Detainees Fared Worse in Iraqi Hands, Logs Say. One thing I took away from this is that many of the U.S. forces did live up to the honor and tradition of the best of the U.S. military. Going so far as to take tortured Iraqis out of Iraqi police custody. If there were an investigation (highly unlikely) it would be great if those honorable soldiers and marines were singled out for a commendation. As Mahablog notes much of the blame for looking the other way ultimately rests with a command structure that went up to the Bush White House. The Wikileaks documents come at a time when White House torture enabler John Yoo has recently crawled out on his lizard belly and declared the 17th Amendment to the Constitution has to go. John Yoo agrees that direct election of senators is bad – The torture memo author says the 17th Amendment is a threat to federalism
Torture memo author John Yoo is a conservative folk hero, purely and solely for authoring the torture memo. Yoo argued that the president can violate the Constitution whenever he feels like it. His legal defense of torture was so awful and flawed that other Bush appointees were horrified enough to rescind it. Because of his instrumental role in violating the principles that make us supposedly morally superior to our many enemies, the editors of the National Review allow him to contribute to their little blog.
Actually more then advocating the U.S. violate well established laws against torture – under which we prosecuted others for doing what Yoo claims is legal – Yoo claimed that during war time the president has unlimited powers. If that is a fundamental constitutional issue which the National Review and other right-wingers is settled law then it applies to anything President Obama does. Which – if conservatives should begin to care about being ideologically consistent, everything Obama does is covered by Yoo and the National Reviews interpretation of the Constitution. Thus according to Yoo and conservatives, Obama can do no wrong. Conservatism rests on rickety ideological foundations that go back to European monarchists – the aristocracy model of a nation. Which is one of the reasons they keep tripping over their own rules.
The clown who makes millions off selling conspiracy theories to people who he thinks are idiots chimes in on Juan Williams – Conspiracy: Conservative media link Beck’s “spooky dude” Soros to Williams firing
I’m still not quite over the most disgusting part of the Juan Williams spectacle yesterday: watching the very same people (on the Right and in the media) who remained silent about or vocally cheered on the viewpoint-based firings of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, Eason Jordan, Peter Arnett, Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield, Bill Maher, Ward Churchill, Chas Freeman, Van Jones and so many others, spend all day yesterday wrapping themselves in the flag of “free expression!!!” and screeching about the perils and evils of firing journalists for expressing certain viewpoints. Even for someone who expects huge doses of principle-free hypocrisy — as I do — that behavior is really something to behold. And anyone doubting that there is a double standard when it comes to anti-Muslim speech should just compare the wailing backlash from most quarters over Williams’ firing to the muted acquiescence or widespread approval of those other firings.
I usually don’t weigh in these types of stories. Glenn is correct about the inconsistencies and most of the arguments quickly get weighed down in appeals to overwrought emotions. It would have been fine with me if Williams had been fired for turning into a mediocre pundit, but he was fired for basically being an assclown. Glenn found this from Juan about Jewish prejudice against African-American customers,
Responding to Cohen’s argument, Williams said: “In this situation and all others, common sense in my constant guard. Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me.”
Williams made a Faustian deal with the devil when he decided to stay on at Fox years ago as one of their pet paper liberals. Gawker of all places puts aside the usual comic cynicism and notes, You’re Making a Bad Mistake, Juan Williams
Because, Juan, we now fear—and we wish we didn’t, but we do—that you have swallowed the Fox News company line. Which is that you are a hero. A heroic martyr, sacrificed upon the altar of NPR’s left-wing liberal correctness. Of course you are smarter than that, Juan, but it’s surely difficult to think very clearly when your brand new friends on the right are rushing to your defense and attacking the mean people who just fired you and dumping $2 million in your lap.
But here is what is much easier to see from the outside than it is for you to see from where you’re sitting, Juan: You are not a hero. You’re a decent guy who said something dumb. Apologize, try to improve, and move on. More importantly, these people, these newfound supporters, Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly and Mike Huckabee and Pat Buchanan and Roger Ailes, are not your friends. They are using you, Juan. They are using you because of who you suddenly are: a black, moderate, journalist who was fired from NPR for saying you don’t like Muslims. Those credentials are extremely valuable for Fox News, and for the right wing at large. Because they can be easily presented in a way that bolsters the myth of the “liberal media,” a myth which the right wing has used to shockingly successful effect over the last two decades, to systematically erode the influence of media outlets that they don’t like. Respected, earnest, good media outlets. Like NPR. Now, Juan, you are a convenient tool in their furtherance of this campaign. $2 million is cheap, for them. ( emphasis mine)
Apparently Williams thinks the money makes it worth being a useful tool. It is tragic, while I frequently disagree with Williams, he is was not exactly a villain and he was capable of good work as Glenn found in the forum in which Williams participated and reflects some of the core ideals that have run through his written work.
On Election Day 2008, Maruse Heath, the leader of Philadelphia’s New Black Panther Party, stood in front of a neighborhood polling place, dressed in a paramilitary uniform.
Within hours, an amateur video showing Heath, slapping a black nightstick and exchanging words with the videographer, had aired on TV and ricocheted across the nation.
Among those who saw the footage was J. Christian Adams, who was in his office in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in Washington.
“I thought, ‘This is wrong, this is not supposed to happen in this country,’ ” Adams said. “There are armed men in front of a polling place, and I need to find out if they violated the law, because in my mind there’s a good chance that they did.”
The clash between the black nationalist and the white lawyer has mushroomed into a fierce debate over the government’s enforcement of civil rights laws, a dispute that will be aired next week when the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unveils findings from a year-long investigation.
WaPo dos themselves a terrible disservice with that headline. The article goes on to be rather fair. The only “divisions” within the DOJ seems to be Adams and his obsession with two guys outside a polling place in Philadelphia. Where no actual voters complained about being intimidated. Even those the two idiots should not have been there that does automatically bring the incident up to the level of a federal civil rights violation. Here again is the Right’s inconsistency on display. If there were several complaints or there were people dressed in paramilitary garb outside of several places then there might be cause to bring in the feds. In this case the New Black panthers were more of a nuisance rather than a threat – a situation for local authorities to handle. Once again it is what WaPo left out that could make the story a little more accurate in fully describing Adams and other conservatives at the DOJ were trying to do – GOP vice chair: Conservatives on commission “had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president”
A scholar whom President George W. Bush appointed as vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom has a reputation as a tough conservative critic of affirmative action and politically correct positions on race.
But when it comes to the investigation that the Republican-dominated commission is now conducting into the Justice Department’s handling of an alleged incident of voter intimidation involving the New Black Panther Party — a controversy that has consumed conservative media in recent months — Thernstrom has made a dramatic break from her usual allies.
“This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers; this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” said Thernstrom, who said members of the commission voiced their political aims “in the initial discussions” of the Panther case last year.
“My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president,” Thernstrom said in an interview with POLITICO.
Booman Tribune’s take – WP Sends Racially-Charged Gift to GOP
Believe it or not, the average Philadelphian isn’t likely to take any special notice of a couple of faux Panthers making racist comments on a street corner, at least, not in the hustle-bustle of Center City. On Election Day, these guys just wanted to be seen. They didn’t have any interest in helping Obama get elected (they reportedly called him a tool of the white man), and any successful intimidation they did that day would have had over an eighty percent chance of costing Obama a vote.
So, without any victims or complainants, the case should have ended with no action. But that didn’t happen because the Republicans saw a golden opportunity to create a false equivalency argument and accuse the Justice Department of disinterest in the civil rights of white people.
Adams supposed obsession with poor voters being chased away is just that. He seems to get angrier and hyperbolic as the months pass and he doesn’t get the political traction he was hoping for.