Tag Archives: vice president

Obama Vice!

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Dick_Cheney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slate Magazine
war stories

Send Him Back to the Bunker!

Dick Cheney’s dishonest speech about torture, terror, and Obama.

By Fred Kaplan

Why does anyone still listen to what Dick Cheney has to say?

This morning’s back-to-back speeches on torture and terrorism—first by President Barack Obama, then by the former vice president—could have been an opportunity to weigh competing arguments, examine their premises, and chart an agenda for a serious debate.

Obama’s speech did exactly that. He spelled out his logic, backed up his talking points with facts, and put forth a policy grounded—at least in his view—not just in lofty ideals but also in hardheaded assessments of national security. Those who disagree with his conclusions could come away at least knowing where their paths diverged—what claims they’d need to challenge in mounting their opposition.

Cheney, on the other hand, built a case on straw men, red herrings, and lies. In short, his speech was classic Dick Cheney, with all the familiar scowls and scorn intact. The Manichean worldview, which Cheney advanced and enforced while in office, was on full display. After justifying “enhanced interrogation methods,” as part of the Bush administration’s “comprehensive strategy” in the wake of 9/11—and noting that the next seven and a half years saw no follow-on attack—he said this:

So we’re left to draw one of two conclusions, and here is the great dividing line in our current debate over national security. You can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. Or you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a one-off event … and not sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort.

This is a blatant evasion. The debate—or one of the debates—is, in fact, over whether or not the war on terror required “tough interrogations,” as Cheney called them. Does he believe—should anyone else believe—that removing one chunk of this strategy would cause the whole edifice to topple? If these interrogations are so essential, why did President Bush stop them in 2004? And why haven’t we been attacked since?

Cheney’s evasiveness is more basic than this. He still refuses to acknowledge what nearly everyone else has: that these interrogations did amount to torture. “Torture was never permitted,” he said, even while conceding the occasional water-boarding. These methods, he noted, “were given careful legal review before they were approved”—ignoring that these legal reviews were conducted by his own aides and have since been discredited almost uniformly.

Still, he persists. To call this program “torture,” he went on, “is to libel the dedicated professionals”—the “carefully chosen” CIA personnel who conducted the interrogations—”and to cast terrorists and murderers as innocent victims.” Of course, it does no such thing. Most of the criticisms, including President Obama’s, have been directed at the Bush administration’s top policymakers, not at those who carried out their orders. And nobody is claiming that the subjects of interrogation were “victims,” much less “innocent.” To decry torture does not imply the slightest sympathy for the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Cheney then dismissed the idea—hardly Obama’s alone—that the interrogation policies and the detention operations at Guantanamo have served as a “recruitment tool” for al-Qaida and other terrorists. This claim, he said, “excuses the violent and blames America for the evil that others do. It’s another version of that same old refrain from the Left: We brought it on ourselves.”

This is nonsense on a few levels. Nobody is claiming that Osama Bin Laden and his crew would go away if we treated prisoners more nicely. However, it is indisputable that the reports of torture, the photos from Abu Ghraib, and the legal limbo at Guantanamo have galvanized al-Qaida’s recruitment campaigns. Everyone acknowledges this, hardly just “the Left.” It’s why many Republicans lamented the news stories and the photographs—because they might help the enemy.

Cheney’s next volley against Obama—for releasing the Bush administration’s legal documents that justified water-boarding and other harsh practices—was where the outright lying began. “President Obama has reserved unto himself the right to order the use of enhanced interrogation, should he deem it appropriate,” Cheney said. Yet, this authority would have little use because, thanks to the release of the documents, “the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against.”

This argument might make sense, except that Obama has not reserved the right to use enhanced interrogation. In fact, he has explicitly, repeatedly, and unconditionally banned the practice. In his speech this morning, Obama said there was no security risk in releasing the Bush documents precisely because they no longer reflect U.S. policy.

Finally, Cheney pounded Obama for wanting to investigate and possibly prosecute, on criminal charges, those who approved and conducted the enhanced interrogations. Or, rather, he employed semantic sleight of hand—another long-standing Cheney technique—to suggest that this is what Obama wants. At first, Cheney said, “Over on the left wing of the president’s party … some are … demanding” such prosecutions. In the next sentence, he said, “It’s hard to imagine a worse precedent … than to have an incoming administration criminalizing the policy decisions of its predecessors.” (Italics added.)

By conflating “the left wing of the president’s party” with the “incoming administration,” Cheney aimed to leave the impression a) that Obama is left wing and b) that he is pushing for show trials.

This isn’t just sneaky—it’s wrong. First, as many left-wing Democrats have begun to discover, Obama is no leftist. Second, in his speech today, Obama clearly rejected the idea of prosecutions. Decrying “a return of the politicization of these issues” on both sides of the spectrum, Obama said, “I have no interest in spending our time relitigating the policies of the last eight years.”

However, in the course of inveighing against official inquiries (perhaps because, if they ever took place, he would certainly find himself in the docket), Cheney also condemned an idea that—if he is telling the truth—would serve his interests. This is the idea of convening a “Truth Commission,” and it may be the one idea that might settle the only legitimate question that Cheney raised in his speech: Does torture work? Or, to put it another way: Should a president take the option of torture irrevocably off the table? Are there circumstances under which he might want to put it back on?

Cheney’s main point, in his speech and in other recent statements, is that torture (even if he doesn’t want to call it that) works; that it squeezed important information out of the few “high-value” terrorists on whom it was inflicted; that this information saved thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of lives; that there are documents supporting this claim, and that Obama should declassify and release them.

Obama disputes this point. “As commander-in-chief,” he said in his speech this morning, “I see the intelligence … and I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation.”

The preponderance of available evidence supports Obama’s side of the argument: that torture does not work; that, to the extent it does get someone to talk, what he says is often untrue; that some al-Qaida terrorists were water-boarded several times a day, for up to a month, and still didn’t provide the information that top Bush officials wanted them to say; and that the most useful information was gained through more creative, less violent means.

But look: We—meaning those of us who don’t have special, compartmentalized security clearances—don’t know, can’t possibly know, the full story. Were there cases in which CIA interrogators learned a lot by torturing a prisoner? Did those revelations save lives? Could the information have been acquired through other means?

The objections to torture—expressed not just by President Obama, but by many others, including Sen. John McCain and nearly every senior U.S. military officer who has spoken out on the subject—may well hold, even if it happens that torture did “work” on a few occasions.

But this debate is far from over. Today’s two speeches are more likely to intensify than settle the controversy. What’s wrong with assembling a truth commission, an independent body empowered to examine all the documents and subpoena witnesses, behind firmly closed doors? Cheney said at the start of the speech that his successors’ policies should be based on “a truthful telling of history.” Let the telling begin.

http://www.slate.com/id/2218762/pagenum/all/#p2

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Blaming Sarah Palin!

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The blame game has begun and it is not pretty.  When Fox News starts trashing Republicans you have to agree that it is credible concerning the fact that they make their living off of trashing Democrats. When any campaign crashes and burns the finger pointing starts immediately.  I am thankful that this woman did not become the vice president.

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Osama bin-Laden Shocker!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a daring attempt to salvage the 2008 election the McCain Campaign airlifted Sarah Palin into the mountainous regions along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border to find, capture, or kill Osama bin-Laden like he was an Alaskan moose.  Unfortunately for Palin, Allah intervened and converted her to Islam.

Al Jazeera has reported that Osama bin-Laden has taken Sarah Palin as his fifth wife.  In a statement that the Associated Mess has been unable to confirm, Palin said “The First Dude was okay but Osama is much maverickier! You know?  Like riding a snowmobile is way cool and such, but Osama lives in a cave, a real cave, unlike the Batcave and stuff.  And I can see Waziristan from the entrance of our cave!  You betcha!”

While all of this was going on, Allah’s older brother God was in human form playing skeeball somewhere in New Jersey wearing a McCain/Palin tee shirt.  When the word got to God what Allah had done to his most loyal subject, he immediately returned to Heaven forgetting to cash in his tickets for a pair of Chinese handcuffs. 

Citing older deity privilege, God left Heaven and went into Paradise where He gave Allah a real good talking to!  God then converted Palin back into his most loyal Christian warrior and annulled her marriage to bin-Laden.  Realizing that she was once again a Christian hating Muslim hockey mom; she unsheathed her K Bar slitting Osama’s throat and field dressed him in under ten minutes.

Kahless the Unforgettable, God of the Klingon Empire was so impressed He awarded her with honorary citizenship in the Klingon Empire!  When we tried to conact Mr. Worf for a comment, His spokesman replied that “Mr. Worf is on a prune juice binge and was unavailable for comment!”

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Palin Punked!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORONTO (AP) — Sarah Palin unwittingly took a prank call Saturday from a Canadian comedian posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and telling her she would make a good president someday.

“Maybe in eight years,” replies a laughing Palin.

The call was made by a well-known Montreal comedy duo Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel. Known as the Masked Avengers, the two are notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state.

Audette, posing as Sarkozy, speaks in an exaggerated French accent and drops ample hints that the conversation is a joke. But Palin seemingly does not pick up on them.

He tells Palin one of his favorite pastimes is hunting, also a passion of the 44-year-old Alaska governor.

“I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun,” the fake Sarkozy says.

Playing off the governor’s much-mocked comment in an early television interview that she had insights into foreign policy because “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska,” the caller tells her: “You know we have a lot in common also, because … from my house I can see Belgium.”

She replies: “Well, see, we’re right next door to different countries that we all need to be working with, yes.”

When Audette refers to Canadian singer Steph Carse as Canada’s prime minister, Palin replies: “Well, he’s doing fine and yeah, when you come into a position underestimated it gives you an opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong. You work that much harder.” Canada’s prime minister is Stephen Harper.

Palin praises Sarkozy throughout the call and also mentions his wife Carla Bruni, a model-turned-songwriter.

The Sarkozy impersonator tells Palin his wife is “so hot in bed” and then informs her that Bruni has written a song for her about Joe the Plumber entitled “Du rouge a levres sur une cochonne” – which translates as “Lipstick on a Pig.”

The caller asks Palin if Joe the Plumber is her husband and adds: “We have the equivalent of Joe the Plumber in France. It’s called Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit.”

He also tells the Alaska governor that he loved the “documentary” made about her and referred to a pornographic film with a Palin look-alike made by Hustler founder Larry Flynt.

She answers tentatively, “Ohh, good, thank you, yes.”

The callers then reveal the prank and identify themselves and their radio station.

“Ohhh, have we been pranked?” Palin asks before handing the phone to an aide who ends the call.

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Whack Job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest!

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Joe Biden Shocker!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the night prior to appearing on Meet the Press, Joe Biden was at the Articulate and Clean Bar in downtown Washington, DC downing shots and drinking beer with a group of buddies. The verbose Senator and vice presidential candidate was telling the group his latest version of his life story that somehow, eerily mirrored that of Green Acres actress Eva Gabor.  Leaving the bar, Biden stepped into a local drug store to buy a few toiletries since he was spending the night in town instead of taking the train home.  Half drunk, he bought Miracle Grow plant food instead of regular shampoo.

Somehow the Miracle Grow had an adverse effect on his hair plugs and when he awoke the next morning he had a head full of hair and a beard.  Undeterred, he made it to the NBC studio to tape Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw.  Responding to Brokaw’s question on what it would be like in the first few days of an Obama Administration Biden replied:  “Obama will be tested by God pitting Obama against the Anti-Christ in a 15 minute steel cage death match.  He will not win it because he has steel in his spine but because I’ll be in his corner with holy water from Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow Catholic Church!”

On a commercial break, an operative from the Obama campaign took out a billy club and whacked Biden on the head knocking him out.  In a press release the Obama campaign announced that the Senator was taken to Bethesda Naval Medical Center where he was being treated for exhaustion.  However, our sources are reporting that he is being held pending an emergency haircut and a shave and will have his mouth wired shut until after the election!

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Post Election Penthouse Spread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am pleased to announce that the Associated Mess has been nominated for 6 Pinocchio awards for fabrication of journalism.  While we are not standing by any story we write, we are not flat out denying them either.  We look forward to going head to head with the National Enquirer.  Let the best news organization win!

In another shocking development coming out of the McCain campaign, the Associated Mess has learned that Sarah Palin has signed an exclusive contract with Penthouse Magazine for a full spread, all done in the very best possible taste. 

One of our reporters caught up with her on the campaign trail and confronted the vice presidential candidate who confirmed the story by saying “You betcha, this hockey mom is going to milk my popularity for every nickel.  Todd can’t win the snowmobile race every year and I just might get impeached.  A girl has got to take advantage of every opportunity she gets! (Wink, Wink)”

The Associated Mess has obtained the proof sheet of some of the upcoming photos.  Rock on hockey mom!

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