Torture

It Is Time For Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, And Red State Democrats To Put Nation Ahead Of Their Own Senate Seats

It is perfectly understood that all people who work like to keep their jobs and earn their income.

But there is no member of the US Senate that is “desperate” and “needy” to keep their jobs.

What is needed now is, as John F. Kennedy wrote, “Profiles in Courage”.

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, so called “moderate” Republicans, need to stand up and say, “NO WAY”, would they support Brett Kavanaugh to fill the available seat on the Supreme Court, since he clearly has a record of being anti abortion, and both women Senators claim they are pro choice, so they must refuse to support him.

It is clear that Brett Kavanaugh has committed perjury a number of times in earlier hearings before the Senate while under oath, and he should not be promoted to the Supreme Court, with his record of pursuing Bill Clinton with Ken Starr 20 years ago; his advocacy of torture in the Iraq War; his promotion of an anti gay marriage amendment under George W. Bush; and his unwillingness to say he would recuse himself from any case involving Trump and the scandals that have erupted in the past two years.

But even if Collins and Murkowksi were to back off on Kavanaugh, the requirement also is for Red State Democrats, who are running for reelection, to vote against Kavanaugh in unison, even if it leads to their defeat, which seems unlikely in the present political climate.

So that means West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Montana Senator Jon Tester, and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill MUST save the nation from a Right Wing extremist Supreme Court, even if they lose their seats, putting the nation ahead of their own ambitions.

Is Donald Trump On Road To Being International War Criminal By His Stated Views On Torture, Oil, And Punishment Of Terrorist Families?

It looks, at least by Donald Trump rhetoric that the 45th President of the United States is on the road to being an international war criminal, if he were to follow through on his stated views on torture, the oil of Iraq, and punishment of terrorist families.

It is clear that waterboarding and similar tortures utilized by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld a decade ago in the Iraq War was criminal activity against the Geneva Convention and international standards of proper behavior toward detainees in war.

The top people around Donald Trump–Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have all stated their opposition to revival of this tactic, along with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

But that does not mean that Trump would not order it be done, but if so, all of these people should make clear to him that if he does so, that they will resign. Otherwise, they would also be war criminals.

Trump’s statement that America might invade Iraq again, and seize their oil, is also an international war crime, no different than the tactics of Adolf Hitler.

And his idea that the families of suspected or actual terrorists should be subject to punishment, including bombing their homes, and imprisonment and execution, is also, definitely, a war crime.

We have a megalomaniac, a dangerous, mentally unhinged President, who is disgracing us before the world community, and he needs to be arrested and sent to the Hague to the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, the Netherlands, IF he follows through on any of these threats.

And being an international war criminal is enough grounds for his immediate removal by impeachment, and if the Republican Congress refused to do so, they would be accessories to war crimes.

Donald Trump And Foreign Policy Knowledge: An “Empty Suit”!

Donald Trump has now demonstrated that he is totally lacking in foreign policy knowledge and expertise, and still has no announced foreign policy advisers of repute!  This comes out of his interviews with the New York Times and Washington Post Editorial Boards!

His suggestion that NATO is out of date is preposterous, and his willingness to create unnecessary tensions with China, Japan, Mexico, and the Islamic world is terrifying.

His willingness to use torture and waterboarding, and to consider nuclear attack against ISIL (ISIS), is reprehensible.

The fact that Great Britain had a discussion about banning Trump, and that he is causing embarrassment with our European allies by his isolationist rhetoric, is shocking.

This man has no clue on foreign policy, and is truly an “empty suit”!

We cannot afford to make this narcissist Commander in Chief, and even those involved in our national security have stated that he would be dangerous, and might have to be disobeyed if he gave orders that made no sense!

So said Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA and NSA, and such a warning should sober all of us as to the craziness of electing Donald Trump President of the United States!

March 4, 1789–227 Years Without A Tyrant–Not About To Allow It To Happen Now With Donald Trump!

The American Constitution went into effect officially on March 4, 1789, even though the first President, George Washington, was inaugurated belatedly on April 30, 1789.

We so revere the Constitution without realizing that through domestic and foreign crises over the years, we have only come fairly close to danger just once–the lawlessness of Richard Nixon.

But even with Nixon, we were far from Fascism or dictatorship, and the Constitution did work well  in the 1970s.

Despite acts of illegality, and plans for more, Richard Nixon was stopped dead in his tracks, including Alexander Haig telling the Pentagon to ignore Richard Nixon if he ordered martial law!

So when we hear that Donald Trump would order the military to break international law and American law, and return to the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney system of torture through waterboarding that has been banned by Barack Obama; and when we hear that Trump would wish to kill the entire families of suspected terrorists, and have no limit on military engagement as the military would obey him–then we know we have a tyrant in the making.

And when we hear that Trump wishes his crazy followers to beat up anti Trump protesters at rallies, and would plan to curb freedom of speech, press and assembly, including against media critics including the New York Times and Washington Post when he gains power, then we know we have Fascism in our midst, much greater than Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Pat Buchanan, or other lesser demagogues!

We have not had a tyrant for 227 years of our Republic, and we are not about to allow it to happen now with Donald Trump and his ilk!

Dick Cheney: The Most Villainous Vice President In American History, Bar None!

America has had 47 Vice Presidents, and some of them have been true disasters and villains.

Aaron Burr, Vice President under Thomas Jefferson (1801-1805), tried to steal the Presidential Election of 1800 from his own running mate, Thomas Jefferson. He then proceeded to kill Alexander Hamilton in a totally legal gun duel in 1804. He was then accused of a plot with Spain to take away territories from the United States, was captured, brought to trial for treason, and found not guilty. In his old age, his wife sued him for divorce due to his serial cheating, which she had been unaware of, and left him in poverty.

John C. Calhoun, Vice President under John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and Andrew Jackson (1829-1833), showed lack of loyalty to Adams, switching support to Jackson, and then threatening to lead South Carolina in seceding from the Union, provoking the Nullification Crisis of 1832-1833.

Schuyler Colfax, first Vice President (1869-1873) under Ulysses S. Grant, was involved in the Credit Mobilier Scandal, and was therefore, forced out as the second term running mate of Grant.

Spiro Agnew, Vice President under Richard Nixon (1969-1973) was a divisive, confrontational Vice President, who was forced to resign in disgrace due to involvement in financial scandal, including taking cash bribes in his years as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and also as Vice President.

And then there was Dick Cheney, who enriched himself through his associations with Haliburton, a company which gained from war profiteering. He helped to promote war in Iraq, knowing full well that the war was based on false pretenses, and he advocated and promoted EIT (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques), meaning torture against detainees said to be involved in terrorist plots against America, including September 11, even though it went against American values of ethics and morality, as well as violation of international law. Cheney has never apologized for his actions or behavior, or had doubts in any form, while enriching himself in a totally corrupt manner. His daughter, Liz Cheney, has become the younger female version of her father; and his wife, Lynne Cheney, has shown herself to be no better.

Meanwhile, many Republicans, including Colin Powell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and others have condemned the methods and actions of Dick Cheney, and there are calls for him and George W. Bush to be accountable for war crimes, although there is no possibility of them ever facing trial.

Without a doubt, Dick Cheney stands out as the most villainous Vice President in American history bar none!

Can The US Win Success In War On Terror By Utilizing Tactics Of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist North Korea, And ISIL?

It is clear that America lives in a different era since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that our national security structure must do everything within legitimate limits to protect our nation!

There is no real argument with that fact, but the question arises whether this nation can win success in the War on Terror by utilizing tactics of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist North Korea, ISIL, and other despotic regimes throughout history.

If our government lacks any ethics, morals, and sense of decency in its actions against our enemies, it means our soldiers and civilians will be treated in the same despotic manner, whenever any of them are unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of the enemy.

But even if the enemy employs these despicable tactics is NO justification for us to do the same, as we are a democracy that believes in human dignity, human freedom, human rights, and the rule of law!

Torture is inhumane, and does not gain actionable intelligence by any measure we know of, but even if we think it does, it is against all common sense, as to become a “monster” in order to fight a “monster” is to lose our purpose as a nation which sets a standard of civilized behavior for the world.

Some will say that dropping the atomic bomb in World War II; firebombing Dresden and Tokyo in World War II; using drones in the War on Terror; and other similar tactics is the same situation, no better than CIA torture of detainees in prison.

But in actual fact, while the examples given are reprehensible, they are part of the laws of war, while brutal torture tactics are not so, as detainees are supposed to be treated with respect, which, of course, is why what happened with the Nazis in the Holocaust of World War II; the Cambodian Holocaust of the late 1970s by the Khmer Rouge; and other mass murders by ISIL and other groups is a totally different category of what must be called war crimes!

And sadly, what the CIA has done, and what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have authorized and defended, IS a war crime, plain and simple!

The Disgraceful Breaking Of International Law And Ethics And Morality Of The Bush-Cheney Administration!

Just about the most shocking event in many years is the revelation yesterday in the US Senate of the total lack of ethics, morality and decency, and the disgraceful breaking of international law by the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney Administration!

Torture is outlawed by all decent nations, and just because terrorists and some rogue regimes choose to torture is not a justification for such practices. The most obscene, reprehensible tactics authorized by the Bush-Cheney regime qualifies them for facing trial under international law as war criminals, plain and simple.

This crime is worse than ANYTHING ever done under any President of the United States, bar none, and should, rightfully, place George W. Bush in the very bottom of the rankings of Presidents for all time!

Dick Cheney will always stand out as the absolutely worst Vice President in history, with no conscience, ethics or morals, on top of being a war profiteer from the military involvement in Iraq, through his connections with Haliburton!

Bush and Cheney will escape judgment in an international court, but their names will be forever besmirched in history, and the fact that decent people in both political parties, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona (himself tortured in a North Vietnamese prison), Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, and Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia join in condemning their lawlessness is a sign that we have not lost all morality and ethics. In effect, the Presidential Election of 2000, where Al Gore won the biggest popular vote margin for a losing candidate (due to questionable Supreme Court intervention) led to this monstrosity in the name of the American people! And if John McCain, by far the preferable GOP candidate in 2000, had been able to overcome the reprehensible tactics of George W. Bush in the primaries, and ended up running against Al Gore, this nation would have been assured of having a lawful, moral, ethical President, instead of the trash we put into the White House and the Vice Presidency!

It will take a long time for the American reputation to be revived to what it has been, and we have to work very hard to insure that, in the future, we elect to the Presidency ONLY men or women who have a basic sense of the limits of power; a sense of ethics and morality; and a sense of common decency and belief in international standards of behavior!

And to think that these reprehensible tactics did nothing to protect America, and instead endangers our citizens and military long into the future, is the ultimate irony above all!

The Massive Contrast: Joe Biden Vs Dick Cheney As Vice President!

The last two Vice Presidents of the United States have shown how the office has grown in significance, but also it demonstrates the massive contrast between these two individuals!

Both Joe Biden and Dick Cheney are well qualified to have become President of the United States.

Both Joe Biden and Dick Cheney had experiences and stature to become Vice President, among the best in those regards of all our 47 Vice Presidents!

Once we get past those facts, there is no comparison between Joe Biden and Dick Cheney, who are diametrical opposites!

Joe Biden is warm, friendly, congenial, charming, charismatic, genuine, a great orator, relates well to ordinary people, while Dick Cheney has NONE of these assets!

Joe Biden is like a friendly neighbor who is there to help you, a person who adds positive vibes everywhere he goes. Biden can engage in such situations as to be invited to a high school prom and handle it gracefully and with class; or to do a spoof on the HBO series “VEEP”; or to swear in new Senators by charming their mothers, their wives, their children! No one is like Joe Biden in this ability to be funny, considerate, and to be someone who feels as if he is not a politician, certainly not a typical one!

Dick Cheney is totally the opposite of everything stated, in many ways a forbidding, scary man who has become fanatical, willing to support torture through water boarding and to come across as a “Darth Vader” type, and extremely dominating and bossy, to the point where even his “boss”, George W. Bush, started to separate himself from him in his second term as President.

Barack Obama has no such problem, as Joe Biden knows he is not the President, and contributes to the administration in an appropriate manner, and is well liked by everyone, even if they do not agree with him on every issue.

How could anyone NOT like Joe Biden personally, and how could anyone NOT dislike Dick Cheney personally, even if one acknowledges his experience, knowledge, expertise and ability to take over the Presidency, had that been necessary?

Thank goodness Dick Cheney never became President, but at the same time, we could do far worse than a President Joe Biden, as he would inspire many Americans, would become a very popular President, and would prove to be a Harry Truman in attacking the opposition, a “give them hell Joe”, who would speak for the interests of the vast majority of us, and add to the legacy of TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and Barack Obama in the White House!

Public Safety And National Security Versus Right To Privacy

Libertarians and Barack Obama critics are up in arms over the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation authority to gain records of phone calls, emails, voice mails, and all other evidence that could possibly prevent future terrorist attacks, claiming it is a loss of the right to privacy, and that privacy should overrule public safety and national security.

But, as much as this author wishes we lived in a world without terrorism, the reality is that the number one priority of the government is to promote public safety and national security, and if one is NOT engaged in terrorist or criminal activity, what do we have to hide from the government? Why such a protest if nothing we are doing is illegal?

Believe me, after Benghazi, we see the reaction because we failed to stop a terrorist attack, but now some of the same critics are trying to stop the government from protecting Americans on the false idea that somehow, we all have something to hide, and that the government should not be able to track terrorist or criminal actions, in the name of that privacy.

When we discover, however, that liberals from Diane Feinstein on the left to Lindsey Graham on the right, and all of the Intelligence Committee members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate knew about this, and approved of it, the screams and yells of people such as Rand Paul, who lives in his own fantasy world, ring hollow, as making a person such as him our President would undermine our public safety and national security, and we are not about to do such a stupid thing as to consider such a wing nut as Paul for the Presidency!

It is better to do what the NSA and FBI are doing, than it was to torture suspects in the way that George W. Bush promoted, as it will protect our nation, and yet uphold our belief in international law and common decency by the banning of torture methods which produce little substantial evidence, but shame us in the eyes of the world!

In history, Barack Obama will be seen as doing what was necessary and essential, just as much as Abraham Lincoln was bitterly attacked during the Civil War, but is now seen as justified in his restrictions on civil liberties!

Drones Policy Of Barack Obama A Very Troubling Issue For Civil Libertarians

The government memorandum obtained by NBC that justifies the use of predatory drones against American citizens overseas presents a real quandary for civil libertarians.

Since September 11, 2001, in the name of national security, we have seen the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney justify the use of “enhanced interrogation” and torture to gain information from suspects believe to be allied with Al Qaeda, and these suspects imprisoned in some cases now for a decade without any legal representation. Civil libertarians have condemned this violation as accomplishing little, except to besmirch the American image, and creating future generations out to attack America in revenge for such harsh treatment.

But now the administration of Barack Obama, led by John Brennan, who has been Chief Counter Terrorism adviser to the President, and is the nominee to be head of the Central Intelligence Agency.,has been engaged in the use of predatory drones to kill Americans overseas believed to be working with Al Qaeda, including Anwar Al Awlaki in Yemen, alleged to be involved in plots against the United States, and his son, killed in Yemen in a drone strike a couple of weeks after his father was killed in September 2011.

Critics would say that Awlaki should have been apprehended, brought to trial, and evidence presented publicly of his involvement in conspiracies, and that basic American values under the Bill of Rights were denied, and that his son was killed because of guilt by association, an even more egregious abuse of civil liberties.

The condemnation of Bush and Cheney has not been matched by condemnation of Obama, which makes it seem like pure politics.

This is, of course, not the first time Presidents have been engaged in violations of civil liberties, but with politics often determining the response.

Other Presidents who became involved in civil liberties violations include Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War; Woodrow Wilson in World War I; Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II; and probably every President since in the Cold War period; and Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama in the Age of Terrorism.

It is a complex issue, as certainly, the national security is at stake in wartime, and we could define what we are in now as an age of war, even though most Americans do not think of it that way, since there is no draft, as in other war periods until 1973.

One could also say that there could be trust of Barack Obama for some, while no such trust existed for George W. Bush. But the danger of such trust is that once policy is justified, how does one have the ability to retract that trust and implied right to be involved in such civil liberties abuses, for future Presidents, who we may not trust?

Therefore, this policy of using drones against American citizens is a very disturbing and troubling issue, which will expand the ability of the government to be judge, jury, and executioner of its own citizens overseas, and who knows, maybe one day in American territory itself!

Sadly, it turns out that Osama Bin Laden has triumphed in undermining America’s Constitution and Bill or Rights by what he wrought on September 11, 2001, and all Americans are the losers in this tragedy!