I am so ready for some good news, readers. I want us to do something right for once. We have been on the fucked-up side of history for so long, even the universe is giving us the razzberry.
This will have to do for now: nine Republicans crossed the party line to confirm Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services today; eight if you don’t count the newly Democraticalized Arlen Specter.
She’ll have to hit the ground running, especially since it seems likely that the
The Republican opposition to Sebelius was centered around her pro-choice voting record. Wow, imagine, Obama nominating a pro-choice person for a position that oversees the government’s involvement in issues of women’s health. Crazy.
You know, Republicans, not to give away free advice to the party of torture lovers, but you might want to save your ju-ju for opposition to a position that is not 100% predictable and expected and proper and, like, the biggest “Whew!” that women have experienced in this country since McLovin left office eight years and 100 days ago.
And speaking of torture, leave it to the inimitable Harry Shearer and his indispensible Le Show to make me aware of what the major rags have not – that torture was used against prisoners for the purpose of, yes, finding that elusive link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein.
I’ll pause while you pick your jaw up off the floor. I know I had to, because, readers, even I did not think that we would stoop so low.
During the period in question, two “high-value” prisoners were water-boarded a total of 266 times between them. Knowing that, as we were subjecting them to simulated drowning, we were asking about the non-existent collaboration between
"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," [a former senior intelligence official said].
"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."
Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.
A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and
"While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and
Look, I can’t believe that any argument about torture as a policy would hinge upon whether or not it is effective. Torture is what third-world banana republics and despots and criminals and terrorists do, it’s not what we should do. It’s why you go to the goddamn trouble to create a civilization in the first place, so that things like basic human rights are afforded to everyone, not just those who obey the law, but everyone. Sixty years ago, we knew that. Sixty years ago, we prosecuted those who tortured in order to help win their war. Today, the question of whether or not to torture is fodder for the moronic yammer shows. What the fuck has happened to us?
And even if you can get around the morality, how the fuck do you justify waterboarding one person 183 times? I mean, do you say to yourself “Never mind, 183’s a charm!”????
And just for the record, it’s not effective. It’s just not. You know who used to torture, but stopped, because it WASN’T FUCKING EFFECTIVE?
And you might say they know a thing or two about Islamic terrorism.