U.S. Politics

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Jul 9, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
You, of course, are correct.

KSM is just a peace loving member of the human race caught up in a struggle of religious persecution.
Damn you are smart, you exactly caught the point I was making.:rolleyes:
 
Mar 18, 2009
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So how long before King Obama decides to have Edward Snowden blown up? Maybe he will opt for permanent detention without trial instead.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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BroDeal said:
So how long before King Obama decides to have Edward Snowden blown up? Maybe he will opt for permanent detention without trial instead.
The war on whistleblowers; national security....

Man mode engaged!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
The operative word was "could."



http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/americas/killings-grow-more-gruesome-as-mexican-drug-cartels-try-to-out-shock#page2

I'm not all that far from a border town where people are tortured. The torturers skip right over waterboarding. Not to mitigate waterboarding as a form of torture, but in terms of degrees, it seems a bit pedestrian. And to think, KSM kinda blueprinted what's going on in Mexico now is all the more ironic.

Still, I suppose the constitution was violated and everyone involved is a war criminal.

KSM and his treatment is interesting (to me) particularly for the following;

His role in the 9/11 attack

And his role with the Daniel Pearl beheading.

"I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, ****stan."

Now, the US Military has charged him with, among other things, war crimes... I cannot imagine how they could come to such a conclusion but ymmv.

I guess asking him politely for information was destined for failure.

Yes sir, sitting high, mighty and sanctimonious works pretty well until its your family that's wiped out by some random jihadist.
Lol. I don't see what is sanctimonious about following the law.

Scott: BO is shredding the constitution, how long before we act! Big Government you can't trust them. We the people!

So what about torture, international law, speedy trials, charging people with crimes and convicting them?

Scott: Well no wait a minute, KSM was really evil. You would want him tortured if he had hurt your family :rolleyes:. He deserved every thing he got because he is an evildoer, worst of the worst! And we need information, so after 183 waterboarding sessions, lasting a month, we stopped a ticking time bomb! DOD knows best, the government is here to protect us and they are doing an excellent job!

The guy who dramatizes taxation as confiscation of labor (unjust! my money!), has no qualms about a bit of constitutional sidestepping when it comes to torturing people, because the ends justify the means. And we can debate whether or not it was torture.

I bet you would apply for the following job opening:

Wanted: Protector of the homeland, Jack Bauer type, must be willing to take torture lessons to become a certified professional, good benefits, moonlighting allowed.

As long as other people do the dirty work for you, you can sleep soundly.
 
Jul 9, 2009
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By the same token, some will call Snowden a traitor and some will call him a patriot freedom fighter. This is a good argument for sticking to the code of law and treating everyone as innocent until proven guilty, nothing more. Summary executions are soooo 19th century.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Hugh Januss said:
By the same token, some will call Snowden a traitor and some will call him a patriot freedom fighter. This is a good argument for sticking to the code of law and treating everyone as innocent until proven guilty, nothing more. Summary executions are soooo 19th century.
The 21st century is the new 19th century. Or something like that.

Of course if everything is kept secret then the people won't know when the laws are broken, which pretty much makes abiding by laws optional.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Bala Verde said:
Lol. I don't see what is sanctimonious about following the law.

Scott: BO is shredding the constitution, how long before we act! Big Government you can't trust them. We the people!

So what about torture, international law, speedy trials, charging people with crimes and convicting them?

Scott: Well no wait a minute, KSM was really evil. You would want him tortured if he had hurt your family :rolleyes:. He deserved every thing he got because he is an evildoer, worst of the worst! And we need information, so after 183 waterboarding sessions, lasting a month, we stopped a ticking time bomb! DOD knows best, the government is here to protect us and they are doing an excellent job!

The guy who dramatizes taxation as confiscation of labor (unjust! my money!), has no qualms about a bit of constitutional sidestepping when it comes to torturing people, because the ends justify the means. And we can debate whether or not it was torture.

I bet you would apply for the following job opening:

Wanted: Protector of the homeland, Jack Bauer type, must be willing to take torture lessons to become a certified professional, good benefits, moonlighting allowed.

As long as other people do the dirty work for you, you can sleep soundly.
I don't see what is sanctimonious about following the law.
Me neither.

BO is shredding the constitution, how long before we act!
Yes and I don't know. Probably never.

So what about torture,
waterboarding or what KSM was famous for? Be specific.

international law, speedy trials, charging people with crimes and convicting them?
Because they are charged they are convicted? Gee, isn't that kinda what you are freaking out about?

Well no wait a minute, KSM was really evil
Was? Is.

You would want him tortured if he had hurt your family
I haven't seen his head rolling down a Tijuana street yet. Forgive me if I'm less than impressed.

He deserved every thing he got because he is an evildoer, worst of the worst! And we need information, so after 183 waterboarding sessions, lasting a month, we stopped a ticking time bomb! DOD knows best, the government is here to protect us and they are doing an excellent job!
Sounds like KSM s a bad guy. You may disagree. The YouTube of him holding Daniel Pearls head is pretty compelling, although I have not actually seen it.

The guy who dramatizes taxation as confiscation of labor (unjust! my money!), has no qualms about a bit of constitutional sidestepping when it comes to torturing people, because the ends justify the means. And we can debate whether or not it was torture.
What don't you consider torture? Playing Slayer at 105decibels for days on end? Yeah man, after masterminding planes flown into buildings.... That's just harsh.

Wanted: Protector of the homeland, Jack Bauer type, must be willing to take torture lessons to become a certified professional, good benefits, moonlighting allowed.
Touché.

Wanted: Candyass Boy Scout. Bow tie optional.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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BroDeal said:
The 21st century is the new 19th century. Or something like that.

Of course if everything is kept secret then the people won't know when the laws are broken, which pretty much makes abiding by laws optional.
Yeah. Just don't PO whomever the drone pilots are. Or the prez. Or the govt. or the IRS. Or the DOJ. Or the CIA. Or the NSA.

Other than that you should be good.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Sounds like KSM s a bad guy. You may disagree. The YouTube of him holding Daniel Pearls head is pretty compelling, although I have not actually seen it.

What don't you consider torture? Playing Slayer at 105decibels for days on end? Yeah man, after masterminding planes flown into buildings.... That's just harsh.
And so the hilarity continues. Now torture has become the default, and you are asking people to prove, which acts do not constitute torture. What bizarro world do you live in?

I thought you were here to enlighten us on what torture was. Here, it's open mic night, the floor is yours.

Also, good to see that your real justification for torture is not actually the ticking time bomb scenario (that's just a convenient excuse for when you want to defend the policy), but something far more basic: your desire for revenge.

You don't mind people being tortured when they "deserve" it.

Perhaps you would like to hand out complimentary cattle prods to the 9/11 victims and give them a free go at KSM and the other detainees in GTMO. Would you want to participate as well, or maybe in a more entrepreneurial spirit, you can sell tickets to the freak show? Government revenue that aren't taxes! I wonder how many people will actually be able to get their hands dirty.

Actually, now I think about it, it might not be a bad idea at all, because then at least no one else has to do the dirty work.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Bala Verde said:
And so the hilarity continues. Now torture has become the default, and you are asking people to prove, which acts do not constitute torture. What bizarro world do you live in?

I thought you were here to enlighten us on what torture was. Here, it's open mic night, the floor is yours.

Also, good to see that your real justification for torture is not actually the ticking time bomb scenario (that's just a convenient excuse for when you want to defend the policy), but something far more basic: your desire for revenge.

You don't mind people being tortured when they "deserve" it.

Perhaps you would like to hand out complimentary cattle prods to the 9/11 victims and give them a free go at KSM and the other detainees in GTMO. Would you want to participate as well, or maybe in a more entrepreneurial spirit, you can sell tickets to the freak show? Government revenue that aren't taxes! I wonder how many people will actually be able to get their hands dirty.

Actually, now I think about it, it might not be a bad idea at all, because then at least no one else has to do the dirty work.

and you are asking people to prove, which acts do not constitute torture. What bizarro world do you live in?
Oh, I dunno. I'm not asking anyone to prove anything. Bizarro world? You mean the one where you equate waterboarding with every other version of torture? Yep. Bizarro.


I thought you were here to enlighten us on what torture was. Here, it's open mic night, the floor is yours
No, no. Don't accuse me of what you are doing. You are the torture expert. Just look a few posts back. You think waterboarding disqualifies KSM from civilian trail due to some great govt coverup. You own this. Congrats.

Also, good to see that your real justification for torture is not actually the ticking time bomb scenario (that's just a convenient excuse for when you want to defend the policy), but something far more basic: your desire for revenge.
Nice straw man. I stand by what I said. Your family gets smoked we will see what tune you whistle.

You don't mind people being tortured when they "deserve" it.
Actually, there are degrees of everything. KSM actually tortured people. He couldn't do anything to Daniel Pearl 183 times because once his head was separated from his body there was no point. Do you get it?

Perhaps you would like to hand out complimentary cattle prods to the 9/11 victims and give them a free go at KSM and the other detainees in GTMO. Would you want to participate as well, or maybe in a more entrepreneurial spirit, you can sell tickets to the freak show? Government revenue that aren't taxes! I wonder how many people will actually be able to get their hands dirty.
How nice. And you accused me of trolling earlier. Not to worry, there are still people willing to die to keep you and your family safe. Talking about getting your hands dirty:rolleyes:


Actually, now I think about it, it might not be a bad idea at all, because then at least no one else has to do the dirty work
Indeed. Least of all, you.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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i receive ALL my news (sports, politics, science, local weather…any) via a dozen mobile RSS feeds…so, at first, the snowden’s revelations did not arouse my attention. they seemed like so many other recent stories about the whistle-blowers and the western govns double standards on human rights…then, almost by accident, i got a chance to watch the full 12-minute interview with him.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why

i could not help but contrast his cool composure, well thought out, intelligent statements, refined vocabulary…contrast all that with what we now know about snowden- a high school dropout who could not even finish a community college. my impression was that he seemed very different from assange and manning. while their (whistle-blower) motivations may be similar, i did not notice assange’s penchant for self-advertisement or manning’s fateful resignation. snowden, while visibly nervous, spoke with cold, long-brewing conviction that did not reveal one’s hunger for attention and money or a radical psychotic, rather, someone who gradually grew disappointed and conscientiously decided to sacrifice his 200K salary, a privileged life style and, above all, his security FOR EVER. What else seemed interesting, snowden did not choose to become a traitor by selling out to a foreign spy agency ! to me he seemed as close to an pure ideological rebel, as the early french revolutionists.

now, that I am sufficiently interested in his story, i will go back and study the details of his leaks (more are coming the guardian said today) and the implications to the united states civil society decline.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America
Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution

In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.

Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.

The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it: "It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp."

For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know
.

Daniel Ellsberg in today's Guardian. More, plus video, here -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-united-stasi-america
 
Nov 8, 2012
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However, Republicans and Democrats have had very different views of the two operations. Today, only about half of Republicans (52%) say it is acceptable for the NSA to obtain court orders to track phone call records of millions of Americans to investigate terrorism. In January 2006, fully 75% of Republicans said it was acceptable for the NSA to investigate suspected terrorists by listing in on phone calls and reading emails without court approval.
http://www.people-press.org/2013/06/10/majority-views-nsa-phone-tracking-as-acceptable-anti-terror-tactic/


Things that make you go hmmmm.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
The most worrying thing about it is not even the partisan nature of their positions.

It's the fact that an overwhelming majority (56%, UP FROM 51%!!!) finds it acceptable policy in response to "terrorism"/"national security"

Goes to show how the post 9/11 narrative has turned the US into a paranoid society that gladly accepts any type of government intervention/intrusion/behavior/policy to sleep quietly at night.

Secondly, with the troves of information the US collects, without any restriction, especially on foreigners, it places itself in a very good bargaining position when dealing with other countries. Don't forget that many countries have domestic legislation that prevents their governments from spying on their citizens. That doesn't mean they can't circumvent those laws and obtain all sorts of information through the US. I.e. the UK puts in a special request and the US delivers, perhaps even in return for something.

It's a bit like moonlighting/leasing out US technological superiority in the case of drones. The US needs access to Pakistani airspace to monitor terrorist activities; ****stan threatens to restrict, or cancel access, unless the US is willing to take out a target of no importance/threat to the US, but who is, allegedly, a high value target for ****stan. The US complies, because ... "national security"
 
Bala Verde said:
The most worrying thing about it is not even the partisan nature of their positions.

It's the fact that an overwhelming majority (56%, UP FROM 51%!!!) finds it acceptable policy in response to "terrorism"/"national security"

Goes to show how the post 9/11 narrative has turned the US into a paranoid society that gladly accepts any type of government intervention/intrusion/behavior/policy to sleep quietly at night.
Many argue that American society has been paranoid by design since the 1950s at least. 9/11 was just the opportunity to remodulate that aspect of control under the fiction of "security".
 
Mar 10, 2009
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aphronesis said:
Many argue that American society has been paranoid by design since the 1950s at least. 9/11 was just the opportunity to remodulate that aspect of control under the fiction of "security".
Would you care to elaborate? (or provide a link to an article or what not...) I am intrigued.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
The most worrying thing about it is not even the partisan nature of their positions.

It's the fact that an overwhelming majority (56%, UP FROM 51%!!!) finds it acceptable policy in response to "terrorism"/"national security"

Goes to show how the post 9/11 narrative has turned the US into a paranoid society that gladly accepts any type of government intervention/intrusion/behavior/policy to sleep quietly at night.
Well, in my (albeit limited) personal experience, this issue goes way beyond partisan politics. I know of people on the right who are outraged, and people on the left who are fine with the gubmint 'protecting' us by these means. My gf and I pretty much agree on most things political, though she has always been a much more gung-ho 'Merikan' than I ever was. She takes the 'if you've got nothing to hide then you've got nothing to worry about' position, whereas I find this blanket, widespread, comprehensive snooping to be absolutely unacceptable.

Europeans aren't happy either, as witnessed by the steady stream of speakers from all sides of the spectrum in the Euro parliament, who have been voicing their outrage that the US is spying on Europeans in this way. Merkel and others have agreed to raise the question with Obama at the summit later this week. No doubt, they will return with assurances from Obama that the 'war on terror' will soon be over and that all this will stop then. Yeah, right.

I'm pretty confident in asserting that any western European government caught conducting 'anti-terrorist' surveillance on anything approaching this scale, would be forced to resign.
 
Bala Verde said:
Would you care to elaborate? (or provide a link to an article or what not...) I am intrigued.
In terms of the theory, Richard Hofstadter's "Paranoid Style in American Politics" (1964) is the original essay, taken up by David Harvey on neoliberalism and his book "The New Imperialism", also Hardt and Negri's "Multitude," and Sheldon Wolin's "Democracy Incorporated."

They all deal with the Bush years, I don't think that many yet have fully linked Obama's extension of Bush' military/domestic security policies with the current era of economic disciplining, but it's coming.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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I think one could make a case (and undoubtedly, someone has,) that the rampant paranoia that characterizes so much of life in the US, goes back to the frontier days. We are always either at war with someone, or have some 'publicly identified' national enemy about whom we need to be paranoid. Our latest enemy, 'Islamic extremism', is a nightmare entirely of our own making.

In the strict sense of the term, we are the most war-mongering independent country ever, leaving aside historic empires. This is the main reason I always cringe when I hear how the US is "the greatest etc".



More interesting stuff on this theme here -

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/we-re-at-war-and-we-have-been-since-1776/
 
Amsterhammer said:
I think one could make a case (and undoubtedly, someone has,) that the rampant paranoia that characterizes so much of life in the US, goes back to the frontier days. We are always either at war with someone, or have some 'publicly identified' national enemy about whom we need to be paranoid. Our latest enemy, 'Islamic extremism', is a nightmare entirely of our own making.

In the strict sense of the term, we are the most war-mongering independent country ever, leaving aside historic empires. This is the main reason I always cringe when I hear how the US is "the greatest etc".



More interesting stuff on this theme here -

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/we-re-at-war-and-we-have-been-since-1776/
No doubt. I think one of the significant shifts though has to do with the degree to which personal lives, psychology and information/data become increasingly politicized and commodified.

I agree any claims of exceptionalism are nauseating.
 
Amsterhammer said:
I think one could make a case (and undoubtedly, someone has,) that the rampant paranoia that characterizes so much of life in the US, goes back to the frontier days. We are always either at war with someone, or have some 'publicly identified' national enemy about whom we need to be paranoid. Our latest enemy, 'Islamic extremism', is a nightmare entirely of our own making.

In the strict sense of the term, we are the most war-mongering independent country ever, leaving aside historic empires. This is the main reason I always cringe when I hear how the US is "the greatest etc".



More interesting stuff on this theme here -

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/we-re-at-war-and-we-have-been-since-1776/
In a way that's funny, or at least comical. The more things change, the more they remain the same. You know that Augustus boasted that he shut the doors of the Temple of Janus three times during his regime! After four centuries of continuous war the Roman Empire entered the Pax Augustae Romana (for all its propagandistic worth): for several decades after WWII we also entered the Pax Americana, though this will only be a prelude to far worse dire times than that which came before.
 

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