Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hey Stephanopolis, Who Said This?

"I'm still mystified by the Clinton paradox: How could a president so intelligent, so compassionate, so public-spirited, and so conscious of his place in history act in such a stupid, selfish, and self-destructive manner? "

After you stellar performance with Giblets moderating the debate last night, I have a question for you:

"How could a president television personality so intelligent, so compassionate, so public-spirited, and so conscious of his place in history the media limelight act debase himself in such a stupid, selfish, and self-destructiveFOX-news-like manner?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Torture's Slippery Slope

In the week in which Diaz received the Ridenhour Prize, another Pentagon “secret” was disclosed. This “secret” was a memorandum made to order for William J. Haynes II, Rumsfeld’s General Counsel, and the man at the apex of the Pentagon’s military justice system that tried, convicted and sentenced Diaz. The memo was authored by John Yoo. This memorandum was designed to authorize the introduction of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation techniques to be used upon prisoners held at Guantánamo, and ultimately also used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The memorandum authorized waterboarding, long-time standing, hypothermia, the administration of psychotropic drugs and sleep deprivation in excess of two days in addition to a number of other techniques.
... it is clear that Haynes had previously authorized the use of the torture techniques, and had secured an order from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld authorizing them.
Following the implementation of these techniques, more than 108 detainees died in detention. In a large number of these cases, the deaths have been ruled a homicide and connected to torture. These homicides were a forseeable consequence of the advice that Haynes and Yoo gave.

In America, we don't punish or torture accused criminals to elicit confessions. Our previous longstanding mantra of "innocent until proven guilty" has always, for the most part, been used to attempt to guarantee that the right individuals are brought to justice and to prevent the wrongly accused from being punished.

Now we are allowing the torture of "terrorists", while allowing ourself the false comfort of believing it is ok since they are not American citizens.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: how long before torture becomes accepted practice within our own criminal justice system. Where, exactly, do we draw the line?