Well, tzor, since you didn't respond to the actual core of my post, and only quibbled with some minor things around the outer edge, I take it you surrender on the main points. I'll turn to your trivial quibbles in a minute, but first I want to remind everyone about what this thread is actually about:
All that shouldn't matter. When someone commits a crime, do you ask who they voted for before you choose their punishment?
The party politics circus shouldn't be an issue when considering a high-level appointment. Ethical considerations should be something that one takes more seriously than party loyalties and squabbles over the pork barrel. Gina Haskel is not only a sadist, she is more importantly a scofflaw who believes the CIA should be free to do whatever it wants without civilian oversight. Basically, to emulate the KGB. She ordered the destruction of evidence while holding in her hand an order from a federal court to turn the evidence over.
That kind of blatant contempt for the rule of law should scare the shit out of you, utterly regardless of any party loyalties.
tzor wrote:OMG, she tortured fanatic religious zealots who wanted to destroy America and she liked it. (Allegedly)
I'm not convinced that all the men she tortured were religious zealots, nor am I convinced that all of them wanted to destroy America. No doubt some were, but a great many of the prisoners taken in Afghanistan were ordinary foot soldiers fighting for ordinary reasons, because their country was invaded and their (lawfully constituted) government sent them into battle. I could go on a rant here about the hypocrisy of a nation that invades a foreign country on a trumped-up pretext and then labels the foreign nationals "terrorists" when they try to defend themselves. It's not directly relevant and probably counterproductive, so I'll just leave it at that.
What is directly relevant is that torture is against the laws of the U.S., as well as a violation of many international treaties that the U.S. is signatory to. Bush and the CIA deliberately subverted the law, base on some really bogus legal arguments. They knew
their arguments were bogus, which is why they hid their activities in black sites deep in the jungles of Thailand and other places. If they hadn't been blatantly violating the law, they could have brought the prisoners to a prison in the U.S. and interrogated them in accordance with normal law.
The man at the centre of Haskel's main torture scandal, Zubaydah
was not found guilty of terrorism. After 16 years in jail, he still has not been charged with ANY crime.
Haskel's report concluded that he had no useful information to give. After weeks of incredibly cruel torture, he was a broken man, completely subservient, but he still hadn't given up any useful intel because he just didn't have any to give. But even if he had reams of intel to provide, at what point are you willing to accept that the end does not justify the means? That torture of prisoners is not acceptable in a democratic society, no matter how strong the temptation or how valuable the goods to be procured?
More importantly, at what point should duly-elected Senators decide that the end does not justify the means, and that people who don't care about things like ethics don't belong in high office?
To me, though, the more compelling argument for why the Senate should not confirm this woman is not the torture itself, disgusting as that is. It is the fact that she ordered the records of the torture to be shredded, after she was already in possession of a court order to turn those records over.
People shred evidence all the time, and it's certainly wrong, but they can always pretend, with more or less success, that they didn't know it was important enough to keep. But she already had the subpenoa in hand! Her shredding of the evidence was a massive, huge, gargantuan "UP YOURS!" to the rule of law. She couldn't have communicated her character more clearly if she hired a skywriter to write "Spies can do whateverthefuck they want! We don't give a shit what the law says!"
No shit, Sherlock! ISIS is fucking evil! What was your first clue? Is this really your argument, that it's okay for us to be evil because the enemy is evil? I don't know where you went to school, but where I went to school I was taught that "the other kids are doing it" is not a valid defense. Two wrongs don't make a right!
If your strategy for fighting evil is to become evil and "fight fire with fire" then evil has already won. You may as well just surrender.
You don't disagree with any of that, then. You agree that a sadistic monster who sneers at the rule of law and deliberately destroys subpoenaed evidence does not deserve a cabinet-level position.
Now we'll deal with some of your quibbles.
Dukasaur wrote:We've gone through all this. There's nobody active in the Democratic Party of today who supported slavery or Japanese internment camps. All the white supremacists of the old Democratic party tore up their memberships and moved over to the Republican party in the '60s or at the latest in the early '70s. They're your friends now.
NO THEY ARE NOT. Perhaps we can go through this again and again, tracing the history of the Democratic Party through the 20th century into the 21st century.
Let's start with President Johnson, "I'll have them n****** voting Democratic for two hundred years."
How about President Clinton about Obama, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."
Johnson left office in 1969. You realize that was still the '60s, right?
You do realize that just because the Huffpost is mainly liberal doesn't mean it's exclusively liberal, right? The particular article you're citing is written by a Huffpost columnist so right-wing and so virulent that he doesn't have the balls to sign off with his real name, but only by the pseudonym "The Relentless Conservative.
" I don't know who it is (though his pic looks suspiciously like Anthony Scaramucci) but I'd say his pseudonym pretty much says it all. He relentlessly throws about all the tired ultraconservative tropes without the slightest attempt at objectivity.
In any case, digging up the occasional racist quote from some modern Democrat means nothing. You had to scour the earth and go 40 years back to dig up a couple quotes. I did a quick google and saw a dozen examples of Republicans ranting on these subjects, like Roy Moore talking about how families were able to stay together in the good old days of slavery. Yes, white
families could have the luxury of staying together with their families, but black
families could be ripped asunder and have their mother or father sold down river any day of the week. Or Steve King posting "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." (Factually wrong, in fact. Adopted babies normally follow the cultural norms of their adoptive parents. Ditto for adoptive countries -- immigrants may arrive with their old culture, but their children generally have a foot in both worlds and their grandchildren are completely acclimatized to the culture of their adopted country.)
Anyway, this is getting farther and farther afield. Feel free to go dig up some more obscure examples of Democrats saying racist things. I don't care, for two reasons. One, I'm not here to defend the Dems; we only got here because I corrected your original false assertion. But second, and most importantly, it's not relevant to the core of what this thread is about. Rejecting Gina Haskel's appointment is an ethical issue that should transcend party politics.
Dukasaur wrote:As for inner city violence, it's a direct result of the (bipartisan) War on Drugs.
Why not cite Vietnam while you are at it? The "War on Drugs" doesn't do squat. Decades of Democratic rule has destroyed the social fabric of the inner cities. It's not drug lords that rule, it's gangs. Once again, I'll cite this Conservative trash rag (wait it's not) the New York Times, The Real Problem With America’s Inner Cities
In all inner-city neighborhoods, however, there is a problem minority that varies between about 12.1 percent (in San Diego, for example) and 28 percent (in Phoenix) that comes largely from the disconnected youth between ages 16 and 24. Most are not in school and are chronically out of work, though their numbers are supplemented by working- and middle-class dropouts. With few skills and a contempt for low-wage jobs, they subsist through the underground economy of illicit trading and crime. Many belong to gangs.
Their street or thug culture is real, with a configuration of norms, values and habits that are, disturbingly, rooted in a ghetto brand of core American mainstream values: hypermasculinity, the aggressive assertion and defense of respect, extreme individualism, materialism and a reverence for the gun, all inflected with a threatening vision of blackness openly embraced as the thug life.
Sure, why not cite Vietnam while we're at it? I wouldn't disagree with you -- PTSD among veterans as a result of all your imperialistic wars is a major contributor to drug addiction rates. Still, your original point was about gang violence, so I was responding to that. Gangs have wars over drug-selling turf. The presence of unemployed youth in the inner city might lead to crime, yes -- vandalism and petty theft and robberies -- but not to the bloody carnage that consumes your cities. That kind of thing happens because getting a piece of the multi-billion dollar drug industry is the only thing that can propel an inner-city kid from abject poverty to relative wealth. (Not including civil war) gang wars are always the result of huge payoffs alongside major poverty, and those huge payoffs almost always revolve around controlling the supply of some victimless crime -- the drug trade, prostitution, or gambling.
Dukasaur wrote:Bottom line, I don't care about your petty feuds between the Demlicans and Repocrats.
But you will insist on the Democratic falsehood that they are no longer racist. You don't care but you parrot. AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM.
I just look at the evidence. Your beloved President refers to a gang of murdering Klansmen as "good people" and millions of Republican cheer. Bill Clinton made one racist joke and was condemned by by everyone who heard it. (Can't say "millions" only because it didn't become public knowledge at first -- but those who knew were immediately repulsed.) The proof is not just in what someone said, but in the reaction of those who heard.
tzor wrote:This isn't a problem between Democrats and Republicans. This is a problem between that fundamental evil that arose in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. An evil that has called itself many names, Socialism, Communism, and even "Progressivism." It is a nostalgic look at all the most stupidest ideas that ever came from Greece (the notion of the philosopher king who was somehow a superior race above mortal man) and put it on hyper drive. It has become a religion like Christianity and like Christianity it has two factions only instead of Protestant / Catholic it is national socialist (NAZI) and international socialist (Communist).
Those Skin Head NAZIS are SOCIALISTS. Just read the modern literature ... they want their bigotry enforced by the government.
Wrong. Socialism by definition
is a desire to improve the living conditions of one's fellow man. Skinhead want to stomp on the face of their fellow man. It's pretty much the exact opposite.
tzor wrote:Do you know what an extreme right wing nut is? It's someone who goes off in the woods and wants to be left alone. That's the extreme side of libertarianism.
Absolutely wrong. Libertarians are not right-wingers, although they often make the mistake of forming alliances with right-wingers and become, sadly, guilty by association. Libertarianism is a belief that personal liberty and economic liberty are inseparable. Right-wingers share the belief in the economic liberty, but they don't believe in personal liberty. Right-wingers believe in criminalizing sexual behaviour they don't approve of, criminalizing drugs they don't approve of, in some cases criminalizing singing and dancing, and so on and so forth. In most cases these views are rife with hypocrisy (it's fine and dandy for the good ol' boys to get trashed on Southern Comfort, but dem pot-smokin' hippies should go to jail for life. It's fine for a rich assholes to have easy access to call girls, but working-class johns should go to jail, etc., etc.)
Yes, going off into the woods Thoreau-style and minding your own business is a very libertarian way to live. Right-wingers demanding ever-growing draconian sentences for victimless crimes, along with no-knock warrants, civil forfeiture, and all the other tyrannical trappings are the antithesis of that.
tzor wrote:the Fascists, the Communists, the Progressives, are all just shards of the fractured crystal of Marx who in turn is just a reflection of the disaster of the French Revolution.
You're not entirely wrong. All of those do have some lineage in common there. However, they have evolved in such drastically different ways and nowadays mean such utterly different things, that the statement is effectively meaningless. You might as well say "birds, mammals, and reptiles are all just shards of the fractured crystal of Metaspriggina". True enough, but extending that to dismiss any differences between birds and mammals would be plain idiocy. An elephant is not a stork, no matter how much you try to up-sell their common ancestry.
tzor wrote: Dukasaur wrote:
tzor wrote:And you complain about waterboarding?
Waterboarding was developed by the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII. You HANGED their people for war crimes when they tortured prisoners. Now you want to emulate them?
Oh crap Duk you just went off the deep end and there ain't no water in the pool. I suppose I will have to bring out Wikipedia
R. J. Rummel, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, estimates that between 1937 and 1945, the Japanese military murdered from nearly 3 to over 10 million people, most likely 6 million Chinese, Koreans, Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos and Indochinese, among others, including Western prisoners of war. According to Rummel, "This democide [i.e., death by government] was due to a morally bankrupt political and military strategy, military expediency and custom, and national culture." According to Rummel, in China alone, during 1937–45, approximately 3.9 million Chinese were killed, mostly civilians, as a direct result of the Japanese operations and a total of 10.2 million Chinese were killed in the course of the war. The most infamous incident during this period was the Nanking Massacre of 1937–38, when, according to the findings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, the Japanese Army massacred as many as 300,000 civilians and prisoners of war, although the accepted figure is somewhere in the hundreds of thousands.
Special Japanese military units conducted experiments on civilians and POWs in China. One of the most infamous was Unit 731 under Shirō Ishii. Unit 731 was established by order of Hirohito himself. Victims were subjected to experiments including but not limited to vivisection and amputations without anesthesia and testing of biological weapons. Anesthesia was not used because it was believed that anesthetics would adversely affect the results of the experiments.
According to historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Kentaro Awaya, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, gas weapons, such as tear gas, were used only sporadically in 1937, but in early 1938 the Imperial Japanese Army began full-scale use of phosgene, chlorine, Lewisite and nausea gas (red), and from mid-1939, mustard gas (yellow) was used against both Kuomintang and Communist Chinese troops.
The Japanese military’s use of forced labor, by Asian civilians and POWs also caused many deaths. According to a joint study by historians including Zhifen Ju, Mitsuyoshi Himeta, Toru Kubo and Mark Peattie, more than 10 million Chinese civilians were mobilised by the Kōa-in (Japanese Asia Development Board) for forced labour.
Soon after the war, the Allied powers indicted 25 persons as Class-A war criminals, and 5,700 persons were indicted as Class-B or Class-C war criminals by Allied criminal trials. Of these, 984 were initially condemned to death, 920 were actually executed, 475 received life sentences, 2,944 received some prison terms, 1,018 were acquitted, and 279 were not sentenced or not brought to trial. These numbers included 178 ethnic Taiwanese and 148 ethnic Koreans.
So don't give me this shit we killed officers for "waterboarding."
Not sure what you're quibbling with. According to your own quotes, you did hang Japanese generals for torturing prisoners. Now you think you should emulate them and torture prisoners. In what way do you think this contradicts what I said? You think it's just a matter of degree -- that because you only torture a few thousand and they tortured hundreds of thousands, that makes it okay? Not sure what you're saying here.