"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More on the "National Security State"

From Digby, who starts off with the horrific story of a Mr. Bashmilah, a small businessman originally from Yemen who ran an import/export business in Indonesia, detained on a trip to visit his mother and eventually turned over to the CIA. That story's bad enough. Digby's commentary is what leapt out at me, though:

Our government officials showed us that they are hysterical panic artists who cannot be trusted to keep their wits about them during a crisis. They proved they will revert to superstition and primitivism when they are afraid. They are openly admitting it this week with all the excuses about how we need to understand the "atmosphere of [f]ear" they were living with in the aftermath of 9/11 and how the panic and hysteria of the moment led to all these "mistakes."

These are supposed to be professionals, people whose jobs it is to stay calm when the public is frightened. They are supposed to have the cool heads and the experience and training to keep it together in these situations. They are not supposed to be running around in circles, unable to figure out the difference between the enemy and some random guy who had a new passport. They were supposed to already know what countless studies dating back decades (centuries!) have shown: that torture doesn't work. They were supposed to be good at this.

Do I really need to say more? Except to opine that maybe someone should hang Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld upside down for three weeks.

OK, one more point: I'm willing to allow that the Dubyah administration was being run by a bunch of sadistic frat boys. The fact that the CIA, NSA, and allied agencies (and see this post for a run-down on that whole situation) are still not accountable under Obama is even worse: it's a calculated policy, because Obama is nothing if not calculating.

Read the whole post. It's guaranteed to ruin your day.


Pieter B said...

Cheney contradicted others' assertions that Bush was kept out of the loop (disgusting phrase) and said the President had been kept informed at all times of what was being done. Now I want to know why both of them haven't been hauled up in front of the ICJ for violations of the Geneva Convention, since he has as good as confessed his and Bush's involvement, at least as accessories before the fact, which makes them co-conspirators, I think?

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