Hayden: Feinstein Too “Emotional” To Discuss The Torture Program

250px-Michael_Hayden,_CIA_official_portrait225px-dianne_feinstein_official_senate_photoFormer CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden has long been the face and voice of the growing security state within the United States. While many of his representations have been challenged, he continues (like Dick Cheney) to create his own reality to justify powers viewed as authoritarian and unlawful. Now, with the approaching release of a comprehensive report on the torture program, Hayden is out in the press denying the findings of the report that torture did not result in any meaningful new intelligence and that the CIA tortured people who were already cooperating with conventional (and legal) interrogations. Hayden took to the airways to champion torture by attacking the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D, Cal.) and said that she was just being “emotional” and should not be involved in such a serious debate.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Hayden cited comments Feinstein made last month that the report would “ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.” That was just Feinstein being “emotional” Hayden insisted: “That sentence — that motivation for the report — may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator, but I don’t think it leads you to an objective report.”

220px-AbuGhraibAbuse-standing-on-boxIt was an ironic moment since Feinstein has been widely denounced by civil libertarians for her blind support for the intelligence community, including her campaign against Edward Snowden and her defense of massive surveillance programs targeting the entire population in meta data collection. When she was granting the security agencies their every wish, she was pragmatic and powerful. However, once she allowed an investigation into torture, she became emotional and incompetent. Of course, under Hayden’s approach, the United Nations, various countries, numerous human rights organizations, and former government officials are equally blinded by their emotions in denouncing the torture program — and our failure to prosecute former Bush officials.

It is equally telling that Hayden views the condemnation of torture to be a purely emotional response. Torture is a war crime as well as a domestic crime. It is like saying that a prosecutor is a bit too emotional in denouncing murder. Normal people tend to have a certain emotion over torture. We had some pretty powerful emotions when we tried Japanese officers for water boarding our POWs. Hayden made his career by dismissing questions of illegality as emotional tripe.

Ironically, Hayden is my neighbor down the street from my house. The few houses that separate us are nothing like the “emotional” divide over war crimes. I still strongly oppose the record of Feinstein in the expansion of national security powers in this country. However, having Michael Hayden as a critic on the subject of torture is a good step toward redemption.

Source: Washington Post

218 thoughts on “Hayden: Feinstein Too “Emotional” To Discuss The Torture Program

  1. Mr. Hayden is fast becoming the face of American war crimes (supplanting former VP Cheney).

    Every time I hear Mr. Hayden (calling him general debases an honorable title) speak, I feel disgust and anger that he continues to avoid prosecution.

  2. Nancy Grace – former prosecutor who is too emotional by far. Feinstein is an accidental Senator. If Harvey Milk had not been assassinated, she would be nothing. Personally, I have always found her an odd duck on the Intelligence Comm. If there was a leak from the Comm. I would suspect her office first. Still, Hayden’s opinion is his opinion. Having watched her in public hearings, I can see where he is coming from.

  3. At least he didn’t say “hysterical”. Hayden is the poster boy for everything that is wrong with the military when it comes to mysoginy and he is the leader of an organization that sees no problem with shredding the Constition. What about that oath he gave to “protect and defend the Constituion from all enemies foreign and domestic”? Sounds to me like he should be taking some action against himself.

    When one has nothing to say that is substantive one always trying to deman ones adversary. He should be fired and throw out of the military he is a disgrace.

  4. Our fathers and grandfathers fought and some died to lead us to Nuremberg and the prosecution of war crimes including various forms of water torture.

    Hayden’s frivolous and sexist accusation shows he has no arguments worthy of consideration and deserves our contempt.

    Document war crimes and prosecute war criminals now.

  5. “The Military-Industrial Complex can always look to the former head of the CIA, Michael Hayden as their go-to guy to defend them at every turn. On Fox News Sunday, he took it to a new disgusting level when he claimed that a statement made by Senator Diane Feinstein on the CIA’s torture program made her too emotionally unstable to render an objective decision. Maybe it’s just her time of the month?

    Former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden suggested Sunday that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) might have compromised the objectivity of a report on CIA interrogation techniques because she personally wants to change them.

    On “Fox News Sunday,” Hayden cited comments Feinstein made last month in which she said declassifying the report would “ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.”

    Hayden suggested Feinstein feels too strongly about the issue on an “emotional” level.

    “That sentence — that motivation for the report — may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator, but I don’t think it leads you to an objective report,” Hayden said.

    I thought having strong feelings about information a senator receives during an investigation makes them a better senator, silly me. Why should facts of unspeakable horrors be treated with a sociopath’s mindset? You know Dexter wouldn’t be so “emotional” by a little waterboarding. Didn’t General Michael Hayden have strong feelings regarding the CIA when he ran things and obviously he knew all about the torture program?

    And what on earth was the Democratic Party thinking putting a woman on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence? Don’t they know that’s where real men make the grown up decisions and all women belong in the kitchen cooking Michael Hayden his breakfast and then giving him a rubdown?

    It couldn’t possibly be the fact that the CIA torture program was so horrible it disgusted her? And maybe it was the fact that the CIA repeatedly lied to Congress and to the American people about how ineffective and brutal it was?” crooks and liars

  6. Feinstein doesn’t want Jonathan or any blogger to have journalistic protections under the Constitution. She is just fine w/ the NSA. She is trying to regain some credibility and folks are buying it. This woman is a lightweight and always has been.

  7. “ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.”

    Yeah right. As long as this country continues its massive program of attacking defenseless people in other countries to take control of valuable resources, there will be a great deal more random torture, carnage, and destruction.

  8. Blatantly sexist. He would never have called Ron Wyden “emotional”. Let’s get all sociopaths out of government.

  9. raff, No personal attack on anyone here. He does look like a penis head. I have every right to say he looks like a penis head. I used no profanity[Has anyone noticed I hardly swear anymore]. Lighten up, in our quest for civility we don’t want to become humorless, do we?

  10. I agree with rafflaw, Hayden is a war criminal. His thoughts on his war crimes and the war crimes of others should be heard in a court of law. Otherwise, they are irrelevant to anything.

  11. oxa – are you saying that men are incapable of being emotional? I seem to remember the left going after a male Republican politician who cried in public.

  12. Delivered a request to the Public Corruption Task Force in Los Angeles
    on December 7, 2007

    In March 2008 – the Public Corruption Task Force was SHUT DOWN
    (see L.A. Times “Shake up roils federal prosecutors).

    Career federal agents were threatened to keep their mouths shut on the closing

    Senator Feinstein sent a letter to then (Acting) U.S. Att. General MuKasey

    Never heard a word since!

  13. Folks, I am glad that you’all are willing to give these people a fair trial before you hang them. In my lifetime I have never seen people condemn people as criminals (war criminals specifically) without trial, so fast.

  14. It’s a commen tactic when attempting to discredit or marginalized a female by saying she is too emotional, ‘hysterical’. Good for Senator Feinstein who s deserving of credit for getting the torture report through. I agree with those who think perhaps she did it because she thinks I will help change the way the way the US interrogates. Credit where credit is due.

  15. @Nick Spinelli “She is trying to regain some credibility and folks are buying it. This woman is a lightweight and always has been.”

    I think you may be right. But the observation raises an interesting question. The issues are so diverse, there are essentially no elected officials that I can support completely.

    It would seem the only choice is to support politicians for the issues where I agree and oppose them on the issues where I disagree.

    For what ever reason, Feinstein is pushing positive steps on war crimes so I support her on those issues. She also supports dangerous programs conducted by NSA so I oppose on those issues.

    In today’s complex world, I do not see that there are any politicians that I can support unequivocally. The only choice I see is to voice support issue by issue.

  16. Any day that high functionary governmental war criminals are fighting in public over who is lying or who is too emotional or who is the greater criminal or torturer is a great day for the American public and, indeed, all citizens of the world.

    Is there any doubt that Hayden, Brennan and Feinstein are all war criminals? Everyday the empire looses a little more control.

  17. Jonathan,

    “[A]n island of relative civility and mature discourse.”

    So how’s that workin’ out for you again?

    Free speech protections as envisioned by the Founders are designed to protect dissent.

    There are exceptions legally (and ethically) recognized to that right like defamation and incitement.

    So what is it you are shootin’ for again, JT? To value free speech or show that it can be used as a shield to justify bad behavior? To illustrate the failure of absolutism in considering rights as singular and operating in isolation from other rights both individual and in common – an abstract that doesn’t really work when applied to a community in action? To illustrate the value of refined social rules by perpetuating negative example?


    And by way of clarification, I never said I didn’t support this forum. I said I wasn’t going to whitewash your fence on the weekends anymore or play a big roll in the contiguous community based upon a fundamental disagreement about theory and its relation to application. I didn’t say I’d never comment again. By in large, I’ve stayed out of the fray for four months aside from observing. I would still like to believe that by in large we share many common goals in areas like civil liberties, human rights and accountability in government, but maybe not.

    Do you know the joke/parable about the bird flying south and the elephant?

    A bird flying south for the winter is caught by an unexpected severe cold snap. It falls to the ground, awaiting its icy death. Along comes an elephant who, seeing the dying bird, proceeds to take a dump on it. This at first horrified the bird. It was messing with its beautiful plumage. Then the bird realized it was warm and it was feeling better. It just might survive. So happy by this thought, the bird began to sing against all the Rules of Birds. Birds never sing on the ground. It attracts predators. And it is at this point a cat leaped from the tall grass, pulled the bird out of the dung, and ate it.

    The lessons are that not everyone who gives you crap is your enemy and that not everyone who pulls you out of crap is your friend.

    Since you “have no problem with people criticizing [you] or [your] disinclination to ban people” then you shouldn’t mind this comment or the observation that some things are a matter of ratios and interrelation to other ideas and ideals. Even in egalitarian society, the aberrant are not allowed to run amok because their rights as an individual somehow trump the rights of the many. Their access to society is limited in myriad ways from injunction to incarceration to limiting their access to participate in very specific ways such as disallowing felons the right to vote.

    Or do you really think this is thread so far constitutes civil mature discourse?

    Just curious.

    Or have you moved on?

    That last one was a rhetorical question. The others? Not so much.

  18. ” In my lifetime I have never seen people condemn people as criminals (war criminals specifically) without trial, so fast.”

    The clear implication of most statements is that water boarding, stress positions, temperature extremes, slamming people into walls, and other practices are war crimes – despite the rationalizations Yoo and Bybee.

    I am confident that most of us, if we are ever placed on a jury, will be able to search our conscience and determine if we are able reach a decision solely on the basis of the evidence against that individual.

  19. Hayden lying is simply a fact.
    The emotional fitness of a woman to discuss national security matters is an opinion.
    And bfm makes a salient point about looking as issues first over actors being a wise tactic in dealing with pols.

  20. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even people who have openly admitted to war crimes under US law. To state the obvious in no way absolves the need for a free and fair trial of any person who has admitted to war crimes.

    Under our law, the things that Hayden has done qualify him as a war criminal. To say that is simply the truth. It is also true that before any punishment is given for these crimes, he is entitled to a fair trial in a civilian court of justice. If and only if he is found guilty, may punishment be meted out.

    As I said before, a court of law is where Hayden’s statements have relevance. Otherwise, they have no meaning except as propaganda.

  21. Anon, that is one of the most important summaries of what has happened, including that we will see very little of the actual torture report. Still, this makes me emotional: “The next day, McClatchy reported that the investigation includes the horrid details of at least five suspects to die in CIA custody, including “the death of Gul Rahman, an Afghan who was shackled, doused with cold water and left in a cold cell partially clothed until he died of hypothermia”, and “Manadal al Jamadi, who reportedly died after he was hung in a crucifixion-like pose and his head had been covered with a plastic bag.”

    As Easter approaches I wonder what it is about my nation that its leaders find crucifixion so vital to their war on terror.

  22. Jill says, “Everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even people who have openly admitted to war crimes under US law.”

    I not only agree, I would change “even” to “especially”.

  23. Jill, the crucifixion stance used by the interrogators seems so evil. That invokes a real emotional response from those who can imagine it and if those pictures get published, I think the outrage and disgust by most people will be on full display. No wonder it was secret for so long. I wonder how much the CIA will redact before the general public sees it.

  24. Jill;

    It is not proper to classify those who steal elections as “leaders”.

    Unless (of course) you count the fact that we were “led” to victory over an inferior enemy under baked up WMD banter so that our “leader”

    could strut his stuff during Thanksgiving with a plastic turkey on a tray.

    Symbolic in more ways than one.

  25. If we’re especially lucky (and the full torture report isn’t leaked first), we’ll get to see the original report, as well as the redacted one.

  26. The following is a quote from the New Yorker article:

    “There are really two issues here. One is the reflexive tendency to disparage or dismiss a woman in politics (or in business, or anywhere) with a remark about her supposed susceptibility to emotion. The other is the way a certain femininity—the wilting kind—is ascribed to those who doubt that torture is good for America.”

    Thanks for posting it.

  27. “History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.”
    — George Santayana

  28. Diane Feinstein’s sudden horror at torture makes no sense. She has known the details for years. Along with Pelosi, she has been instrumental in its use by approving it. Therefore it would seem that her sudden horror is more of a smoke screen than anything. Perhaps she hopes people will no longer see her as a person involved in torture?

    Democrats have declared this, “the time of the woman!” Women are strong because they can access their emotions. They will use their feelings to sweep up the mess made by the boys!

    The reason I know there isn’t real remorse by Diane is because actual feeling of remorse results in real actions. Those actions would be resigning from her position and standing before a court of law. They would include telling everything one knows about what one did, approved and what went on. Instead of these actions, we have the jingo of women’s emotions–a hook that works beautifully in this, “time of the woman!”.

    Well this woman is not falling for jingos and words. Real remorse is shown in action and by deed, not by words of oneself or others.

    Participation in the approval of torture requires the action of resignation and presentation before the court. Those are the only actions that count. What was done was horrific. This cannot be reduced to jingos. People died hideous deaths. One should feel terrible for having participated in any of it. One should come clean.

    Instead we will see a small fraction of the report–a few hundred pages out of a thousand. And we will see that information put to propaganda, not to justice. As citizens, we should demand justice.

  29. swarthmoremom and Jill;

    The two of ye can be the debaters of this history.

    Jill’s remarks just prior to this comment (if facts are there supportive);
    would seem to go with the Feinstein I know.

    At the same time, I’m always amazed at how we can ignore bad faith;
    because the person(s) involved are part of another “we” clan.

    As for me, I know much more than most about the REAL B.O;
    which is why I know – he ain’t perfect.

    You two should square off and let’s see what is revealed.

  30. Laser, Feinstein has largely given the national securiiy state and its abuses a free pass but if she wants to change things up why condemn her? Her term is until 2018 but she very well could be replaced by a republican in 2015.

  31. Eugene Robinson: Share the torture report

    BrevardCounty 4:57 p.m. EDT April 7, 2014


    “Torture is immoral, illegal and irreconcilable with this nation’s most cherished values. If defenders of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program disagree, they should come out and say so. Instead, they blow smoke.

    Sexist smoke, at that: Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Sunday that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is being “emotional” rather than “objective” as the intelligence committee, which Feinstein heads, moves toward release of a comprehensive report on CIA detention and torture during the George W. Bush administration.

    Feinstein coolly responded that the report is indeed “objective, based on fact, thoroughly footnoted, and I am certain it will stand on its own merits. … The only direction I gave staff was to let the facts speak for themselves.”

    Those facts, from what we know so far, are appalling.

    Feinstein’s committee voted 11-3 last week to declassify the report’s 400-page executive summary, with ranking Republican member Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and several of his GOP colleagues joining the Democratic majority.

    President Obama will face renewed pressure from the torture program’s defenders to quash the whole thing, and it may be months before even the summary is publicly released. It is unclear whether the full 6,000-page report will ever be declassified.

    This is an outrage.

    It was Justice Louis D. Brandeis who remarked that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Torture is a stain on this nation’s honor that can only be bleached away by full exposure. Feinstein’s committee spent years finding out what really happened. I should have a right to know what my government did in my name.

    The Washington Post last week quoted unnamed sources as saying the Senate report concludes the CIA “misled the government and the public” about the torture program. According to the Post, the agency downplayed the “severity” of its interrogation methods, overstated the significance of some prisoners and took credit for information that detainees had actually surrendered under legal, non-coercive questioning.

    These leaked disclosures prompted another round of the endless “Does torture work?” debate. This is precisely what the defenders of torture want us to focus on, since it keeps us away from the central issue.

    Jose Rodriguez Jr., who headed the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and ran the program of clandestine detention and harsh interrogation, wrote in the Post that the undertaking “produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaida and save American lives.”

    Rodriguez specifically defends the CIA’s treatment of an al-Qaida operative known as Abu Zubaida, who was subjected to waterboarding — a form of torture that involves simulated drowning — 83 times. But according to the Post, the Senate report establishes that most of the useful information that came from Abu Zubaida was extracted by an FBI interrogator using normal techniques, before the CIA whisked the man away for waterboarding.

    Ultimately, the debate about torture’s effectiveness is a waste of time because neither side can definitively prove its case.

    But can the defenders of “enhanced interrogation” point to a single piece of information obtained under torture and say, with certainty, that it couldn’t have been extracted any other way? No, they can’t.

    This is an argument about worldviews, not about facts, and it ignores the heart of the matter. The reason to fully examine the CIA’s torture program isn’t that it was ineffective. It’s that it was immoral.

    Torture is also illegal under U.S. and international law, and while Bush administration lawyers produced opinions sanctioning the practice, those who were involved are clearly worried about their potential exposure. It was Rodriguez who ordered the destruction of videotapes recording the interrogations of Abu Zubaida and another detainee, which kept them out of the hands of nosy Senate investigators.

    The CIA wasn’t able to destroy all the evidence, though. Among many unanswered questions, I want to know whether trained medical personnel attended the torture sessions. I’m sure the relevant professional associations and licensing boards would like to know as well.

    The report is written. Only when Feinstein — in her cool and unemotional way — gets to share it with the nation can we begin to put this most hideous of episodes behind us.

    Email Robinson at eugenerobinson@washpost.com.”

  32. Annie

    It’s a commen tactic when attempting to discredit or marginalized a female by saying she is too emotional, ‘hysterical’.

    Well said.

    It is “codespeak.”

  33. rafflaw

    Mr. Hayden is a war criminal and why should we be listening to a war criminal?

    He took an oath to protect the Constitution, not the Pentagon traitor class.

  34. Jill

    I agree with rafflaw, Hayden is a war criminal. His thoughts on his war crimes and the war crimes of others should be heard in a court of law. Otherwise, they are irrelevant to anything.
    Well said.

  35. Except for all the spelling errors. Glad you were able to decipher it. 😳

    I blame working a night shift and not enough sleep. Do you buy it?

  36. Why do we worry if Diane is replaced by an alien? The facts are that she did approve torture. She did this. Now we should ask what it means to show remorse for that action. Words are CHEAP, and like Hayden’s, relevant only in a court of law.

  37. Why condemn Diane? Because she authorized and approved of torture.

    To be serious about having done that means to hold oneself accountable to the rule of law. Anything else is indeed a smokescreen. She isn’t shaking up anything, she’s covering her own actions over. You can tell what is real by looking at actions, and ignoring BS!

  38. If Hayden is a war criminal, so is Obama and every Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Comm. You take one, you take them all.

  39. Dredd – somebody banned you. How awful. You are the last person I would have thought of being banned from a site.

  40. Annie – Sheriff Joe has plenty of tents to expand his prison system. He can make it as big as it needs to be. Now, if they are declared political prisoners, the UN will see them as martyrs. You do not want to do that.

  41. swarthmoremom – the Democrats, big D, control, the Senate and the Senate Intelligence Comm. Without their votes nothing happens. Without Feinstein nothing happens. Just remember, when the camel gets its nose under the tent, soon you have the whole damn camel in the tent.:)

  42. rafflaw – President Obama took an oath to obey the Constitution and uphold the law of the country and look where that got us.

  43. One can only hope that Mark Udall and Ron Wyden are having more influence over Feinstein than John McCain and Saxby Chambliss.

  44. I don’t see what party affiliation has to do with torture. Members of both parties, current and former, ordered, authorized, excused, allowed, and aided in the torture of human beings.

    This should outrage people. It is not O.K. to engage in these actions because one is from the “correct” party. This is not the rule of law. I don’t understand how people can justify these actions for any reason. The level of cruelty and unlawfulness is beyond the pale. What does party affiliation have to do with people’s actions? Nothing.

    We should not stand by justifying this kind of cruelty. It is just mind numbing that people would put membership in a party over justice. No wonder it’s SNAFU in this nation.

  45. http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-calls-former-cia-directors-attack-on-senator-feinstein-outrageous

    Wyden Calls Former CIA Director’s Attack on Senator Feinstein “Outrageous”
    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released the following statement in response to former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden’s remarks suggesting that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s landmark report on torture and coercive interrogations was not objective because the committee’s Chairman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, is too “emotional.”

    “General Hayden’s suggestion that Chairman Feinstein was motivated by ‘emotion’ rather than a focus on the facts is simply outrageous. Over the past five years I watched Chairman Feinstein manage this investigation in an extremely thorough and professional manner, and the result is an extraordinarily detailed report based on millions of pages of internal CIA records, including operational cables, internal memos, and interview transcripts.

    General Hayden unfortunately has a long history of misleading the American public – he did it on domestic surveillance when he was the head of the NSA, and he did it on torture when he was the CIA Director. The best way to correct this culture of misinformation is to give the American people a chance to review the facts for themselves, and I’ll be working with my colleagues and the administration to ensure that happens quickly.”

  46. AP, I’d like to unpack this ideas here. It is “outrageous”, actually ridiculous) to say Feinstein’s actions were motivated by emotion. It is also sexist.

    It is not accurate for Wyden to say that Feinstein has been motivated only by facts in the report. Some of the most important facts were leaked,–, that’s why we saw any of this report in the first place. As it is, the American public will be allowed to see a very small percentage of these facts.

    Asking the Obama administration for help is odd, because by law, Obama and Holder ought to have brought prosecutions for torture along time ago. Of course, Obama engages in torture, so that may have a lot to do with why he doesn’t prosecute those who commit torture.

    Wyden is a strange man. I’m glad he has put out the information he has into the public domain. That fact remains that he has held back information we have a right to know. The fact remains that members of the intelligence committee were briefed on torture and gave assent to it.

    By eliding the remarks of Hayden into vindication of the actions of Feinstein, Wyden is himself engaged in a cover up.

  47. SWM, Udall and Wyden have been undercut continuously regarding the NSA by Feinstein. She’s no good.

  48. When the ex-governor of Kandahar former director of Afghan Security Directorate was hurt in a suicide bombing aimed at him in Kabul, he was ultimately flown to Virginia for treatment. Pres. Obama hurried to his bed good friend’s bed site there. The man in bed was the same man who has been alleged to run places like the Salt Pit where Mr. Gul Rahman was tortured to death. He is the man alleged to have tortured himself prisoners in a prison under his living quarters. This is the man the CIA pays handsomely. This is a good friend of Pres. Karzai whom has received handsome payouts as well. The Associated Press noted that the CIA official who oversaw Rahman’s treatment “was reprimanded” and “now works as a defense contractor.” Whoopee.
    In its 2008 report on America’s culpability to war crimes Amnesty International noted: “There is not a single fix that will bring the USA’s actions on counterterrorism into compliance with international law. The violations in the “war on terror” have been many and varied, and the government has exploited a long-standing reluctance of the USA to commit itself fully to international law, including in relation to recognizing the full range of its international obligations with respect to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The question of accountability and remedy for violations in the “war on terror” must therefore be part of a new commitment by the USA to international law.” Wishful thinking.

    In its refusal to investigate the Bush-era torture practices, President Obama’s declared that he prefers to look forward, not backward. His administration announced June 30 (2011) that it would shut down 99 investigations into deaths of prisoners in US custody during the “war on terror,” leaving only two investigations with the potential to develop into criminal prosecutions. These last two have been dismissed.

    It’s hard not to laugh bitterly when the president calls Russia’s invasion into the Crimea against international law or when the US State Dept. releases its annual The World’s State of Human Rights Report.

    Lastly, I met up in Kabul with one of the men who was present during some of the torture scenes couldn’t eat nor sleep for weeks afterward. He was paid handsomely for interpreting. He felt filthy inside and out.

  49. Trevor Timm tweet:

    Trevor Timm ‏@trevortimm 5h

    Michael Hayden this week: @SenFeinstein is “emotional,” @RonWyden “should’ve acted like a man,” Senate Intel staffers are “sissies.”

  50. Gene Howington


    Some soirées have rules and bouncers and better yet less denouncers.
    Had you had the desire to stay, you should have followed the rules of play.
    As with you here.

    You stay there and cause trouble, I will stay here and cause civility.

    I never even look at the Flowers of Hypocisy Site any more.

  51. What we need are more courageous individuals who are not afraid to release classified documents andto name names of Agency scum.
    That is the only way we will ever get to the bottom of this Agency-inspired mess.

  52. xenonman

    What we need are more courageous individuals who are not afraid to release classified documents …
    “Four things on earth are small,
    yet they are extremely wise:

    Ants are creatures of little strength,
    yet they store up their food in the summer;

    hyraxes are creatures of little power,
    yet they make their home in the crags;

    locusts have no king,
    yet they advance together in ranks;

    a lizard can be caught with the hand,
    yet it is found in kings’ palaces.”

    (Proverbs 30:24-28)

  53. Let’s stay focused on the issue, gents. The discussion of other blogs and intramural squabbles is counterproductive. We have here a serious issue on this post that has generated many good points. Let’s keep our comments on that out of respect for this blog. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

  54. When it comes to war crimes, torture is the least of it.

    There are legitimate reasons to go to war. I won’t even mention Afghanistan. That situation is clouded by the fact that their government protected those who attacked this country.

    But the case of Iraq is clear. Without imminent threat this was a war of aggression.

    As for the idea that the war was about oil, we should remember that some believe the Japanese entered WWII to secure access to raw materials.

    The simple fact is that at the end of WWII we hung leaders for starting the war.

    Now we are faced with a stark question. Was Nuremberg a simple act of victors justice. Or did Nuremberg set a standard of justice to which all must adhere.

  55. Clapper, Hayden. Feinstein, Holder, etc. there is no honor in politics. They will lie to your face, they will lie under oath. Our political system has collapsed and there will be blood.

  56. bigfatmike,
    I grew up believing that Nuremberg set a standard. I guess we as a country have abandoned that important standard.

  57. bfm/raff,

    It’s funny you should mention Nuremberg. I had that same conversation about victor’s justice or a standard with an Korean War vet just last week. His take – which he admitted was heavily influenced by his WW-II vet brother’s rather cynical take on that war – was victor’s justice and theater from the American perspective. He said he always thought the Germans, English and French took it much more seriously and to heart. Much like raff, I grew up viewing Nuremberg as a landmark highpoint in not just jurisprudence, but history. Given the events of the last ten years? I’m inclined to think my coffee shop conversationalist might have had the right take.

  58. Whitney Harris was one of the prosecutors at Nuremberg. He lived in Saint Louis after the Nuremberg trials and lived a long life. He wrote a book called Tyranny On Trial. It is a very good book and covers many issues which we have today. I hope that Hayden and Cheney have their day in court and that the trials are held in Nuremberg. When Hayden and Cheney die they will be down in Hell with the Nazi war criminals playing checkers.

  59. Nick Spinelli

    Let’s stay focused on the issue, gents. The discussion of other blogs and intramural squabbles is counterproductive. We have here a serious issue on this post that has generated many good points. Let’s keep our comments on that out of respect for this blog. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
    Such dirty paws.

  60. Annie

    Dredd, I absolutely loved that, hope that doesn’t make me a sicko and my paws are clean.
    They are from Iceland.

    Just for you:

  61. Paul Schulte

    Dredd – somebody banned you. How awful. You are the last person I would have thought of being banned from a site.
    Much analysis for several years reveals that it is a sign of association with Oil-Qaeda in some way.

  62. Jill
    “Everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even people who have openly admitted to war crimes under US law.

    Federal Judge last week ruled you incorrect…
    … Son’s of American terrorists do NOT get ANY trial before the president has them killed.

    However, if you are the son-in-law of Bin Laden…
    … Then a full Federal trial is warranted to determine your level of guilt.

    See how that works?

  63. rafflaw
    “If the CIA is so confident that they are within the rule of law, man up and release the report.
    And now, they get to pick through and edit… er… redact the names of the guilty so as to protect their crime.

  64. Annie
    “Just how big will this political prison need to be?”
    I hear there’s open spaces at Gitmo…

  65. Deletion Notice: I have deleted three comments by Gene Howington and one by Dredd. In Gene H’s case, this is now the fifth or sixth such deletion in roughly 24 hours. Despite my request for posters to end the personal exchanges and digs on this blog, they have continued with a bizarre a tit-for-tat over being banned on another blog site. To come to this site to taunt or mock others borders on a form of Internet graffiti. We want to discuss the important issues surrounding torture in this thread and yet we have returned again to issue of banning people (in this case on an entirely different blog). I have not deleted comments that simply criticize me or the policies on this blog. However, most of us want to discuss serious subjects and not engage in juvenile taunting or personal digs. There is a universe of blogs out there. Many such sites ban posters with great frequency than I do. Others allow and even invite personal digs and fights. This just does not happen to be one. I try to delete comments that violate our policies while encouraging posters to comply. Many have complied and continued to contribute to our discussion. While I have occasionally banned posters, I view such an act as highly problematic for a blog committed to free speech. Some sites have entirely done away with comments rather than deal with such issues. I want to preserve the comment section as a place for adults to have a mature conversation about issues. Please comply with our policies or simply move on to another site. Thank you.

  66. Rights come with reciprocal duties and exist in the context of other rights.

    Rights are not absolute, even at law.

    Maximal liberty has always been the goal.

    Maximum liberty?

    Is anarchy.

  67. Hayden and Feinstein sittin in a tree..
    First came love,
    Then came marriage
    Then came Hayden with a baby carriage.

    Of course now that the honeymoon and marriage is over…..

  68. swathmoremom;

    I condemn the actions that speak louder than words.

    And I’m a cynical skeptic of “feign” to be good;
    because an even worse person made remarks thereof.

    Feinstein’s hubby made big money on RE deals that are surreptitious;
    and the dropping Public Corruption Task Force issue was inexplicable!

  69. ON THE SUBJECT OF BANNING, disdain etc.

    As some of you know, I’ve sued Mitt Romney for Racketeering. Prior to that I’ve been battling him and his cohorts for more than a decade. Resultantly, I’ve been trolled upon by MittTwit fans and Rove paid hacks. My taking the stuff of naysayers – Personal – resulted in my being banned from the orange realm.

    I’ve learned that the root solves the problem.

    Of the ignorant – one need simply ignore.

    It is the best medicine for myself;
    and the hardest pill for the stalwarts to swallow.

    That being said (along with the {less than totally candid} remark by the Professor that “I [the Professor] have not deleted comments that simply criticize me or the policies on this blog”) – there’s some need of reminding a party that “WE” (your comment parties and followers) are the ones who helped make this realm to be the esteemed spectrum of discussion it has become.

    There are posters here, who venture to the other blog you spoke of Professor – that are qualified “board”/”senior” members of your realm. There’s also loyalists who remain steadfast. They can serve as a jury on these issues.

    It would be more prudent to have a process of adjudication;
    and several levels of discipline (for a 1st Amendment Blog).

    The orange realm has resorted to begging for support; because their haughtier has become the problem. Turning a good thing into not so good!

    I’m just sayin……….

  70. I once started the research for a book on the war crimes of FDR using Nuremburg as the standard, but it would have been so big, it just got out of hand. Nuremburg (of course FDR was dead then) was victor’s justice. If you want to see just how much victor’s justice it was read a translation of Goering’s testimony. He tore the Allies a new one. Everything they were accusing him of, he had proof they had also done.

  71. Laser – did not know that you sued Mitt Romney. On what evidence for racketeering? If it was successful, I have a couple of politicians I would like to use it on.

  72. Paul Schulte;

    Our esteemed Prof has declined to discuss my case;
    but you can Google “Romney sued for RICO” to see much.
    (plus Romney Slapped with Racketeering was independent research)
    Then there’s Taibbi “Greed & Debt” (I’m the source)

  73. Paul Schulte;

    There’s Petters Ponzi – Rothstein FL fraud – Frank Vennes – Palm Beach Links (Prevost & Harrold) – Madoff – Stanford – Marc Dreier – Larry (Reservitz) Reynolds – Okun 1031 Tax Group. NY Times March 2013 “Rigging IPO Game”
    and WSJ 2004 “eToys investors find conflict at law firm”

    They all have a common element that is enjoying nolle prosequi

  74. Paul Schulte;

    [R]acketeering [I]nfluenced [C]orrupt [O]rganizations Act of 1970 was created by Congress to permit ordinary citizens to be empowered as Private Attorney Generals to fill in Prosecutorial GAPS.

    In other words – if the FIX is IN – and no one else wishes to prosecute Capone then you can become Eliot Ness (and Congress grants treble damages to motivate you to do so).

  75. General Jack D. Ripper: Were you ever a prisoner of war?

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Well… yes I was, matter of fact, Jack. I was.

    General Jack D. Ripper: Did they torture you?

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, yes they did. I was tortured by the Japanese. Jack, if you must know; not a pretty story.

    General Jack D. Ripper: Well, what happened?

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Oh, well, I don’t know, Jack, difficult to think of under these conditions; but, well… what happened was they got me on the old Rangoon-Ichinawa railway. I was laying train lines for the bloody Japanese puff-puff’s.

    General Jack D. Ripper: No, I mean when they tortured you. Did you talk?

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Ah, oh, no… well, I don’t think they wanted me to talk really. I don’t think they wanted me to say anything. It was just their way of having a bit of fun, the swines. Strange thing is they make such bloody good cameras.

  76. seamus – you are aware that film is fiction? And that is just a distraction to the discussion. Let’s get back on point.
    A. Was Feinstein emotional?
    B. Was Feinstein too emotional?

    That should be the discussion here. Everything else is a side show.

  77. ” Let’s get back on point.
    A. Was Feinstein emotional?
    B. Was Feinstein too emotional?”

    Regardless of her emotional state, It seems to me the vital point is: are the issues she raises well supported and well taken?

    Why don’t we let the report tell us the answer to that question? Let the report stand on its own merits.

    Obviously, mention of her emotional state is a sexist distraction intended to avoid serious discussion of war crimes and prosecution of the architects of those criminal policies.

  78. I consider it completely irrelevant to the discussion, but when it comes to the emotion of Ms Feinstein, I have always considered her a sort of Lady Macbeth character perfectly capable of shoving a shiv under your ribs when your back is turned.

    But that is just me and not relevant to the important issues of torture, war crimes and our war of aggression.

  79. Hayden has resorted to questioning Feinstein’s emotion because he has no compelling arguments to make.

    Essentially Hayden is making the little boy’s argument: Feinstein is a girl, girls have cooties, therefore don’t pay any attention to Feinstein.

    Hayden’s remarks ought to be laughable. But the issues are serious and require our best attention.

  80. Bigfatmike has it right. All good points, no pun intended.

    “I have always considered her a sort of Lady Macbeth character perfectly capable of shoving a shiv under your ribs when your back is turned.” -bfm

  81. Feinstein has built her career on emotion. As someone pointed out, she has said HUNDREDS of times the horror of seeing Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk dead. She has milked that for all it’s worth to the 10th power. She never should have left local SF politics. The Peter Principle @ work.

  82. The emotional double standard applied to Sen. Feinstein

    by Ruth Marcus, Tuesday, April 8,


    “Feinstein had said that releasing the committee’s report on the CIA would “ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.”

    Uh oh. Apparently being worked up over a little torture gets you kicked out of the Big Boys clubhouse.

    “That sentence, that motivation for the report, may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator,” Hayden snarked. “But I don’t think it leads you to an objective report.”

    I don’t employ the term “sexist” lightly. To interpret this comment in the light most favorable to Hayden, he was citing a column by my colleague David Ignatius describing Feinstein’s desire for a report “so tough” it would prevent any recurrence. Interestingly, Ignatius used the adjectives “determined,” “implacable” and, more critically, “obdurate” to describe the senator. Those are accurate, and they come without gender baggage.”

  83. Her emotional state is not a sexist distraction because the same comment has been made about a male politician.
    1. Was she emotional. Let’s all admit it here, we all, regardless of our sex, get emotional over some things.
    2. If she was emotional, was she too emotional?

  84. “2. If she was emotional, was she too emotional?”

    The vital question is whether her position is substantiated by fact and law.

    The architects of torture policies desperately want to avoid discussions of fact and law because the Haydens, Cheneys, Yoos, and Bibee’s of that era know where the facts lead.


  85. Directly on topic: It’s about time Feinstein showed some emotion about the CIA and its shenanigans. She’s been complicit for much too long. For Hayden to try to dismiss by calling her emotional is typical misogynistic claptrap.

    On the bigger picture of the topic: Many are saying that torture is against our values. Maybe. But before passing judgement, consider that our government, that which the people “elected”, endorsed slavery and human trafficking; gave small pox infested blankets to Natives; kidnapped Native children in an attempt to destroy their cultures; took land from Natives by any means necessary, including massacres; invaded hundreds of countries, either without provocation or by provoking them into war-like acts, over many decades for their resources for U.S. corporate interests. These types of bad acts continue. Torture and warrantless surveillance are just two tools in the tool box.

  86. bettykath – you are all over the map there in your response and it would take several post to respond to your claims.

    1, It is not misogynistic to call a woman emotional when men are called the same thing. It just becomes a descriptor. The question is, was she too emotional to make a rational decision? I know that in my own case, as a male, I have been so emotional that I was incapable of making a rational decision in that particular area.

    2. Stick to the point. Was she too emotional? That is a yes or no question.

  87. Paul, Great link. Jay Carney has become that bullshitting Jon Lovitz character on SNL. Not only do women get paid less in the WH, they have much less influence than w/ W. Valerie “Rasputin” Jarrett is the main reason. NOBODY can squelch women like other Machiavellian women.

  88. Elaine M – if you think bettykath is cogent do not every take to task for getting off topic.😉

  89. Elaine – stick to the topic. Don’t attack me or Hayden. Was Feinstein emotional and if she was, was she too emotional? Yes, no.

  90. anonymous – thought I had responded to you. Guess the spam filter ate it.

    I quit reading the article after
    “Now, 40 years later, everyone who knows me would rather volunteer for a
    root canal operation at a school for spastic dental students than ask me a
    question about authoritarianism. My wife has never read a single page in any of
    my books. Few of my colleagues in the psychology department at the University
    of Manitoba have asked about my research since 1973.”

  91. Elaine – stick to the topic. Don’t attack me or Hayden. Was Feinstein emotional and if she was, was she too emotional? Yes, no.

  92. Paul,
    Why wouldn’t someone get emotional over our country torturing scores of prisoners and killing over 100 in our control? I would think the proper question would be why aren’t you getting emotional over this Illegal act? Calling the response over emotional is just a dodge of the issue and the facts involved. Especially coming from a serial liar, Michael Hayden.

  93. rafflaw – you seem to agree that she was emotional. Now we have to decide whether she was too emotional. Feinstein has a long history of ‘waving the bloody shirt of Harvey Milk’ so she is always suspect on an emotional level. Feinstein also has been aware of this alleged illegal act(s) for some time. According to one of the other Democratic members of the committee, Feinstein has seen millions of pages of documents in Intelligence hearings. So, the question is why now? And was she overboard? Attacking the messenger is just an ad hominem attack to dodge the real issue.

  94. anonymous – I am sure you are trying to make a point. Just come out with it. Actually, I am a benign dictator.

  95. Paul, They are trying to get you deleted or banned. Keep your cool, dude. It’s fine to hammer them on not answering the simple question, but they won’t. Stay above the fray, you’re better.

  96. Just in the past month or so we have had MANY new interesting commenters. It is delightful to have more diversity in both socioeconomic, cultural, and just free thinkers. I’m very much pleased to see more female commenters. We still need some regular black and Latino. I have long thought Jonathan should have a former student be a Guest Blogger. That would bring in some young people, we skew pretty old..AARP demographic.

  97. It is odd that such a simple question is not answered. As for the AARP demographic, we are the only ones who have the time to constantly keep up with the site. Darren must have dumped 20 articles on us the other week. JT is a couple a day, not including the cute doggie one. Not sure what happened to Elaine, she was more active as a guest blogger when I started, now she is more of a commenter/poster.

  98. Paul, It is more than odd. But, it is what it is. I had a guy named Idealist who was so helpful to me in understanding how some folks operated around here. Idealist was an iconoclast and laughed @ by some. But, he understood the workings here and helped guide me through the land mines. Idealist died last year. I have tried to help others as he helped me. This blog is in transition. There are some riptides in the water. You don’t fight a riptide, you calmly swim parallel, and you will get out of it. As I’ve said to you previously, reading archives will also help you. It did me. You’re too valuable a voice to be lost.

  99. Sen. Feinstein’s emotional stability has no bearing on whether the report should be released. Gen. Hayden’s views of Sen. Feinstein’s emotional stability has no bearing on whether the report should be released. Neither Sen. Feinstein’s nor Gen. Hayden’s opinions have any bearing on whether the report should be released.

    The report should be released.

  100. Mike – we are not taking about her emotional stability, we are taking about if she was overly emotional on this one issue. If she was, then it calls into question her judgment on the issue. The question of this discussion is 1) was she emotional and, if yes, 2) was she overly emotional. I believe that most humans are both at some points in their lives. I know that I have been. The question now is was she?

  101. Elaine – I could care less whether you are an old gal or an old guy, my mind is used to looking for patterns. When I started your pattern was to blog on the weekend. You didn’t this last weekend or I missed it.

  102. Just curious- but how do we know how much the Senate Intelligence Committee knew about the torture? Are there commenters here who have deep inside knowledge of what the SIC knew and when they knew it?
    And, to those of you on either “side” who like to paint one side or the another with big sweeping brushes: ever consider the possibility that, when you do this consistently, you are building an entire base of JT readers who scroll past your comments and stop reading them? You may make some valid points, but they’re lost in your zeal to discredit the “other” side.

  103. Oh…and anyone linking to Red State or Daily Kos to “prove” the SIC knew things can just skip that step.

  104. Paul Schulte:

    Who cares? Sen. Feinstein has been an apologist for national security abuses and Gen. Hayden is a liar. I don’t care what either of them think or their rationales. The American people are entitled to know the truth, or as much of it as we can squeeze out of the government. The report should be released.

  105. Mike – there is a lot the American people are entitled to know, but they are getting none of it from this administration. Obama probably holds the record for the most lies told by a President directly to the American public. Hillary Clinton could not remember anything when in front of Congressional committees (do you think she was telling the truth?) Wyden says that Feinstein read millions of intelligence documents. Millions? She did that and could not read the ACA? Holder had a set-to with someone today who questioned him about being under contempt of Congress. And he seems to be ill-informed on the workings of his office. The IRS has said it will take years to get the documents relating to the suppression of Tea Party and Conservative groups. The NSA is probably monitoring every keystroke I make and they have yet to stop anyone. They are approved by a secret court whose judges are appointed secretly. Who in this is clean? My Senator is McCain. When he said people were asking him to run again, I called his Washington office to let them know I was not one of them. And I call our junior Senator’s office to tell him that if he followed McCain around any longer he would be a one-term Senator.

    I want to see Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS Tea Party, etc. and I want them now, not after Obama has left office.

  106. Third paragraph, second sentence,

    When she was denying the security agencies their every wish, she was pragmatic and powerful.

    I think what’s meant is, “granting”, not denying. Everyone probably gets it anyway.

    What a sorry piece of work Hayden is. You should wear a snorkel every time you walk by his house.

  107. Oddly enough, Feinstein, Wyden and Hayden have history going back to his nomination to the CIA. This has been personal since then.

  108. I know a lot of people are complaining about Hayden but I have not run across anything that derogatory about him. Would somebody like to cite an article or post a link to something (not from the far left please) that backs some of this hatred up?

  109. Paul,
    As Mike A. stated, It is moot whether there was any emotion involved. The fact is waterboarding is illegal in the states and under international law. The report needs to be fully declassified so people can see what illegal actions were done under our name. And the parties responsible for breaking our laws need to be prosecuted. No matter how high up the food chain.

  110. ” And the parties responsible for breaking our laws need to be prosecuted. No matter how high up the food chain.”

    I think there is a pretty good argument to be made that it is the architects of the policy that are most deserving of prosecution.

    The little guys that did the dirty work are deserving of prosecution. But I have some sympathy with the idea that it is tough for a little guy to stand against national policy.

    It is the Haydens, Cheneys, Yoos, and Bibees that demand our attention.

  111. bigfatmike: “It is the Haydens, Cheneys, Yoos, and Bibees that demand our attention.”

    Yes, it is.

    Here’s a video twofer, including a “Where’s the kitteh?” spin-off for Nal — I think he might have appreciated both of these videos. As someone else said, what a “national treasure” we have in Jon Stewart.

    “Jon Stewart Takes Dick Cheney ‘Back To The Torture'”


  112. rafflaw – it is never moot when the left and leftist women have been trying themselves in knots over the issue. So, was she emotional? And if she was emotional, was she too emotional?

    Here is my take on war crimes (if there are war crimes). Feinstein is complicate from the beginning, as is Pelosi. Everyone on the Senate Intelligence Committee takes the fall, including the staffers and interns. The criminal arm of the DOJ is indicted, the AG, the President and Vice President. I would suspect a certain amount of the judiciary would be culpable as well.

    As we all know but are unwilling to admit, if the report is written only by the majority (Democrats in this case) to attack the minority (Republicans in this case) than it has little legal value but much political value. And since Feinstein is ‘Shocked. Shocked I tell you’ to find torture on her watch, that is my take on what is happening. The fact that there has been bad blood between Hayden, Wyden and herself since Hayden was approved head of the C.I.A. should factor into some of these comments on both sides.

  113. There is plenty of evidence available in the public domain to prosecute US war criminals in court. The only thing lacking is the mechanism by which try and hold them to account as the levers of power within the charade that remains of the once was republic have atrophied and are no longer responsive to the will of the people or the rule of law.

    Search wikileaks for open source evidence implicating the US government and it’s swarms of agents in war crimes.


  114. Would have to check with the attorneys on here, but I am not sure that wikileaks can be used as a source for trial documents.

  115. Paul,
    If there are war crimes?? You are kidding aren’t you? Are you suggesting that the killing of millions of civilians in WWII wasn’t a war crime? She should be emotional and so should all Americans when American officials authorized the torture of prisoners in violation of US laws!
    Do we have to use terms like that to describe someone? Really?

  116. rafflaw – are we taking of the millions of civilians killed by the Allies or the Axis? So, you agree she was emotional and has a right to be emotional if US laws are broken. Now the question is: Was Feinstein too emotional?

    Frankly, the Obama administrations breaks US laws or fails to enforce them on a daily basis. I am not going to get into a sweat over this. The Obama administration released 68,000 felons who were illegal immigrants back into the United States. I am emotional about that.

  117. ” The Obama administration released 68,000 felons who were illegal immigrants back into the United States. I am emotional about that.”

    I am sure we are all concerned for you as a person and sincerely hope that you find some relief from your distress.

    But the question remains does your emotion in any way influence or have any implication at all for our national immigration policy or our policy regarding the handling of illegal alien felons?

    It is difficult to see how your emotion could have any effect on applicable law. It is difficult to see how you emotion could have any effect on the facts of any of the cases. It is difficult to see how you emotion could have any effect on the past actions of LE officers, judges or administration officials.

    I would argue you emotion has absolutely nothing to do with the important national issue of immigration policy and how we treat illegal alien felons or how we evaluate those issues.

    Perhaps you would like to give a more detailed explanation why we should give serious consideration to your emotion when we evaluate the issue of immigration?

    I would argue that Feinstein’s emotion or lack of it is similarly irrelevant to our evaluation of the CIA, torture and other war crimes.

    The applicable laws, the policies, the facts of what was done are not influenced in any way by anyone’s emotion.

    Emotion felt by anyone is completely irrelevant to our evaluation of the serious question of torture and war crimes.

    I would hope that elected officials, administration officials, judges, and LE officers all have an emotional commitment to the enforcement of our laws.

    But when we evaluate a national policy, the emotion of someone involved with the development or administration of that policy is irrelevant.

  118. bigfatmike – it was posited that Feinstein was right to be emotional about the SIC report and why wasn’t I. I find Feinstein and her ilk to be performing Kabuki theatre regarding this subject. I have had a hard time getting anyone to even answer two simple questions 1) Was Feinstein emotional and if she way 2) was she too emotional?

    BTW, a couple of things I found out about Feinstein when I searched her is that she is one of the richer Senators (high in the 1%) and she is the oldest currently serving senator.

    I can tell you from following the current national administration, that your hopes are being dashed as we speak.

  119. ” I have had a hard time getting anyone to even answer two simple questions 1) Was Feinstein emotional and if she way 2) was she too emotional? ”

    So what if it was posited. You can posit anything you want to. Emotion is still irrelevant to anything important about war crimes and the architects of the policies that led to war crimes.

    One possible reason that few have any interest in those questions is that they are irrelevant to the important question of how the US should deal with vital issues like torture, rendition, wars of aggression and the individuals who implemented related criminal policies.

    I don’t think for a minute think the US will have war crime trials anytime soon.

    But these are important issues that require serious consideration by everyone.

    For anyone who supposes that war crime trials are a bit of a fringe issue just let the Cheneys and Haydens of the world try a vacation in Spain or the French riviera and see what happens.

    BTW, I initially bought into the idea that we would gain little from the prosecution of war crimes and the process would be hugely divisive. I assumed the nation would recover its sanity after the wars were largely over.

    But now we have war criminals crowing that there policies were just, wise and necessary.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    We have to prosecute war criminals unless we want to allow war crimes to become a standard of our law.

  120. bigfatmike – I have never seen so many people, yourself included, who are willing to hang people first and then give them a fair trial.

    The people who started commented on this particular thread have been complaining that Gen. Hayden was a misogynist for saying Feinstein was too emotional. I am trying to get people back to that point. They have vilified Gen. Hayden for vilifying Feinstein, but I am trying to get to the truth of the matter. 1) Was Feinstein emotion (two people have agreed she was and rightly so) and if so 2) was she too emotional? So far, no takers. Want to take a shot at this?

    I happen to believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty regardless of the evidence. If you want to try Gen. Hayden, then put the evidence on the table in front of an open court. No secret courts, no secret deals with the administration. It all hits the fan. I want the trials televised so we can all see what is happening.

    This administration has not been forthcoming on Fast and Furious, do you really think any redacted report on torture has real value? Do you really think the current administration has not covered its collective backside? Do you really think Feinstein would not cover for the current administration? It is all smoke and mirrors, Kabuki theatre for the under informed.

    Do not forget that Feinstein, Wyden and Hayden have a tortured backstory.

  121. ” I have never seen so many people, yourself included, who are willing to hang people first and then give them a fair trial.”

    If I am ever on a jury I will check my conscience and verify that I can perform my duty. If I cannot I will be the first to announce that fact.

    But as a citizen, like all citizens, I have an obligation to evaluate the policies of my country – especially when war crimes are involved.

    There is nothing inappropriate in pointing the finger and identifying architects of the policies that lead to war crimes.

    And there is nothing inappropriate in pointing out that Hayden used sexist language to attack Feinstein. There is nothing hidden or obscure when words like shrill, hysterical, emotional are applied to women. Those are well known words used against women to avoid engaging their arguments and to undermine their authority. Hayden specifically called Feinstein emotional and claimed that meant she was wrong. Hayden is a big boy. If he wants to debate Feinstein let him debate her substantive points. As long as Hayden hides behind words like ’emotional’ he deserves our opprobrium.

    I am glad you want the trials televised. I with you on that. It would be a wonderful cleansing moment for the nation to televise crimes of war criminals. I hope you will use your wonderful gifts for presentation and discussion to help bring that moment to fruition.

    The value of any redacted report depends of whether the public is presented with information that it did not have prior to publication.

    It sounds as though the torture report is loaded with new information – why else would Hayden and others be trying to muddy the waters with attacks on Feinstein. Any legitimate concerns regarding sources and methods can be dealt with through the usual techniques of redaction. Legitimate questions regarding the effectiveness of torture should benefit from the publication of additional data. There are no legitimate reasons to withhold a properly redacted version of this report.

    If I thought the emotional state of any one, or the Fast and Furious program had the slightest relevance to torture or war crimes I would be energetic in pursuing those issues here. They are not relevant to the vital issues of torture and war crimes.

    ‘Do not forget that Feinstein, Wyden and Hayden have a tortured backstory.’

    You talk as though this is some sort of intramural sport – as though I should be careful lest my team members be penalized. Perhaps you have not noticed but I don’t have a team. I don’t play on a team. I care about the issues and you should too. Let the facts of torture lead where they may.

  122. bigfatmike – we have already discussed that calling someone emotional is not sexist. Boehner is called emotional all the time, is that sexist? The questions are 1) was Feinstein emotional and if so 2) was she too emotional. So far I have yet to find anyone willing to answer question 2 and only two people have been willing to answer question 1.

    Actually, politics is an intramural sport. According to Wyden, Feinstein has read millions of SIC documents. These would have contained reports of torture, if there was any. Why was she not screaming before? Could it be she actually did not read millions of documents? I personally doubt that she has read the report, unredacted or redacted. She has gotten a summary from her aides or the aides on the SIC.

    We have a war on drugs. People who push and sell drugs are the enemy. It is considered treason (a war crime) to give aid and comfort to the enemy. The Obama administration has allowed guns to be delivered to the enemy. Does that constitute a war crime?

  123. My, you folks have been busy.

    Paul still doesn’t get it when he keeps repeating “1) Was Feinstein emotional and if she was 2) was she too emotional? ”

    Paul, Your questions are irrelevant! Hayden’s use of the characterization was to dismiss her.

    If she was emotional, and I hope she was, was it because the CIA’s torture was far worse than what she was told? Or was it because the CIA lied to her? Or was it because the CIA spied on her staff/committee? Or was it because the report would be released (leaked) and she would be exposed as someone who knew and didn’t object at the time? I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I do know that Hayden’s comment was misogynistic and inappropriate, the kind of comment that is regularly to dismiss women.

    As to your comment about the male politician who cried, surely you are referring Ed Muskie, the Democrat, who was subjected to Republican lies that took him out of the presidential race.

  124. “That sentence, that motivation for the report, may show deep, emotional feeling on the part of the senator,” Hayden snarked. “But I don’t think it leads you to an objective report.”

    Hayden seems to forget that the report Feinstein is talking about was written by the CIA, not Feinstein. He sounds a bit like Donald Rumsfeld, i.e. subjects, verbs and objects jumbled into nonsense.

  125. bettykath – from the liberals’ favorite blog

    another hit on Boehner

    bettykath – you are now number 3 to hope she was emotional. Now the question is, was she too emotional? If she was too emotional, then Hayden was telling the truth. It is not a sexist comment. I, myself, have become emotional and sometimes, too emotional. When I am too emotional it clouds my judgment and I think it does the same to everyone. It isn’t sexist or misogynist. I am male. Anecdotally, it seems to happen to all of us at some point or points.

    I get it bettykath. When this thread started certain people were twisted in knots because they thought Gen. Hayden was being misogynistic. I am just trying to find out if what he said is the truth. This is a woman, who, according to Senator Wyden, has read millions of SIC documents. Surely she knows if she has been lied to or not. So, can we have a search for the truth or are we going to continue to avoid the issue and attack the messenger?

  126. Whether or not Senator Feinstein “was” emotional

    Is NOT the point.

    What’s germane is the arrogance of “man”kind to attempt to be dismissive of an (esteemed) woman by a snooty/”sexist” reflection of her mindset (which presumes no facts in evidence – and Mr Hayden is most certainly not an expert thereon).

  127. By the way – to those who care.

    Judge dismissed (yesterday) part of my RICO case in “Haas v Romney” against some of the main (attorney/professional) culprits.

    Doing so under a 130 year old case of “Barton” doctrine;
    (which is not permitted to apply to “misconduct” cases).


    Professor Turley;

    I’m still waiting on you to do your fiduciary duty against those who are openly assaulting the Constitution of the United States!

  128. bettykath and laser – if he was correct and she was overly emotional, then he was correct in being dismissive. We have already established that being emotional is not just for females. If you saw that attacks on Congressman Boehner you would realize that.

    Laser – I take issue with Feinstein being esteemed. I personally do not esteem her. I do not esteem Gen. Hayden either.

    You two can avoid the real issue as much as you want, but the issue is was she too emotional?

  129. Neither your opine on the vaulted status of a Senator, nor your argument on the emotional state – are dispositive.

    Emotion is (usually) passion.

    I’m not avoiding the issue – you are!

    Mr. Hayden’s remarks (biased in the extreme) were made from hubris on high with haughtier dismissive for the sake of the venal (of torturing).

    And, if you want to see emotion;
    try torturing someone in front of me!

    I despise bullies – including when our Government acts as one;
    and especially so by WASP elitist who act as if the world belongs to them.

  130. Actually, Paul, those 2 questions are YOUR interpretation of the topic at hand. Seems that most of us disagree with you. However, since you insist, I’ll answer your irrelevant questions. Given the topic, a report of hundreds of pages describing horrendous torture done by US government agents within the context of by the CIA and Hayden about the torture, and then the CIA spying on Feinstein and her staff while investigating the CIA and torture, then, I certainly hope she was emotional and, no, Senator Feintein was NOT too emotional, nor, imo, could she be.

  131. “Boehner is called emotional all the time, is that sexist? ”

    Calling Beohner emotional might be wrong. It might be inappropriate. It might even be sexist.

    But it has absolutely nothing to do with the evaluation of torture, the policies that rationalized and lead to torture, the architects of those policies or war crimes.

    “Actually, politics is an intramural sport.”

    Here you seem to be admitting that your remarks regarding torture and war crimes are based on your personal political considerations.

    I thank you for your candor and your courage.

    But I think it is a shameful outrage to use politics rather than the facts of torture to evaluate war crimes.

    Citizens have an obligation to evaluate the policies, and the facts related to torture and war crimes.

    “We have a war on drugs. People who push and sell drugs are the enemy. It is considered treason (a war crime) to give aid and comfort to the enemy. The Obama administration has allowed guns to be delivered to the enemy. Does that constitute a war crime?”

    This is a sophomoric attempt to evade the vital issues of torture and war crimes. It conflates the advertising term ‘war on drugs’ with issues related to the war powers act. It confuses plain language terms like ‘enemy’ with technical, legal terms like ‘enemy combatant’. It attempts to confuse the reader by pretending that bad policy, or ordinary, civilian criminal activity are equivalent to war crimes specified in the military code of justice or international law.

    The reader might pose the question: why such an effort to avoid the issue and confuse the facts relating to torture and war crimes.

    An obvious answer to that question is that defenders of the Haydens and Cheneys of the world simply do not have good arguments to refute the facts or defend the policies that led to torture.

    That is why they avoid the important issue of torture and war crimes by bringing up irrelevancies like emotional state. Emotional state that takes place after the fact cannot alter that fact. Emotional states cannot alter the policies. Their attempt to force the conversation to the subject of emotional state is their way of avoiding serious discussion torture and war crimes.

  132. Au contraire Paul;

    As per US Legal dot com;

    Fiduciary (in legal sense) means;

    A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. For instance, a corporation’s board member has a fiduciary duty to the shareholders, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust’s beneficiaries, and an attorney has a fiduciary duty to a client.

    A fiduciary obligation exists whenever the relationship with the client involves a special trust, confidence, and reliance on the fiduciary to exercise his discretion or expertise in acting for the client. The fiduciary must knowingly accept that trust and confidence to exercise his expertise and discretion to act on the client’s behalf

  133. To the Professor’s chagrin, and at the risk of being upon the receiving end of his ire, I have to oepnly challenge one who has a forum concerning troubling matters nationally significant and important that he is declining to assist.

    My remarks have been redacted before;
    (in spite of reflections to the contrary about redacting critiques).

    We have judge’s ruling contrary to law – OPENLY – for the sake of well to do, at the expense of the Constitution of the United States and integrity of the judicial process.

    I’m an ill fated warrior in the battle – standing alone as an amoeba against a horde of contemptible Goliath’s.

    The Professor’s assistant asked me about the case, upon my contacting him; and then there was no further discussion, rebuke, apology etc.

    Just abstinence.


    my fingers just can’t keep up with my thoughts.

  135. A goal of one who is upon the noble side of a pursuit for justice, against tyranny, cronyism and corruption; is to find qualitative assistance –

    that will result in quantitative attention

    for a specific result of justice.

  136. LDL:

    A lawyer friend of mine often refers to law professors as some of the worst paper tigers. Having said this, I once thought that JT was the kind of guy who might help change the world but, after a lot of years, well, it seems unlikely. I’d like to be wrong.

  137. Laser – I stand corrected. Still, I do not think JT has a fiduciary duty to you to protect the Constitution.

  138. bigfatmike – we have yet to see the ‘facts’ yet. Unlike some others on here, I try not to jump to conclusions about alleged war crimes. And if you don’t think politics is an intramural sport you have not been keeping up.

  139. anonymous;

    It is a daunting task, taking on the powers that be.

    I understand that Professors shun getting involved in constituency (if that is what we be) individual case specifics.

    But I don’t understand (nor care) if he, she, they (including DOJ/ Judges) are willing to sit idle by, when assaults upon our Constitution and nation are large and nefariously blatant, flagrant and brazen.

    This case involves the arranging of a cohort to become the very U.S. Attorney who declined to prosecute CONFESSED intentional acts of fraud on the courts.

    Then the Public Corruption Task Force in Los Angeles was SHUT DOWN and career Federal prosecutors were threatened to keep their mouths shut on why!

    How much skulduggery does one need

    just to say “something”?

  140. Paul;

    The responsibility is to “U.S.”!

    I could give a “chute” whether or not my name is ever mentioned.

    Frank Vennes, Larry (WISTEC protected) Reynolds, Prevost, Harrold, Bell, Rothstein, Petters, Stanford Okun and Madoff

    They have two thinks in common

    All are in jail for scams of national significance


    ALL of them are connected to this case (offenders therein)!

    If one culprit had been arrested (as he should have been) back in 2005, then (quite possibly) the material adverse harm of all those cohorts

    might never have transpired.

    What do you think will occur – if they continue to get away ‘Scot Free’?

  141. Try the ACLU or some one willing to do pro bono work for you. Some states have a requirement that all attorneys have to do x hours of pro bono work every year. It is early in the year. Most of them will not have started.:)

  142. appreciate the suggestions Paul – but that’s Not how you solve this.

    I’m insignificant and they are the powerful elite.

    Dozens of people have simply resigned from the justice system;
    because they learned I’m telling Truth(s) they can’t stomach.

    Including the Deputy Director of the EOUST
    (who emailed me personally and then joined them when he couldn’t beat em).

    I’ve talked to those who drafted the Code & Rules of Law (who bark at me to never email them again) and (just last year) worked for a couple of months with a “dedicated” Fraud investigator who was part of another Public Corruption Task Force (where the parties there said “No One is Too Big to Jail”)

    Professor(s) who wrote books on corruption – have simply QUIT (believes the systems are corrupt beyond salvage).

    Helped get an Asst. U.S. Attorney attention to defeat Ashcroft trying to put him in jail; and also have Ashcroft on the record stating federal judges are in collusion with high ranking members of the U.S. Trustee’s office.

    Guess what happened there?

    US Attorney gave former USAG a $50 million No Bid contract;
    and all those comments came tumbling down off the web.

    Then he became part of Blackwater ran by a party who began Clear Channel

    And you (should) know who owns Clear Channel now!

    The fraud investigator of the NY Public Corruption Task Force;
    was promoted OFF the case and made head of a “new” DOJ OIG NYC

  143. Laser – one cannot tilt at all the windmills. You have to pick and choose. Sometimes a windmill is just too big for you.

  144. Au contraire – Paul Shulte;

    Petters, Vennes, Dreier etc – arrests came;
    because it is not who Laser is that matters.

    What matters is – the TRUTH.

    And with it, I’ve been pushing these bandits buttons for 13 years.

    It is inflexible and immortal – long after we are all gone.


  145. Paul – your comment has gone into the void;

    Maybe do to context of slang

    I don’t remember the Latin for it, but the Anglo-Saxon translation is “Don’t let the b——s grind you down”

    Be that as it may – “they” (the nefarious horde) are an oppressive bunch and the despotic usurpation of the integrity of the judicial process is despressing.

    Be that as it may, and as unsuitable as it is that G-d’s universe chose me for this task, I’m undaunted in my pursuits for justice

    believing that the TRUTH shall prevail!

    Thanks for the discussion…..

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