Saturday, February 20, 2010

Alexander Haig

When John Hinckley tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan, then-Secretary of State Al Haig, who died today, infamously announced to the White House press corps, "I am in control." Many of my fellow liberals pilloried him for this.

They were wrong. Worse, they had to know that they were wrong.

On that very day, it was clear to me from his remarks that he said what he said to reassure our friends and warn our adversaries that our government was not leaderless. That was indeed public service - and not a power grab - and he bore the scars from those attacks with honor like the soldier he was.

I didn't agree with his politics - though it looks pretty good compared to current Republicans - but I didn't question his basic understanding of and adherence to the Constitution - again, unlike current Republicans.


globeisatrocious said...

Authors of waterboarding memos won't be disciplined

By Carrie Johnson and Julie Tate
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bush administration lawyers who wrote memos that paved the way for waterboarding of terrorism suspects and other harsh interrogation tactics "exercised poor judgment" but will not face discipline for their actions, according to long-awaited Justice Department documents released Friday.

lovable liberal said...

It's appalling the Bill Clinton surrendered his license to practice law while these criminals face zero sanctions. The Washington establishment protects its own.

(For those who'd like to read for themselves, the WaPo story is here, and the key OPR document is here (long PDF).)

globeisatrocious said...

Clinton lied under oath. Oh, and he paid a fine, too. What a great reference point for relevatism, the essence of the Clinton legacy. And on Washington's birthday, what a contrast.

lovable liberal said...

Not sure what any of this has to do with Al Haig.

John Yoo and Jay Bybee - and this decision - have eliminated professional responsibility in the Justice Department, which is now responsible only to give the President whatever loose tissue of legalistic bullshit he asks for. Government of laws? Ha.

And they did it as war criminals. At least, if they had written such briefs for any of our enemies, we would have prosecuted them as war criminals. Were we wrong before?

An inconsequential lie vs. covering for torture? Yeah, there's the craaazy love of hypocrisy at the heart of Republicans.

lovable liberal said...

Accidentally rejected globeisatrocious's latest comment...

Here it is in all its, uh, glory:
>Not sure what any of this has to do with Al Haig.

I am as mystified by what Clinton's workplace sexual harassment trial has to do with another Obama disappointment.

He has accused me of "revelatism". Well, someone's revelling.

Offenses should be punished relatively, though I'm well aware from previous conversations at Philosoraptor that gia is obtuse on this point. Jaywalking doesn't merit prison. You'd think that simple example would be enough to get light to dawn on Marblehead, but no...

globeisatrocious said...

The Dems still have not outlawed waterboarding. It is still perfectly legal, today. Perjury not so much.

Google: "While You Are Distracted by the Summit, Obama Democrats Are Targeting the CIA"

lovable liberal said...

Waterboarding was illegal all along, and it still is. Even the Bushists backed off of it, despite the tissue of lies concocted by the OPR to cover their asses.

globeisatrocious said...

It's not illegal - you did not google it and read it.

Here's another hope and change special, one year on (and late on a Sat. night): President Obama Signs One-Year Extension of Patriot Act

Maybe we can turn this thread into the blog you won't do

lovable liberal said...

No, I didn't do what you demanded I do. Why would I? Torture is illegal. Waterboarding is torture.

Any attempt to pretend the contrary is self-service colonoscopy.

globeisatrocious said...

The Dem bill would outlaw waterboarding and

- “Exploiting the phobias of the individual” (caterpillars)

- Stress positions and the threatened use of force to maintain stress positions

- “Depriving the individual of necessary food, water, sleep, or medical care”

- Forced nudity

- Using military working dogs (i.e., any use of them — not having them attack or menace the individual; just the mere presence of the dog if it might unnerve the detainee and, of course, “exploit his phobias”)

- Coercing the individual to blaspheme or violate his religious beliefs

- Exposure to “excessive” cold, heat or “cramped confinement” (excessive and cramped are not defined)

- “Prolonged isolation”

- “Placing hoods or sacks over the head of the individual”

if these things will be illegal, are they not legal now? Good to know that KSM will get a good night's sleep

lovable liberal said...

Lots of new law gets proposed after prosecutors fail to bring to account violators of old law. The Republican Party favors torture, claims we didn't torture, and nonetheless backed off the practice of torture. It's typically incoherent, the rantings of people who believe that they can do no wrong - even if they have to change the plain meaning of a word mid-paragraph. It's really a god complex.

globeisatrocious said...

>Lots of new law gets proposed

and disposed.

The transformational president is looking like the third term of Bush. But worse.

lovable liberal said...

Disappointing, sure. Actively bad, not at all.

Of course, you'd prefer a third Bushist term, so you're concern trolling.