Archive for hypocrisy

Torture worse than waterboarding: Inside the Senate report on CIA interrogations

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Did you know that waterboarding was the "least worst" method of torture used on high-value detainees by the CIA under the Bush administration's watch?

My dear friend and one of the best investigative reporters out there, Jason Leopold, went on Nicole Sandler's radio show just before my weekly spot. He's a tough act to follow, especially when he reveals what the corporate "news" media won't touch with a ten-foot ad buy. Which is why you haven't heard about the "not legally authorized" torture "techniques" that will likely turn many American stomachs once details are finally (if ever) made public.

Now, because Jason has made such good and plentiful use of the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), he is being called a "FOIA terrorist" and has had to deal with considerable blowback from some very powerful people in very powerful places. IMHO, the reason they feel so "terrorized" is that they're scared to death of Jason's reporting and the truths he brings to light.

Here are a few excerpts from Jason's Al Jazeera America piece:

A still-classified report on the CIA's interrogation program established in the wake of 9/11 sparked a furious row last week between the agency and Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein. Al Jazeera has learned from sources familiar with its contents that the committee's report alleges that at least one high-value detainee was subjected to torture techniques that went beyond those authorized by George W. Bush's Justice Department.

Two Senate staffers and a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information they disclosed remains classified, told Al Jazeera that the committee's analysis of 6 million pages of classified records also found that some of the harsh measures authorized by the Department of Justice had been applied to at least one detainee before such legal authorization was received. They said the report suggests that the CIA knowingly misled the White House, Congress and the Justice Department about the intelligence value of detainee Zain Abidin Mohammed Husain Abu Zubaydah when using his case to argue in favor of harsher interrogation techniques. [...]

Even before accessing the documents, committee staffers received crucial information in a briefing from former FBI agent Ali Soufan in early 2008, according to Al Jazeera’s sources. Soufan — who now runs a private security and intelligence consultancy — told the staffers that he had kept meticulous notes about the methods used by a psychologist under CIA contract to interrogate Abu Zubaydah at a CIA black site in Thailand after his capture in Pakistan in March of 2002. Soufan's account, the staffers say, shows that torture techniques were used on Abu Zubaydah even before some had been sanctioned as permissible by the Bush administration. [...]

Two Senate staffers told Al Jazeera that the Panetta documents question the Bush administration claims about the efficacy of Abu Zubaydah’s torture, and the staffers noted that some of the techniques to which he was subjected early in his captivity had not yet been authorized.

Jason explained that the previously undisclosed torture methods made waterboarding seem like the least ghastly practice by comparison... and perhaps that's why the public focus was (intentionally) on waterboarding. See the shiny, inhumane keys? Now move along.

You can hear Jason talk about these revelations in his own words here (podcast). And please read his entire Al Jazeera post here. Where you will not read, hear, or see any references to Jason Leopold's reporting is in the corporate "mainstream" media. Maybe we can all use our social media skills to force the press into covering his work. Wouldn't that be novel?

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Gay Relationship Commitment Worse Than Random Killings

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An Indiana bakery recently refused to make an anniversary cake for a customer because the event was in honor of a same-sex marriage commitment. It was this couple's 14th anniversary -- which in my book is a strong commitment. How many "straight" relationships last that long?

Putting the legitimacy aside, this bakery refused to make the cake based on their self-professed strong religious beliefs which they claim prohibit them from making a cake that celebrates a lifestyle their religion opposes. Well, they're Catholic and I'm not so sure their religious leader, Pope Francis would draw the line in the sand where these followers have.

So we'll take that and put it aside for a moment. Figuring where religious beliefs begin and just plain bigotry leaves off is a decision for greater minds than mine. The owners of the 111 Cakery, Randy and Trish McGath, insist they've never, in the past, denied service to anyone based upon who they are or their beliefs. Just so long as they're consistent, I think they have an argument. Not a legal one, but a moral one.

RAW STORY:

Owner Randy McGath further explained, “There is zero hate here.This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do? We want to show the love of Christ. We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people.”

The bakery policies also include also not making custom cakes with messages related to alcohol, drugs and violence.

Well, they have their standards, though putting two same-sex names on a generic anniversary cake shouldn't be challenging these religious bakers' beliefs. It's not like the cake celebrates alcohol, drugs or violence which they say they also would refuse.

Wait a minute... are these flour and frosting tossers actually two hypocrites? Here's a cake they did make:

bakery111_Call_of_duy_cake

Call of Duty is one of the most violent video games out there. If that's not celebrating violence, what does? Yet these cretins of cooking, the owners of Cakery 111 defend that cake of violence while refusing two committed, loving gay people the celebration of their love.

And they use religious beliefs as their defense. Bullsh*t is what I call it. Shameful that this hypocritical refusal is not illegal  in Indiana -- at least not yet.

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"Well, Senator Feinstein, how does it feel?"

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Senator Feinstein Dianne Feinstein CIA

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, Senator Feinstein Hypocrisy Edition, because our voices matter:

Re "CIA denies Senate spying claim," March 12

Anyone who fails to appreciate the supreme irony of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) righteous indignation over the CIA's alleged spying on and undermining of the Senate Intelligence Committee (of which Feinstein is chair) has not been paying attention.

For years, she has been one of the intelligence community's most steadfast champions, deflecting criticism of the surveillance state, attacking whistle-blowers and justifying nearly every abuse. Her tenure at the spy community's ultimate oversight body, tasked with safeguarding the public interest, has seen that institution perform as something between a star chamber and a cheerleading squad.

Only when the monster she helped create might have turned against her does she seem to remember something called the Constitution. Is it any wonder that Congress is held in utter contempt by the people?

Mark McCormick

Los Angeles

***

In January, a Times news article described Feinstein as "a key defender of the National Security Agency's data tracking program." Now, just two months later, Feinstein is riled up about the national security apparatus, but only because she believes it turned a jaundiced eye on Senate staffers.

Well, Senator Feinstein, how does it feel?

Frankly, I believe she and her supporters should be ashamed of her hypocrisy. Of course, this includes The Times, which endorsed Feinstein in 2012, stating clearly that "endorsing her for another term is an easy call."

Paul Marsden

Garden Grove

***

Feinstein's committee found documents showing that President Bush's torture program was far more barbaric than previously revealed and far less effective than claimed. This controversy is really about the CIA hiding potential crimes from Feinstein's committee.

CIA Director John Brennan endorsed torture and rendition under Bush. As director, he has kept the lid on the truth. He should be fired.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report needs to be declassified, and if the U.S. won't pursue possible war criminals, the International Criminal Court should.

But under Bush, the U.S. refused to be under the court's jurisdiction. The Obama administration has since renewed a relationship with the court, but Senate ratification is needed for the ICC to do what no one in this country has the stomach to do.

It is the president's job to ask the Senate for ratification. Shame on us all if he does not.

Richard Green

San Clemente

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Sunday Links

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Dead Turtle Coal Ash Dan River West Virginia

Dead Turtle as a result of coal ash spill in Dan River, West Virginia Photo: Greenpeace via Dan River Basin Association

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The Rochedale Canal

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How Dare First Lady Michelle Obama Dazzle?

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Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

One might think it takes a particularly ignorant individual, or individuals, to criticize the First Lady of the United States for wearing a ball gown to a state dinner. Yet, that is exactly what happened following last week’s official dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.

On Tuesday, February 11th, First Lady Michelle Obama dazzled dinner guests wearing a GORGEOUS blue and black-laced gown designed by Venezuelan-America designer, Carolina Herrera. The next day, as if on cue, right wing darling Michelle Malkin, and her Twitter #BowDownWednesday crowd, were appalled – JUST appalled, I guess unhappy that Mrs. Obama did not “Bow Down” to their tacky level.

Amanda Marcotte states it best in the title for her piece on Slate.com, How Dare Michelle Obama Wear a Ballgown to a State Dinner.”

The loonier edge of the right-wing media has been up in arms all week at the temerity of the Obamas to think they get to host state dinners for foreign leaders just because the country elected Barack Obama to be our president. The outrage (hopefully) reached maximum capacity when Michelle Malkin and her outrage crew at Twitchy discovered that the first lady wore ... wait for it ... a ballgown to Tuesday's state dinner for French President Francois Hollande. Not just any ballgown, but an expensive one, as tends to be the case when it comes to ballgowns worn to state dinners. Blood pressures at Twitchy rose to worrying heights when it was discovered that some journalists thought Michelle Obama looked lovely in her ballgown. In retaliation for the travesty of the first lady donning formal wear to a formal dining event, Malkin started retweeting her followers taking selfies of themselves in cheap clothes meant for casual events. We all know Michelle Malkin is not ignorant, no; she is just mean, mean and very good at frothing the ignorant masses.

Here are a few other First Ladies who missed the Malkinite message:

BarbaraBushBallroomGownw288h244
October 13, 2008 President and Mrs. Bush with the Prime Minister of Italy photo by Charles Dharapak/AP

HillaryClintonBallroomGownw288h211
February 8, 1995 President and Mrs. Clinton and Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany photo by Tim Brakemeier/ AFP/Getty Images

NancyReaganBallroomGownw288h267

March 31, 1987 President and Mrs. Reagan host French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. photo by Ron Edmonds/AP

See More Historic State Dinner Fashion:

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You're 'Pro-Life'? Will You Raise the Children of Pregnant Mothers Who Don't Want them?

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ProChoiceCoathangerw274h262You're pro-life'? Will you raise the children of pregnant mothers who don't want them?

A few years ago when Mississippians voted against the 'Personhood' amendment, Amendment 26, in, according to some at least, the most religious state in the nation, I stood holding a 'No on 26' sign from dawn to dusk down the street from a polling station. I have never received such good will sent my way on any other occasion. Cars going by honked, people waved, people stopped to tell me thay had just voted against the amendment or were on their way to vote against it. I felt like an Olympic hero must feel bringing home the gold. They were of all ages and races.

Until one guy came up to me, Bible literally in hand, and started to berate me for encouraging people to kill babies. We went through the usual discussion, that a zygote or a fetus is not a baby, that it's the woman's decision to choose what to do with her own body, and so forth.

Then I asked him what he would do if his wife got raped? (He was wearing a wedding ring.) Note: his wife was nowhere to be seen.

He told me she would bear the child. Then I asked him what they would do once the child was born. He said they'd give it up for adoption, of course. When I asked him why they would not keep it, he said it would be the child of a crime and not of their blood.

So what does his attitude tell me? One, that he did not for a second consider what his absent wife would have thought about it, that he made a decision for another person about what she would do with her own body, and three, that, once the child was given away to the adoption agency, he would completely wash his hands of the matter.

So just who are these people who proclaim themselves 'pro-life'?

I am not maintaining that all 'pro-life' people are terrorists or child molesters, but here's one who is and he does not seem all that dissimilar to the Bible carrier who verbally harangued and assaulted me. Just sayin'

A few paragraphs from the article:linked-to below:

On Friday, a Washington man named Curtis Anton Beseda was charged with 1st degree child molestation of an 11-year-old child at a local grocery store. When confronted by a store employee, Beseda stopped fondling the little girl and fled, escaping any immediate capture or arrest. But, the molestation was actually caught on the store’s video cameras, so the police were able to have local media broadcast the man’s face out to the public, looking for help with his identity.

Beseda claims that the abortion clinic bombings were “for the glory of God.” And so what about the child molesting? Is that too for the glory of God??

As insane as this is, Beseda is actually considered a hero and a martyr for the pro-life movement. They even honored him at their 1995 national banquet, and read his hand-written letter from prison to the gathering. In his letter, he pleaded for support for Shelly Shannon, who was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for the 1993 shooting of a Kansas abortion doctor. She also set fire to more than 6 clinics.

Abortion Clinic Bomber Charged with Child Molestation

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Video- GOP Rep Tom Price: Obama, Dems Don't 'Want To Have To Talk About' GOP's Obamacare Alternatives

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Really?

laugh

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