Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 41801 - 41820 of total 54847 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2013 - 11:22pm PT
The US Invasion of Iraq Was a Crime and Its Perpetrators Are Murderers

On the criminology of the Iraq War on its tenth anniversary

by Paul Savoy
Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Common Dreams

Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, it is astonishing in a nation dedicated to the rule of law that every aspect of the war has been debated except the relevant law.

To be sure, a vast array of articles, books and films have documented how pre-war intelligence was "manipulated" or "misrepresented" or "twisted" or "cherry-picked" or "fixed around the policy," and how the Bush Administration's inadequate planning produced a "fiasco," a "blunder," and a "disaster" -- terms used to convey the sinister nature and catastrophic effect of White House miscalculations without actually accusing anyone of anything so incriminating as a felony.

Two notable exceptions are former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's book, "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," which encountered a virtual boycott by the major news media when published in 2008, and "United States v. George W. Bush et al.," by Elizabeth de la Vega, a former Assistant U.S Attorney who meticulously presents the case for criminal fraud under a little-known federal statute that does not require monetary loss by the victim as a condition for conviction. Both books rest their case on proof of deliberate deception by the President and members of his war cabinet -- not an easy hurdle to overcome in a criminal trial, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Intentional killings based on a mistake are not accidents... if the mistake was predicated on an unreasonable belief about the justification for the killing.

Contrary to common belief, however, an American president can be found guilty of criminal conduct without proof of the corrupt state of mind of the deliberate liar or the malignant motives of Nazis on trial at Nuremberg. The criminal mind also encompasses the all-too-common consciousness of human beings acting carelessly in deciding to kill other human beings, however justified their conduct may seem in their own eyes.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion, the only truly serious question about the war is whether President George W. Bush and those who participated in the decision to invade Iraq did anything illegal or unconstitutional or criminal.

To raise such a question about a war initiated by own's own country is always "a vocation of agony," as Martin Luther King, Jr. said of the war in Vietnam when he finally chose in 1967 to break his silence about the conflict. Whatever the reasons for avoiding the Iraq question, whether it is President Obama's understandable fear of further polarizing a sorely divided nation, or out of respect for the 4,422 Americans who gave their lives fighting for what they believed was a just cause, or because the legal issues are too big or too difficult, we must finally say about Iraq what Dr. King said about Vietnam. "We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak."

The whole litany of excuses for the catastrophe in Iraq has been recited in the language of mistake and misadventure, as if the war were a tragic accident, like a colossal train wreck caused by an act of God.

Intentional killings based on a mistake are not accidents, however, if the mistake was predicated on an unreasonable belief about the justification for the killing. This is the case whether the person on trial is a police officer who killed an innocent citizen in the mistaken belief that the suspect had a gun and presented a lethal threat, or a president who ordered the invasion of Iraq in the mistaken belief that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs that posed a threat to America's national security.

If a police officer's belief that his victim posed a deadly threat was not only wrong, but unreasonable, in the sense that a prudent police officer exercising due diligence in similar circumstances would not have fired his weapon, the killing constitutes criminal homicide. There is considerable disagreement among the courts and legal commentators about whether the homicide is murder or is to be treated more leniently, either as voluntary manslaughter or the lesser offense of negligent homicide, but there is universal agreement that carelessness in the use of deadly force is criminal.

What did the President know and when did he know it? Wrong question. The proper question is: What should a reasonably prudent president have known about the legal justification for invading Iraq and why didn't the President know it?

We are so used to war and the threat of war as a legitimate adjunct of foreign policy that we easily lose sight of the reality that war consists of acts which, if performed by a private citizen or organization, would constitute serious felonies: mass murder, assaults with deadly weapons, maiming, arson, kidnaping, and the malicious destruction of property. The law immunizes political leaders from criminal liability so long as the war is legally justified. As a matter of international law, this generally means in compliance with the U.N. Charter. In terms of domestic law, it means in compliance with the U.S. Consitution, which requires either a declaration of war or a congressional authorization for the use of military force.

A careful reading of the Authorization for the Use of Force adopted by large bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate shows the congressional authorization was hardly the "blank check" the news media portrayed it as. Congress limited the President's use of military force against Iraq by authorizing war only to:

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

The use of the word "and" after the first paragraph is critical. While Congress did not require an imminent or immediate threat, it was not prepared to authorize the President to go to war over a violation of a Security Council Resolution involving WMDs unless there was also some likelihood that if left unchecked, Saddam would present a "continuing threat" of using those weapons against the United States in the foreseeable future.

In fact, there was no continuing threat because Saddam did not actually possess any WMDs. Nor were there reasonable grounds to believe at the time of the invasion that Saddam Hussein presented such a threat. The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (pdf), prepared for the President by the CIA and other intelligence agencies and made available to him five months before the invasion, made clear that while there were reasonable grounds to believe that "Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons," Saddam would not use them against the United States unless Iraq were attacked by us or threatened with an "imminent or unavoidable" attack.

The NIE, originally classified as Top Secret and released to the public in July 2003, contained this Key Judgment: "Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW [chemical and biological warfare] against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraq involvement would provide Washington a stronger case for making war. Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the US Homeland if Baghdad feared [that] an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge."

In other words, a reasonably prudent president would have known from reading the NIE that as long as the United States did not attack or threaten to attack, Iraq posed no continuing threat to the United States, as the congressional authorization required. A reasonable president therefore would have known that invading Iraq would have been unconstitutional.

If President Bush knew he had no constitutional authority to go to war, then he knowingly broke the law and a properly instructed jury would have little difficulty in finding him guilty of murder. Even if he was not conscious of any wrongdoing, which seems more likely, a jury would still be warranted in finding him guilty, at the very least, of criminally negligent homicide if it found that his ignorance constituted a failure to perform the duties of his office with due diligence.

The mother whose dead body was found in the bombed ruins of Baghdad, holding her baby so tight they could not be pried apart and had to be buried together, can no longer be dismissed as "collateral damage." That mother and child, and the more than 3,000 Iraqi civilians killed directly by U.S. bombs and artillery fire in the first month alone, as well as the Iraqi troops killed while defending their country against an arguably unlawful and unreasonable attack, may have been victims of criminal homicide.

Without criminal trials, we will never know. The law, Justice Holmes reminded us, is nothing more than a prediction of how courts will rule in particular cases, and in cases involving jury trial, we should add, a prediction of what jurors will decide in applying the law to the facts. Until we have court decisions and jury verdicts, statements about the legality or constitutionality or criminality of the war in Iraq, or enhanced interrogations, or targeted killings, or the "war on terror" itself, will remain on the Opinion Page and continue to elude even the judgment of history.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Doc Fry...Unlike the pansy democrat liberals , the repubs are strong on national security..Never mind that brain surgeon Georgy boy let a rag tag group of saudis hijack our Airliners and kill thousands of Americans...He more than compensated by showing those Al Quaeda hoodlums who's boss by attacking the Iraqis'...More conservative logic in action...

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
Late night comedians who tell joke about Republicans
will get more tax exemptions but will get IRS audit if the joke
is about our great president.

This is how equal protection under the law should work to silence
abusers of the first amendment.

Another tin hat full of fiction.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
Stupid liberal peaceniks, they just don't know how to invade helpless countries for pillage. no wonder we have a revenue problem, not enough stealing from other countries to balance to books after giving away the treasury to Wall Street and the banksters

Social climber
So Cal
Mar 22, 2013 - 11:43pm PT
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
For the wacko Far right wing Tea Baggers, Fox News isn't far enough to the right, they need to go way further in spewing out lies and propaganda!!

Or in other words, they have given up their critical thinking skills for ideology and cultism.

Why Tea Partiers Are Boycotting Fox News

by David FreedlanderMar 23, 2013 4:45 AM

First it was the ‘left’ turn after the election, then Benghazi coverup accusations. Activists have a list of demands for the conservative network, which some say is ‘not as fair and balanced as I thought.’

Is Fox News going soft?

That is what a number of Tea Party activists are saying and they are organizing a boycott to protest the conservative station’s coverage, especially what they view as the network’s relative silence in investigating the attacks on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“Particularly after the election, Fox keeps turning to the left,” said Stan Hjerlied, 75, of Fort Collins, Colo., and a participant in the boycott. He pointed to an interview Fox News CEO Roger Ailes gave after the election in which he said that the Republican Party and Fox News need to modernize, especially around immigration. “So we are really losing our only conservative network.”

The three-day boycott lasted Thursday morning through Sunday morning, and is the second time this group of activists have gone Fox-free in an effort to steer the coverage. Organizers say a two-day boycott earlier this month knocked 20 percent off of the network’s regular viewership. (A Daily Beast analysis of the same data showed that the boycott had little effect.)

A spokeswoman for Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

A leader of the boycott, Kathy Amidon, of Nashville, declined an interview, instead directing The Daily Beast to a website, Benghazi-Truth. The website, a single-page, 23,000-word manifesto complete with multicolored fonts, supposedly incriminating videos of Fox News’s complicity in a coverup, and communist propaganda photographs, is kept by someone who identifies himself online as “Proe Graphique,” and who other members of boycott described as someone who works “in New York media.”

By way of explanation, the website reports: “People ask why not all mainstream media? Why just Boycott FOX? The answer, again, is that FOX needs the Tea Party/conservatives more than the conservatives need FOX after FOX turned left, basically selling out the people who made FOX successful in an attempt to earn an extra buck. FOX is extremely vulnerable to these boycotts while the rest of the MSM doesn’t need us at all, to speak of.”

Organizers then encourage would-be Fox News viewers to wait until the One America network, which is supposed to launch this summer as an alternative to Fox, goes on the air.

Is Bill O'Reilly a secret liberal? From gun control to the environment, watch him take surprising stands.

The night of the first boycott, Fox News host Sean Hannity devoted a segment to the attacks called “Six Months of Deceit.” Organizers didn’t watch it—since they were boycotting the network—and said that it was too little, too late, anyway.

“We have seen FOX suddenly get very loud about Benghazi after the 1st boycott, but conservatives are conservative because they are not stupid,” the website reads. “We recognize, easily, loud noise which is low on substance. In other words, by whining loudly about Benghazi without the kind of hard-hitting investigative reporting that brought down Nixon over Watergate, what we are seeing from FOX IMO is smoke and mirrors; a trick, to fool us into dutifully genuflecting at their [sic] alter of their arrogant hosts who throw us crumbs with one hand while insulting us with the other. If we want FOX to get serious, we’re going to have to keep hitting them hard. And that is just exactly what we're going to do.”

Amidon and Proe Graphique—who goes by the Twitter handle FrankMDavis, an apparent reference to the leftist poet who conspiracy theorists believe was Obama’s real father—send out dozens of tweets every day to ideological allies, asking them to contact their representatives to join the boycott.

“The more I looked at it, I have come to the conclusion that Fox is not as fair and balanced as I thought. They shade the truth also.”

Going without the conservative movement’s house organ, however, has proven to be no easy task for true believers.

“I am having withdrawal. I do like Fox News,” said Kevin Avard, a former state lawmaker in New Hampshire who is participating in the boycott. “I have been going to CNN, and to Headline News just to get some kind of fix. I usually probably only watch them once or twice a year.”

Hjerlied said that “If I want news, I go to Breitbart News and Drudge and I can find all the news I need, very quickly,” and after the first boycott, says he may have “kicked the habit” for good.

“I used to have it on all day long, and I probably watched maybe six hours last week,” he said. “The more I looked at it, I have come to the conclusion that Fox is not as fair and balanced as I thought. They shade the truth also.”

Donnie Farner, 48, works as a chimney sweep in central Pennsylvania and runs a website, Proud Conservative, which sells right-leaning memorabilia like “Liberals Are Friggin Idiots” T-shirts and bumper stickers which read “Ten Out of Ten Terrorists Recommend Voting Democrat.”

He said staying away from Fox News, and in particular its website, is harder than he realized.

“It is honestly because Fox is everywhere. If you are on Twitter, you click on a link, chances are it might go through Mediaite or Drudge, but it ends up at Fox because Fox originated the story.”

He quickly clicks away, instead relying on Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze to stay informed.

“The more I research into Fox—I saw that they donate more to Democratic candidates than conservative or Republican candidates—I was like holy cow! Maybe they are just trying to snatch our pockets. Maybe they are just talking the talk, because it sure doesn’t look like they are walking the walk.”

Among the demands the protesters have is that Fox News “be the right-wing CBS News: to break stories, to break information, and to do what news organizations have always done with such stories: break politicians,” that the network have at least one segment on Benghazi every night on two of its prime-time shows; that Fox similarly devote investigative resources to discovering the truth of Obama’s birth certificate; and that the network cease striving to be “fair and balanced.”


Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Mar 24, 2013 - 12:20pm PT

I was under the impression that Fox News fell under the "Sitcom" category...



Mar 24, 2013 - 12:25pm PT

Hjerlied said that “If I want news, I go to Breitbart News and Drudge and I can find all the news I need, very quickly,”


Me too

All you need to know, really


Mar 24, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Obama Gets Netanyahu To Apologize To Turkey For Humanitarian Flotilla Attack


In a visit filled with poignancy, symbolism and, yes, substance, one of the most dramatic and unexpected moments came minutes before Air Force One departed Israel for Jordan. As the milky white sky gave signs of trying to clear, Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped inside a trailer on the tarmac and made a historic call to Turkey's prime minister.

When the call was over, Israel and Turkey had restored diplomatic relations. After an acrimonious three-year dispute over a botched and lethal 2010 Israeli raid on a Turkish-flagged flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade, Netanyahu apologized.

The reconciliation was not all Obama's doing, but he gave the final push that allowed two pivotal Washington allies to work out their differences at a time when events in Syria and Iran demand the United States and its friends work closely together.

And this is how real leaders actually lead.


Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Mar 24, 2013 - 06:56pm PT




Mar 24, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
Netanyahu is the number one aszhole on the planet right now and has been for many years.

He's the biggest terrorist on the planet period.

Number One .....

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Mar 24, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
The only thing going for Netayahoo is that he's not a stupid American getting rescued off El Cap...

Somewhere out there
Mar 24, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Netanyahu is the number one aszhole on the planet right now and has been for many years.

 Never thought I'd say it…. I agree with Werner.


Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Mar 24, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
It is hard to disagree with the truth. Unless your a RepuliTEAhadist or a FOX viewer.

Social climber
So Cal
Mar 24, 2013 - 11:48pm PT
1. The Turkish armed forces are heavily dependent on Israeli military technologies from the long years of the close alliance between the two countries, which Ankara cut short. This dependence applies most particularly to its drones, the backbone of today’s modern armies. It is also holding up the huge transaction for the sale of American Boeing Awacs electronic warning airplanes to Turkey.

Boeing was unable to deliver the aircraft without Jerusalem’s consent, because a key component, the early warning systems, is designed in Israel. This consent has been withheld in the face of Turkey’s urgent need and the US aviation firm’s impatience to consummate the deal.

Turkey is in need of those planes - not just to monitor events in neighboring wartorn Syria, but to complete its air defense lineup against Iranian ballistic missiles. Without the AWACs, the advanced FBX-radar system the US has stationed at the Turkish Kurecik air base is only partly operational. The Kurecik battery is linked to its equivalent at a US base in the Israeli Negev, a fact which Ankara chooses to conceal.

2. In view of the turmoil in Syria, the bulk of Turkey’s exports destined for the Persian Gulf and points farther east have been diverted to the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod, whereas just a year ago, they went through Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Since no end is seen to the Syrian conflict and the closure of the Turkish-Syrian border, more and more export traffic from Turkey is making its way through Haifa port and thence by rail across Israel to Jordan. Turkish goods bound for destinations in Europe and the US are diverted to Israeli ports too as Egyptian ports are made increasingly dysfunctional by that country’s economic crisis..
3. In the first year of the Syrian uprising, when Davutoglu was still a frequent traveler to Damascus for talks with Bashar Assad, Ankara entertained high hopes of becoming a major player for resolving the Syrian debacle. But he also sought to strike a deal with the Lebanese Hizballah, Assad’s ally, for obstructing Israeli gas and oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean
Three years on, Turkish leaders have woken up to the realization that they had better hurry up and jump aboard the US-backed Israeli energy bandwagon or else they will miss out on an outstanding and lucrative economic development, namely, the forthcoming opening up of a Mediterranean gas exporting route to Europe.

4. Turkey, Israel and Jordan are all in the same boat as targets for the approaching large-scale use of Syria’s chemical and biological weapons.

The real reasons for the Israeli/Turkish/Jordanian Kabuki theater.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 25, 2013 - 12:14am PT
The senate turned down anything to do with the UN treaty! Score one for the people! Sooo much for that Obama brain fart.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2013 - 11:48am PT
What is the definition of a Right Winger?

Short version, "an a-hole with a stick up his ass."

that about covers everyone of them
but you could add ignorant, selfish, hypocritical, reactionary, easily manipulated, easily brainwashed, responds to fear and "Fake Outrage"
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
For John E.

The asthma rate is 22% among children in Fresno because of the high PAH levels in the air, Fresno has the 5th worst Air Pollution in CA.
The asthma rate is 9.5% for the US as a whole.
"Science News, March 23, 2013"

Is that acceptable to you? Is it acceptable to you if it was far worse without our Air Pollution regulations we have in CA?

Fresno has laxer regs than LA, should LA relax the regs too? so we can higher asthma rates

The Air Pollution regs create 1000s of jobs as well, mine being one of them.
I can see no negative for having strict Air Pollution Regs, the only problem being the CEOs and stock holders can't rake in as much money.

So it comes down to "health for many vs. greed for a few"
What would Jesus say?

Mar 25, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
"The real reasons for the Israeli/Turkish/Jordanian Kabuki theater."

"The senate turned down anything to do with the UN treaty! Score one for the people! Sooo much for that Obama brain fart."

Hahahahaha, and the yapping little chihuahuas have spoken.

Meanwhile, in the adult world...

With Obama as Broker, Israelis and Turkey End Dispute


Under persistent prodding from President Obama, Israel and Turkey resolved a bitter three-year dispute on Friday with a diplomatic thaw that will help a fragile region confront Syria’s civil war, while handing the president a solid accomplishment as he closed out his visit to the Middle East.

The breakthrough took place in the most improbable of surroundings: a trailer parked on the tarmac of Ben-Gurion International Airport. Moments before Mr. Obama left for Jordan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and apologized for deadly errors in Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish ship that was trying to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

After years of angrily demanding an apology, Mr. Erdogan accepted Mr. Netanyahu’s gesture, and both sides agreed to dispatch envoys to each other’s nations, having recalled them in 2011.

The president’s involvement, a senior American official said, was crucial to both leaders, which is why Mr. Netanyahu scheduled the call before Mr. Obama’s departure from Israel.

Mr. Erdogan insisted on speaking to Mr. Obama first before the president handed the phone over to Mr. Netanyahu. In the end, the call produced a win-win for all sides.

And a fail-fail for the yapping chihuahuas.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 25, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
whacko leftys- the equal and opposite of WESTBORO types. About says it all.

meanwhile,, Obama was ducking missiles that hamas was sending into Israel why he was there.. Yeah another good job on the "cease fire" the admin helped make LMAO!
Messages 41801 - 41820 of total 54847 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews