“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."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Get Ready

Get ready for the onslaught of lies and propaganda. We will hear one activist and lawyer after another claim that these people were tortured and denied their due process. No trial short of jury trials in civil courts will satisfy them. We will be tortured by the lies and propaganda.

Executions may be carried out at Gitmo

By MICHAEL MELIA and ANDREW O. SELSKY, Associated Press Writers

If six suspected terrorists are sentenced to death at Guantanamo Bay for the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Army regulations that were quietly amended two years ago open the possibility of execution by lethal injection at the military base in Cuba, experts said Tuesday.

Any executions would probably add to international outrage over Guantanamo, since capital punishment is banned in 130 countries, including the 27-nation European Union.

Conducting the executions on U.S. soil could open the way for the detainees' lawyers to go to U.S. courts to fight the death sentences. But the updated regulations make it possible for the executions to be carried out at Guantanamo.

David Sheldon, an attorney and former member of the Navy's legal corps, said an execution chamber at Guantanamo would be largely beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

"I think that's the administration's idea, to try to use Guantanamo as a base to not be under the umbrella of the federal district courts," he said. "If one is detained in North Carolina or South Carolina in a Navy brig, one could conceivably file a petition of habeus corpus and because of where they're located, invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court."

"We are a long way from determining the details of the death penalty, and when that time comes ... we will follow the law at that time and the procedures that are in place," Hartmann said.

Eugene Fidell, a Washington defense attorney and expert on military law, said Guantanamo Bay could be an execution site, but added that the U.S. would face an international outcry.

"It would be highly controversial because a lot of the world simply doesn't believe in the death penalty any more," Fidell said.

The Bush administration has instructed U.S. diplomats abroad to defend its decision to seek the death penalty for the six men by recalling the executions of Nazi war criminals after World War II.

A four-page cable sent to U.S. embassies and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press says that execution as punishment for extreme violations of the laws of war is internationally accepted.

The cable points to the 1945-46 Nuremberg war crimes trials in Germany. Twelve of Adolf Hitler's senior aides were sentenced to death at the trials, though not all were executed in the end.

No death chamber is known to exist at Guantanamo, but Scott Silliman, a former Air Force lawyer and who is now a Duke University professor, said the military may decide to build one there. The 2006 Army regulations also call for a viewing room to the death chamber, where at least two news media representatives would be witnesses.

The trial for the six detainees is still months away. And given the slow pace of the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, verdicts are unlikely before President Bush leaves office next January.

The accused include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of Sept. 11; Mohammed al-Qahtani, whom officials have labeled the 20th hijacker; and Waleed bin Attash, who investigators say selected and trained some of the 19 hijackers.

Many support the use of the death penalty for men blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks.

"If these guys are found guilty, I can't think of any other case more appropriate for the death penalty," said Charles "Cully" Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "An overwhelming majority of Americans support the death penalty."

Michael Khambatta of the International Committee of the Red Cross said his organization would approve the death penalty only when there are "procedural and judicial guarantees that meet international standards."

Khambatta, who is the deputy head of the ICRC's Washington delegation, declined to comment publicly on whether the ICRC considers the U.S. war-crimes trials fair.


On the Net:

U.S. Army execution procedures:

This will make for some interesting campaign debates. McCain, Obama and Clinton have all called for Guantanamo Bay to be closed down. Obama and Clinton will most likely call for "civil trial" procedings. McCain says he will move the detainees to Fort Leavenworth and give them military tribunals. He has also said that confessions obtained under duress of torture, i.e., waterboarding, will be inadmissible. Does anyone else see a circus coming to town?


  1. I swear to allah, I am not making this up, I just heard Ted Kennedy say, not only should we not torture detainees, but treat them "with dignity and respect."

    "With dignity and respect"

    Think about that a little.

    I treat my wife with dignity and respect, my pastor, my friends, others.

    Ted says I should treat a failed suicided bomber the same way.

  2. Ted Kennedy, a true Christian.

    Doing unto others, as he'd have them do unto him.
    The Golden Rule, I beleieve it is referred to.

    One reason Christianity was never that appealing, to me. Turning the other cheek, not in my nature.

    Believing, as I do, in doing unto others, before they do unto me.

    But I'm in the minority, here in the US. A country of self-proclaiming Christians.

  3. Was Mary Jo treated with dignity and respect?

    Was the secretary sitting at her desk, opening her mail, sipping coffee, looking down the Hudson, watching a passenger plane soaring down the river at eye level, straight at her, treated with respect.

    Were the flight attendants who had their throats slashed in front of doomed passengers treated with respect?

    How dare that Kennedy, that runt, that sewer of a man, question the integrity of his betters.

  4. damn it whit, I sit down to a very nice argentinian malbec and a not too bad nicaraguan cigar and you had to get me all fired up. although I just read on drudge that chris matthews gets a hard-on watching obama. that asshole is always a source of mirth.

  5. I'll try to find it on UTube or somewhere.

    Michael Savage had the clip.

  6. Man, you would think Bush would fast-track this somehow.

  7. From the second hour of the February 11 broadcast of Fox News Radio's Tom Sullivan Show:

    CALLER: Listening to Obama, and what I've seen on TV. I'm 65 years old, and it harkens back when I was younger and I used to watch those deals with Hitler, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell.

    SULLIVAN: Oh yeah, yeah.

    CALLER: And I don't think -- I can't think of any other politician that has excited them as much as he has.

    SULLIVAN: He -- I presume you're not saying he's a Hitler, but I understand your point.

    CALLER: Right. He's exciting the people, he's igniting them, and are they even thinking about what he's saying?

    Hitler and Obama

  8. It's not an eye for an eye, in the Christian belief.

    The Christ was beyond that, annoitted as he was.

    Now if we wish to reject the Christian roots that many claim for the US, to go old school Pagan on the bastards, join me.

    Or believe in turning the other cheek, and justice for all, after death by Gods' hand.

    Be Christian, or not.
    But do not be holier than thou about the US doing Christs' work on earth. Or the US even being a Christian Nation. Because judged by its' action it is not.

  9. My last post on the earlier thread more properly belongs here with this general topic--

    Wallace, Id. AP--

    Robert and Cheryl Bravence were already dead from the blows of his younger brother, Mark H. Lankford said, when he came across them at an Idaho County campsite.

    Lankford, 51, took the stand for the first time Tuesday, telling Shoshone County jurors he left his brother along the South Fork of the Clearwater River the night of June 21, 1983. Lankford said he walked away from is brother following an argument hours earlier about how the two were going to get to Grangeville, Idaho.

    "I gave him $50 and I told him, 'Don't do anything stupid.' " Lankford said.

    The next time the brothers saw one another, Bryan Lankford had stolen a van from two campers, Mark Lankford testified. The campers lay dead at their campsite, he said.

    Mark Lankford's testimony filled much of the seventh day of a retrial, pointing the finger at his brother in the 1983 deaths of a U.S. Marine captain and his new wife. He has maintained his innocence in the killings, but Tuesday was the first time he told his story to a jury.

    He and Bryon Lankford were convicted of the killings at separate 1984 trials. Mark Lankford's conviction was later thrown out when the 9th U,S Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the original jury received an improper instruction on how to handle accomplice testimony.

    His testimony differed from Bryan Lankford's, who placed the blame on Mark Lankford last week.

    Wearing a blue tie and blazer, Mark Lankford called himself an unwise, foolhardy person for his actions following the deaths of Robert and Cheryl Bravence. He helped his brother dispose of the bodies, he said, before the brothers took the couple's van to California.

    He said he and Bryan Lankford spent several days camping in the Summit Flats area of Idaho County in June 1983. Mark Lankford traveled from Texas to avoid the "rat race', he said. His brother was on probation for robbery and avoiding a possible sentence in the penitentiary....

    and it goes on.

    We're spending big money to retry this turd; he and his brother after burying the dead, used the money and the credit cards of the Marine and his new wife as they drove across the county.

    A trial has to be done right, I know, but sometimes it tests one's patience.

    Wed Feb 13, 08:01:00 PM EST

  10. Senate Votes Ban the CIA From Using Waterboarding and Other Harsh Interrogation Methods

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- Congress on Wednesday moved to prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects, despite President Bush's threat to veto any measure that limits the agency's interrogation techniques.

    The prohibition was contained in a bill authorizing intelligence activities for the current year, which the Senate approved on a 51-45 vote. It would restrict the CIA to the 19 interrogation techniques outlined in the Army field manual. That manual prohibits waterboarding, a method that makes an interrogation subject feel he is drowning.

    The House had approved the measure in December. Wednesday's Senate vote set up a confrontation with the White House, where Bush has promised to veto any bill that restricts CIA questioning.

    Arguing for such restrictions, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the use of harsh tactics would boomerang on the United States.

    "Retaliation is the way of the world. What we do to others, they will do to us _ but worse," Rockefeller said. "This debate is about more than legality. It is also about morality, the way we see ourselves ... and what we represent to the world."

    They already behead US captives, there's not much worse than that can be accomplished by the bad guys. Killing them in slow motion perhaps could be worse than beheading with a dull knife.

  11. But waterboarding has already been removed from the arsenal of options

    CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said last week that current law and court decisions, including the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, cast doubt on whether waterboarding would be legal now. Hayden prohibited its use in CIA interrogations in 2006; it has not been used since 2003, he said.

    Steven G. Bradbury, acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, goes further, saying waterboarding is not now legal _ the first time the department has publicly stated such an opinion. Two secret legal memos from Bradbury in 2005 authorized the CIA to use head slaps, freezing temperatures and waterboarding when questioning terror detainees.

    "The set of interrogation methods authorized for current use is narrower than before, and it does not today include waterboarding," Bradbury said in remarks prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee. "There has been no determination by the Justice Department that the use of waterboarding, under any circumstances, would be lawful under current law."

  12. Steven G. Bradbury, acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, goes further, saying waterboarding is not now legal _ the first time the department has publicly stated such an opinion.

  13. McCain, for his part, borrowed extensively from Hillary Clinton's dualist critique of Barack Obama: Hope is no substitute for action, and experience matters.

    Here is the relevant excerpt:

    Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men's hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience.

    And I stood astonished at the resilience of their hope in the darkest of hours because it did not reside in an exaggerated belief in their individual strength, but in the support of their comrades, and their faith in their country. My hope for our country resides in my faith in the American character, the character which proudly defends the right to think and do for
    ourselves, but perceives self-interest in accord with a kinship of ideals, which, when called upon, Americans will defend with their very lives.

    Battle Begins

    Six of the people detained at Guantanamo Bay are finally coming to trial

    In addition to the fact that the military commission system is untested, U.S. officials have made certain worldwide attention will be even more intense by asking for the death penalty for all six of those charged

    It has simply been intolerable that the U.S. government has held so many people in captivity without sending them to trial or even filing charges.

    Trial Overdue

  15. Or not treating them as Prisoners of War.

    The Geneva Accords are quite clear on the subjext. The captured are either POWs or Criminals.

    There is no "Unlawful Combatant" category in the Treaty. As the Supremes decided and the Congress ratified, in Hamdan v Rumsfeld.

  16. Guy is on the radio saying how he just got back from Iraq and was at the Berkeley protest and was arrested as he was being beaten up by code pink women who were yelling that he was a baby killer, he was a mechanic for the us army, he said he never even out of the machine shop, said it was like trying to talk to little kids who want a cookie, says the cops busted him kind of by mistake he was waving an american flag and being attacked by code pink women---seemed to have a good sense of humor.

  17. So let me get this straight. If you're fighting a war, say in Afghanistan, and you capture people on the battlefield, out of uniform, shooting at US soldiers, they are criminals.



    NONONO--they are dignified and respected quests!

  19. Introducing the new government’s North Korea policies, the former chief diplomat said president-elect Lee will link aid to the North to the issue of South Korean prisoners of war and people abducted by the North. He said aid to the North “is not for free.”

    “South Korea has pursued a Sunshine Policy toward North Korea over the past decade. But the giver, not the receiver, has recklessly taken off his coat.”

    Yu called on North Korea to give up its nuclear ambition. “If the North has nuclear weapons, the U.S. will immediately withdraw its forces from South Korea because it doesn’t want its 30,000 servicemen under the nose of an unpredictable country like North Korea with weapons of mass destruction.”

    Status of USFK

  20. Correct, sam. To be afforded all rights that the US legal system, the UCMJ in that case, afford any other defendent. If the Afghan government has so decreed that fighting NATO is illegal.

    If not then they are not even criminal, as would be the case in Pakistan. In that Pakistani case the US or NATO troops would be the war criminals. As the Pakistani Government has made it clear that neither NATO nor US troops are permitted in combat operations in Pakistan.

  21. How'd we ever win WWII w/o millions of lawyers to handle all those Nazi Criminals?

  22. Article three of the Geneva Conventions was found to apply, in the Hamdan decision

    Article 3 describes minimal protections which must be adhered to by all individuals within a signatory's territory during an armed conflict not of an international character (regardless of citizenship or lack thereof): Noncombatants, combatants who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, including prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. The passing of sentences must also be pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Article 3's protections exist even if one is not classified as a prisoner of war. Article 3 also states that parties to the internal conflict should endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of GCIII.

  23. McCain Adviser Won't Fight Obama

    ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: A top adviser to John McCain said Wednesday that he will step down from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign if the presumed GOP nominee faces Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the general election.

    "I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."
    Good Riddance to bad rubbish.
    Didn't Mike Murphy work for McCain in 2000?
    Forget who he backed in the primaries, but they ain't there now.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Senate Roll Call--Waterboarding Vote

    Obama, Clinton no shows.

    McCain votes against, as do Idaho Senators Crapo, and Craig, who was censored by the ethics committee today. Said he brought 'discredit' to the Senate.

  26. Article 4 defines prisoners of war to include:
    4.1.6 Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    Which could define the Taliban forces in many circumstances, Afghanistan before Karzai was installed or especially in Pakistan, vis a vie US.

  27. I'm almost expecting Senators Clinton and McCain to join Obama's staff, there have been so many defections.

  28. Mr. Murphy has handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns, including the successful gubernatorial races of Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, John Engler, Tommy Thompson, Christie Whitman, Dirk Kempthorne, and Terry Branstad, as well as the successful senatorial races of Lamar Alexander, Slade Gorton, Spence Abraham, Jeff Sessions, Dirk Kempthorne, Steve Symms, Paul Coverdell, and Larry Pressler. In 2000, he served as senior strategist for U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign. In 2003, he was senior strategist for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s historic recall election in California.

  29. Al-Bob:
    McCain's mom is Obama's Senior Advisor.

  30. Richard Lugar voted with the democratic majority on this.

  31. Well why isn't she knocking any sense into him?

  32. Well, they're POW's then under 4.1.6.

  33. It began with the resignation of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign co-chair following barbed remarks about Barack Obama's past drug use. Now, a comment by BET founder and Clinton supporter Robert L. Johnson is drawing similar condemnations:

    Johnson said the Clintons have been "deeply and emotionally involved in black issues — when Barack Obama was doin' something in the neighborhood that I won't say what he was doin,' but he said it in his book."

    The Clinton campaign later put out statement in which Johnson claimed he was referring not to drug use but to community organizing.

    Forgiven Drug Use

  34. Cindy Sheehan is over in Egypt protesting on behalf of some Muslim Brotherhood dudes.

    The folk in the Muslim Brotherhood aren't real nice, someone should clue Cindy in.
    No, she really is an animal.:)

  35. Unless she's a mineral. She's bigger than a breadbox, but smaller than a car.

    We used to play 20 questions when I was a kid, my mind is just wandering back cross the spans o time, forgive me.

  36. In December 2006, the government engaged in a wide-ranging crackdown against the Brotherhood, the country's largest opposition force — which holds one-fifth of the seats in the parliament — targeting in particular businessmen known to financially support the group.

    In February 2007, President Hosni Mubarak ordered 40 of the organization's members to be tried by a military tribunal on charges of money laundering and terrorism. The court's verdict is expected Feb. 26.

    According to the Brotherhood, 3,245 members of their organization were arrested in 2007.

    Sheehan for Islamists

  37. Exactly, sam.

    Then, if there is a question, Article Five states

    Art 5. The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.

    Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

    POWs cannot be questioned as to activities, under Article 17

    Art 17. Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information.
    No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

    Thus, according to the Supremes and the Congressional interpretation of Hamdan v Rumsfeld, KSM and the other two that were waterboarded ...
    Well it was an illegal activity, by US.

    The Geneva Conventions of 1949, which the US is party to. Lays it out explicitly, like it or not.

    The combatant cannot be detained without being charged, except as a POW, per Article Five. He must be accorded the rights of a POW until convicted in a recongnized court.

  38. I think it's really disgusting to see grown men and women--men and women!--jumping ship around like this. Whitman was right, they are all the suck and sell of the earth, and make one ashamed to be part of the human race.

    I wish we didn't need to have any politics at all.

    I'm going to the 9 o clock drawing at the casino. There are no politicians there! Later.

  39. "This is a loss of a major pillar in resistance work. He was an expert at making victories and building fighting capacities against Israel," said Ali Hassan Khalil, a member of parliament with Amal, another Shiite Muslim group allied with Hezbollah.

    "He played an essential role in all resistance activities, especially the last war."

    Over the years, both Israeli and American agencies had relentlessly pursued Mughniyeh. In 1994, Mughniyeh's brother was killed by a car bomb in Beirut, and reports at the time suggested Imad Mughniyeh had been the target.

    Killed in Syria