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Old 12-15-2008, 07:42 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
(Sorry Strongbow! your sputtering "bad apples" argument is crap! Even McCain knows it!)
The main point I was making on that issue was that the overwhelming majority of US military personal were never involved or engaged in such actions. I'm not surprised though that some still don't understand that.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:07 PM   #162
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Well, thats the bad kind of torture, the type run by Rethuglicans, Obama will be more enlightened


Obama will be held to the same standard.

but that article doesn't seem to have much to stand on. it's obsessed with the "ticking time bomb" scenario, which totally misunderstands the situation.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:46 AM   #163
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here's a direct riposte to the torture-apologia op-ed posted earlier:


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Ungerecht

By Scott Horton

The New York Times recently ran an op-ed by Reuel Marc Gerecht (“Out of Sight”) in which the author sings the virtues of torture and extraordinary rendition:

Quote:
…if we’d gotten our hands on a senior member of Al Qaeda before 9/11, and knew that an attack likely to kill thousands of Americans was imminent, wouldn’t waterboarding, or taking advantage of the skills of our Jordanian friends, have been the sensible, moral thing to do with a holy warrior who didn’t fear death but might have feared pain?
The piece lives in the world and morality of Fox’s Twenty-Four, and it falsely confuses the rendition programs that existed pre-Bush with the extraordinary rendition program put in place after 9/11. Gerecht knows better. The devices he advances are crimes. People who use and authorize them have in the past been sent to jail for long periods—some have even been executed. There is no legitimate difference of opinion on this, only a willingness on the part of some to commit serious crimes in the expectation that they won’t be held to account.

We should be asking the editors of the New York Times why they feel comfortable commissioning individuals to advocate a high-powered crime spree at taxpayer expense. In so doing they create the false impression that torture is just another option on the policy palette, embraced by some and rejected by others. Is this fair debate? No. This is enabling torture.

I am bracing myself for a new series from the Gray Lady. Senator David Vitter will argue the virtues of prostitution; Congressman William J. Jefferson will explain how the public interest is served when members of Congress run a lobbying business on the side; Senator Ted Stevens will make the case for constituent-sponsored home repairs. And if torture by proxy is just fine, why not murder for hire? Why not child pornography? I am sure we can come up with solid national security justifications for all of these approaches–justifications which are every bit as compelling as those advanced by Gerecht.


now that we know that the very "bad apples" that some used to try and excuse and laugh away such serious crimes were positioned at the very top of the barrell -- namely, Mr. Bush himself -- i wonder if we could come up with a number. the exact number of innocent people (or perhaps just petty angry kids) it would be okay to torture based on the slim chance that, just once, someday, we'll get something out of someone who knows something about a terrorist plot scheduled in an hour and we can then send Jack Bauer to dismantle the atomic bomb.

how many?
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:09 PM   #164
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Christmas in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- From a distance, it looks like an apparition: a huge multi-colored hot-air balloon floating in the Baghdad sky, bearing a large poster of Jesus Christ. Below it, an Iraqi flag.

[/

Santa and his helpers stand under palm trees at Baghdad's first public Christmas festival.

1 of 3 more photos » Welcome to the first-ever public Christmas celebration in Baghdad, held Saturday and sponsored by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Once thought to be infiltrated by death squads, the Ministry now is trying to root out sectarian violence -- as well as improve its P.R. image.

The event takes place in a public park in eastern Baghdad, ringed with security checkpoints. Interior Ministry forces deployed on surrounding rooftops peer down at the scene: a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and tinsel; a red-costumed Santa Claus waving to the crowd, an Iraqi flag draped over his shoulders; a red-and-black-uniformed military band playing stirring martial music, not Christmas carols.

On a large stage, children dressed in costumes representing Iraq's many ethnic and religious groups -- Kurds, Turkmen, Yazidis, Christians, Arab Muslims not defined as Sunni or Shiite -- hold their hands aloft and sing "We are building Iraq!" Two young boys, a mini-policeman and a mini-soldier sporting painted-on mustaches, march stiffly and salute.

Even before I can ask Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul Karim Khalaf a question, he greets me with a big smile. "All Iraqis are Christian today!" he says.

"Now that we have crossed that hurdle and destroyed the incubators of terrorism," he says, "and the security situation is good, we have to go back and strengthen community ties."

In spite of his claim, the spokesman is surrounded by heavy security. Yet this celebration shows that the security situation in Baghdad is improving.



Many of the people attending the Christmas celebration appear to be Muslims, with women wearing head scarves. Suad Mahmoud, holding her 16-month-old daughter, Sara, tells me she is indeed Muslim, but she's very happy to be here. "My mother's birthday also is this month, so we celebrate all occasions," she says, "especially in this lovely month of Christmas and New Year."

Father Saad Sirop Hanna, a Chaldean Christian priest, is here too. He was kidnapped by militants in 2006 and held for 28 days. He knows firsthand how difficult the lot of Christians in Iraq is but, he tells me, "We are just attesting that things are changing in Baghdad, slowly, but we hope that this change actually is real. We will wait for the future to tell us the truth about this."

He just returned from Rome. "I came back to Iraq because I believe that we can live here," he says. "I have so many [Muslim] friends and we are so happy they started to think about things from another point of view and we want to help them."

The Christmas celebration has tables loaded with cookies and cakes. Families fill plates and chat in the warm winter sun. Santa balloons hang from trees. An artist uses oil paint to create a portrait of Jesus.

In the middle of the park there's an art exhibit, the creation of 11- and 12-year-olds: six displays, each about three feet wide, constructed of cardboard and Styrofoam, filled with tiny dolls dressed like ordinary people, along with model soldiers and police. They look like model movie sets depicting everyday life in Baghdad.

Afnan, 12 years old, shows me her model called "Arresting the Terrorists."

"These are the terrorists," she tells me. "They were trying to blow up the school." In the middle of the street a dead "terrorist" sprawls on the asphalt, his bloody arm torn from his body by an explosion. Afnan tells me she used red nail polish to paint the blood. A little plastic dog stands nearby. "What is he doing?" I ask. "He looks for terrorists and searches for weapons and explosives," Afnan says.

Her mother, the children's art teacher, Raja, shows me another child's display called "Baghdad Today."

"This is a wedding," Raja explains. "Despite the terrorism, our celebrations still go ahead. This is a park, families enjoying time. And this is a market where people go shopping without fear of bombings. This is a mosque where people can pray with no fear."


In the middle is a black mound that looks like a body bag. Policemen and Interior Ministry forces surround it. "This is terrorism," she tells me. "We killed it and destroyed it, and our lives went back to normal."

A Christmas tale perhaps, I think, but one that many Iraqis hope will come true.

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Old 12-21-2008, 08:11 PM   #165
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"we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." - Anne Coulter
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:36 PM   #166
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It looks like Bush is finally creating new jobs

putting people back to work

Quote:
Stampede for 'Bush shoe' creates 100 new jobs

Robert Tait in Istanbul The Guardian, Monday 22 December 2008

Their deployment as a makeshift missile robbed President George Bush of his dignity and landed their owner in jail. But the world's most notorious pair of shoes have yielded an unexpected bonanza for a Turkish shoemaker.

Ramazan Baydan, owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company, has been swamped with orders from across the world, after insisting that his company produced the black leather shoes which the Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi threw at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last Sunday.

Baydan has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271 - more than four times the shoe's normal annual sale - following an outpouring of support for Zaidi's act, which was intended as a protest, but led to his arrest by Iraqi security forces.

Orders have come mainly from the US and Britain.

To meet the mood of the marketplace, Baydan is planning to rename the model "the Bush Shoe" or "Bye-Bye Bush".

"We've been selling these shoes for years but, thanks to Bush, orders are flying in like crazy. We've even hired an agency to look at television advertising," he said.

Stampede for 'Bush shoe' creates 100 new jobs | World news | The Guardian
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:56 PM   #167
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On Character:

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EXCLUSIVE: Bush, Cheney comforted troops privately
Met with thousands of war injured, kin out of spotlight

Joseph Curl (Contact) and John Solomon (Contact)
Monday, December 22, 2008
:

For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.

On Monday, the president is set to make a more common public trip - with reporters in tow - to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, home to many of the wounded and a symbol of controversy earlier in his presidency over the quality of care the veterans were receiving.


GIVING SUPPORT: Vice President Dick Cheney, an avid fly-fisherman, practices his cast with wounded troops from Walter Reed Army Medical Center during one of the half-dozen barbecues he's hosted at his Naval Observatory home. (White House photo)



But the size and scope of Mr. Bush's and Mr. Cheney's private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.

"People say, 'Why would you do that?'" the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. "And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be - to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish."




Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice. The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, has been so wrenching - balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin - that the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.

"I lean on the Almighty and Laura," Mr. Bush said in the interview. "She has been very reassuring, very calming."

Mr. Bush also has met privately with more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans, according to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. Many of those meetings were outside the presence of the news media at the White House or at private sessions during official travel stops, officials said.

The first lady said those private visits, many of which she also attended, took a heavy emotional toll, not just on the president, but on her as well.


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Old 12-23-2008, 04:00 PM   #168
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To privately meet with families and those they've directly sent into harm's way is the least they could do, frankly.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:09 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
To privately meet with families and those they've directly sent into harm's way is the least they could do, frankly.
Guess you missed this part, but I'm not surprised:

Quote:
Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:32 PM   #170
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No I didn't miss that. I'm glad he did it, but again, when you're directly responsible for sending them into harm's way in the first place, meeting with and/or writing personal letters to the families of those who died is the least you could do, in my view anyway.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:06 PM   #171
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Yeah uh hum.

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Old 12-24-2008, 12:33 AM   #172
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Yeah you are right. It's almost impossible to illustrate any of the positive examples during his rule. On the contrary, if we have to mention the negatives, believe the list is endless full of violence and misdeeds.

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Old 12-26-2008, 12:03 PM   #173
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One of his best supporters says that optimistically, the best history will eventually give W is a C - .

Quote:
Pat Robertson criticizes Bush, praises Obama
Posted: 04:55 PM ET

Robertson gave Bush low marks Tuesday.


(CNN) – Pat Robertson is "remarkably pleased" with President-elect Barack Obama, the conservative leader told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux – and believes President Bush’s administration has not dealt with the nation’s economic crisis in a “professional manner.”

“Well, it's hard to assess blame, but I, over the years — I hate to be critical, I mean I am a Republican, and this is the president of the party that I'm a member of — but I think we've had some serious goofs along the way,” he said on the Situation Room Tuesday.

“The Katrina matter was terrible. The rebuilding of Iraq has been terrible. The [handling] of the economy right now has been terrible. It hasn't been handled in what I would consider a professional manner.”

Robertson said history may be kinder to Bush than current opinion. “But I believe I would look at about a C-minus if I were grading him,” he said.

The evangelical leader has been a supporter of Bush's presidential campaigns.

Robertson said Tuesday he was optimistic about the incoming Obama administration. “I am remarkably pleased with Obama,” he told Malveaux. “I had grave misgivings about him. But so help me, he's come in forcefully, intelligently. He's picked a middle of the road cabinet. And so far, if he continues down this course, he has the makings of a great president. So, I'm very pleased so far.”
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:42 PM   #174
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I would like to point out that, if a member of the United States Military is given an unlawful order it is that soldier's duty and responsibility to not carry out the order.

I think that is it reprehensible to the thousands of soldiers who do their duty on a daily basis, to be lumped in with the people who committed the acts of troture.

What is also reprehensible is that this administration has been found to have participated in acts of deception with the American people. It appears now, that the acts of torture originated high up the chain.

At this time, there is more, way more, than enough evidence that this administration hand picked the intelligence that favored the position that there were WMD in Iraq. In doing this, and the ignoring of the information that demonstrated any position to the contrary, this president led us to war under false pretenses. So his saying it does not matter, he would have made the same decision, is utter and complete bullshit said to save face. Colin Powell, someone who has more credibility, has publicly stated otherwise. The president, could not have EVER convinced the congress to authorize the use of force, had the intelligence not been cherry picked to make their case.

This administration will go down in history as an utter failure as historians poor through the documents we have yet to see. Never mind what we already know. Ultimately, the middle east was not threatened by Saddam since the Iraq War. Ultimately, he was contained. Ultimately, history will judge this adminstration harshly for the manner in which they convinced this country to go to war. Eventually, as the years go by, the evidence will pile up, and we will know the truth. Right now, what I see is the tip of an ice berg, filled with lies, used to manipulate us all.

Still waiting for the armchair quarterback in this forum to sign up for the cause he so deeply cares about. Maybe the two or three people I know might have been spared the loss of their hands and lives.

And here is the really, truly sad statement....TERRORISM....has continued despite the global war on terror. THere is no winning a war on terror. Any person, who makes the decision that they are going to hurt other people, and puts their mind and energy to it, are more than likely going to succeed. That is a fact. The world is too big, and the more we kill, the more enemies are created. It truly is a wonderful cycle.

We, will be feeling the long term effects of this for years to come.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:24 PM   #175
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Quote:
Kosovo names street after US President Bush

Dec 24 10:49 AM US/Eastern
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Kosovo decided Wednesday to name a central street of its cap...







Comforter In Chief: Bush Reaches Out To Families of Fallen Soldiers


Kosovo decided Wednesday to name a central street of its capital Pristina after outgoing US President George W. Bush for his support of the territory's split from Serbia.
Backed unanimously by Kosovo's cabinet, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said the move was "a sign of the huge state and national respect and appreciation" for the United States' contribution to independence, declared earlier this year.

Located in Pristina's downtown area, Bush Street is to be linked to the main thoroughfare named after Mother Teresa, the 1979 Nobel Peace Laureate of Albanian origin.

Separately, the government pledged 5,000 euros (7,000 dollars) towards a statue honouring Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, popular in ethnic Albanian-majority Kosovo over NATO's 1999 air war against Serb forces.

The three-metre (10-foot) tall statue, a project started in 2007, is to stand in a square of Pristina, which already has a Bill Clinton Boulevard graced by a 7.5 metre-high mural of the former US leader.

The United States was one of the first of more than 50 countries to recognise the independence of Kosovo, which is staunchly opposed by Serbia and its ally Russia.
But this doesn't count for much because we know Serbs and Slavs aren't quite the 'enlightened elites' like the majority of FYM posers, right?



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Old 12-26-2008, 10:50 PM   #176
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Albanians aren't Slavs, Serbs are however.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:26 AM   #177
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crys

On "Fox News Sunday," former President George H. W. Bush said he's ready for another Bush in the White House. He hopes his son Jeb runs for Senate in Florida and one day for President.

"I think he'd be an outstanding senator ... I'd like to see him be president some day," Bush said. "Right now is probably a bad time because maybe we've had enough Bushes in there."



MAYBE???? Talk about rubbing salt on a wound..



On "Fox News Sunday," former President George H. W. Bush defended his son's record. "His mother and father" are "very proud of him," Bush said. Host Chris Wallace pointed out that the former president had acknowledged some failures in his son's two terms and asked him to elaborate. "No! You can go back to your, what do you call it, your Google, and you figure out all that," Bush responded.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #178
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your...Google..

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Old 01-06-2009, 06:36 PM   #179
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Quote:
Jeb Bush says he won't run for Senate in 2010

By Bill Cotterell
Florida Capital Bureau Political Editor

Former Gov. Jeb Bush announced today he won't run for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

"While the opportunity to serve my state and country during these turbulent and dynamic times is compelling, now is not the right time to return to elected office," Bush said in a prepared statement issued from his Miami office.

"In the coming months and years, I hope to play a constructive role in the future of the Republican Party, advocating ideas and policies that solve the pressing problems of our day," Bush said. "We must rebuild the Party by focusing on the common purposes and core conservative principles that unite us all – limited government, a strong national defense and safe homeland and the protection of liberty tempered by personal responsibility."

U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez announced late last year he would not seek re-election. Bush, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, was considering another statewide race -- and widely considered a shoo-in for the GOP nomination, if he wanted it.

His father, former President George H.W. Bush, recently said he thought Jeb Bush would make a good president and his brother, President George W. Bush, has said he would be a good senator.

Now is not the time??

We are in the worse crisis ever, so he wants to wait until everything is peachy keen????


I was hoping this worthless %&*@ would run,
so the people could soundly reject him. He is a big part of the Bush Legacy.
And deserves to hear the people's verdict. ( I suppose he commissioned a survey / poll and knows where he stands )
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #180
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the 'enlightened elites' like the majority of FYM posers, right?

freudian slip... or...

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