Bush Legacy: China Defends Its Use of Torture By Citing The Bush Torture Program

The Bush Administration has long been ridiculed by the international community as converting the United States from a leader in human rights to the very symbol of the violation of core principles of human rights. However, few were prepared for the utter hypocrisy of watching the Administration condemn China for its use of torture on the very same time that President Bush vetoed a ban on the use of torture in the waterboarding bill. Now China is using our torture program to defend its own abuses.

Chinese spokesman Qin Gang has accused the United States of “exercising double standards on human rights issues” in its condemnation of his country. There is little question that we are applying a double standard when both the President and Congress has struggled to preserve a well-defined form of torture. This hypocrisy will become more acute when our soldiers are waterboarded by other countries who will quote the President and various members of Congress in saying that it is perfectly appropriate.

For the full story, click here.

49 thoughts on “Bush Legacy: China Defends Its Use of Torture By Citing The Bush Torture Program

  1. One must give him credit. He always said that he wanted to bring China around to adopt U.S. values. It appears that Bush has succeeded on that goal at least.

  2. At this rate, JT, such American values, will sweep the world…

    Making the world safe for autocratic regimes with pre-emptive war policies, captive legislatures, nullified judiciaries, standingless citizenry, oh, what’s the use…?

    Planet Earth —a habeas-free torture zone.

  3. It is amazing that the media hasn’t picked up this story in a big way. It is the height of arrogance for the U.S. to hold the world to a higher standard against torture when Bush actually seems to be proud of his torture program. He still claims that it saved lives, but of course, we cannot know how and when we were saved. This from an administration who leaked secret information and put lives at risk to out a CIA agent for political payback. If they had really stopped further attacks from information gained from the torture victims, the Bush administration would have “leaked” that information to the press long ago.

  4. Rafflaw and Jill,

    You know, when the Iron Curtain came down in the end of the eighties, and suddenly the United States was the sole remaining superpower, when we were dubbed by the French a “hyperpower” and the name stuck; it was then that in some quarters of our government a terrible hubris and over-confidence was born.

    We no longer felt, some of us, that we had to worry about diplomatic nuance; we could start using our power instead of holding it in reserve. There were thinkers who counseled that power itself was a “use it or lose it” commodity, that we had a golden window of opportunity in which to reshape the world, before countervailing powers could arise to check us.

    It all led to this pass. The only winners are the National Surveillance State and the terrorist recruitment drives.

    DW

  5. Rafflwaw: Good Lord you are out there with the lunatics. Three people have been waterboarded, and then you go and think Bush is as low as the Democrats in that he would “leak” that it was successful. Your problem is you do not understand Bush because you and Turley and others here have BDS blinding your eyes. Bush DOESN”T CARE what you think. He knows history will judge him and that judgement won’t come until he is long gone. HE DOESN”T CARE about you TWO PERCENTERS RANTING THIS IS WRONG AND THAT IS WRONG. YOU WOULD BE THE VERY FIRST ONES TO START BITCHING THAT BUSH NEVER PROTECTED YOU IF WE WERE ATTACKED AGAIN. YOU WOULD BE WHINING HE NEVER “CONNECTED THE DOTS”.

  6. msnbc bs’er
    I see that you believe that George Bush only waterboarded 3 people. Even though I have trouble believing that Bush would tell the truth on anything, let’s assume that you are right. That means he only broke U.S. and International law 3 times. And I guess you are too slow to remember that your golden boy was President when we were attacked on 9/11. You are also right that George did not connect the dots prior to 9/11 and I am not sure that he could connect any dots. Finally, Thank you for including me on the same list as Professor Turley. That is the best compliment that you have ever given me. I am not sure that Professor Turley would agree to be on the same list with me, but I am still honored to be with him, even if it is only in your mind. By the way, does Rush tell you everything to say or do you get some of your gems from Fox News?

  7. msnbc bs’er, I hope everyone who writes in this forum has one thing in common; we care about our nation. I do not think people must agree about every issue but I do think it matters how each of us treats each other. Ideas should be honestly engaged with integrity.

    The administration has now Admitted to waterboarding 3 people. There are many eye witness accounts of waterboarding by contractors and OGA in Iraq. There are very good arguments that waterboarding and other forms of torture have not only failed to make us safer but have put Americans in harms’ way.

    I am not worried about what Bush thinks or how history will judge him. I must make my own judgement. I try to base this judgement on information and a sincere code of ethics which I have thought long and hard about. The information I have aquired and my own ethics tell me torture is wrong.

    If you would like to tell me the information and ethical code upon which you base your decision to support torture, I would honestly read it, not with hatred and a closed heart/mind but with a genuine willingness to hear a different view point.

  8. msnbcbser:

    “Bush DOESN”T CARE what you think.”

    ************************
    That is probably the most truthful thing you have ever said.

    Of course, other men with quaint notions, and assuredly less certain of their place in the judgment book of history thought public opinion still did matter in this Country:

    “The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to.”

    –Thomas Jefferson

    “Public opinion in this country is everything.”

    –Abraham Lincoln

    I wonder if history will remember them?

  9. >>msnbc bs ‘er: Good Lord you are out there with the lunatics. Three people have been waterboarded, and then you go and think Bush is as low as the Democrats in that he would “leak” that it was successful. Your problem is you do not understand Bush because you and Turley and others here have BDS blinding your eyes.

    Objectively speaking, understanding Bush is irrelevant to determining whether he broke the law.

    >>msnbc bs ‘er: Bush DOESN”T CARE what you think. He knows history will judge him and that judgement won’t come until he is long gone.

    By your reasoning, Charles Manson could demand release based on the theory that pending/unknown historical judgment trumps any judgment in a court of law.

    >>msnbc bs ‘er: HE DOESN”T CARE about you TWO PERCENTERS RANTING THIS IS WRONG AND THAT IS WRONG.

    Neither does Manson.

    >>msnbc bs ‘er: YOU WOULD BE THE VERY FIRST ONES TO START BITCHING THAT BUSH NEVER PROTECTED YOU IF WE WERE ATTACKED AGAIN.

    And we all know what happens to squealers in a PROTECTION RACKET; don’t we.

  10. I feel that it is very likely that more than three people were waterboarded and that Mr Bush himself may not have had access to all the reports. For complete information go to the OVP.

    There is reason to suspect such activities may have occurred at Bagram as well as Diego Garcia. Or maybe they didn’t.

    Not to mention the rendition sites. Or maybe they didn’t.

    Waterboarding itself has become a cause celebre, but is really the tip of the iceberg in terms of cruel and unusual punishments as well as assaults on human dignity as well as outright torture.

  11. Free Speech does have its inconveniences.

    That is to say – the pervasive ‘call / write teams’ of a singularly focused and determined extreme right wing are pervasive.

    They cast their shadow dutifully and carry out their instructions in manner that only Dostoyevsky might be capable of describing. They beat their chest to the sound of drum that has no meaning to them.

    They defend the chains that bind them.

    If only they were fiction and not our neighbors.

    (Apologies – I must need more fiber)

  12. “They cast their shadow dutifully and carry out their instructions in manner that only Dostoyevsky might be capable of describing. They beat their chest to the sound of drum that has no meaning to them.

    They defend the chains that bind them.

    If only they were fiction and not our neighbors.

    (Apologies – I must need more fiber)”

    Let’s not forget that shooting down the aforesaid clay pigeons not only aids in honing one’s argumentation skills, but also provides an excellent source of schadenfreude.

    Speaking of taking joy in the misery of others; bet ya can’t watch this just once:

    Regards,

    Bob

  13. It is with mixed emotions that I report I was able to watch the video ‘just once.” However tempting to a Three Stooges aficionado (of which I am) it is too painful a reminder of when I did precisely the same thing.

  14. The bill was not a ban on the use of torture. Torture is already illegal. Absolutely no one in the administration has ever, or is advocating the use of torture.

    The Bill addresses the use of “aggressive interrogation” techniques that are harsher than “pretty please wont you tell us” but do not cause any injury or physical harm — elements essential to meet the definition of torture.

    One would think that a “legal scholar” would know the difference.

    Waterboarding causes no physical harm, causes no pain. It scares people. It has been used on Kalied Sheik Mohammad and he sang like a bird, divulging information that was used to foil active terrorist plots.

    It’s disturbing to me that the same liberals that would insist police use “non-lethal” force (such as tazers, pepper spray, tear gas, etc) rather than bullets to subdue a man wielding a knife in public to prevent him from harming one person are the same liberals who insist it is TORTURE! to pour water over a mans face in a manner that causes no pain and no injury whatsoever. And that such methods must not be used even to prevent the death of thousands.

    It is moral retardation. Its argued by people who are putting their hatred of President Bush ahead of reason, the good of the country, and the lives of innocents, and it is repugnant.

  15. “The Bill addresses the use of “aggressive interrogation” techniques that are harsher than “pretty please wont you tell us” but do not cause any injury or physical harm — elements essential to meet the definition of torture.”

    –American Elephant

    The phrase “Verschärfte Vernehmung” is German for “enhanced interrogation”. Other translations include “intensified interrogation” or “sharpened interrogation”. It’s a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court.

    —Andrew Sullivan commenting on notorious Gestapo Chief of Security Mueller’s memo authorizing the exact enhanced interrogation techniques advocated by American Elephant.

    For the far right wing, things really don’t change very much. That’s why civilized people must always be on guard for their double-speak.

    You can read the memo translation here: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/verschfte_verne.html

  16. “Waterboarding causes no physical harm, causes no pain. It scares people.”

    –American Elephant

    “Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, [stated] that he had treated a number of people who had been subjected to such forms of near-asphyxiation, and he argued that it was indeed torture. Some victims were still traumatized years later, he said.”

    –Mayer, Jane. “Outsourcing Torture”, The New Yorker, 2005-02-14. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.

    ” “I have described the waterboarding I was submitted to. And no one can say, having passed through it, that this was not torture, especially when he has endured other types of torture—burning, electricity and beating, and so on.”

    —French Journalist Henri Alleg Describing His Torture of Being Waterboarded by French Forces During Algerian War

    I wonder just who really is the ideologue blinded by hate.

  17. American Elephant,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    The American legal tradition has long recognized that there are constitutional restraints on the type of treatment that agents of the state give persons in their custody. This includes the contexts of interrogation and incarceration.

    There was concern as far back as the ratifying conventions of the Constitution where delegates expressed concern that our Constitution would protect us from the type of inquisitorial tactics used in the old world. They did not at those times define torture in terms of pain and injury, though that was certainly implicit. They extended the concept of ill-treatment out past pain and injury, when they settled on the phrase “cruel and unusual”.

    Later, courts here interpreting the Constitution, uniformly and consistently struck down abusive ill-treatment whenever cases arose that claimed it.

    The last great wave of cases hitting the high court were in the forties and fifties when abuses in the jails of this country became such that a slew of “police” cases presenting federal issues reached the Supreme Court and Frankfurter issued that famous dictum about accusatorial versus inquisitorial systems of justice when it comes to interrogation.

    There was a parallel stream going on in cases arising out of our armed conflicts. Again, the courts ruled that torture and ill-treatment were punishable when committed by our enemies.

    After the war, we signed on to international agreements outlawing abusive treatment and for the next fifty years America was a powerful voice internationally for humane standards of treatment worldwide. We talked the talk and walked the walk.

    The movement for humane treatment of persons by states is you see quite venerable and long pre-dates the Bush Administration. Your conception that this is a manifestation of anti-Bush sentiment is inaccurate though I grant that a lot of people are anti-Bush out there, I don’t think they are anti-torture because of that animus.

    As to whether waterboarding is torture. Yes indeed. It produces excruciating suffering and fear of death. And as you may know, putting persons in our custody under imminent fear of death is an illegal practice.

    I think you also imply that pro- and anti-waterboarding is a liberal/conservative, republican/democrat divide. Not so!
    Please read the Washington Monthly’s recent issue on torture. You will see many names familiar to the conservative cause there writing against it.

  18. It has become apparent to me that our entire government is completely and utterly corrupt.

    After all the impeachable atrocities committed by this regime, we now hear the “president” state that he is envious of the soldiers fighting and dying on the front lines of Afghanistan. He thinks it is romantic for them to die for his lies.

    Had a Democratic presidential candidate made this statement, every right wing pundit and republican politician would be shouting for the candidates’ head to be brought to them on a platter. The main stream media would have parroted them, no doubt.

    Where is the outrage about a president, especially one that dodged active duty and was not even honorable enough to complete national Guard duty, that states that he is envious of the brave soldiers fighting and dying? Where is the outrage to comparing war to a romantic adventure? Where is the outrage to all of the impeachable offenses committed by this regime against the United States of America? Where is the outrage at Congress for doing nothing to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    For the Congress to do nothing about the blatent, and so far successful, attempts to trash our Constitution, commit war crimes and establish a fascist state one can can only come to one conclusion. They are complicit with this rogue administration and its attempts to destroy our nation.

    The citizens of this country are in a large part responsible for the deterioriation of our democracy. The apathy and the ignorance displayed by a large part of our citizenry explains a great deal as to why these people have been able to wreck our constitution. When the general public do not know what the FISA bill is, what Blackwater is, who Dennis Kucinich is, who Ron Paul is and in fact do not even know who their own representatives are, should we be surprised?

    I am deeply concerned about the fate of this country. The world leaders are openly laughing at the United States and our “leaders”. The government props up dictators and squashes democratic leadrs around the world. Venezuela is a good example of the tactics used by this administration in trying to further their “mandate” to democracize the world. That democracy being defined by a fascist administration.

    God pray for us all.

  19. It was only a matter of time that this would happen. What concerns me more is that now Bush has paved the way for our own Soldiers to be treated in the same fashion which they have treated others.

  20. Yes JEannie,

    There is a kind of Golden Rule thinking in international law. It basically boils down to “don’t treat extra-nationals in your jurisdiction in ways you wouldn’t want your own citizens to be treated in other jurisdictions.”

    Many people have objected that terrorists are not signatories to international conventions and are thus not protected by the same. This deliberately evades the point. In religion, the Golden Rule operates regardless of whether the other party in a dispute agrees to it or not. One doesn’t, as a Christians, steal from pagans, even if the pagans don’t feel bound by the 10 Commandments. Morality is not a contract between two parties.

    States undertake to act in humane and civilized ways. Even to enemies of civilization.

    Thats why civilization will ultimately prevail. Our ideals are always stronger than our armies.

  21. There have been over 30 (33, I think) documented deaths of prisoners in our care that have been murdered in cold blood.

    One suffocated by being forced into a sleeping bag, one by being hung from the ceiling and kicked in the legs repeatedly, as documented by the film “Taxi to the Dark Side”.

    Where is the outrage? Where is the rule of law? We might need a Constitutional Law teacher to become the next POTUS to restore our Constitution.

  22. Your problem is you do not understand Bush because you and Turley and others here have BDS blinding your eyes.
    Yeah, we should just shut up and let Bush and Cheney torture all the Pakistani cabdrivers they want. As long as we have the most guns, nobody will ever get to try them for war crimes. Four more wars! Four more wars!

  23. Most assuredly, these discussions are fascinating. It begins we speak of our Nation – mind you – presumably – many of us are all on the same team, that is to say America the Beautiful. But are we really?

    My neighbors and business colleagues are multi-cultural AMERICANS. Recently, I had a visit from a friend and client – now former friend and client – a visit that was most dark. Where he lives is a distraction from the point. Needles to say, I’ve always been able to deal with his ultra-right political leanings, but on his recent trip – I understood from him that these AMERICANS that are my friends and neighbors aren’t AMERICANS in his book. They are slowly turning America into a Third World country.

    He would later describe each one he met by describing a physical attribute of their ethnicity or disturbing purposeful mispronunciation of their name, ostensibly intended to emphasize their ineligibility to be called AMERICANS, despite that they were born here, or are in fact, otherwise Citizens.

    He would become ecstatic when talking about – what he considers – all things military. He is a gun enthusiast and collector, but doesn’t hunt. His guns are all military weapons. He rarely shoots them – but he does enjoy talking about them and displaying them.

    He never served in the military, nor has he been trained in military tactics, warfare or strategy, yet he speaks endlessly of politicians critical of war with contempt. He talks of Global Warming and quotes Cheryl Crow as though it were her science behind the discussion.

    He got drunk every night that he visited and became offensive beyond my wildest imagination. He offended my family, friends, and business colleagues. Many of us are veterans of not only the Military, but of public service as well. He was crude in his speech, harsh in his viewpoint. This was very sad, because while what I was about to do was going to cost me a year of work and investment – I had no choice.

    When I drove him to the airport, I told him good-bye, shook his hand and expressed that this be our final conversation and that I was stopping our project … then I drove away and felt more American than I have in ages.

    Its possible he followed me here. If not him, someone just like him. Someone that speaks of torture as though it were only a word, or that it were somehow beneficial. Wars mean death, pain and suffering. The legislation is not about what warriors must do in the worst circumstances – it is about State sponsored or approved torture. Not mere toys for the wall of shame.

    He wore a lapel pin on his jacket – an Elephant on an American Flag.

  24. American Elephant wrote:
    “Waterboarding causes no physical harm, causes no pain. It scares people. It has been used on Kalied Sheik Mohammad and he sang like a bird, divulging information that was used to foil active terrorist plots. ”
    ************************

    And you know “waterboarding causes no physical physical harm/pain”….HOW, exactly? Were YOU brave enough to volunteer to prove that statement yourself? Something tells me you were not. So making such a statement only displays your ignorance and your idiocy, as far as I’m concerned.

  25. VC:

    Kudos to you for your courage and sacrifice. I am guessing the elephant was mashing the flag beyond all recognition. That attitude has prevailed for decades and my grandparents faced it just like yours did. Italians, Poles, Irish, and countless others aren’t “real Americans” in their eyes, and, god forbid, your skin color be any different from theirs. They would tear down the Statute of Liberty and put up a fence if they could because “they got theres.”

  26. the bush crime family is using a technicality when they profess to have only tortured 3 people. How many have we sent to Syria? The ONLY reason to have done so was to have them tortured. The newest guy they just put in Gitmo this week was caught a year ago. Where has he been all this time?

  27. American Elephant wrote:
    “Absolutely no one in the administration has ever, or is advocating the use of torture.”
    “Waterboarding causes no physical harm, causes no pain. It scares people.
    ************************
    The point of waterboarding is to induce a low-level instinctive reaction to water entering the lungs. Once that point is reached, there is nothing a person can do but react with total and unbearable terror. It is a physical reaction and it is beyond the intellect. Even if someone KNOWS they are not drowning or KNOWS that the torturers will stop before they die, that knowledge makes no difference whatsoever. To call it “simulated drowning” is to grossly understate the sensation: it IS drowning. Drowning does not always lead to death–they are two different things. The videos we see show someone with a rag in their mouth with water being poured over their face, and they are not reacting at all. That is because water has not yet been sucked into their lungs. Once that happens you would see a very different reaction. But you will never be shown that video. It is too gruesome to watch.

    The tortured is on a slant board so that any water will (hopefully) flow back out and death will not result. But there are no guarantees. It all depends on the skill of the torturer. And you can be certain that it IS torture. To say it is not torture is to falsely parse words. Most of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques are specifically designed to leave no marks. Waterboarding, sleep-deprevation, stress positions, sexual perversions: all these leave no physical marks, but they can leave psychological scars that last a lifetime.

    “They say Kalied Sheik Mohammed divulged information that was used to foil active terrorist plots.” Maybe. Maybe not. You and I are not in a position to confirm such assertions. Personally, I would never trust a torturer to justify their actions. But most experts in the application of torture agree that someone who is being tortured will tell you anything they think you want to hear in order to get the torture to stop. Whether the information is true is irrelevant. If that is the standard you set, then torture away. But do not expect to gain accurate intelligence.

  28. Patty: Surprisingly, I was able to transform the disappointment and anger into a confidence and pity. My canceling the project was a considerable statement of my dyspepsia without need for further insult. And even though it was at a considerable cost, my partners agreed it was worth the financial loss to sever the relationship. Until I saw the large pachyderm emblazoned flag – I hadn’t even given the matter another thought.

  29. VC,

    Moral courage is as magnificent as physical courage. Kudos to you.

    An aside on elephants. Some of us may have read that article in Smithsonian or somewhere else, I forget, how elephants in the wild do have a culture transmitted down through the generations. And how that culture, in Africa, has been disrupted by the heavy poaching for ivory, killing the adults and leaving the adolescents. And how the culture now in many herds has turned dysfunctional and abnormal, with heightened levels of aggression and conflict, inter-elephant, and outward toward other species.

    I suspect the Republican party’s elephant herd has also undergone such a twisting of culture, caused by their long exile in the wilderness.. They are now more properly described as a cult than a party, and a very angry and dysfunctional group they are.

  30. Hey DW:

    Please don’t think me ungracious because I do appreciate your kind sentiment. Your one of those people on the planet that makes a point of the high notes.

    But more important – I truly feel that doing the right thing shouldn’t be in the same league as courage. Perhaps I’ve just matured a bit, because I just didn’t actually have a choice. It was an allergic reaction.

  31. You are, as ever, modest.

    A bio note: I received, in 1972 I think it was, a citation for physical courage: it involved saving someone’s life “under fire” and I was young. So I think I can speak from experience that physical courage is sometimes a matter of quick, unthinking action to do, as you say, the right thing. Moral courage is a bit different: like Atticus Finch, you have the time to weigh out the consequences of your action and there is sometimes considerable risk involved. It is a courage after deliberation, and in some ways, I think I respect it more.

    Hence the kudos. But I take your point about the allergic reaction.

    Another note: of all the posters here, your writing style most closely resembles mine. Is it a generational thing? I have never learned brevity but brevity is the lingua franca of the internet it would seem. Even Patty C has taken me to task.

  32. I always read every word you write. I would rather face a gag order than put down my pen. I consider it a lifeline or a sword at my pleasure. This all reminds me very much of a era we couldn’t attend.

  33. VC,

    You know its interesting how this culture awards physical courage even fashioning medals and ribbons and little lapel pins you get in a box and never ever actually wear.

    But the same culture gives no awards for moral courage…in fact actually has to pass laws to protect people who display it in work contexts.

    It is also interesting that this same administration that has glorified the soldiers (to their cynical amusement I assume) actively seeks ways to punish whistleblowers who after all are the silver star candidates in ordinary life.

    Again and again in this administration we have seen the pattern of attacking people who display the courage of their convictions and abiding faith in ethical and honest government. This administration is like an inversion of those two qualities, a photographic negative if you will.

    Governments are like white handkerchiefs, if you dip a corner in red ink, it will slowly spread out to the rest of the fabric. This corrupt administration has taken the color of the people at the very top. And thats a sad reflection on the latter which will be recorded by historians…

  34. The one thing that distinguishes the coup of the American Government from any other period of time is the patient planning and the great number of willing accomplices.

    It has been my opinion that the ability of neo-conservatives to accomplish their goals of privatizing key areas of our government and rounding up religious fanatics to run cover has been amazing and incredibly powerful. This is not restricted to the “Christian” faiths. There is and was an incredible amount of ‘Orthodox Jewish’ support for a Bush Presidency. No doubt some reading this are immediately going to recommend I seek treatment; but the support is not only a matter of record, it was quiet, reliable and determined.

    The Democrats have assisted willingly by regularly folding like a cheap camera right into the fetal position. Former Marine Harry Reid doesn’t lack courage – he lacks collateral. Behind him are at least a half dozen “Ted Steven’s” type points to ponder just waiting to burst onto the scene. Pelosi’s Wing-man Hoyer, walks on a carpet of wall-to-wall lobbyists,

    Democrats have been operating from a sitting position for so long – they are bit atrophied and this electorate better not consider that they have anything in the bag – because nothing is certain except George Bush’s legacy, and even that is changing before our eyes because of the “historians” that are busy changing history. It must be, McCain is running on a platform that essentially validates most everything that Bush has allegedly accomplished.

    Torture Bans!!! How did we get to torture bans ?? Why do we need a torture ban ?? Because this Presidential Administration wants cover for every crime it has encouraged. If we ban it, we have historically created the precedent that we needed a ban, therefore creating the argument that all other previous authority must have been open to interpretation. This Congress has been little more than back up singers.

  35. VC:

    I have no idea what the difference is between moral and physical courage. I have always subscribed to Hemingway’s classic definition that courage is “grace under pressure.” Your actions seem close enough for me.

  36. Hey, Kermudgeon —

    If you’ve watched the Architects and Engineers Slideshow, all 300 and some pages of it, you will probably have to agree that America did it… not all of America, just those with the power and evilness of spirit to put profit above life and morality.

  37. […] It is an argument that is radically out of line with controlling precedent and logic. Yet, despite the low-grade analysis, it was enough for Mukasey to block a criminal investigation of the president in his circular logic, click here for a prior column. The result, however, was the embrace of torture by the United States government — a curious legacy for Bush. Click here. […]

  38. ConsiderThis, I didn’t watch the Engineers Slideshow, but I agree with your later point. The government and other large organizations put profit and money above humanity. The government and the people that run the government behind the scenes lead their own agendas that are above the public. It can be even said that the government is fascist. Major corporations are not not to blame either. . The greatest example is he Iraq War, we are there fighting just for major oil tycoons(like the Bush family) to make major profits. The longer we stay there the more oil prices go up, so the more they make. Some might even attribute this to the federal reserve and how it works(taken from the movie Zeitgiest on Google videos, search it or here is a link for another site http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/linkscopy/DCTPFA911.html). Also, an example would be the recent AA airplane safety checks. The companies have put the safety of the people to save some money on repairs.
    Another point I want to add is that the governments is fascist. They keep the public at bay by spreading lies and nurturing ignorance. Most kids today think school is a waste of time, but for the wrong reasons. Right now most kids are ignorant and lazy so they say having no school is good. The real reason is school is under-par and teaches you little to no practical skills and low grade basic skills, it doesn’t teach kids to think and doesn’t train their minds. In the USSR, India, and other countries I can’t name off the top of my head they were taught to memorize. This in turn expanded their mental capacity. They were taught to think logically and rationally, most American advocates say that their program fosters more logic and thinking. Instead, they worry about glamorizing, media icons, and movies(not to say I don’t like these thing but I don’t center my life around them). I can see in my school that very few people use logic in their decisions doing really stupid things and thinking they are so bad-ass for doing it. The curriculum of any school in America is so far behind Russia even to day that kids in Russia learn Algebra 1 in 4/5 grade while in America we start learning algebra in the 7/8th grade. Probably the only reasons at age 14 that I think about these things is because I came from Ukraine.

  39. scared:

    I can tell from your writing that you likely are a high school student in an American school, and are somewhat dismayed at the attitude you think is prevailing among your native-born peers with respect to the curriculum. There are many flaws in American public ( and private)education and you have identified several, but one thing you may want to consider is that America has an obligation to educate everyone and not just a select few as some other nations do who track their students into academic and vocational pathways. You might also want to consider that of the 779 Nobel Prize winners 22 were of products of the Russian education system, in whole or in part, while 304 received all or some of their education here. One of the things I hope you are learning here is that blanket statements are rarely true, and that each system offers some things that the others do not.

    You certainly have some valid criticisms of our present administration but calling it fascist goes too far. Like many governments,it teeters on the brink of many disasters, and in an effort to preserve itself and the nation, it slips in and out of normative conduct. This is not unique to America, and as I am sure you have noticed there is a decided trend to retreat from some of he excesses of the present Administration. You can read about that here on most any thread you find.

    There is much to love about this Country, its ideals, and its people,and you have stumbled into a forum that showcases much of what is good about us. I say “us” because regardless of your previous affiliations you are here now and an American in every sense of the word, with all rights pertaining. Few other countries will embrace and welcome your culture, your attitudes and even your criticism as this Country will. You have the unique opportunity to do something positive for your peers by explaining your concerns and moving the group closer to the place you want it to be. In doing so you will prove me right, and fully take your place as a true American. I wish you all the best.

  40. Nothing like “we told you so”.

    There is a theory that seems apt: the US government, corporations and media have been taken over by sociopathic/psychopathic people. Such people have no ability to empathize with other people’s suffering nor can they imagine what others may think about a decision they make (it requires the same empathy ability to role play the other side). Thus the abomination of torture doesn’t phase them. The idea that their example will send the wrong message to others doesn’t occur to them either – as that requires empathizing and imagining what others are thinking.

    And it goes on from there: they manage to ruthlessly walk right into these kinds of outrageously obvious blunders without a second thought.

    Unfortunately these same people have mistaken the difference between the adjectives “largest” or “sole” with “infinite”. They act as if being the largest or only superpower means the US is infinitely large and thus can ignore everything and everyone else.

    Which, of course, is not the case. Largest != Infinite. We do not have infinite military resources to wage multiple wars – we’ve now see that proven as we have destroyed the military. We do not have infinite cash or economic power as we enter a recession of our own creation through insanely stupid policies. We do not have infinite charisma and adoration as a nation as we’ve discovered our bad acts finally have a limit of acceptability and forgiveness from our allies and friends.

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