“While we are warriors, we are also all human beings”

Cheney Led Briefings of Lawmakers To Defend Interrogation Techniques

The revelations do not shed light on whether top Democrats, as Republicans contend, were aware that waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning, was being used on terrorism suspects as early as the fall of 2002. That discussion has dominated Capitol Hill since last month, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was not present at any of the briefings that included Cheney, accused the agency of intentionally misleading her in a 2002 briefing about the use of waterboarding.

One of the major talking points missing from the Cheney Torture is Fun Tour is his explicit mention of what he informed Pelosi of. If she was as deep in the loop as Republicans would like to place the Speaker wouldn’t Cheney know.

Lawmakers at times challenged Cheney and CIA officials about the legality of the program and pressed for specific results that would show whether the techniques worked. In response, the CIA briefers said that half of the agency’s knowledge about al-Qaeda’s plans and structure had been obtained through the interrogations.

Assuming the torture style interrogations are what is implied we know as Speaker Pelosi has said that there was some misleading language from the CIA. A senate report on detainee abuse stated,

(U) The collection of timely and accurate intelligence is critical to the safety of U.S. personnel deployed abroad and to the security of the American people here at home. The methods by which we elicit intelligence information from detainees in our custody affect not only the reliability of that information, but our broader efforts to win hearts and minds and attract allies to our side.
(U) Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are taught to expect Americans to abuse them. They are recruited based on false propaganda that says the United States is out to destroy Islam. Treating detainees harshly only reinforces that distorted view, increases resistance to cooperation, and creates new enemies. In fact, the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States” cited “pervasive anti U.S. sentiment among most Muslims” as an underlying factor fueling the spread of the global jihadist movement. Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2008 that “there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq – as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat – are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.”

To date no evidence has been produced that torture prevented any attacks against the U.S. or provided any valuable information that was not gained through non-coercive methods,

Really? In researching this article, I spoke to numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Their conclusion is unanimous: not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts—with Abu Zubaydah’s case one of the most glaring examples.

Here, they say, far from exposing a deadly plot, all torture did was lead to more torture of his supposed accomplices while also providing some misleading “information” that boosted the administration’s argument for invading Iraq.

Cheney has recently admitted that he lied to the nation to ramp up support for the  bloody and counter productive invasion of Iraq, Cheney admits there was never any evidence tying Iraq, 9/11,

Cheney’s comments are a marked shift from those he made in 2003. Pressed to disavow assertions that Iraq was in any way involved with the attacks, the then-VP claimed the administration was learning “more and more” about al Qaeda-Iraq ties.

Now, after 4,308 US servicemembers have lost their lives in Iraq, and no longer in office, the vociferous GOP hawk has appears to have changed his mind.

Here’s a vice-president more then willing to lie hundreds of thousands of people to their deaths; telling a few lies about torture would be of little moral consequence to someone with a mindset typical of the delusional authoritarian.

Difficult to condense so this is most of the post from Plumline, Yikes! Did Obama Really Call America A Muslim Country? Nope.

The Times piece is already spreading rapidly on the right. PowerLineBlog, for instance, asked: “In what possible sense can any rational person consider the United States to be a Muslim country?” But here’s what Obama actually said:

Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam. And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.

Hard-core rhetoricians will note that Obama was employing an obscure tense known as the “conditional,” and an arcane rhetorical device known as a “hypothetical.” He said that if you were to take the number of Muslims in America, then one could see America as ranking up there with other Muslim countries — in numerical, hypothetical terms.

Sure, let’s fact-check the claim about the number of Muslims and analyze the policy implications. But come on, the man simply didn’t say America is a Muslim country. It’s going to be a long week.

Its difficult to get an excat figure on the total Muslim population of the U.S. – Pew Research says about 2.35 million. Wikipedia estimates as few as 1.8 million. Pew’s findings are also interesting in other ways,

* Overall, Muslim Americans have a generally positive view of the larger society. Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live.
* A large majority of Muslim Americans believe that hard work pays off in this society. Fully 71% agree that most people who want to get ahead in the U.S. can make it if they are willing to work hard.
* The survey shows that although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society. And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.

Back to the population hypothetical from President Obama. He’s correct in the sense the U.S. has a larger Muslim population then Qatar, Oman and Kosovo and about as large as Kuwait. Turkey, an American ally since WW II and a member of NATO has a Muslim population of nearly 28 million.

Report of Motive in Recruiter Attack

A 23-year-old man charged with killing one soldier and seriously wounding another in a shooting outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Ark., was once detained in Yemen for possessing a fake Somali passport and other counterfeit documents, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

The episode in Yemen prompted a preliminary inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other American law enforcement agencies into whether the man, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, had ties to extremist groups, the officials said.

Bledsoe sounds like the typical deluded extremist. Imagine the scenario, he goes to Yemen to maybe find some contacts with an extremist group. As an American probably treated with a suspicion. Since he acted alone in the murder of Pvt. William A. Long, Bledsoe probably did not have much success in hooking up with some other nut jobs.

“What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight… is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are warriors, we are also all human beings”
— General David Petraeus

Conch on Beach wallpaper