Today Obama released previously secret details of U.S. interrogation techniques:
Reporting from Washington—Prisoners could be kept awake for more than a week. They could be stripped of their clothes, fed nothing but liquid and thrown against a wall 30 consecutive times.
In one case, the CIA was told it could prey on a top Al Qaeda prisoner’s fear of insects by stuffing him into a box with a bug. When all else failed, the CIA could turn to what a Justice Department memo described as "the most traumatic" interrogation technique of all—waterboarding.
Baring what he called a "dark and painful chapter in our history," President Obama on Thursday released a collection of secret Justice Department documents that provided graphic guidance to the CIA on how far it could go to extract information from terrorism suspects.
By releasing these memos, Obama insures that these techniques will never be effective again in obtaining information that could protect American lives.
A former top official in the administration of President George W. Bush called the publication of the memos "unbelievable."
"It’s damaging because these are techniques that work, and by Obama’s action today, we are telling the terrorists what they are," the official said. "We have laid it all out for our enemies. This is totally unnecessary. … Publicizing the techniques does grave damage to our national security by ensuring they can never be used again - even in a ticking-time- bomb scenario where thousands or even millions of American lives are at stake."
"I don’t believe Obama would intentionally endanger the nation, so it must be that he thinks either 1. the previous administration, including the CIA professionals who have defended this program, is lying about its importance and effectiveness, or 2. he believes we are no longer really at war and no longer face the kind of grave threat to our national security this program has protected against."
It appears extremely likely that Obama released this information today to in order distract Americans from the outrage over the Dept. of Homeland Security report. I have had a look at the report, which can be found here. Reviewing the text of this report leaves no doubt that this report is intended to cause those who disagree with Obama to be viewed as potentially violent criminals. From the report:
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.
- Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn-including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit-could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.
.....Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
.....Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action.
This language states specifically that people who disagree with the president on federal vs. state authority, on immigration, on abortion, and other views, even though they have never been associated with any intention of committing violent acts, are to be considered "antigovernment," "rightwing extremists," who are potentially dangerous. This language is of the kind employed by authoritarian governments who seek to stigmatize and/or outlaw political opposition.
We likely saw one result of this report almost immediately, on Wednesday, when its term, "antigovernment," bizarrely cropped up in Susan Roesgen’s now-famous tea party report:
CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen rudely interrupted one of the protestors and slammed the event for being "anti-government," "anti-CNN," and "not really family viewing."
Roesgen asked a man holding his toddler, "Why are you here today?" The man started to respond saying, "Because I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln’s primary thing was he believed people had the right to liberty and they had the right…"
But Roesgen cut him off him, saying, "But sir, what does that have to do with taxes? What does this have to do with your taxes?" She continued asking questions over his as he asked her to "let me finish my point." One crowd member was heard to yell "shut up" to the Roesgen.
When the man finished his statement about people having the "right to the fruits of their own labor" and "government should not take it," Roesgen began arguing with him again and other protesters began to get upset.
Roesgen backed away claiming that "you get the general tenor of this," tea party. "Anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox and since I can’t really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing. Toss it back to you Kyra," Roesgen concluded.
Her language: "rightwing," "anti-government"—strange terms to apply to Americans peacefully using their rights of free speech and free assembly—appears to have been taken directly from the DHS report.
Per Michael Savage, the DHS report "would have the admiration of any current or past dictator." This report must not be permitted to stand.
American businesses who accepted bailout money didn’t know they were potentially selling control of their businesses to the U.S. government. The rage this must be causing to executives all over this country - many of whom are likely to have been Democrats - will hopefully threaten tremendous damage to the Democratic party, so that the Dems will have to stop Obama’s blatant attempt to turn our economy into a planned economy like the economies of the Soviet Union, China, Afghanistan, Cuba, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress are taking only baby steps with his budget, putting off crucial decisions on his ambitious plans to expand health care, curb global warming and raise taxes on the wealthy.
...Risk-averse Democrats, however, are merely kicking the can down the road rather than using the budget to give a real push to the president’s agenda. On health care, global warming and even Obama’s signature "Making Work Pay" tax cut, the pending House and Senate budget plans offer no clues as to how those big ideas might advance.
Hopefully Obama’s treachery will ensure that no company that can avoid it will take bailout money in the future—now that they know the strings that are attached.