27 June 2006

Treasonous Transparency?

What an impossible distinction we are meant to make here. The New York Times is currently under fire for outing a "secret program" this administration currently uses to track the financial movements of suspected terrorists. All current information seems to indicate, unlike the other "secret programs" outed, that this program actually acted within the law. I admit that because I am so trained to becoming aware of criminal behavior by this administration, it took some time to digest this and look at it objectively.

We are at war, albeit a criminal and atrocious act of war, war nevertheless. Given that, the fact remains we have a nation and young troops to protect. This forces the execution of covert actions that must be protected as a matter of national security. The New York Times published such US action claiming it was "in the public's interest" to know. I can only say that it is not in my interest to know information on U.S. covert actions (with the exception of where it violates U.S. law and/or the U.S. Constitution) when the cost of that information is sharing it with Osama bin Laden.

Now, here is where the conundrum comes in. This administration is wholly responsible for ushering in the demand and the expectation of complete transparency. Because of their duplicity, many Americans are now in a "we are going to know EVERYthing you are up to" mode. If this administration needs a culprit, they are going to have to look in their own house. The Times made a terrible error in judgment, in my opinion. Had this information been disseminated in another manner, it would likely easily constitute treason. However, the constitution protects these judgment calls made by the press. If one life is lost, if one terrorist succeeds in an attack on our soil as a result, they have that blood on their hands. But make no mistake, that blood flows right to the White House as well. They carved that path and have left us little room...for trust.

I am trying to be objective, but if this turns out to be yet another illegal program...

UPDATE: You have to go to my great friend Gun Toting Liberal for the latest and a "shoot from the hip" perspective.

16 comments:

Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Great comments and points, my friend. I've addressed them at my infamous website ;-)

Blog ON, and thank you for fighting the "good fight" against the right wing nutjobs...

C'est Moi said...

I have (of course) been reading yours. Even when I am away, I can't stray too far from your words. What you have to say is too important. I am trying to come back again. I throw my hands in the air when I get too pissed off -- a major character flaw. I start feeling like I can't change all this crap. Then (thank heavens) I feel like (OH HELL YES, I will scream until a change is made!!) You help me along just beautifully.

Let's get the nutjobs baby!

Nate Wazoo said...

C'est Moi -

I'm way to the other side of the political spectrum. But you're still on my top 5 blog list, mostly for posts such as this.

I'm not offering any real informational content, just saying that I'm a huge fan. Thanks for being one of the few even-keeled voices of the net.

C'est Moi said...

Nate,

Thank you so much. I am coming back after another little blog break and hearing something like this truly feels wonderful.

Megan

Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Megan, you wouldn't believe how much of a frigging HONOR that is to me... one I am far from worthy of. Thank you so much for sticking with me for the last couple of years. YOU have a fantastic blog and a fantastic point of view; and I'm so proud of you for having the guts to blog on each issue on it's own merit, regardless of what the DNC is asking us to blog on.

Those of us who resist doing so are the TRUE "Liberals"; those who privately email each other with an agenda to stick together are "Leftists". Big diff, my friend... as you already know.

Keep on doing what you're doing, my friend. Sooner or later we'll take our party back ;-)

Love said...

Al Qaeda already knew this.

rwilymz said...

We are at war, albeit a criminal and atrocious act of war,...

So much for your lip-service to objectivity.

I've got nothing against people who think that this war was an Nth-degree solution to a finite problem; I've got no problem with people who are pacifist by nature and are against all wars all the time.

But to claim, in the same angst-sodden essay, objectivity and then trot out question-begging canards like "criminal" to describe a war is Grade-A hypocrisy, heaped with self-delusion.

Find the law that was broken to kick off this war.

Or else rescind your lame "criminal" assertion.

Be advised that the USSC has never once claimed that Congress is required to declare war in order to wage one.

Be also advised that insofar as internatinoal law is concered, a violation of a cease fire, however nominal, is an Act of War [in severality, for what it's worth]; Iraq was brimming with cease fire violations for 12 years, and Blix went to the trouble of documenting them.

Now, go ahead and back up the "criminal" whine. Or drop it.

C'est Moi said...

First of all - you presumptuous imp - I will not be directed to "drop" anything on my blog that I choose to discuss. If you have something you would like to discuss or add to the discussion, you need only give this blog a cursory look to know you are free to do so.

Now on this silly challenge. If you are really interested you may review, in great detail HERE in the post and comments, what I refer to as "criminal". I can tell already you will be one of those with the typical and predictable canned responses, but knock yourself out if you really do have an interest in discussing it and toning down your abrasive tenor.

rwilymz said...

First of all - you presumptuous imp - I will not be directed to "drop" anything on my blog that I choose to discuss.

Then you will be dishonest. Which I sort of suspected.

Now on this silly challenge. If you are really interested you may review, in great detail HERE in the post and comments, what I refer to as "criminal".

Long on opinion, short on fact.

You make all sorts of claims without substantiating much of anything. Ex:

Now, in my opinion Bush heads the most criminal administration in our history exercising massive abuses of power.

In my opinion, which is backed by a degree in history, Aby-baby Lincoln, who suspended habeas corpus -- i.e., we can arrest you and hold you without charges because we say so -- did far worse. FDR, who arrested and confined citizens for being Japanese did worse.

What you probably meant to say, in order to save yourself from the accurate accusation of navel-gazing, is that of all the presidents from Bill Clinton to the present, Bush is the most criminal.

I say this because we are in a war which at its foundation violates the Geneva Conventions on many levels.

Name one level.

And don't cite the Hamdan thing, because that ain't it. That was the USSC saying that the US needs to apply the GenCons to those the GenCons specifically say it doesn't apply to.

Intelligence was manipulated to duplicitously gain the trust and support of the American people.

Bush is a politician and you've GASP!!! caught him playing politics. Did you not expect that? Are you going to advertise yourself to be vacuous as well? If that is the depth of your abilities at political analysis, you'd probably best drop out of the game right now, but it's clear you don't understand the way it's played. They ALL do that.

He and his administration willfully trample human rights to further an agenda of control, power and greed.

Whose human rights? And what authority are those protected? You don't get to issue question-begging shinola on my time, toots.

I say this also because he is a proven liar.

He's a P O L I T I C I A N. Saying, "oh, but he lied" is like being surprised that water's wet.

He tells Americans they should be willing to sacrifice their liberty for security. A concept that wholly goes against the American philosophy.

Liberty for security. Never ever happened before, has it?

Except for:
Civil War
Span-Am War
WWI
WWII

Don't like those?

Try:
seat-belt laws
"implied consent" authority to violate your 4th and 5th amendments just because you da-a-a-are to drive down the road


Don't like those either?

Try getting on an airplane without some high-school weenie with a 3-month course in annoyance groping and searching you because until you prove yourself innocent of being a terrorist we will suspect you of it and deny you your liberty to buy a ticket and travel like, oh, i dunno, like a free citizen in a free country maybe.

Try pulling jury duty and going to work for a week in a building that says a criminal is "innocent until proven guilty" but before you can even get in the building you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent -- of carrying weapons into the place.

You are barking up the WA-A-A-A-AY wrong tree if you are going to accuse Bush of trading security for liberty contrary to our philosohpy. The tyrants -- of both parties, my naive simpleton -- who gave us non-wartime "for your protection" laws have done that every chance they've gotten.

Current "amber law" -- a child is missing, so let's lock down the store and deprive free citizens in a free country fomr being able to leave or enter.

Fireworks are being banned. Oh, golly, people blow off their fingers. Yeah? It's their fingers; they're at liberty to risk them. "Life, liberty and property". Written into the Constitution twice.

Now, "moi", do you REALLY want to get into this with me?

Or would you rather simply say "well, I don't like this war and didn't think it was necessary, but I'm not going to invent rationalizations to falsely support my opinions, so I will not sink to the anti-intellectual level of calling it a 'criminal' war".

C'est Moi said...

rwilymz, you did not follow the post thru - HERE you can see the continuation where I go through the points one by one.

"Then you will be dishonest. Which I sort of suspected."

Another baseless accusation. I am not dishonest in the least.

"...is that of all the presidents from Bill Clinton to the present, Bush is the most criminal."

Would that make you more comfortable? "More" criminal ..."Most" criminal...choose the one you like.

"Name one level." I have HERE

"They ALL do that".

There it is! The typical lame rationalization.

"Whose human rights? And what authority are those protected? You don't get to issue question-begging shinola on my time, toots."

Again....HERE. And toots...it's MY time here, not yours.

"He's a P O L I T I C I A N. Saying, "oh, but he lied" is like being surprised that water's wet."

Well, if that is acceptable to you then I don't understand why you look to debate it.

"Liberty for security. Never ever happened before, has it?"

You really don't get it, do you? You actually want our President to act on the bar of "well, is it any more corrupt than anyone else has been?

Your seatbelts, planes, jury duty, amber law, and fireworks points are noted and would make for interesting debate but not really what we are discussing here.

"Now, "moi", do you REALLY want to get into this with me?

Or would you rather simply say "well, I don't like this war and didn't think it was necessary, but I'm not going to invent rationalizations to falsely support my opinions, so I will not sink to the anti-intellectual level of calling it a 'criminal' war"."

Get into this with you? If you like, I am willing and able. You are not under some misguided notion that I fear debating this with you, are you?

No, I won't relegate my position to "ok master, you are right and I will keep my comments to gee wiz, I just don't like this little war thing". Again, you don't get it. YOU don't own some ultra-entitlement. YOU don't possess some grand secret that gives you alone the right to come to conclusions. We all review the information available to us and come to our conclusions. And guess what, they are going to differ. If you cannot peruse conclusions that differ from yours without having some sort of fit, then I suggest you stop blog surfing and go huddle in small masses of only like minded people and never expose yourself to anyone who disagrees with you.

rwilymz said...

I shall address your in-line mewling first:

Another baseless accusation. I am not dishonest in the least.

Semantics. You are dishonest in the most. And you don't have the honesty to acknowledge it.


"Name one level." I have HERE

No; you've rationalized "here".




There it is! The typical lame rationalization.

Significantly more self-serving that throwing away historical context, isn't it? See just because that's the way the world works and how the US has operated in that world for, roughly, EVER, doesn't mean that we should. We're wrong. Oh, woe. Hair-shirts all around.


It's the way the world works.



And toots...it's MY time here, not yours

It's your SPACE. My time is where ever I happen to be.



You really don't get it, do you? You actually want our President to act on the bar of "well, is it any more corrupt than anyone else has been?

The one who doesn't get it is you: THIS. IS. THE. WAY. THE. WORLD. WORKS. The US is notable in that we have the greatest amount of civil liberties; greater than anyone ever, give or take a handful of trivialities. You are effectively arguing for anarchy -- with all that the term implies -- to push absolutisms. While this is not "wrong" per se, it is deluded, unworkable, destructive of those civil liberties if fairly short order [ref Somalia] and advertises someone heavy on theory and light on practicum.


Your seatbelts, planes, jury duty, amber law, and fireworks points are noted and would make for interesting debate but not really what we are discussing here.

It is EXACTLY what we are discussing here: incursions on civil liberties. Bush is doing nothing more or less [actually, arguably conSIDerably less that other war-presidents] to invade civil liberties. It's the way it works. The argument "but it SHOUDN'T" is fine, but it completely devolves upon legal theory, for the reality is "it does". To hold Bush up for specific scorn while not similarly holding up everyone who has advocated ditto and worse is hypocrisy.



Get into this with you? If you like, I am willing and able.

You're willing, but not able.

You freely interpret the GenCons to mean what they don't say -- I read it, just didn't have time this morning.


YOU don't possess some grand secret that gives you alone the right to come to conclusions.

Actually, since I've worked in DoD for the last over-25 years, in the military and out, as an analyst used to using FACTS to create analytical positions, making my opinions on those FACTS, and not upon what I prefer, uh, yeah, pretty much I do. I'm not alone, though. There's thousands like me.

And as you admitted: you aren't military. The military does not operate the way society does; it's one of the paradoxes of "free society": it can't be kept free by public knowledge of its operation[s] and the endless rounds of public debate and ankle-biting that democratic peoples seem to find insufferably necessary. The same rules do not apply.


We all review the information available to us and come to our conclusions.

Congrats; and you have just as many votes as I do. My advice is for you to use that vote and vote your conscience's heart out every election. If you live in Chicago and have a "Daley pass", vote twice. But do not tell me what my job is; I don't tell you what yours is. You are operating on a very very very limited body of information, because military stuff is not routinely made public, and you're attempting to divine an understandable view of your world. Understandable. Everyone since Grok the Cave-lesbian did that. But you are freely filling in blanks in the absence of information, based upon your biases and experiences. That is called rationalization.

The process of "not knowing" galls people, makes them quiver and quake, and have mental indigestion. But we can't possibly say "I don't know" can we?

Try it.

rwilymz said...

1. Bush administration authorized a war of aggression against Iraq - a sovereign nation.

Iraq was under constraints of a very strict cease fire, and as such their "sovereignty" was heavily mortgaged. Thus calling Iraq a "sovereign nation" while not acknowledging the cease fire limitations is dishonest.


2. Bush administration authorized and still authorizes conduct of the war that involve the commission of "war crimes". This is not just the torture issue although this is widely argued but even the method of previous and current attacks. Under the Geneva Conventions and customary law, it is a war crime to launch indiscriminate attacks affecting the civilian population or civilian objects in the knowledge that such attacks will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects. The distinction between combatants and non-combatants is fundamental to all humanitarian law. You can go all the way back to the 6 day "shock-and-awe" bombing campaign on Baghdad, a city of 5 million people.

That is not merely a dishnoest reading the GenCons, but a severely dishonest reading of the GenCons. Every single paragraph of the "civilian object" Convention has one or more subparagraphs listing the exceptions. You cannot bombs civilian schools ... except when the schools are being used for military purposes. You cannot bomb civilian churches ... except when the churches are being used for military purposes. People who try to use this Convention to quibble are either painfully dishonest [i.e., they know the contents of the GenCon, but do not accurately cite it] or they are ignoramuses [i.e., they do not know the content of the Convention, and are foolishly listening to those who are giving the dishonest citation].

This was explained to you. You mewled and whined and rationalized around it. [covered below]


3. In October, 2001 Cheney and Addington committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions by directing that a Presidential order be drafted authorizing the indefinite detention without charge of detainees and their subjection to military tribunals.

The GenCon relating to prisoners of war state that combatants can be held until the end of hostilities. No charges. No lawyers. They are subject to tribunals.


4. In January, 2002, Gonzales committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions by advising Bush in written memos to suspend the application of the Geneva conventions to detainees.

The GenCon relating to Prisoners of War defines who is to be a POW and, by exclusion, who is not. Those in Gitmo do not meet the definition.


5. On February 7, 2002, Bush committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions by issuing in February 7, 2002 a Memorandum stating that Geneva Convention does not apply to detainees, "unlawful combatants".

See response to #4. The answer doesn't change.



6. In October 2001 Bush issued a secret finding authorizing the CIA to kill those he designated, either US citizens or non-citizens, anywhere in the world.

If it's secret, then how do you know about it?

If you know about it, it isn't secret.

In any event, the only time in US history when our spies and spooks were not authorized to kill for Her Majesty's Secret Service was for a few decades recently ended. Every other nation does it; how badly do you like being an American? Want America to survive?




On to other whines and mewls:

1. Bush authorized the secret, illegal, warrantless wiretapping of US citizens. Even arguments that we should be willing to sacrifice liberty for security does not make it any less of a subversion of the constitution.

"Executive privilege" has existed since Washington, and while I personally like the progam about as well as you do, the argument that "warrantless" search is suddenly a huge issue rings extremely hollow when "implied consent" was cut out of whole cloth 50 years ago, and you couldn't go to the airport even before 9-11 without undergoing it.

It is not the wartime incursions into civil liberties you need to worry about. it's the peace-time incursion, the ones done "for our own good" that stick around.


1. Coercive and unreliable interrogation techniques that amount to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment have been defended and promoted

"Amount to torture" ... but aren't.


2. Criminal trials have been conducted in military tribunals that do not provide adequate transparency or due process protections.

Combatants are not protected by US civil law -- even the Hamdan ruling said as much; they are protected by international law -- which authorizes tribunals, and which further has definitions on who qualifies for specific types of treatment under international law.


3. Foreign nationals have been deported to third world countries where it was likely they would be tortured.

Here's the thing about "torture": the GenCons prohibit torture, but do not define it. There is no international law which defines torture. Each nation is required to create their own definition -- and then follow it. What is torture for the US is not torture for, say, Ethiopia.



4. More than one thousand immigrants in the US were rounded-up immediately after September 11th in a manner that was arbitrary, discriminatory and violated basic human rights

And then what? People are rounded up every day. Were these "more than a thousand" who were delinquent in their immigration re-ups? Then what's the problem? Were they questioned about their knowledge of others? That happens every day to tens of thousands who witnessed crimes, or have been identified as knowing those who commited crimes. "We'd like you to come down to answer a few questions..." Hey, you've just been "rounded up". This is a frankly meaningless quibble unless you fill it out.


Furthermore, this administration has still failed to ratify half of the major international human rights treaties, including...

You say that as if these treaties just landed on the guy's desk. There's hundreds of treaties the US has signed but the Prez hasn't ratified, covering Prez's of all parties and micro-affiliations. But help me out here: I can't quite seem to find the spot in the Constitution where the Prez [or his administration] ratifies treaties. My copy of the Constitution -- apparently faulty -- says that's the job of the Senate.


Should Saddam have violated 1441 or others and diplomacy and/or sanctions didn't work, of course I would agree with military action, but that is NOT what happened is it? NO

Yes. The correct answer is "yes". Hussein violated 1441 which was a virtual word-for-word regurgitation of the cease fire document [which started life as UNSCR 687, by the way], and Blix spent almost 4 months documenting Iraq's cease fire violations.

It doesn't matter what excuse we use to whip the masses into a war frenzy: "Remember the Maine!" "Remember the Lusitania!!" All lies. "WMD!!" "Hussein's stupid-ass mustache!!" It doesn't matter. Once a cease fire violation is encountered, or other act of war, we can say ANYthing; the legitimation of war is the cease fire violation.

People who cite misleading chemical weapons claims -- there were and are WMD in Iraq, by the way, just not as much as the UN believed and the US claimed to know was being shipped around the desert -- are buying into the politics and not paying attention to the realities. You're watching the smoke and fire Great Oz and not paying attention to the man behind the curtain. You are unknowledgable on the matter and advertising your ignorance and manipulability.


But really, you must know the cost in human life.

Stop the presses!! War breaks things and kills people?!? Who knew???



Also, you know as well as I do that the palaces were hardly the single targets. This was a leveling of huge city. It was meant to be "shock and awe" and our cowboy lived up to it.

NO city in Iraq was "leveled". The armaments used in Desert Fox far outstripped that used in the invasion. Fa-a-a-a-a-ar outstripped. Broke things; killed people.


Thank you but I do not need a link to the Geneva Conventions, I have read them. It is my opinion that anyone who has read them must realize there is a strong case to be made for this particular war crime.

In other words, you've cherry-picked the parts you like, discarded the rest, and claim that anyone who doesn't agree with your dishonest assessment is ...?


No Subsunk, it is not that simple.

Yes. It is. The purpose of the GenCons is not to prohibit war, but to prohibit the deliberate and willful waging of war specifically upon civilian populations. You play war with "human shields" you don't get a pass.

You put a SAM battery next to a hospital, goodbye hospital.


It is also very important to remember while discussing this that the threat assessments and intelligence (that justify this war and each individual attack and bombing campaign) were completely bogus

So what? The cease fire violations justified military action, irrespective of anything else.


(Not being Military myself), I will say - of course there are perfectly legal military tribunals. However, they are to be performed with some transparency and due process.

No. They. Aren't.


I hated the military when I was in it, but this is something they've been very very very very clear on for the past 230 years of American history: the military does NOT get the same civil rights protections as the common citizens.


We already KNOW POW's have suffered degrading treatment.

Such as?

And I dearly hope you aren't talking about the fine folks at Gitmo, because they don't qualify under the terms of international law.


(let's try this again), the pre-war intelligence we were spoon fed was FALSE, UNTRUE, A SHAM, FLIM FLAM, BOGUS.

SO. WHAT.

It doesn't alter the reality that Iraq was in constant violation of the cease fire.

That's all anyone needs to start military action. How the prez rallies the country around the flag is POLITICS, not reality.

C'est Moi said...

"You are dishonest in the most"

Point to a dishonest statement. rwilymz. Clearly, this is just something you like calling people. You have not given me one single reason for you calling me dishonest.

"No; you've rationalized "here"."

Whether you like it or not, the legal issues I noted and discussed are a reality. You have met my expectation of the "typical" response by offering an argument that basically amounts to "NUH UHHH". This is not debate. Getting immediately angry and combative with someone who disagrees with you is not debate.

"THIS. IS. THE. WAY. THE. WORLD. WORKS"

F.I.N.E. How many times do I have to say it? If you are happy to bury your head in the sand and hold a position of "Get over it! This is just the way the world works", if that is good enough for you, then go do that and don't stand in line to enlighten people.

"You freely interpret the GenCons to mean what they don't say".

Whew, do you make this stuff up as you go? THEY.SAY.WHAT.THEY.SAY. I have not re-written them. Nor have legislators, political analysts, constitutional attorneys and now The Supreme Court. Or maybe EVERYone else is just crazy, or dishonest, or deluded. Yeah, that must be it.

"Actually, since I've worked in DoD for the last over-25 years, in the military and out, as an analyst used to using FACTS to create analytical positions, making my opinions on those FACTS, and not upon what I prefer, uh, yeah, pretty much I do. I'm not alone, though. There's thousands like me."

Of all the aimless rambling you have offered so far, this is the most interesting. If you have been in the military and have worked in DoD for 25 years, that would make you someone I would like to have a civil discussion with. Without a doubt, you would have much to offer. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any evidence that you are capable of that. (civil discussion, that is). And in case it has escaped your attention, there's thousands like me too.

"You are operating on a very very very limited body of information..."

Yes. Here is another shocker...we all do. I respectfully say that you have no idea what "body of information" I operate from. But that is not your interest. Your interest is to put a bunch of words together that sound good and satisfy your need to castigate anyone who disagrees with you. You are again acting as though you (and those thousands like you) are the only ones entitled to a political voice. Believe it or not "the informed" are not limited to you and your ilk.

"Everyone since Grok the Cave-lesbian did that."

Ahhh, more evidence of that level, intelligent wit.

As I am writing this I see that you have responded again. I will have to do it a bit later, but I will then see if I can weed through the peppering of insults and name calling to glean any pertinent, useful information to consider.

rwilymz said...

Point to a dishonest statement. rwilymz.

I already have.

Let me do it again for the hard of reading: 1. Bush administration authorized a war of aggression against Iraq - a sovereign nation.

Do you recall my response?

Iraq was under constraints of a very strict cease fire, and as such their "sovereignty" was heavily mortgaged. Thus calling Iraq a "sovereign nation" while not acknowledging the cease fire limitations is dishonest.

I've identified several such.

That you don't consider them to be dishonest is telling. People who are knowledgable about foreign affairs, the military [in general] and military doctrine and policy know the subject considerably better than you do.


You have not given me one single reason for you calling me dishonest.

Not a "single" no, but several.



the legal issues I noted and discussed are a reality.

They are the off-brand interpretation of the documents in question.

The world's diplomatic corps, in totum, conform to my view of it.

Rather, ... I conform to their view of it. I cannot do my job unless I do.

How many times do I have to say it? If you are happy to bury your head in the sand and hold a position of "Get over it! This is just the way the world works"...

How is acknowledging the way the world works in any way similar to burying one's head in the sand? How does that work?

"I'm sorry, but gravity exists; things fall down."
"Oh, well, if you're going to bury your head in the sand, don't bother to try to enlighten people..."

???


THEY.SAY.WHAT.THEY.SAY. I have not re-written them.

You've discounted the parts you don't like, which is just as bad.

Look, I'm an analyst for the DoD -- and damned good at my job. When I get something to look at, a body of facts -- A, B, C, D, E, F and G e.g., -- and I draw a conclusion from those facts citing A, B, C, D, and F, I not only have to explain why I used the facts I did, but I have to explain why I considered the facts I didn't use -- E and G -- to not be relevant.

Analysis requires explaining why and it requires explaining why not. Not doing both is not analysis, but a partisan tract. Screed.

You went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how Bush commited war crimes because he started a war, how he commited war crimes because military forces under his command killed civilians and broke STUFF, and when your previous detractor explained [far too patiently, I might add] how the GenCon on civilian objects caveats EVERYthing and essentially declares that the only time you're ever going to get cited for breaking that GenCon [by anyone who knows what they're talking about] is if
1] you target a civilian object
2] knowing that it is a civilian object
3] knowing it is not being used for military purposes
4] knowing it is not likely to be used for military purposes
5] knowing that it is not near anything with military purposes ...
after all that, which is damned near spot-on according to the experts on international law, you issued the lame "well in my opinion it is".

Well, fine. Your opinion means you care. That and twenty-five cents will be 4-bits shy of a cup of coffee. Your opinion, though, is not interchangeable with reality; it is not interchangeable with fact; it is not interchangeable with experience or knowledge. In my estimation, looking at your drivel -- sincere though it is -- and now having a conversation with you, you are an ignoramus.

You are not subject-area knowledgeable except in the area of "your opinion".

As I tell people: the fact that you have an opinion does not make your opinion fact.


Or maybe EVERYone else is just crazy, or dishonest, or deluded. Yeah, that must be it.

If you are satisfied thinking that the prevailing [expert] opinion on the matter of the pertinent GenCons is crazy or deluded, that is fine.

But since you addressed the USSC's rendering of it: they cherry-picked as well, but to little purpose. They cited "common article 3" to explain why the fine fellows in Gitmo should be treated according to POW status, but left out "common article 4" which explains why they don't.



If you have been in the military and have worked in DoD for 25 years, that would make you someone I would like to have a civil discussion with.

Civil discussion begin with not issuing farcical and ignorant fact-free conclusions.

It would be similar to my saying "Lesbians are a known source for online pedophilic remarks" [citing the reason I clicked on your link in the first place] and then me saying "oh, gosh, you're a lesbian; I'd like to ask you about that sometime because my cousin was a lesbian until she ODed on heroin 5 years ago, and I was wondering what sort of dynamics there are..."

How would you feel about having that "civil discussion" with someone who pre-emptively shot you in the kneecaps.

It's one thing to be a sincere activist for a political cause, it's another to
discount everything not your-opinion-worthy.



Unfortunately, I have yet to see any evidence that you are capable of that. (civil discussion, that is).

Funny; I was thinking the same about you.



And in case it has escaped your attention, there's thousands like me too.

Millions.

Actually.

Sorry.

I know you don't like being corrected when you're wrong. But there are millions.

Just as there are millions who are not auto mechanics. And millions who are not structural engineers. And [I don't know what you do for a living] millions who do not do what you do for a living. To my knowledge, none of these people would take kindly to some smart-ass walking in off the street, belly full of sincerity and head full of opinions, and lecturing them on how to do what they do for a living, and lecturing them on why what they've been doing for 25 years is all wrong. Not one. And there's a few auto mechanics I know who would not only kick you out of their garage, but use the handiest tool to punctuate it.

Do YOU like arrogant pricks telling you all about your life? Defining you for you? I'm sure you get a lot of it. ... but that may just be an assumption on my part.

Why the hell do you think I'd like it?

Why do you think anyone who works with diplomatic clearances, rules of engagement and planning and tactics on a daily basis would like some uber-sincere twit explaining that, well, really, 75 years of prevvailing wisdom on the international laws of war is all wrong ... because there is this New and Improved® Interpretation?



I respectfully say that you have no idea what "body of information" I operate from.

That is the first unqualified truth you've written.

But I've got the rest of your writing to go by, and -- simply going by the evidence -- you don't seem knowledgeable.


Your interest is to put a bunch of words together that sound good and satisfy your need to castigate anyone who disagrees with you.

You merely want to disagree with me?

Oh, and here I thought you were trying to change the rules by which I have personally operated for a quarter century, and by which the nation has [formally] operated for three-quarters and informally for the one and a half centuries prior to that. Not to mention the rest of the world which has operated pretty much similarly since Westphalia.

Great; okay, I'll re-read your entire litany of foregoing rationalization as: "she doesn't like this war, and thinks it was a boo-boo; the US is naughty."

That "war crime" and "criminal war" shinola was just the tease to get people to pay attention to your blogsite.

Silly me.



You are again acting as though you (and those thousands like you) are the only ones entitled to a political voice.

Hardly. Everyone [with a legitimate vote] has a political voice; it is simply academic dishonesty to characterise the opinion which forms the basis of that vote as "authoritative" or "knowledgeable".



Believe it or not "the informed" are not limited to you and your ilk.

That's what I keep getting told. Yet people like Noam Chomsky, who is an English Teacher Extraordinare, keep claiming themselves as "informed" when the reality is: they've informed themselves of just enough to issue one-sided political tracts and have utterly failed to accomplish what they teach in the first course at Army War College: understand your enemy from your enemy's point of view.


"Everyone since Grok the Cave-lesbian did that."

Ahhh, more evidence of that level, intelligent wit.


I try to tie in with references the audience will be familar with.

C'est Moi said...

First, you really do appear to be an abusive narcissist. {borrowing from one of my favorite movies}..."Go sell crazy somewhere else".

Your point about being "pre-emtively shot in the kneecaps" is a fascinating one and one I considered making myself (we are so like-minded) because that is precisely what you did. You marched right in here (supposedly) for the first time with guns blazing. You have prattled on and on about your self-importance, you have bored me senseless with playground style insults and you have a penchant for analogies that range from incoherent to disturbing. I have responded and attempted to be civil. Your unwillingness to do that is your issue, not mine.

Now, I will answer to some of what you said (in between your over-use of baseless insults)

The Bush administration offered two core justifications for the war against Iraq. (1) WMD. Nearly every person who has not recently been lobotomized now knows that proved false. (2) Links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. False. Those same un-lobotomized people also know there are no such links. Iraq did not attack us, they did not threaten us, there was no imminent threat (and imminent threat is not a legal justification for war sanctioned by International Law). The administration took measured steps to "develop" legal justification for this war - a clear indication they knew they didn't have legal justification. They pulled inspectors out of Iraq to launch a "pre-emptive" attack, based on their "pre-emptive" long-standing agenda. The fact that this administration has come up a litany of new reasons and/or justifications to sell us, (i.e. Saddam Hussein is errrr, a evil-doer, I've been called by God to spread democracy, whatever) does not make a case for legality. If there were a picture of the true intent behind making "wars of aggression" illegal...this would be it. It doesn't get any clearer.

Then of course after they had bombs-a-blazing:
Falluja
The residential bombings in Basra
Makr al-Deeb
Cruise missiles with a DU
Prisoners of war being shown and pictured and humiliated.
(and before you spout your garbage about "hey, that's war toots" look again at this quote from Rummy) "The Geneva Convention makes it illegal for prisoners of war to be shown and pictured and humiliated. And it is something that the United States does not do."
--Donald Rumsfeld March 23, 2003
AND
October 2001 Bush secret finding authorizing the CIA to kill those he designated, either US citizens or non-citizens, anywhere in the world. (I really have to walk you through this? It has been labeled a "secret finding" (not by me) and was at one point quite secret. It has come to the surface like much of the manure produced by this administration has and is continuing to.)

Such a small sampling of events that can reasonably be argued as prima facie evidence of war crimes.

Deny it venomously all you like, toots. The FACT is this argument - the very same ignoramus argument I make here has been made throughout this war by an impressive number of experts on International Law (I realize you perceive yourself as the prevailing expert but, ya know...there are others). This same argument was made even before the war, even within this administration...all the way up to Colin Powell...that proceeding in the manner in which the President insisted on proceeding could and likely would be viewed as violating the Geneva Convention and possibly put administration officials at risk of prosecution under the War Crimes Act. (2441. War crimes (a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.)

This argument, based on the same very large set of facts I have reviewed and everyone has access to, can hardly be swept away (even by you as some little ditty I dreamed up to get people to comment on my blog.

rwilymz said...

First, you really do appear to be an abusive narcissist.

...said Echo.


because that is precisely what you did. You marched right in here (supposedly) for the first time with guns blazing

And you were just minding your own business, not saying anything presumptive and disingenuous at all, werncha?


The Bush administration offered two core justifications for the war against Iraq.

I'm well aware. And the entire time he was doing so, we were sitting there at work rolling our eyes telling him to keep to the reality.

We are very very very very well aware that he's a politician and needs to rally the country around the flag, and we also know that the very best way to do that is with scare tactics.

But none of the POLITICS surrounding the issue alters the reality: Iraq violated the cease fire, constituting [repeated] acts of war, thus justifying taking military action.


(1) WMD. Nearly every person who has not recently been lobotomized now knows that proved false.

No one recently lobotomized knows, on the other hand, that chemical weapons were found; many more chemical weapons were catalogued by the UN during their first inspectino regime and put under lock in Iraqi warehouses prior to Iraq giving them the boot in late '98, and which SURPRISE!!! turned up missing in 2003 when we went back in.

btw, "lobotomized" must be your method of being civil...


(2) Links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. False.

Not exactly. "Not as accurate as some would wish people to believe" is better. "Not as INaccurate as certain others would wish people to believe" is also appropriate.


Iraq did not attack us, they did not threaten us, there was no imminent threat (and imminent threat is not a legal justification for war sanctioned by International Law).

False; false; for all practical purposes false; and, Japan is now considering "pre-emptive" action on NKorea ... justified?

As regards point#1: Iraq attacked US military aircraft repeatedly between 1991 and 2003; according to international law, a nation's aircraft, like a nation's naval vessels, while operating in airspace or waterways considered sovereign or open -- which the no-flys over Iraq were, are parts of that nation's sovereign territory, and an attack on sovereign territory is an attack on sovereign territory. Iraq attacked us repeatedly.

As regards point#2: Iraq made repeated threats to our forces doing babysitting duty for the UN, not to mention the attempted assassination of Bush the Elder during Clinton's term.

As regards point#3: since there had been actual attacks and threatened attacks, the "imminence" of future attacks cannot be discounted.

As regards point#4: you're listening to the politics and confusing it with reality if you cite it. The justification for military action against Iraq is, was, and will be: Iraqi violations of the cease fire. Politics is not reality.



The administration took measured steps to "develop" legal justification for this war

If, by "develop" you mean "document" you're correct. Hans Blix was a very useful stooge to US policy.


a clear indication they knew they didn't have legal justification.

Covering our asses, dearie.


They pulled inspectors out of Iraq to launch a "pre-emptive" attack,

It doesn't get more accurate the more times you say it. It was for cease fire violations.


based on their "pre-emptive" long-standing agenda.

You'll need to explain this one to me. I'm not sure what you mean, and I -- unlike you -- don't like to presume.


The fact that this administration has come up a litany of new reasons and/or justifications to sell us, ... does not make a case for legality.

Desert Fox, 1998 ... "legal"?



Then of course after they had bombs-a-blazing:

???

You want we should fight wars withOUT bombs?


Prisoners of war being shown and pictured and humiliated.

I'm darned glad you didn't say it was "torture" because it wasn't. It was, under the pertinent legal definitions, "mistreatment"

And before you go having to change your soiled knickers again, we prosecuted, didn't we?

We fulfilled our obligation under international law.

How many Iraqi insurgents are policing their own and prosecuting the beheadings of Nick Berg?

Oh, that's right: Nick Berg was beheaded because, doggone it, the US had invaded their territory, so the rules don't apply to them...

Talibani nutjobs, prosecuting the beheading of Dan Pearl? ...which preceded EVERYthing?


October 2001 Bush secret finding authorizing the CIA to kill those he designated, either US citizens or non-citizens, anywhere in the world. (I really have to walk you through this? It has been labeled a "secret finding" (not by me) and was at one point quite secret. It has come to the surface like much of the manure produced by this administration has and is continuing to.)

I really have to walk you through this? The US was the only nation to NOT allow their spies and spooks to off individuals, and we found that we ended up on the losing end of the international intrigue game -- which does not bode well for our future survival.

It is a matter of S U R V I V A L to play by the same rules as everyone else -- particularly if those rules are shady, secretive, rude, insensitive and plain old mean.

Do you like being an American?

Wanna be placed under Sharia? Sharia code doesn't much like homosexuals.



Such a small sampling of events that can reasonably be argued as prima facie evidence of war crimes.

And I'm glad you -- this time -- claimed it could be "argued", rather than "it is QED the Great C'set Moi has spoken".

Yes, it can be "argued" that". But you won't get far in a crowd who deals with these topics professionally. Those who deal with these topics from a contrarian perspective? Far different story.


The FACT is this argument - the very same ignoramus argument I make here has been made throughout this war by an impressive number of experts on International Law

Hardly. There've been a few people who have written essays and political tracts who have credentials and are quibbling about EVERYthing; there are far more who have credentials who are quibbling about fine points and details.

Yet for all the bluster, there hasn't been any attempt to yank the US in front of any international court -- even in abstentia -- for war crimes that has withstood the [in equivalent US law] pre-trail motion. There is simply no basis for doing so.


(I realize you perceive yourself as the prevailing expert but, ya know...there are others).

Expertise is relative. I am more expert than you; several people I work with are more expert than me.

But I listen to them.

I also don't go to the auto mechanic telling him his job. Yet you apparently feel free to tell me mine.


This same argument was made even before the war, even within this administration...all the way up to Colin Powell...

All kinds of things were discussed.

Being discussed is not "prima facie evidence of war crimes".



This argument, based on the same very large set of facts I have reviewed

...but I am the narcisist and the prevailing expert.

You, the non-military neophyte, have reviewed a "large set of facts" ...

And what? Found them "prima facie evidence of war crimes"? You do not have the authority.

Found them ...? overwhelming evidence of war crimes? merely whelming evidence of war crimes? You don't have the knowledge or expertise.

Found them...? disquieting?

Now we're getting somewhere.

War breaks things and kills people. Things are allowed to be broken and people are allowed to be killed, even according to the rules, even according to the rules you cite. That's not going to change because you think war is rude.

Here's a prediction that I will bet my life and my children's lives on: the first nation that agrees to fight wars without bombs and bring itself up on charges for war crimes because a civilian gets killed is the next nation to snuff it. That is a sure-fire recipe for obliteration.

How much do you like being an American?