Fear and Torture on the Campaign Trail 2011

Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

The GOP Debate on Foreign Policy was held at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Saturday night.  The debate was not on a topic the GOP Presidential hopefuls looked forward to as the Obama Administration – despite their many serious flaws – has had some success in the area of foreign policy.  This is not to say that the Obama Administration’s performance in the area of foreign policy hasn’t been realistically uneven, but they’ve had enough victories to make the topic less than easy pickings for the usual mud-slinging of the campaign trail.

What was more telling than the absence of effective smear or substantive criticism was when the subject of waterboarding came up.  Would you vote for a candidate that advocates breaking the laws and violating the Constitution of this country? Apparently politicians not only think you will, but now consider it a selling point if the laws they advocate breaking involve torture.

As previously discussed on this blog here, here and here (to list but a few), torture is illegal and waterboarding is torture.   This is not supposition, but legal fact despite the Obama Administrations failure to prosecute the members of the Bush Administration responsible for ordering the illegal practice.  Some even consider Obama’s failure to prosecute these crime tantamount to aiding and abetting after the fact.

Waterboarding violates the U.S. Constitution, Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment, which reads “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

There is precedent for successful prosecution of those caught waterboarding.  In 1902, Maj. Edwin F. Glenn was court-martialed and convicted of the crime of torture in 1898 despite attempting to use the oft repeated rationalization heard today about the “necessities of war”.  In 1947, Japanese officer Yukio Asano was sentenced by military tribunal to 15 years of hard labor for waterboarding prisoners of war during the years 1943-1944.   In 1983, Texas Sheriff James Parker and his deputies were convicted of waterboarding a prisoner resulting in Parker being sentenced to four years in prison.

Waterboarding is a domestic crime under the Torture Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2340-2340A.  The text of the Torture Act reads:

“Sec. 2340A. Torture

(a) Offense.–Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b) Jurisdiction.–There is jurisdiction over the activity
prohibited in subsection (a) if–
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

(c) Conspiracy.–A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.”

Waterboarding is a war crime according to international law and the Geneva Convention which states, “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuses to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.” Geneva Convention III, art. 17.

None of this deterred candidate Herman Cain or Michelle Bachmann during the following exchange:

Major Garrett: I don’t need to tell the people on this stage that presidential politics is interactive business. And, of course, this debate is interactive as well. And we have an email question I’m happy to say, emailed into the National Journal. And it comes from Stephen Schafroth (PH) of Odell’s (PH), Oregon. And I’d like to address this question to Mr. Cain. Stephen writes, “I served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War. I believe that torture is always wrong in all cases. What is your stance on torture?”

Herman Cain: I believe that following the procedures that have been established by our military, I do not agree with torture, period. However, I will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture. That is the critical consideration.

Major Garrett: Mr. Cain, of course you’re familiar with the long-running debate we’ve had about whether waterboarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation tech– technique. In the last campaign, Republican nominee John McCain and Barack Obama agreed that it was torture and should not be allowed legally and that the Army Field Manual should be the methodology used to interrogate enemy combatants. Do you agree with that or do you disagree, sir?

Herman Cain: I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.

Major Garrett: And then you would support it at present. You would return to that policy.

Herman Cain: Yes, I would return to that policy. I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.

Major Garrett: Congressman– congresswoman Bachmann, your opinion on this question that our emailer asked.

Michele Bachmann: If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding. I think it was very effective. It gained information for our country. And I– and I also would like to say that today, under Barack Obama, he is allowing the A.C.L.U. to run the C.I.A. You need to understand that today– today we– it– when we– when we interdict a terrorist on the battlefield, we have no jail for them.  We have nowhere to take them. We have no C.I.A. interrogations anymore. It is as though we have decided we want to lose in the War on Terror under President Obama. That’s not my strategy. My strategy will be that the United States will be victorious in the War on Terror.”

Apparently Herman Cain slept through the part of civics in high school where they taught that the laws of a country were only determined by the military in a military dictatorship let alone the discussion of the 8th Amendment.

To give credit where it is due, Ron Paul and John Huntsman had the following to say about waterboarding:

Ron Paul: Well, waterboarding is torture. And– and many other– it’s ill– it’s illegal under international law and under our law. It’s also immoral. The– and it’s also very impractical. There’s no evidence that you really get reliable evidence. Why would you accept the position of torturing 100 people because you know one person might have information? And that’s what you do when you accept the principal of a– of– of– of torture. I think it’s– I think it’s uncivilized and prac– and has no practical advantages and is really un-American to accept on principal that we will torture people that we capture.”

Jon Huntsman: First of all, let me thank the sailor on the ship. I have two boys in the United States Navy. And all they wanna do is go on to fight, protect, and defend the great freedoms that we share in this country. This country has values. We have a name brand in the world. I’ve lived overseas four times. I’ve been an ambassador for my country three times. I’ve lived overseas and done business.

We diminish our standing in the world and the values that we project which include liberty, democracy, human rights, and open markets when we torture. We should not torture. Waterboarding is torture. We dilute ourselves down like a whole lot of other countries. And we lose that ability to project values that a lot of people in corners of this world are still relying on the United States to stand up for them.”

Equally troubling as Cain and Bachmann’s endorsement of torture was Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s endorsement of the Obama policy claiming the President has the right to unilaterally order the execution of American citizens without Due Process which included an outright lie by Gingrich.

Scott Pelley: And that is time. Thank you, sir. Governor Romney. Governor Romney, recently President Obama ordered the death of an American citizen who was suspected of terrorist activity overseas. Is it appropriate for the American president on the president’s say-so alone to order the death of an American citizen suspected of terrorism?

Mitt Romney: Absolutely. In this case, this is an individual who had aligned himself with a– with a group that had declared war on the United States of America. And– and if there’s someone that’s gonna– join with a group like Al-Qaeda that declares war on America and we’re in a– in a– a war with that entity, then of course anyone who was bearing arms for that entity is fair game for the United States of America. Let me go back– let me go back and just– and just talk for a moment about the issue that the issue that a number of people have spoken about which is their definition of how their foreign policy might be different than this president.

My foreign policy’s pretty straightforward. I would be guided by an overwhelming conviction that this century must be an American century where America has the strongest values, the strongest economy, and the strongest military. An American century means the century where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

We have a president right now who thinks America’s just another nation. America is an exceptional nation. We have a president who thinks that the way to conduct foreign policy is through his personal affects on other people. I’m– I believe the way to conduct foreign policy is with American strength. Everything I do will make America stronger. And I will stand and use whatever means necessary within the law to make sure that we protect America’s citizens and Americans’ rights.

Scott Pelley: And– and that’s time, Governor. Lady– ladies and gentlemen, — ladies and gentlemen, the applause are lovely. But we will not have doing. Thank you very much. We’ll have– we’ll have courtesy for all of the candidates on the stage. Speaker Gingrich, if I could just ask you the same question, as President of the United States, would you sign that death warrant for an American citizen overseas who you believe is a terrorist suspect?

Newt Gingrich: Well, he’s not a terrorist suspect. He’s a person who was found guilty under review of actively seeking the death of Americans.

Scott Pelley: Not– not found guilty by a court, sir.

Newt Gingrich: He was found guilty by a panel that looked at it and reported to the president.

Scott Pelley: Well, that’s ex-judicial. That’s– it’s not–

Newt Gingrich: Let me– let me– let me tell you a story– let me just tell you this.

Scott Pelley: –the rule of law.

Newt Gingrich: It is the rule of law. That is explicitly false. It is the rule of law.

Scott Pelley: No.

Newt Gingrich: If you engage in war against the United States, you are an enemy combatant. You have none of the civil liberties of the United States. You cannot go to court. Let me be– let me be very clear about this. There are two levels. There’s a huge gap here that– that frankly far too many people get confused over. Civil defense, criminal defense, is a function of being within the American law. Waging war on the United States is outside criminal law. It is an act of war and should be dealt with as an act of war. And the correct thing in an act of war is to kill people who are trying to kill you.”

Apparently Mitt and Newt slept through that part of the civics lecture about the Separation of Powers and Due Process.

Should statements like the ones of Cain, Bachmann, Romney and Gingrich that display a blatant disregard and/or ignorance of the laws of the United States preclude them as a serious candidate?  When candidates for the Office of President of the United States show a willingness to break the law and further the crimes of previous administrations it illustrates that there is something critically wrong with our campaigning process and the culture of Washington in general.  What can be done to discourage such people from either running or in the alternative being taken seriously?  What should be done to eliminate such blatant endorsement and defense of criminal activity in the political class?

What do you think?

Source(s): CBS News, Huffington Post

~ Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

49 thoughts on “Fear and Torture on the Campaign Trail 2011

  1. If congress and the field of GOP candidates keeping doing what they appear to do best…. It will be Obama by a landslide….

  2. These candidates reflect the state of affairs in the republican party, currently. Gingrich seems to be emerging as the challenger to Romney. i guess one could join the republican party and work as insider. It would be very challenging for anyone that is not a true believer. I don’t think anything can be done.

  3. Read an article the other day that while the tea party lost ground in many states in the recent election, they gained a little in Texas. Don’t think I will venture over there.

  4. What are the foreign policy successes that Obama can claim? Return of Sharia law to Libya? Ethnic cleansing of Christians in US-liberated Iraq?

    Is the GOP debate on waterboarding a more urgent topic than a discussion on executive assassination and the illegal drone strikes by the Obama administration in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan? Apparently.

    Obama prefers outsourcing torture, perhaps. Although we don’t know what goes on in the CIA’s unlisted “transitory” sites either, which I’m sure differ significantly in name only from the black sites of yesterday. Most of the GOP candidates just aren’t that clever:

    Under Obama Administration, Renditions—and Secrecy Around Them—Continue

  5. Puzzling – the pogrom against Iraqi Christians took place under Boy Blunder. It was a natural and totally expected backlash against our illegal invasion. Yet another one that those incompetents did not plan for or react to.

    I am pissed that I have to defend Obama’s foreign polity, partly because your characterization is so obviously false & yet you hope it will go unchallenged (and, sadly, will amongst the slow-witted “low information” voters) but mostly because it is so bad. In fact the only thing that would be worse that Obama is anything the current crop of Republicans would offer.

    Nobody is going to be happy to have herpes but when AIDS is the alternative you have to cheer for herpes no matter what.

  6. Can anyone deny that there are now polar opposite world views with respect to many aspects of American life?

    Torture is an obvious example, since anyone would have gasped not too very long ago in my life, should any politician dare to support torture.

    Mental evolution is obviously happening relatively fast before our eyes, and a solution to that evolution is going to have to be pondered.

  7. puzzling,

    I heard about this story a couple of years ago. It’s very troubling indeed what has happened in this country over the past decade. I can only hope that these teams of thugs are not still operating at Gitmo.

    Jeremy Scahill: “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama”
    May 19, 2009

  8. Frankly,

    Violence against Christians continues in Iraq to this day (another recent example here). The US-installed Iraqi government can do little about it, and it will probably escalate with our departure. I call it out because it is a rarely discussed potential embarrassment to the success claimed by the United States.

  9. Gene:

    “When candidates for the Office of President of the United States show a willingness to break the law and further the crimes of previous administrations it illustrates that there is something critically wrong with our campaigning process and the culture of Washington in general.”

    The above notion should eliminate O-Bomb-a as a candidate for the office due to his mantra of “looking forward, not backward” in violation of the Convention Against Torture.

  10. Gene,

    Great post. Let me iterate something though that is troubling me by some of the early responses to it. Politics has always been viewed by some as a game and by others as a means of obtaining power through appealing to the lowest common denominator of thought. Your piece spoke directly to the lack of understanding many Republican candidates have for the Constitution and the rule of law in our society. This has been a woeful trend through our country’s history, but it has spiraled downward precipitously since 9/11 was hijacked by the Bush/Cheney Crime Family.

    Torture has not only become acceptable, advocacy of its’ use has become a sign of “macho toughness” to a large segment of Americans. Throughout history there has been a tendency of many humans to gravitate towards a leader perceived as being “tough”. Life anywhere has always made us fearful of harm from others, possibly a throwback to our days on the savanna. The evolution of human society arose to protect us from the predatory aims of other beasts. In modern politics the same mechanism is at play and effectuated by defining something to fear. That which is feared must be destroyed and those willing to use all means of destruction are therefore worthy of leadership.

    This is the heart of the message delivered by many of the Republican candidates and indeed it has worked before. The catering to fear incidentally is not simply the province of the right wing and examples of its use on the left are replete. The point is such actions are deliberately outside constitutional limits, which since 9/11 have been disastrously broadened. Constitutional protections in the face of dreaded enemies thus become effete constructs of weak people unable to take the forceful steps necessary to protect our country. This is the heart of these candidates messaging and some have shown themselves to be limited enough intellectually to believe it. Others like Gingrich and Romney know exactly what they are doing and probably have the sophistication to understand and employ the tactic.

    The question then becomes how do we oppose this use of fear and bravado in deciding american governance. Considering the stupidity of the MSM, the corporate billions promoting it and the destruction of Civics/Social Studies education, this is an uphill battle. Our greatest weapon is re-educating the body politic and exposing the falsehood of the premise that external/internal dangers are only resolved extra-constitutionally. I’m not sure this war is winnable, but to sit back and let this constitutional deterioration continue would then be truly cowardly and unacceptable.

    “My foreign policy’s pretty straightforward. I would be guided by an overwhelming conviction that this century must be an American century where America has the strongest values, the strongest economy, and the strongest military. An American century means the century where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.” Mitt Romney

    It is interesting that Mr. Romney’s statement is a restatement of PNAC:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

    At the heart of the PNAC strategy to establish an American Empire, greater than Rome, was the use of fear to mobilize mass support. This to me is evidence that Mr. Romney knows exactly what he is doing and his “flip-flopping” merely political expediency to attain the power to continue effectuating PNAC, which made great strides under Bush.

    I’ve lived far too long and seen far too many of these “dire external threats” to accept the hype that accompanies them. Right now you can see the hype for attacking that “fearsome superpower” Iran is being ginned up as an excuse to attack them and coincidentally gain control of their oil.

    We must do what we can to convince the american people that their futures are heavily intertwined with our country’s adherence to constitutional principles and to what has developed as American ethical concepts. The true answer to the fear that lingers viscerally within all of us, a remnant of our genetic history, is to create and re-create a society grounded in egalitarian law.

  11. Mike S.,

    I seem to be lost….what is troubling about people expressing opinions differing from what you have added. People can agree to disagree and still agree to accept the other persons position…then again some can’t…..I do not think you are in the latter encampment…..

  12. Watching theses debates is torture.

    From a pure political standpoint, thus far Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman are the only two Republican candidates who will be able to hold their own and even challenge Obama during Presidential debates.

    I really hope, for the sake of their party, the Republicans drop this absurd seniority rules notion which means dumping Romney and go with either Paul or Huntsman.

    I wouldn’t vote for either of them as their history on women’s issues and Paul’s history on racism disgust me but at least they would present a legitimate, intellectual, challenge to Obama. on all fronts and might even be able to bring many Independents back to the Republican ticket.

    Obama needs to be challenged by a candidate who can actually hold the man accountable for all of his actions during these last four years. Huntsman and/or Paul could do that.

  13. Gene:

    Also of great significance is Gingrich on Awlaki:

    “Well, he’s not a terrorist suspect. He’s a person who was found guilty under review of actively seeking the death of Americans.”

    Found “guilty” by a secret White House panel in violation of dues process enshrined in the Constitution. Gingrich and the rest of this gang (Ron Paul excluded) are almost as dangerous as the current occupant of the White House.

  14. “Let me iterate something though that is troubling me by some of the early responses to it.”

    AnoMously Yours,

    Was this what confused you? If so you were right to be confused it was written badly. what i was attempting to refer to was that people were answering gene’s post purely from the issue of the partisan horse race. believe that Gene was making a far deeper point that extends far beyond who is leading at the polls.
    That was my intent with that phrase and in the clarity of hindsight it failed.

  15. Blouise,

    Thank you too.

    Presenting the way forward, even if one cannot personally support it, is still a great step forward.

  16. puzzling

    The only people claiming anything remotely like success in Iraq are those guilty of the folly in the first place. The only thing that was “accomplished” was Saddam’s death. That’s it—for good and/or ill. Other than that, this was a complete and embarrassing failure for the US. No WMD, 4000+ dead, no guarantee of domestic peace.

    From the first strike of “shock and awe”, from the first second we entered Iraq, we set the plate for Iran to be as their primary political, econonomic, religious, military and soceital influence. There was never anything to gain and we finally leave with tons of that in our pockets. The Sunnis and Shi’ites will go back to sectarian violence and Christians will continue to leave or be persecuted. That’s Bush’s legacy in Iraq. Just one of his many failures.

  17. Gene,

    Thank you for, once again, presenting a topic for discussion which includes all of the shadings from every side of the issue and doing so in a manner where “What do you think?” actually encourages the reader to think and participate.

    I recognize and appreciate the amount of time you and your sister/brothers presenters spend on research and text construction and applaud the integrity and discipline each of you bring to the process.

  18. Puzzling, nothing could embarrass those who claim success in the Middle East. Certainly they are unmoved by reality, indeed they are proud of their ability to ignore reality.

    There have always been Christian and Jewish communities in Muslim majority countries through out the Middle East. They have always been tolerated and usually accepted much more graciously than Muslim communities (or Jewish ones for that matter) in Christian countries. The exception has almost always come in response to Christian violence against ME countries. Christians and Jews would be better off if we just left them alone.

    This should not have been news to those blood thirsty bastards screaming for invasion but it is. The continued “whoo-cooda-noed” just reinforces the correctness of the willfully ignorant & their supporters in the media whil marginalizing those who pointed out that this outcome was completely expected.

  19. Great article Gene. The issue of torture is one of the most black and white issues that we have. It is illegal to order it. It is illegal to do it and it is illegal to plan a way to do it at a foreign location to try to get around the law. These Republican candidates are fighting to reach the minority of people who will believe anything if you scare them enough.

  20. Frankly,

    Great quote about “cheering for herpes.” I feel like I have been doing that ever since I was old enough to vote. Now I believe that nobody can rise high enough in either party to be able to run for any high office unless he or she is utterly corrupt.

    Cheering for Herpes. Wow, great, thanks! I’m thinking about using it as a title for something — I dunno, book, short story, great unpublished opus? I will use it with attribution.

  21. Mike S.,

    I beg to differ with your comments in that this paragraph: “When candidates for the Office of President of the United States show a willingness to break the law and further the crimes of previous administrations it illustrates that there is something critically wrong with our campaigning process and the culture of Washington in general.” is all about the “partisan horse race” and how we should strive to change/fix it.

    There are places in this country where the “horse race” is being run properly. Up the street from me is a small town. Last Tuesday there was a three way race for Mayor.

    All local elections are, as dictated by the City’s Charter, non-partisan (no designation of political parties allowed during debates, on signage or on the ballot). There are thus no primaries … if one wants to run for office one has to file a petition with the requisite number of registered voters’ signatures with the County Bd. of Elections and pay a small fee. Once that is accomplished, one’s name is on the ballot. Further, the Charter recognizes the importance of the voting public and dictates that if the race has more than two candidates and no one garners 50% of the vote then a run off of the top two vote getters shall be held within six weeks.

    The two top vote getters in this race were both aptly qualified. The first one is the incumbent Mayor, the second one is President of the City Council. Both have years of experience in Public Service. The Mayor is associated with republicans and identified as conservative. The President of Council is associated with democrats and identified as conservatively liberal. During the debates the questions and answers were very specific and pointed to slight difference in governing style but agreement on fiscal matters.

    Both candidates removed all yard signs after the election out of respect for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday with a note that the signs would be going back up on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The run off is scheduled for Dec. 6. I contributed to the Mayor’s campaign as I approve of his stance on Public Parks as it is more pro-active than that of his opponent. If I lived in that town, he is the one I’d vote for even though he is associated with the republicans and I am a Democrat.

    The town itself is mainly comprised of registered Republicans but is quite possible the President Of Council could win for less than 100 votes separated the two men during the first election.

    Over the years both the Republican and Democratic parties have tried to change the city’s Charter to allow partisanship. The citizens have soundly defeated such attempts by huge margins. They have a good thing going and they know it.

    Is it possible to apply this small town’s charter to the country? Given the sheer numbers involved, probably not … but wouldn’t it be great?

  22. Herman Cain: I believe that following the procedures that have been established by our military, I do not agree with torture, period. However, I will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture. That is the critical consideration.

    Major Garrett: Mr. Cain, of course you’re familiar with the long-running debate we’ve had about whether waterboarding constitutes torture or is an enhanced interrogation tech– technique. In the last campaign, Republican nominee John McCain and Barack Obama agreed that it was torture and should not be allowed legally and that the Army Field Manual should be the methodology used to interrogate enemy combatants. Do you agree with that or do you disagree, sir?

    Herman Cain: I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique.
    —————————-
    I’m confused by Cain and the Republican party plat…..Obama banned waterboarding as torture….as the President, is he not the Commander and Chief of the Armed forces? our Military???? So does that not make Cain a hypocrite? Or is it ok to ignore rule of law , or re-interpret the rules….based on party affiliation?

    Is it possible that Cain is dyslexic?
    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/01/obama_orders_gu.html

  23. Malisha1, November 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Frankly,

    Great quote about “cheering for herpes.” I feel like I have been doing that ever since I was old enough to vote.
    ————————-
    hahahaha! oh dear, …..mayt have to go to a different park today….

  24. I must say that I’m considering getting a T-shirt made up that “Cheering for Herpes!” on the front and “Herpes/Gonorrhea for President 2012″ on the back.

  25. instead of relying on debates to learn about the candidates wouldn’t it be in our best interests to subject them to enhanced interrogation to find out about their positions.

    lets see mitt spin his way out of that

    we can know for sure if herman harassed those women

    we can know for sure if newt, well okay with newt it would just be fun.

    and bachmann, again this one is just for shits and giggles

  26. Pete, have you seen the latest from Michelle the Mad? She is accusing Obama of disrespecting the troops by pulling them out of combat zones. I would like for her to tell that to some of the troops and their families, face to face. I am confident it would not end well.

  27. i did see one where after being interrupted at a speech (mike check) she made it sound like the disrespect was to veterans and not to her.

    i couldn’t imagine going to one of her speeches except as a joke. or a lost bet

  28. one day she is going to slip up and admit she wants a purely religious war. anyone that fanatical can’t keep it under wraps forever.

  29. Nate,

    You’re welcome and thank you for your support.

    ***********
    Catullus,

    I agree on Obama and he lost my potential vote the day he claimed he could act as judge, jury and executioner. Those are the actions of an Emperor, not a President.

    ***********
    Mike S.,

    Thank you and in re this statement:

    “We must do what we can to convince the american people that their futures are heavily intertwined with our country’s adherence to constitutional principles and to what has developed as American ethical concepts. The true answer to the fear that lingers viscerally within all of us, a remnant of our genetic history, is to create and re-create a society grounded in egalitarian law.”

    Perfection.

    ***********
    Blouise,

    You too are most welcome. Buddha Is Laughing used to say “One lives to be of service.” I think I can safely say that, in perhaps slightly differing ways, all of the guest bloggers feel that way about our duties and honor of our positions here on JT’s blog.

  30. The great thing about these candidates statements on the use of torture techniques is that if they ever did get into a position of authority where such illegal techniques were used, well the whole world now has video evidence of their mens rea, predisposition…and all that…if someone chose to prosecute them.

    Let’s hope they are “the lowest common denominator” in this Country.

  31. What do I think? There is little hope for this country!

    *****
    Maybe we should look at Republican candidate Buddy Roemer who hasn’t been included in any of the GOP debates.

    GOP Presidential Candidate Buddy Roemer: ‘Our Greatest Loss Of Freedom Has Been Loss Of Jobs’
    By Zaid Jilani on Nov 1, 2011
    http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/11/01/358280/buddy-roemer-loss-of-jobs/

    Excerpt:
    Roemer is purposely restricting his campaign to $100 maximum donations per donor, in an attempt to battle the political corruption that has allowed the richest 1 percent of Americans to control our system.

    *****

    The Two GOP Candidates Being Shut Out
    The Daily Beast
    Oct 29, 2011
    Two Republican candidates with solid political experience and poll numbers on par with Michele Bachmann can’t get a spot in the debates. Jill Lawrence on why they’re being excluded.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/29/gop-s-gary-johnson-and-buddy-roemer-shut-out-of-2012-debates.html

    *****

    Roemer may be offbeat–but he certainly isn’t any crazier than the majority of GOP presidential candidates.

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  33. The answer to the question as to whether people will vote for candidates who support torture and the destruction of the rule of law has a definitive answer. Yes. Obama supporters will do so and I can’t imagine we will get a Republican candidate who will not continue Obama’s policies should they get elected (just as Obama continued and went beyond Bush’s polices after his election).

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