other names sunburn trolls under at other sites.

    JD (109a3f)

  91. sunburn, you can’t stick to one spin, can you?

    SPQR, sunburn is more interested in winning than finding the truth.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (3b3b67)

  92. The bottom line remains that these allegations were already investigated by the Department of Justice and career prosecutors declined to prosecute anyone except one person.

    Combine this with the bizarre idea to run terrorist interrogations out of the White House, and it is obvious why Leon Panetta is pissed off at the administration undermining the CIA. Heck, he’s probably pissed at being a part of an administration run by a junior high school debate team.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  93. sunburn,

    Fair enough. I have biases, too, and one of mine is that I’d rather not have intelligence agencies investigated by the DOJ. I don’t object to investigations of possible wrongdoing but I prefer the investigations be done by an appropriate IG rather than the executive branch of either Party. It makes it too easy to politicize national security issues.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  94. Well, DRJ, we’ve already seen that Obama fires Inspectors General that get uncomfortably close to his political buddies.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  95. DRJ – What you consider a bug, they consider a feature.

    JD (b7fd45)

  96. Meantime, depending on “what did the President know and when did he know it”, an impeachable offense looks to have been committed.

    nk (b17d90)

  97. I prefer the investigations be done by an appropriate IG rather than the executive branch of either Party

    From the Bush admin. C.I.A. IG report released today:

    “The CIA IG repeatedly brought what it viewed as abuses or violations of law to the attention of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Justice Department, without any positive result.”

    What now, DRJ?

    Looks like Bush’s C.I.A. IG agrees with Holder’s action.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  98. In the context of 9/11, it is strange that Mr. holder is seeking a case against members of our intelligence services, especially when more serious violations may have occurred recently — and with political motives as opposed to motives of national defense. It seems that there are at least two instances where President Obama (or some member of his administration) violated the law. In one case the violation was blatant and the other a distinct possibility.

    President Obama should have been investigated when he blatantly fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin who was investigating Obama-supporter and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson for misusing federal grants. This appears to clearly violate Section 3 of the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008, which oddly enough, was co-sponsored by then Senator Obama.

    In the second instance, documented here by DRJ, there exists the distinct possibility that President Obama may have violated section 552 of the Privacy Act of 1974. The recent admission (after weeks of denial) that the White House was responsible for having unsolicited emails sent to American citizens, begs the question of whether or not lists of American citizens are being maintained in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974. Certainly an investigation is warranted.

    Instead, Mr. Holder has decided to try to prosecute members of our intelligence agencies while fighting two theater wars and supporting anti-terrorist operations with allies throughout the world. Even if the investigation or prosecution is not successful, what a great victory for the terrorist-enemies of our country who can only defeat us, not by force of arms, but by propaganda and perceptions. The terrorists get even more leverage when we do some of that work for them.

    Some of those terrorists celebrated when President Obama was elected — and now, thanks to his administration, those celebrations appear justified.

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  99. I personally support trying those agents whose interrogations resulted in the death of the detainee. There are several of those cases. If it’s determined that murder was the cause, I think there’s a law or two that make murder illegal.

    In what country did these interrogations take place?

    “The federal torture statute prohibits a U.S. national from threatening anyone in his or her custody with imminent death”–WAPO

    That would make executions illegal.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  100. Comment by sunburn — 8/24/2009 @ 8:18 pm

    Oh Good Lord.

    We’ve already said these allegations have been investigated before, and even lefty sites like Salon.com say there’s nothing new here.

    Try to keep up, willya?

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (3b3b67)

  101. “I expect the Durham criminal investigation will plow a fallow field”

    steve – So why pursue it? Is it to distract from the health care debacle, to throw a bone to the fringe left or the international human rights community (not likely given the continuation of rendition), provide more political theater for Congress, or some other bizarre reason.

    It’s a contemptible precedent to second guess the decisions of prior Attorneys General as well as to demoralize further the intelligence community.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  102. “Looks like Bush’s C.I.A. IG agrees with Holder’s action.”

    sunburn – Quote please. It’s not the IG’s call to make the decision to prosecute. The IG did his job in 2004 – incidents which were not prosecutesd, like the death you mentioned, were handled administratively. You seem to have a problem commenting factually.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  103. Pons – How very racist of you.

    JD (c3a7b7)

  104. We’ve already said these allegations have been investigated before…

    Is there any lamer argument than the old “This is old news” argument?

    It’s safe to say Holder knows considerably more today about CIA torture programs than he did before his confirmation.

    Unless you guys are making some kind of bizarro double jeopardy argument?

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  105. I am so denounced!

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  106. sunburn,

    I’m not sure what case the report you mention is talking about since I haven’t read it, but the DOJ under AG John Ashcroft did prosecute abusive interrogation cases (like this one) that were referred to it by the CIA’s Inspector General.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  107. Is there any lamer argument than the old “This is old news” argument?

    Your problem is that it happens to be true. Like I said, even lefty sites like Salon.com are saying there’s nothing new here.

    It’s safe to say Holder knows considerably more today about CIA torture programs than he did before his confirmation.

    So how come he didn’t say “We now have new evidence so we’re moving to prosecute” in his statement? Hmn?

    Like daleyrocks said, you seem to have a problem commenting factually.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (3b3b67)

  108. #97 — Comment by sunburn — 8/24/2009 @ 8:18 pm

    From the Bush admin. C.I.A. IG report released today:

    “The CIA IG repeatedly brought what it viewed as abuses or violations of law to the attention of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Justice Department, without any positive result.”

    The un-sourced Sunburn-quotation at @97 is here.

    It appears the quote is based on the interpretation of CIA documents made by Michael Scherer (Mr. Scherer lists his previous employment with “Salon.com, Mother Jones, and the Daily Hampshire Gazette”).

    I say appear because Mr. Scherer (“the White House correspondent for TIME”) fails to explicitly reveal the documents in question other than …”CIA declassified a raft of documents…”.

    Sunburn, quoting the opinion of a demonstrably left-wing reporter, who in turn is interpreting unnamed documents, hardly bears any relevancy to the matter at hand; it is just an opinion of a left leaning reporter, and has no bearing as a factual statement.

    Sunburn’s claim that his quotation is “From the Bush admin. C.I.A. IG report released today” is false (shocka).

    I could say:

    What now, Sunburn?

    Looks like Obama-supporters do not want to source original material to justify Holder’s action.

    …but I won’t ;-)

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  109. “Unless you guys are making some kind of bizarro double jeopardy argument?”

    sunburn – Absolutely not. I hear Holder is going after Scooter Libby next.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  110. Now we know what Eric Holder’s “private assurances” are worth.

    Y’all realize he’s appointing the same man who has been investigating the destruction of interrogation tapes appointed by Mukasey several years ago, with zero criminal indictments.

    This is all show.

    Topsecretk9 (ab69ad)

  111. Liberal Democrats and their curious ideas about war crimes…

    The guy who ordered this…

    “Changing their tactics to expand the coverage and increase the damage, 335 B-29s took off[1] to raid on the night of 9–10 March, with 279 of them[1] dropping around 1,700 tons of bombs. Fourteen B-29s were lost.[1] Approximately 16 square miles (41 km²) of the city were destroyed and some 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the resulting firestorm, more than the immediate deaths of either the Hiroshima or Nagasaki atomic bombs.[2][3] The US Strategic Bombing Survey later estimated that nearly 88,000 people died in this one raid, 41,000 were injured, and over a million residents lost their homes. The Tokyo Fire Department estimated a higher toll: 97,000 killed and 125,000 wounded. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department established a figure of 124,711 casualties including both killed and wounded and 286,358 buildings and homes destroyed. Richard Rhodes, historian, put deaths at over 100,000, injuries at a million and homeless residents at a million.”–wiki article on the Tokyo firebombing raid in March 1945

    …is, according to the Lib Dems, a great humanitarian, one of our greatest presidents and a libby-wibby hero of the first water.

    But, a guy who did this…

    “In one instance, interrogators told alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that his children would be killed if any further attacks on the United States occurred, according to new details released from the CIA’s inspector general’s 2004 report.”

    …is a heinous war criminal worthy of prosecution.

    Too freaking funny.

    Dave Surls (502db9)

  112. “This is all show.”

    TSK9 – I Did Not Know That!

    Sort of like a distraction, almost?

    From what?

    Michelle’s shorts?
    High speed rail?
    Auto worker VEBA bailout?

    Could be almost anything.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  113. Sunburn, quoting the opinion of a demonstrably left-wing reporter…

    Whilst DRJ’s quote from the carefully edited words of a National Review “reporter” is just an unbiased, non-partisan informational.

    sunburn (5d93e3)

  114. Holders promise has the same result as the terrorists released by the Euroweenies. Both were worth as much as a gob of swine flu infected spit.

    Scrapiron (996c34)

  115. Daley

    I know I was stating the obvious. It’s just that the leftards haven’t realized Holder is appointing the same guy who declined to prosecute known violators of the law – the folks who destroyed tapes they were told not too, and the the left thinks he’s gonna now change? Like Holder only picked this guy cuz he knows it will go nowhere but gave his boy president a headline.

    Topsecretk9 (ab69ad)

  116. What sunburn (perfect name, imnsho) either fails to realize or refuses to admit is that “mainstream” store-bought journalists have an agenda, not merely a bias. As was pointed out in college courses I took a year or so ago, everyone but everyone has a bias. Understanding there is bias in everything people write helps a reader. Understanding there is agenda in most of what passes as main-stream journalism today allows the consumer to have eyes that can see and ears that can hear. And understanding the difference between bias and agenda allows intelligent people to see the difference between nuance and activism.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  117. I just can’t get over how excited these leftist get at nothing but headlines, month after month, year after year. It’s incredible how gullible and stupid they are and how easily played.

    Topsecretk9 (ab69ad)

  118. And I am still offended by the slang term “libtard.” It is an affront to the mentally-retarded (and I refuse to use the PC term for that.) I much prefer the slang term “libturd” as it is much more fitting.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  119. I personally am overjoyed that Obama, so politically wounded this earlY with his devastatingly dismal handling of SocialOCare is this move will ruin his presidency. He won’t let it happen he’ll just pretend and dangle the carrot over his noise makers like Hamsher and Greenwald to keep them quiet and pretend happy, but O is not so stupid to keep it up. If his presidency is defined as accomplishing nothing more than prosecuting CIA agents and people who prevent 9-11 style attacks on this country AND IF ANOTHER ATTACK HAPPENS ON HIS WATCH? Democrats will not be elected to office for decades.

    Topsecretk9 (ab69ad)

  120. @112 — Comment by sunburn — 8/24/2009 @ 10:59 pm

    Whilst DRJ’s quote from the carefully edited words of a National Review “reporter” is just an unbiased, non-partisan informational.

    Are you referring to her last comment at #106?

    If so, she never misrepresented herself:
    a) unlike you, she linked her source for all to see.
    b) unlike you, she never claimed her info came from the IG*.
    c) unlike you, her source had factual case data**.
    d) unlike you, her tone was completly respectful.
    e) unlike you, she DID NOT quote anything***.

    *(or even that it was unbiased, which IMO it is)

    **(things like name of defendant, what he was charged with, judge, location of the courtroom, etc — in short, verifiable data)

    ***(once again, another falsehood — shocka)

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  121. Understanding there is agenda in most of what passes as main-stream journalism today

    Too funny, only a year out of school and already he possesses the wisdom of…Glenn Beck.

    Can you name a single thing the Republicans have done in the last 40 years that didn’t benefit one of the following groups:

    1. The rich
    2. The oil companies
    3. The war profiteers

    The Democrats may be biased, but at least they mean well.

    The Republicans, OTOH, would have us all laboring in their underground sugar caves if they could get away with it.

    Sunburn (5d93e3)

  122. 119 — Comment by Sunburn — 8/25/2009 @ 12:08 am

    Can you name a single thing the Republicans have done in the last 40 years that didn’t benefit one of the following groups…

    Sure, but it is surprising that you cannot. After all, it was the biggest event in the last 4 decades. Here is a hint:

    thousands of big, shiny missiles aimed at us

    Come-on Sunburn, you can do it –

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  123. thousands of big, shiny missiles aimed at us

    I thought all of Iran’s missiles were aimed at Israel?

    Sunburn (5d93e3)

  124. The Iranians have thousands of missiles?

    Source please.

    Just kidding ;-)

    Pons Asinorum (20c241)

  125. Only a year out of school? Sunburn, I thought for sure you were one of the tools who were around when I was posting before I lost a lot of a lot of stuff. But for your edification, my daughter earned SOM and SOQ while serving her country with distinction in Iraq for 15 months. (Go to my stale website and enter “pics” in the search box for pics of my daughter and enter “raise up” for educational training.)

    And, for the record, I hold Stashiu second only to my daughter in respect and gratitude for service to this country. This former USMC reservist gladly yells “Go Army!” during the annual Army-Navy game.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  126. The Democrats may be biased, but at least they mean well.

    You really are a rube. Democrats will kill people by trying to pass this obscene health care heist so that this administration can steal more money and accrue more power.

    The Republicans, OTOH, would have us all laboring in their underground sugar caves if they could get away with it.

    You should know better than to make a slavery analogy against Republicans, especially since Democrats still have an ex KKK member elected to office.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  127. “Can you name a single thing the Republicans have done in the last 40 years that didn’t benefit one of the following groups:”

    Surely.

    They didn’t get 600,000 Americans killed in a bunch of pointless foreign wars like the Democrats did in the 1917-1972 period.

    They didn’t lynch thousands of people and institute a reign of terror in the American south.

    They didn’t put thousands of innocent Japanese-Americans in concentration camps.

    They didn’t turn traitor en masse and spark off a bloody civil war that left hundreds of thousands of Americans dead like the Dems did in 1861.

    They didn’t initiate military conscription and force tens of millions of Americans into the armed forces whether they wanted to go or not. As a matter of fact, the much loathed Richard Nixon effectively put an end to the Democrats slave army system (which act alone makes him a better president than any sl;aver Democrat who ever came down the pike).

    And, that’s just for starters.

    Dave Surls (066cb4)

  128. It is rather amusing to watch drive-by’s like sunburn devolve over the course of a single thread. I keep waiting for it to scream Halliburton!

    JD (68664a)

  129. Yeah. Let the investigations proceed and the chips fall where they may. In the course of destroying this country, George W. Bush (the First Fool as I loved to call him) undid DECADES of diplomatic protocol.

    Were these morons able to get information via torture? Sure they did. Most of that info was false. You see, under those circumstances, the person being tortured will say just about anything. It is quite interesting: no one in this administration (Excuse me, I meant to say, “THAT administration) was smart enough to figure this out.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

    Tom Degan (42a1c2)

  130. Today’s forecast is more drive-by moonbats with BDS, followed by a lot of “Look! Something shiny!”

    JD (6f7c10)

  131. The Democrats may be biased, but at least they mean well.

    You’re either quite young, or incredibly ignorant – I choose both.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  132. This thread was a great example of when liberals can’t deal with the issue, they throw up lots of smoke and chaff. In the end, this issue still shows you can not take Pres. Obama or Holder at their implied word, you should only expect the worst of intentions.

    There is a bright side; this has become so apparent to the American populous there are increasing odds the dems will have their behinds firmly indented next fall.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  133. And a lefty rocket scientist stops by to enlighten us all…

    “Most of that info was false.”

    You mean information provided by captured terrorists is often not the truth?

    Goodness, I never would have suspected.

    Dave Surls (066cb4)

  134. 133. Indeed. Fortunately the 1-5% of what they provide that is true and useful has saved lives. Maybe even the lives of liberals. Sweet irony.

    ray (3c46ca)

  135. threatening terrorists with death is against the law

    So soldiers in the field can not legally threaten terrorists with death if they do not surrender?

    Maybe they should just summarily execute captured terrorists.

    Seriously, though, the definition of torture is being dumbed down.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  136. In the blink of an eye, the White House completely changed the news cycle, away from popular discontent with the Obama health nationalization and to the CIA.

    This is a political masterstroke and a disaster for those of us worried about the future. The Congress is suddenly not getting phone calls and town hall meetings might well now be half empty. I can only hope the memory of all the protests stays fresh in the minds of Congress, and that this persecution fuels general discontent with the administration.

    PS. While he’s there, could the prosecutor please examine Holder’s participation in the Rich pardon. Maybe he could go after a real crime….

    MTF (551a4b)

  137. 136. Nice Moby. Don’t worry, it’s all about the polls now, which is all about Obimbocare.

    ray (3c46ca)

  138. Isn’t Holder’s prior firm providing defense to some of the detainees? Sounds like a conflict of interest, or at least, a happy coincidence.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  139. Sunburn, other than misrepresenting allegations as facts, and tu quoque, do you have anything?

    SPQR (8475fc)

  140. I see MTF’s comment as sarcasm actually.

    SPQR (8475fc)

  141. John Hitchcock,

    Thank you Sir. And congrats to your daughter, well done!

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  142. do you have anything

    Just the rule of law, SPQR.

    Sunburn (5d93e3)

  143. Sunburn, the rule of law was already applied. One CIA contractor was prosecuted already. Do pay attention to events.

    SPQR (8475fc)

  144. Sunburn’s vapid little snark – “Just the rule of law” – is especially annoying given the fact that the Bush administration was very careful not to depart from the principles of the rule of law. Twits like sunburn confuse differences of opinion on the scope and interpretation of the law with lawlessness because such simplistic sloganeering is all they are capable of.

    SPQR (8475fc)

  145. Were these morons able to get information via torture?

    …said the moron who also flogged his insipid and inane blog in a pathetic attempt at increasing it’s readership over the current headcount of one.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  146. Tom Degan, actually sorting out truth from falsehood in a set of information is the entire purpose of an intelligence agency. It would seem that you are the one that can’t figure anything out. The CIA has been doing that, with varying levels of success thanks to bizarre obstructions from Democrats, for more than half a century.

    The rest of your comment reveals that you are completely clueless about the diplomatic successes of the Bush administration. Ignorance seems your only characteristic.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  147. So we should just trust the CIA, that is, the government to do the right thing.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  148. JEA, wow that strawman did not give you much of a fight I hope?

    In this case, the incidents that are at issue were reported to Congressional oversight committees half a decade ago now.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  149. JEA, did anyone say the CIA shouldn’t be investigated at all, ever? I think the argument is that the investigations occurred already, and repeatedly reversing course is just not a constructive way to do business, particularly when it’s a naked attempt to score political points. Obama’s health care efforts are a huge failure and embarrassment, and this is his attempt to distract idiots.

    That and his kids and a bunch of cute photos of him playing golf.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  150. LOL, if liberals actually applied the rule of law in full, Obama wouldn’t be president.

    Ray (3c46ca)

  151. In the unlikely chance any of these CIA operatives and subcontractors are charged and brought to trial for carrying out Dick Cheney’s dubious, ends-justifies-the-means directives in time of ‘war,’ they can take comfort, as Scooter Libby did, knowing he will hold their coats and voice support safely from a far. They can, perhaps, try to deal for immunity to expose superiors, using the ‘only following orders’ defense. But then that worked so well for William Calley.

    William Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre

    William Calley, the former Army lieutenant convicted on 22 counts of murder in the infamous My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, publicly apologized for the first time this week while speaking in Columbus.

    “There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus on Wednesday. His voice started to break when he added, ‘I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.’

    In March 1968, U.S. soldiers gunned down hundreds of civilians in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. The Army at first denied, then downplayed the event, saying most of the dead were Vietcong. But in November 1969, journalist Seymour Hersh revealed what really happened and Calley was court martialed and convicted of murder.

    He did not deny what had happened that day, but did repeatedly make the point — which he has made before — that he was following orders. Calley explained he had been ordered to take out My Lai, adding that he had intelligence that the village was fortified and would be “hot” when he went in. He also said the area was submitted to an artillery barrage and helicopter fire before his troops went in. It turned out that it was not hot and there was no armed resistance. But he had been told, he said, that if he left anyone behind, his troops could be trapped and caught in a crossfire.”- source, ledger-enquirer.com 8/21/09

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  152. Is the International Man of Parody off its meds again?

    JD (16fd4f)

  153. Let’s be clear. DCSCA was born about 1956. He seems pretty invested in the whole “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh” culture.

    Maybe he did a book report or something.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  154. They can, perhaps, try to deal for immunity to expose superiors

    That’s how Nixon bought it.

    Perhaps this is why the right is so worried about this fairly routine investigation?

    Who knows what people will reveal under oath…to save their own butts.

    Sunburn (5d93e3)

  155. Keep that in mind. What comes around, goes around. And I think that the politicians know it.

    Eric Blair (a88004)

  156. “Now we know what Eric Holder’s “private assurances” are worth.”

    And now we know what the confirmation hearings by the Senate in its “advise and consent” role of approving political appointments are worth.

    I do not think for a minute that any Senator voted for or against Mr. Holder because of what he said during his testimony. In fact, I don’t think any Senator’s vote for or against any political appointee is swayed by the appointee’s testimony. It’s all political theater. The Senators ask questions (or not) according to whether they want the appointee to look good or bad to the public, and the appointee gives the answers that the President, the President’s advisers and the appointee believe are going to make him most acceptable to the largest fraction of the public.

    As a practical matter, the best indicator of a person’s future behavior is his/her past behavior, and Senators know (or should know) that; I believe their minds are made up before the hearings even take place, and any remarks they make to the contrary are merely playing a role on the political stage.

    ExRat (d7355e)

  157. Calley should have been skinned alive slowly, then salted well, then slowly roasted over a coal fire, then eaten piece by piece while still alive. He got lucky to have had both a military trial and suckass ’70s libaral appeals judges. Were a Vietnamese collateral descendant (he did not leave any direct descendants) of his victims to hunt him down and kill him, I would contribute to his defense fund.

    nk (b17d90)

  158. #156- Hmmmm. Let’s be clearer. That would be news to my blessed mother. A well-trained pooch follows the master a few paces behind. Arf-arf!You follow well.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  159. #158- typo- meant for 153. Heel!

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  160. DCSCA, your comment reveals your utter ignorance of the legal issues. Interrogators who operated under the specific guidance of the Dept of Justice that their conduct was legal have more than a “following orders” defense.

    But once again, you opine on topics for which you have no idea of the facts, background, issue and arguments.

    International Man of Parody, you once again earn your moniker.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  161. Someone call the orderlies, the krazy IMP is on the loose.

    JD (1f5216)


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