Monday, April 20, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related posts welcomed.


gopol said...

Let's all be very concerned with how to define our dear GOP with Reihan Salam (New America Foundation, Council on Foreign Relations, NBC, NYT, basic all-round oligarchnik) and M.D. Laxalt (daughter of Paul and overall death maiden to Reagan at AID, see

Did you know John Huntsman is (a Mormon), out of the grace of his heart (National Ambitions) moving towards the center! No mention of Huntsman's marvelously title book, "Winners Don't Cheat."

Laxalt is Reagan-Goldwater-Libertarian axis who doesn't want to be your moral compass. Believes in something called the "average Republican traditionalist" and, surprise, wants to distance the party from Karl Rove = GWB, whom she worked very hard to elect. Wertheimer calls her "flatfooted" which, as far as I can tell, doesn't mean anything but is meant perhaps to suggest "blunt" or "forthright" or "honest" or "having integrity." I'm really sick of that canard: whenever a Republican says something that's meant to be deviously manipulative the NPR host will characterize it as "candid" or the like.

Did you know that Social Conservatism is misunderstood and that it's actually closely tied to sort of economic conservatism that has characterized American life over the last 20-30 years? And what can we do about the shrinking of the GOP? Let a 1000 flowers bloom!

But oh no! We're shrinking!!!! Women and children don't like following orders of white old Republican Men (WORMs) and Palin didn't do her homework!! The winking beauty pagent thing didn't work?!

But - wait for the pro-Republican twist at the end (which never fails) - Did you know a lot can change in a short period of time? First we'll take Manhattan, then we'll take the world. Don't short change the notion that we can blame everything on the Democrats!!!

WarOnWarOff said...

Wonder if NPR's pro-US government (torture...cough...rendition...cough cough) views of international law and justice have changed with the sentencing of Roxana Saberi? Oooh, and that CRAZY Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked the chief prosecutor to reexamine the case! How CRAZY!

Anonymous said...

NPR earlier this morning listed Roxana Saberi's employers as NPR, BBC & FOX. After 8AM her employers were listed as NPR & BBC.

I had not realized that the Thought Police did not start work until 8AM Monday? Must be a great gig? I wonder if they get medical and dental?

George said...

My god, the neocon bile was flowing this AM, as Morning Edition took the President to task for releasing the torture memos. Great Damage, a travesty they said. They also made sure the Vice President Cheney was treated as if he were still in office. Simply nauseating.

Anonymous said...

the neocon bile was flowing this AM, as Morning Edition took the President to task for releasing the torture memos.It's actually surreal.

Not only has torture become acceptable -- at least among the Washington elite in White House and Congress (where's McCain in all this?), but revealing the US's torture techniques has now become a "threat to national security".

My God, it's not like waterboarding is something the US invented and no one else knows about -- and is now our "secret weapon" that lends us some kind of huge advantage over everyone else (kind of like nukes when we had them and no else did).

Every day, the US becomes more like a Franz Kafka story (The Trial and others). It's theater of the absurd at its best (or worst, if you happen to be the one being tortured).

PS If I were Obama and members of Congress (Pelosi, Rockefeller, Feinstein, Dodd and others) I would not misunderestimate the American public on this.

I'd guess that most Americans are shocked by all this -- and thoroughly disgusted that Obama, who actually has a law degree, believe it or not* has the audacity to suggest that we should just "forgive, forget and move on".

*Obama's law degree is from it's from Harvard, so on second thought, his apparent cluelessness of our laws and Constitution are at least understandable. Harvard law seems to produce almost as many quacks as Harvard Business school.

Anonymous said...

RE: America "Kafkaesque"

"Cheney demands release of CIA memos proving torture 'success' "

"Former US vice-president Cheney says CIA memos showed torture methods such as waterboarding delivered 'good' intelligence " -- by Ewan MacAskill and Robert Booth




Have to say Amen to the Morning Edition sucking more than usual this AM.

NPR continued tortured coverage of torture, er "aggressive integration techniques".

They just had to bring in that well known expert on international law and war crimes, . . .

Juan Williams? WTF?

Oh yeah, you bring a FOX sock puppet on to discuss anything that remotely makes the W/Cheney administration look bad. Renee and Juan then avoid any reference to law, treaties, "nothing to see here folks, move along, . . "

Part of NPR's tortured coverage is that they have never bother to interview a single critic from either Amnesty International or the Religious Coalition Against Torture, just pro-Bush Beltway villages and NPR staff to cowardly to say call water boarding torture.

Anonymous said...

Here's a story you will never hear from the Foxy announcers at NPR (Mara Liasson, Don Gonyea, Steve Inskeep, et al):

In Iraq, 'Everybody knows somebody killed by the war'"No comprehensive, reliable civilian body count exists, but so many people have been killed in the past six years that it's nearly impossible to find an Iraqi who doesn't know someone who died violently, either because of actions by American troops or, far more commonly, in the widespread bloodletting that the invasion triggered."

but I would disagree with the first sentence "No comprehensive, reliable civilian body count exists,"

There have been fairly comprehensive and reliable estimates (at least from a scientific/statistical standpoint that properly takes the uncertainty into account) made by Lancet and ORB. And these estimates indicate that the number of "extra deaths" due to the war is now close to 1 million.


"September 2007 – More than 1,000,000 Iraqis murdered

"In the week in which General Patraeus reports back to US Congress on the impact the recent ‘surge’ is having in Iraq, a new poll reveals that more than 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have been murdered since the invasion took place in 2003."

Note: Lancet II estimated about 650,000 but that was before the period of highest violence in Iraq and if extrapolated, would yield close to one million dead.

Anonymous said...

I left Juan Williams off the list of "Foxy announcers at NPR".

But I figure if Obama can forgive the torturers, you can forgive me of my transgression.

But if not, I'm ready to accept any punishment MTW and others here decide to mete out.

Listening to NPR 24/7 for one month straight (ie, torture)?


pamela said...

"his apparent cluelessness of our laws and Constitution are at least understandable. Harvard law seems to produce almost as many quacks as Harvard Business school."

How absurd.

Further, the decision of whether to prosecute is NOT the president's. This story is far from over.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps it has escaped your notice that in his recent decision not to prosecute CIA officials, Harvard law grad Obama has basically invoked the "Nuremberg Defense" used by Nazi war criminals: "Orders are orders":
"In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution." -- President Barak Obama
And what of Obama's AG, the one whose actual "decision it is whether to prosecute"? (as you imply) (Holder is another Ivy league grad [Columbia law], by the way)

I think "Invictus" says it best in

"Obama & Holder Trash Nuremberg Principles"//begin Invictus quote
"Holder pledges the U.S. government will defend any CIA torturers before any tribunal, domestic or international, pay any fines, and make every effort to assert "any available immunities and other defenses".

"It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department," Holder said.

"No matter how you try to spin it. No matter how enraged you are at my making a comparison to of U.S. governmental leaders to Nazi war criminals, there is no getting around it. Torturers are absolved by this administration. And the way they did was by using the defense made popular by the Nazis at their war crimes trials, and thoroughly rejected by the United States at that time."

///end Invictus quote

But Haavid grad Obama is hardly alone in his somewhat "unorthodox" (illegal?) "legal" opinions.

Let's not forget that Haavid business school produced one George W. Bush, shall we?

And Haavid law school is home to Alan Derschowitz ...and we all know what a legal genius he isBut we shall indeed see if any senior Bush officials are prosecuted by the Obama administration (ie, by Obama's AG as your comment would seem to indicate: "the decision of whether to prosecute is NOT the president's. This story is far from over.")

Personally, I doubt it. Obama talks tough when it suits his needs, but that's all it is, talk.

Today, Obama is only talking tough after he got slapped pretty good yesterday over his recent decision by prominent members of his own party, including Russ Feingold:Part of what troubles me are the lawyers -- we should see their law school degrees -- who consciously wrote these memos justifying and explaining full well those outrageous arguments," the Wisconsin Democrat said on Tuesday in reference to the Bush-era torture memos released last week. "I cannot join the president, or his spokesman, or [chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel, who said we aren't going [to prosecute these people]. I can't. I just disagree with them." -- Russ Feingold

//end Feingold quote

PS: My condolences if you are a Haavid grad, Pamela. Forgive me if I offended your elite sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

Obama was referred to (more than once) as a "Constitutional scholar" but he certainly has no historical view of this matter. In Cheney's lifetime the US has gone from executing Japanese soldiers that were guilty of waterboarding to endorsing the method as official US policy. And a Harvard trained (not educated, but trained) "Constitutional scholar" endorses the policy by declaring that orders are orders.


Anonymous said...

Pamela said
the decision of whether to prosecute is NOT the president's.Nor is the decision NOT TO PURSUE prosecution of anyone within CIA who may have broken US laws.

Obama obviously believes otherwise when it comes to the latter (ie, believes he is the "decider" with regard to who gets prosecuted and even investigated -- but he is simply wrong.

Center for Constitutional Rights has some things to say about this:
//begin CCR quotes

"CCR Calls for Attorney General to Appoint Special Prosecutor for Entire Torture Team"

Rights Group Responds to President Obama’s Comments Today

"There is clearly movement on this issue—the public outcry has been too great for the president to ignore. With two thirds of Americans supporting investigations and 40 percent supporting criminal prosecutions, he can no longer repeat his evasions about looking forward not backward. The sickening details in the torture memos brought it home: we have the evidence, and to sweep it under the carpet would be to create a system where every administration can commit whatever crimes it chooses with complete security in the knowledge that they will never be held to account.

The attorney general is entrusted with upholding the law where crimes are committed, not making a political decision as to whether the president believes it is expedient to do so. Earlier statements by Eric Holder and President Obama indicated they had prejudged the situation, which is exactly why we need an independent prosecutor. Let the House Judiciary Committee impeach Jay Bybee from his bench on the Court of Appeals, and let a special prosecutor investigate the entire torture team, from the other lawyers who created spurious legal cover for the program to the high level officials who approved and executed it: Cheney, Tenet, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Addington, Rice, Bush, Yoo, Feith, Bradbury, Haynes and others."

//end quote

Anonymous said...

It looks like the whole (White) House of Torture is coming down, brick by brick -- and The Appeaser in Chief's pathetic attempts to keep the dirt under the rug and "move forward and not look back" (Why can't we all just get along?) are not going to change that one bit.

Constitutional scholar, my a**.