“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, November 10, 2006

War in The Courts

Time Magazine is reporting:

"Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse
A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the former Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo

Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

The Friday afternoon headlines are sensational for Time and Karpinski's involvement distasteful but the German courts have previously refused to take the case.

I would like to know who the plantiffs' Lawyers are. I think they may be much more than lawyers or simple legal advocates.


  1. What are they going to do, send in SS commandos to grab Rummy like they tried to grab Churchill?

  2. They don't need to move any stuff in meatspace, WC.

    They only need to deluge the minds of the meat, decimate their conviction, wage a war on their confidence and invade their morals.

    American's don't get it by and large. We should be throwing this shit right back at Germany. What to throw back? I'm not sure, but if China can throw shit at us, I'm sure we can throw shit at Germany.

  3. Well there goes that healing trip to Baden-Baden.

    What is with the Krauts? Bet money the Democrats have enginered this. It is well within their tactics profile.

  4. I'll never be able to look at Possumtater in his Lederhosen again.
    Oh the humanity.

    And lets accelerate the withdraw of our troops. Like tomorrow.

  5. I'd say forget Europe, Habu...

    Goto somewhere in Asia - fares are the same, the civilization is better.

    Singapore won't be having a problem with the Muslims, I'd wager. Asians still know which side of the shiv is sharp, to paraphrase Wretchard.

  6. Civil War in China and Venezuela, yep, great news.

    The Baker/ Hamilton Team will disagree, though, me thinks.

    Niether of those posts auger much hope for futuure "stability" in either region.

    The ChiComs will not hesitate to kill 500,000 Chinese to preserve stability. Let alone Japs, or Nationalists on Formosa, either of which could move the focus from the internal challenges on the Mainland to offshore threats that can rally the base.

    Or all those capitalistic Communists, the best and the brightest of their generation, may just go quietly into the night.

    I wouldn't take that bet, like I would not bet the GOP would retain the House, last Tuesday.

  7. Rummy and troop morale, I should have said.

  8. All of this is just yesterdays' News, this talk of Rumsfeld.
    Good thing we did not sign on to the ICC or it'd be off to Europe for Mr Rumsfeld and Alberto, both.

    Perhaps they'd have lived through the Trial, but that Milosvic fellow didn't. Imagine though, keeping Rummy and Alberto detained until the Judges came to a verdict. They do not hold to a "speedy" trial standard over there, nor in Iraq, for that matter.

    Why it's just been three years to get a verdict for Saddam. That was pretty "cut and dried", an Abu Grahib trial would take even longer, the Chain of Command being much more obtuse for US than for Saddam.

  9. Catherine said:

    Woman Catholic, you should be happy at the suit against Rummy, since you ardently believe the Bushies torture terrorist and suspect detainees.

    If you can provide a quote demonstrating my alleged ardent belief that Bush tortures terrorists, we can use that as a basis for further conversation.

  10. American's don't get it by and large. We should be throwing this shit right back at Germany. What to throw back? I'm not sure, but if China can throw shit at us, I'm sure we can throw shit at Germany.

    We're gonna flip over BMWs and light em on fire so we can burn all our Nena, Kraftwerk, and Tangerine Dream records, and try to put the blaze out with up-ended bottles of Beck's.

  11. Singapore won't be having a problem with the Muslims, I'd wager.

    Me old bamboo, me old bamboo,

    You'd better never bother with me old bamboo,

    You can have me hat or me bumbershoe,

    But you'd better never bother with me old bamboo.

  12. catherine, please remind me never to get athwart your good graces--?

  13. Catherine said:

    And there’s more, but I’ve wasted ten minutes and think you’re a little scary for your denials, logic and avatars.

    This comment by Catherine, and all the false attributions that preceded it, means that she has nothing to say to me, just like Habu1, Desert Rat and Allen. I shall not forget.

  14. no, tess, all it means is that you overshot, and got trimmed a little. happens to everybody. relax.

  15. you are a fascinating commenter, much appreciated by all.

    but the rondo on waterboarding was a little elitist and ingracious.

    it gave you a too-easy moral-superiority over those in the field sacrificing themselves for you.

    You know that, too.

  16. Whoa, catherine--it'd be different if she was making policy--but she's a provocateuress (word?), and it *is* sorta fascinating. but, I can definitely understand your objection to trivializing the issue.

  17. buddy larsen said:

    you are a fascinating commenter, much appreciated by all. but the rondo on waterboarding was a little elitist and ingracious.

    In four days of participating on the Belmont Club and the Elephant Bar, I have said nothing about waterboarding. I regret that Buddy Larsen has chosen to join the likes of Catherine, Habu1, Desert Rat and Allen, but spare the rod and spoil the gadfly, I always say.

  18. no, I didn't think you were overzealous--it was a compliment on how well you back up your comments. i'm beginning to feel a little like collateral damage.

  19. rufus--good link.

    George McGovern also today recommended to an appreciative audience of New Bosses that even 'redeployment' was too much. out, now, all-the-way.

  20. okay, catherine, i'm a wimp. pile it on, Nov 7 wasn't near enough, i've already got more crow feathers in my mouth than a cheyenne war bonnet, what's a few more?

  21. teresita, a.k.a. woman catholic

    re: "I shall not forget."

    Given Catherine's quotes, remembering seems to be your trouble.

    You take on a religious persona, going so far as to don the habit of a bride of Christ. You call yourself "woman catholic". (Does that mean you are the universal woman or a woman celebrant of the universal faith? You admonish that all are created in the "image of God", as if G-d makes no distinction between good and evil, right and wrong. You do so, while ignoring the very teachings of the Church to which you attach yourself. Do recall, the animating force of the missionary spirit is the deliverance of mankind from damning ignorance.

    Now, if you believe the stuff you pedal, take your one woman, lesbian, Little Sister of Mercy show on the road. By all means, “Go ye, therefore, unto all the world”, as did the stout hearted of yore, filled with faith and carrying nothing more than a staff and cloak. May I suggest beginning your work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Should you survive long enough to escape to a US Mission, you will, doubtless come away with a different perspective on the universality of the human soul.

    An old professor, decades ago, gave me some great advice. Said he, "The most difficult part of writing is deciding what you believe and want to say about that; afterward, everything else takes care of itself."

  22. bobalharb said:

    Well, at least Teresita can change religions easily. She was a Taoist and nows she's a Catholic, or a Catholic again.

    It is with deep regret that I find bobalharb, too, thinks I am someone else. He seemed like a very nice, literate person until now.

  23. It ain't news for me, rufus--I already knew what a protest vote does. I'm from Ross Perot's state.

  24. well, hearing words from the other side is about the only blog-thing that shows how wrong they are.

    otherwise, the other side is just darkness, until days like Tuesday suddenly fall on your head.

  25. watch it rufus--I got no more band-aides

  26. Robert Rubin, just now on Fox, asked about deficits, said the answer was all on the revenue side, which "wouldn't have any effect on the economy".

    Here they go, DC bringing in the harvest.

  27. teresita,

    It was not “fashion” that caused Jews to “forget” the name of the Ancient of Days, millennia ago.

    We did so purposefully, to prevent a “name”, in and of itself, from becoming the object of veneration.

    Unlike many of your spur of the moment clever comments, religious souls have a higher calling.

    If possible, and I hope it is, you should give some thought as to why so many here find fault.

  28. hell, rufus, that's what the papers and the evening news tells 'em. "You ain't keeping up, you should have more, someone is screwing you".

    The actual numbers don't make a shit, so long as you tell 'em what they want to hear.

    I just do not get it, why, all over the blogs today there's this buyers remorse theme, when we saw only two years ago nearly half the country vote for a disgraceful shit like Kerry.

    So, where was the margin for error, with this protest vote--how could it NOT put this bunch back in office? why the shock?

  29. Exactly, buddy.

    It was foreseen.
    Perhaps not the scale, but the direction was definately evident for the past two years.

    Hell, remember Mr Bush got less total popular votes then Mr Gore, way back in 2000. To have operated in the secure knowledge that gerrymandered Districts would save the GOP majority was lunacy.

    But for Mr Bush and Mr Rove and the rest of the GOP Team, as well as rufus, to blame the librarians, that's priceless.

  30. Rat, 18-20 seats were lost by 5,000 votes or less, and two senate seats, MO and MT, are acknowledged to gone Dem on the librarian vote.

    Those two senate seats would've firewalled an awful lotta grief a-comin.

    But I'm note standing up for Rove--he should've seen it coming, you're right.

    Still took those votes to do it tho.

  31. projection, proschmection. We all f'd up. we shoulda been hammering Principle instead of answering DU charges.

  32. catherine, call me a fool, but I had thought all that identity-splitting was a joke, a deliberate farce.

  33. her version of the multiple possum taters

  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  35. You assume those folk would have voted for the GOP list, buddy. Maybe they would have, if the GOP had stood for the librarian values.

    The greater challenge in Montana was can be seen Here, the 2004 results
    Mr Bush 59%, Mr Kerry 39%, Mr Nader 1.4%, All others 1%.

    If Mr Bush and Rove had maintained the base, the 3% that voted :obrarian would not have made a difference, but the truth is not those 3% that shifted to librarians, but the 10% that voted Dem this round, as opposed to last. The GOP has deeper problems then 3% that would not vote Dem.

    Now I object to Federal funds going to the "Approved" Points of Light. To not defending the border, to expanded Federal health & drug benefits.
    To the RoE, Catch & Release and the "Long War" in Iraq.

    For the GOP to have hung it's hat on temporary tax cuts, expecting that to be enough, insane

  36. Chances are greater that if Mr Bush had dumped on Mr Rumsfeld a month prior to the Election, rather than the day after, a lot of those races could have gone the other way.

  37. Catherine

    I think it is quite apparent to most of us that Teresita has some "issues". I think the issues are deeply psychological and profound.
    She has been exposed more times a stripper at a cheap gin joint.
    She's like a feral psycho if there can be such a thing. Is she mentally ill?
    You did a marvelous job of giving her what in basketball is called a facial. That's when someone dunks the ball and another player catches it on the downstroke right in the kisser...very smooth. It'll make the highlight reel.

  38. newt has come out strong on that 'timing' issue. Really strong--sez 15 plus seats, easy. Says it was a 'candor' fault.

  39. Now I object to Federal funds going to the "Approved" Points of Light. To not defending the border, to expanded Federal health & drug benefits.
    To the RoE, Catch & Release and the "Long War" in Iraq

    But, now, rat, are you closer, or farther away, from what you wanted?

  40. maybe we're headed here, to a "two-and-a-half party system" ?

  41. My District and State sent the GOP back, Mr Shadegg and Mr Kyl.

  42. rufus said:

    >>(I don't look)

    >Then, how Does you know?

    Because some of the appreciative commentary hints that there might be more than just articles here.

  43. No, rufus, in Montana 10% of voters, those that voted Bush in '04 voted Dem in '06.
    Were those all little "L" librarians or disaffected Republicans. If they were all librarians the GOP abandoned them, but I doubt that they were.

    It is the fault of the Republicans that they chased away their previous voters, not the voters fault for looking elsewhere for better results.

    In the US system the votes are for individuals, the Iraqi shitheads vote for lists.
    Choose the process you prefer.

    The Iraqi need immigrants for those that prefer lists.

  44. The librarians are being made a strawman for Republican failures.
    It does not wash, the numbers prove it.

  45. Bet you felt the same way about Nader voters in Florida, also, aye?

    Or does the idea of President Gore make voting priciples acceptable?

  46. In CT, then, rufus, you'd have voted with the 10% of GOPers and not Mr Lieberman. He'll vote for Mr Reid, as would have Mr Lamont.

    But the Republican, in CY, was a wasted vote, no?

  47. What makes you think those folk in Montana or Missouri were or are conservatives, rufus?

    Because they voted for Bush in '04?

  48. Let's face it. Bush could not have picked too better candidates to run against, especially Kerry.

    It is going to be very interesting to see what the Democrats have in store for Iraq. They will have to start defending that next summer.

  49. Who would you have voted for in Virginia?

  50. It'll be all but done by August, less than 45,000 troops incountry by November '07.
    The schedule will be laid out in the reatuhorization of the UN occupation. It will have been a year since the Election, there in Iraq. Their Government has emerged, our reasons for being there, per US Law, have been fulfilled. That will be the Baker/ Hamilton & Democrat line.
    Mr Bush will not stand against it, he can't. Mr Gates is on board, as is 41.

  51. The three biggest losers in the election were:


  52. rufus said:

    The surest indication (admittedly, not perfect) of what a man believes, and of how he will vote on the issues that are important to me, is what party he belongs to.

    Some say the Ross Perot voters are still out there, and last Tuesday they swung over to the Dems because the Pubs weren't addressing their issues on federal red ink and the "giant sucking sound to the south" taking away good jobs.

  53. 2164th wrote:

    The three biggest losers in the election were:


    It follows, then, that the three biggest winners were:

    Hillary (by not sticking her foot in her mouth and shooting it)
    Grandma Pelosi
    Mucktada al-Sadr

  54. Based solely on the Iraq War, for Webb.
    The debate and Mr Allen's advocating Force Protection as the primary mission.

    I think we should fight a real war, in Iraq.
    But that was not one of the options that either candidate presented.

    No half step wars for me, go for broke or don't go at all.
    There is no chance to escalate the situation, so the war is over.

    Now we'll negotiate a stay behind force or not, depending on our allies needs and ours.

  55. Well I'll be sure to tell the boys, at the next Whig nominating convention.

    Both major Parties are but difeerent sides of the same coin.
    Track the growth chart for the US from 1776 'til today.
    Onward and upward, through thick and thin. A minor setback or two along the way, but an impressive upward path, regardless of who was in Washington.

    The country is much more than the Federal Government. It's a Government that poorly represents its' people, by design.

    Most places where the people are more directly represented do poorly.

  56. dawn and sundown, rufus, the light's the same, but the hour is not.

    Couple of years ago, the discussion was the lack of the Administration's articulation of policy.

    Then we had the "Who is the Enemy"
    and lack of clarity in the War.

    The Economy is in recession, according to about half those polled. Another quarter were not sure, one way or another.

    It'll be interesting to watch the K Street shuffle. Those GOP backpacked lobbiests may be out of the loop for a cycle or two.

    And it's maalcontented conservative that are blamed? That is really a rich pudding to peddle.

    The Republic will survive, or habu gets his way. But that's grows less likely with each passing day.

    24 million veterans in the USA, same as the illegal population, according to that latest Congressional Report.
    The number of Vets is decreasing, the illegal immigrant population is exploding.

    The migrant populations' growth is just a symptom of the current state of functional Governmental collapse.

  57. Nice discussion--my wi-fi crapped out on me or I'd been chiming in Huzzah's for the political theories of catherine & rufus.

    I get rat's points, always have, but there is a line between the perfect and the practical, and the perfectionists gave us Perot, who in turn gave us, via 43% of the '92 popular vote, the 1992-2016 Clinton Dynasty, which will have dismantled, thru direct Dem policy and a strong MSM-led negative pull on Pub policy, everything those Perot voters in '92 stood for.

    Why dontcha cut off your nose to spite your face, my grandmammy used to ask me.

  58. And rat, it ain't the librarians per se that are getting the hot light, it's the whole notion of protest voting in a 50/50 polity.

    And of course, I too loved Nader in 2000. But now the shoe is on the other foot, and I'm pissed.

    There is no reason to like Protest-06 just because one liked Nader-00.

    That's religion, not politics.

    Were I a Dem, I'd be p'o'd at Nader.

  59. The point is, buddy, that in Montana the folk were so p'o'd at Mr Bush and Company they did not even need a "figurehead". It was a grassroots revolt