“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."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

CIA: Follow the law, even if it's 'political' and to the country's detriment.

They will protect us.

CIA memo: U.S. will be lawful, vulnerable
By John McCaslin Washington Times
February 28, 2008

Inside the Beltway has obtained a memo written by CIA Director Mike Hayden to agency employees to "make very clear my position and that of the Central Intelligence Agency" when it comes to interrogative techniques used on terror suspects.

Bottom line: Always follow the law, even if it's "political" and to the country's detriment.

Dated this month, the memo comes on the heels of Congress passing a broad intelligence authorization bill, a major provision of which prohibits interrogation methods not authorized or condoned by the U.S. Army Field Manual.

While Mr. Hayden makes it clear to his staff that the CIA will adhere to U.S. law, he does not hesitate to say that the new ban, which the White House says President Bush will veto, spells danger for the security of the United States.

"If the Intelligence Authorization Bill becomes law, these procedures will be taken off the board for American interrogators [...] and they will be off the board," Mr. Hayden stresses. "CIA works within the legal and policy boundaries created by the American political process so there will be no conditions of threat or danger that would cause us to make an exception."

But he also says a prohibition on what the administration refers to as "enhanced interrogation" methods "is an important national decision and it will have a direct impact on our ability to gather intelligence and to detect and prevent future attacks."

In the memo, Mr. Hayden reiterates "with regard to waterboarding (as I testified before Congress), this technique is not part of CIA's current program, has been used in the past on only three detainees, has not been used for nearly five years, and the threat and operational circumstances under which it was previously used have changed dramatically."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said earlier that he doesn't buy such assurances and warned that if Mr. Bush "vetoes intelligence authorization, he will be voting in favor of waterboarding."

But Mr. Hayden counters in his memo that if the bill becomes law it "would confine CIA interrogators to only those techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual. This manual, crafted in response to the abuses at Abu Ghraib [prison in Iraq], was designed for a different population of detainees, a different group of interrogators, and for different intelligence needs than in the CIA program.

"The manual meets the needs of the American military and is sufficient for their purposes but no one can claim that it exhausts the universe of lawful techniques available to the Republic to defend itself — techniques not useful or not suited to the Army's circumstances but fully consistent with the Geneva Convention and with current U.S. law.

"These are the techniques in the CIA interrogation program. Although they remain classified (as were some techniques in previous editions of the Army Field Manual), they have been fully briefed to the intelligence oversight committees and their lawfulness confirmed by the Department of Justice," he says.


  1. n the debate this week, Barack Obama was asked if, as president, he would send troops back into Iraq after withdrawing them if things spiraled out of control there.


    BARACK OBAMA: As commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if Al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad.


    Upon hearing that, Sen. McCain said this:


    JOHN MCCAIN: I am told that Sen. Obama made the statement that if Al Qaeda came back to Iraq after he withdraws — after the American troops are withdrawn, then he would send military troops back if Al Qaeda established a base in Iraq. I have some news: Al Qaeda is in Iraq.


    Whereupon Sen. Obama replied:


    OBAMA: I have some news for John McCain, and that is that there was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.


    McCain vs. Obama Over AQ

  2. It's a good reply to McCain in a way, but meaningless, because, well, yesterday's gone.

    Obama thinks one wouldn't necessarily need to be learned in the law, to make a good Supreme Court Justice. Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it.

  3. My 10:22 was in response to dear host's headline. In case there was any doubt.

  4. Here are a couple of statements made by Obama that outline his deep thoughts on the matter:

    I taught constitutional law for 10 years, and . . . when you look at what makes a great Supreme Court justice, it's not just the particular issue and how they rule, but it's their conception of the Court. And part of the role of the Court is that it is going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don't have a lot of clout. . . .

    [S]ometimes we're only looking at academics or people who've been in the [lower] court. If we can find people who have life experience and they understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them, that's the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.
    Part of the role of the court is to "protect people" who may be vulnerable in the "political process? Well, if you're looking to change things, that's one way to go about it. It certainly is novel criteria for picking a justice.

    But what should really send chills down your spine is that he would be willing to entertain non judicial even non-legal candidates for the High Court. Might we see community activists or other unqualified candidates up for consideration?

    I'm beginning to think that Barack Obama will either be the easiest candidate to beat in American political history or the toughest. That's because in this statement, he gets even more specific about naming someone from outside the legal profession:
    We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges.
    Our Editor Tom Lifson defines the parameters of this "nightmare:"
    This is frightening. A concept of the judiciary as philosopher kings who protect selected victims with decisions based on thin air.
    "Thin air," indeed. One would think that a nominee should have a passing familiarity with the Constitution. But for Obama, that's not as important as picking a gay black senior citizen in a wheelchair.
    from Habu

    Or a muslim. It time we had a muslim on our highest court. Every justice should be familiar with other bodies of law, and secretly or openly pledged to uphold them, on pain of a beheading.

  5. Enter the court, two muslims, robed, bearded and severe, a teenage pregnancy counselor, an old white man with a cane, an old black man with a cane, Oprah Winfrey, an illegal alien named Jose, a lesbian with her eyes glued to Oprah, a young beardless gay man with his eyes on the muslims, and their eyes on him, and a community organizer.

    Hear ye, hear ye, all rise!

  6. 30.06

    I finally found what that means. It is, I heard, a thirty caliber round, first made in 1906. I was told there is also, I think it was, a 30.08, little different round first made in 08.

    I should have known this.

  7. From a Chinese Peasant's Pig's intestine's mucous, to your veins.
    This World is your World,
    This World is my World,
    Laissez faire Globalization is Good for You and Me.

    A Blood Thinner Might Be Linked to More Deaths

    The F.D.A. emphasized that it had yet to identify the root cause of the problem, and that it had not concluded that the Chinese plant was responsible. The agency also said it was investigating two Chinese wholesalers — also called consolidators — that supplied crude heparin to the Chinese plant, Changzhou SPL, as well as those that sold raw ingredients to the consolidators.

    The New York Times reported Thursday that at least one of the consolidators received supplies from small, unregulated family workshops that scraped mucous membrane from pig intestines and cooked it, eventually producing a dry substance known as crude heparin.

  8. Weapons, eh?

    Kid says M-16 as designed was much more lethal than production model,
    because Air Force specs required greater long range accuracy.
    This was accomplished by more twist in the rifling, increasing the spin of the bullet.
    Increased spin at normal ranges meant that instead of tumbling through the target and ripping a big hole, they tend to just burrow right through quick like.

    Hadn't ever heard that, but do remember reading about the 16 in the early days, and the tumbling-tearing effect was well-advertised.'

    Any confirmation of that one?

  9. Only a nation of ignoramouses would accept the first para of Obama's views on picking a justice, cited by AlBob.
    Where were you reading Habu, Al-Bob?

  10. "Laissez faire Globalization is Good for You and Me."

    Oh by all means, lets have Buchanan and Nader to lunch, shall we?

  11. When Master Police Officer Peter Lavery and his partner descended a basement staircase on Dec. 30, 2004, the only information available was that the domestic violence suspect hiding below didn't have any prior arrests in Newington.
    Bruce Carrier, the 45-year-old suspect, killed Lavery in a barrage of gun fire from an illegal M-16 assault rifle before killing himself.

    He had a history of weapons and assault arrests in New Britain that other police departments couldn't easily access.
    "I don't know if having that information would have changed anything," said Newington Police Chief Richard Mulhall.

    "But we certainly should have had that information."
    Currently, Connecticut municipal police departments are not hooked up to a centralized information sharing system.

    Sharing by Local PD's

  12. While we're at it, we can debate the industrial revolution.

  13. Maggies Farm, Doug. On the post about the bear being let loose by the game dept. guys, towards the end.

    I don't really know much about guns, which obviously shows, not knowing that about a 30.06--I think that is good info--so can't help.

    It doesn't say you have to be a member to take part I don't think. Interesting stuff, if it's your cup of tea.--

    International Association of Near Death Studies

    Hold onto your hats! IANDS is moving its office. Details on the new location will be forthcoming soon.

    In the meantime, we are having a MOVING SALE to reduce the inventory of IANDS publications that will have to be transported. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain back issues of the Journal of Near-Death Studies at rock-bottom prices – 75% off. This is your chance to build your library of NDE research and analysis at unbelievable prices. The inventory on many back issues is limited, so this sale is on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Sale ends Sunday, March 9th. No orders will be accepted after that date. Minimum order of $20 (a $60 saving).

    Journal of Near-Death Studies – regular $16, now only $4

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    As you add back issues, your shopping cart will list the regular, pre-discount price. It must show at least $80 which, after the 75% discount, equals the minimum order of $20 (for example, that’s five issues of the Journal of Near-Death Studies at $4 each).
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  14. Charity around the world. Giving as a share of GDP. Top 3:

    1. US - 1.85%
    2. UK - .84%
    3. Australia - .69%

    Sources: Reports by McKinsey and the Charities Aid Foundation in '06

  15. That's good, Sam. I always hear we're the stingiest bastards on earth.

    hmmm, scratches head. I don't see Canada listed here. Making mental note to ask Ash about this anomaly. This abalone I plan to put in his lunchbucket.

  16. America bashers know not what they bash.

  17. The top 8 was as much as I could get. Canada didn't even make the 8.

  18. Jeeze, Trish, I did say "Laissez faire"
    You really think IV Products should come from Chinese Peasant Farms w/unsanitary conditions?

    I'd call that Radical Librarianism,
    or better:
    The Pursuit of Suicide.

  19. Would you like to throw out the baby with the bathwater?

    If you weren't in some damned hysterical condition every day about some damned something, I'd be more inclined know...take you seriously.

  20. As it is, you're just the right-hand version of every left-wing nut I've had the unhappy experience of meeting.

  21. A heparin/heroin mix--that's the ticket to fix you up.

  22. Ansar al-Islam = al-Qaeda Iraq.

    If Hussein Obama in all honesty did not know of Ansar al-Islam, then he's ignorant of some basic facts involving al-Qaeda Iraq.

  23. Didn't make the top 8? Now I've really got ammo--

    I'm gonna nail Ash to a Canadian Maple Leaf, Mat. Bunch of smart ass pikers Cheap skates.:)

    A good reply would be, we can't give, the government's got all our money. That, I could understand.

  24. Bob,

    She's not Canadian born. Neither is she American born. My guess she's a Filipino muslim, or from some of the other islands in the Pacific.

  25. ah, Charlie! Charlie Shumer! ah you looka so Good, Charlie! let momma Pelosi give you a little kiss onna you forehead, Charlie! My Charlie, oh Charlie, you looka sooo GOOD!

  26. I was depressed last night

    so I called Lifeline.

    Got a call center in Pakistan.

    I told them I was suicidal.

    They got all excited
    and asked if I could drive a truck.

  27. That's interesting, Mat. I'd think if Jesus had been married there would be some definite statement or saying about it, but there is precious little biography in the gospels on anything else, too. Education, for example.

    Many have suggested that the wedding at Cana was that of Jesus. I find this unlikely. Even though the account is very “allegorical” as it comes to us in John, and it is accordingly hard to derive historical material therefrom, the way in which Jesus shows up with his disciples, when his mother and brothers are already there, indicates to me that the wedding is of someone else. My own guess would be that it is the wedding of either one of his brothers or sisters. Since Mary is involved, but not, as I read it, the hostess, and the wedding is held in Cana, my guess is that it is most likely the wedding of Jesus’ brother James to a sister or daughter of Nathanael, thus accounting for it being held in that village. Cana then becomes a place to which Jesus can return, and as with Capernaum, it served as a kind of “home” for him.

    I have of late become persuaded that Jesus well might have been married, and this represents a change of mind for me that I have detailed elsewhere on this Blog. If such be the case it seems impossible to tell whether he would have been married long before this point in his life, perhaps in his 20s, or whether he chose not to be married into his adult life, and only subsequently did so closer to the end.


  28. I must have fallen asleep. I dreamed an interesting post by Mat, about Jesus, and marriage, and Cana, and Capernaum and water and wine. I need to ask my wife tomorrow, am I acting oddly lately.

  29. Officer charged with willfully injuring or committing depredation against property of the United States
    Washington DC Capitol Arson Case Solved
    A former Capitol Hill police officer has admitted to setting a fire in a Senate office building last fall and accepted a plea agreement offered by prosecutors.

    Karen Emory, who was suspended from the police, acknowledged she "willfully destroyed property" by setting a Nov. 2, 2007 fire in a women¹s restroom in the Dirksen Office building, according to documents released by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

    Toilet roll dispensers and toilet tissue destroyed.
    The documents said she destroyed toilet roll dispensers and toilet tissue under control of the Architect of the Capitol, resulting in damages less than $1,000.

  30. Everything A-OK Trish,
    Reconquistas are not in power in Sacramento and Los Angeles.

    All Systems Stable for the next millenium.

    Paddle on down Denial,
    the river of Trish's Eternal Life. her dreams,

    Turning into unholy nightmares for her children.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Who needs Vegas when every trip to a Medical Provider is a high-stakes gamble?

  33. Baby and Bathwater, Mat:
    Either take your tainted Heparin,
    or give up your $1.99 Bathwater Mat @ Walmart.
    Al-Bob will mainline Colombian Cyanide thoughtfully Fed-Exed by Trish.

  34. "Viva La Raza!
    Viva Obama!"

    1,200 hear George Lopez back Obama
    Comedian George Lopez brought U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's message of hope and change Wednesday afternoon ... Photo gallery: George Lopez Video: 1,200 hear Lopez back Obama Video: George Lopez speaks to the media.

    "Time for Latinos to take over America
    All 12 Million Illegals: "We're not going anywhere."
    We are the babysitters for the little Crackers."

  35. Doug,

    Ever wonder how heroin gets from Afghanistan to the EU to the USA?

  36. Here's a clue:


    Yasin al-Qadi + al-Qaeda + CIA + Turkey

  37. "I must have fallen asleep. I dreamed an interesting post by Mat, about Jesus, and marriage, and Cana, and Capernaum and water and wine.."

    Prof. Tabor:

    On the matter of marriage Paul explicitly mentions that Cephas (Peter), the other apostles, as well as the “brothers of the Lord,” are accompanied on their travels by their wives, so that not only their expenses are carried by the community but those of their wives as well (1 Corinthians 9:5). One might assume those who made up Jesus’ council of Twelve, as well as Jesus’ brothers, would likely be married with children, but other than Peter’s unnamed “mother-in-law” being mentioned in Mark 1:30, no wives are ever mentioned much less identified by name. One might conclude, incorrectly, it seems, that the “silence” of the gospels regarding wives for the apostles and brothers of Jesus indicates they were living celibate or single lives. We have to accept that the gospels, as theological treatises, simply do not supply us with such details, particularly when it comes to women or children. They are simply not considered important to the story, but it does not mean they did not exist.

    Earlier in this same letter Paul had mounted a vigorous defense of celibacy or remaining “unmarried.” Although he does not require it of his followers, he asserts that he lives the single non-sexual life and he strongly recommends it as the most practical as well as the most spiritually devoted lifestyle. He writes, in this regard, “I wish that all were as I myself am,” and “To the unmarried and the widows, I say it is well for them to remain single as I do” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).

    In this section of the letter Paul takes up a number of related topics, particularly whether divorce/separation is allowed and under what circumstances, but he is quite careful to explicitly state whether he has specific sanction from “the Lord.” It is quite important to him to bring in the authority and teaching of Jesus when he can to back up and lend weight to what he is saying.

    I think one can conclude that if Paul had known Jesus to have been single or unmarried, living a celibate life, he would have mentioned it prominently. In fact it would have been one of his main points. It would have been irresistible. He mounts every possible defense of celibacy, but in the end is only able to appeal to his own example. Imagine how much more rigorously he could have argued had he been able to say, “follow me here, as I follow Christ.” In this particular case I think his silence is “deafening.” As with Cephas, the other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, he knows that having a wife as a companion is the norm and pattern in the group. Paul must have known that Jesus was married, and he, as our earliest witness, would surely have been in a position to know. When he can use the teachings of Jesus or the example of Jesus he does. Here is an obvious example where he can not.