Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

A collection of links and video on waterboarding

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This will be sporadically updated and possibly organized better in the future. I want to have a good place to go for all of the information I constantly find myself sharing with people in chunks.

US national intelligence chief Mike McConnell says it would definitely be torture if HE were subjected to it.

There are some accusations of top level administration orders and pressure on underlings to follow-through with the torture. This is starting to have ‘war crimes’ written all over it.

Our Vice President and his chief of staff, David Addington were where the buck stopped for torture. At least until a memo surfaced with the president’s signature.

McCain was against waterboarding before he was for it!

Torture gave them nothing but ‘crap’. If the information is useless, and you are still ‘ok’ with the torture, you’re just a sadist.

ABC News reporting that Dick Cheney had to OK the harsh interrogations.

President Bush says we don’t torture. We’ve said we don’t, so we don’t.

“This is not a simulation.”

Mitt Romney believes we must leave waterboarding open for the ticking time bomb. I wonder how effective drowning someone is in getting them to give up actionable intelligence? Making them go brain dead, temporary or no, will hinder any suspect’s ability to give credible information in the “ticking time bomb” scenario.

Torture, specifically an internationally unacceptable method like waterboarding makes it harder for us to get criminals and terror suspects extradited. This is from an ally like the UK. There are just some times when you have to act as a responsible and moral nation and times you go in both guns blazing. After 9/11 we had the all clear to go into Afghanistan locked and loaded. We don’t have that anymore, and we never really had it with Iraq. Now it’s hurting our international relations and our ability to pursue our own justice against those who plot against us.

Psychological torture is reported to be as damaging as physical torture.

Sensory deprivation – the military’s number one form of ‘torture’.

Not like we shape national security policy by what others think, but the Australians read that our House Majority Leader calls this torture. This is how our war on terror makes us less safe.

The US government finally comes out and admits to waterboarding on February 6th, 2008. The memo referred to surfaced 2 months later.

Dan Levin, a former Department of Justice offical was forced out of his job after conducting his own tests on waterboarding and determining it was not legal. He actually underwent the procedure himself, a rare insight in this debate.

Could the president have a prisoner’s eyes poked out? John Yoo says maybe.

Some issues with the Democrats’ handling of this issue. It’s not like they’ve done anything since 2006 when they took over both houses of Congress. I still think a snake rots from the head, and that this president bred a climate in Washington that made it impossible to get anything done without kick-downs to his buddies at KBR and Halliburton.

In 1947 the US condemned waterboarding as torture and yet our new Attorney General won’t admit it? That sounds barbaric.

A nice time line of the history of waterboarding, from the Spanish Inquisition to Cambodia POW camps circa 1975. I wonder how many other Inquisition torture techniques would work to maim our enemy and bring us more sadistic revenge for 9/11?

Waterboarding used to be a crime. In 1983 federal prosecutors charged a Texas sheriff and three deputies for violating civil rights by forcing confessions through waterboarding.

Former presidential hopeful and no-doubt future candidate Mitt Romney talks about deferring to a “counterterrorism expert” on the issue. His expert is connected to Blackwater, the independent contractor (see militia) group working in Iraq which is linked to at least 30 deaths of Iraqi civilians. Yeah, I’d say he’s considerate of human rights and the implications of condoning torture at a national level.

As recently as March 8th, 2008 President Bush vetoed a bill banning waterboarding.

President Carter argues he knows for a fact that the US tortures prisoners. Why not believe a former president, who has held that office and knows its inner-workings?

Then there are the reports that Iraqis feel the torture is worse in their country after Saddam Hussein’s regime has been removed. Who knows how widespread these feelings are, but it’s not a small matter when the administration already patronized us with phrases like “we’ll be greeted as liberators”.

McCain has talked a big game, but failed to deliver on a torture bill. His claim was that President Bush would inevitably veto the bill. Way to stand up to make sure no one in the military you wish to lead must endure what you went through for five and a half long years.

Congress’s priorities are reflected by the will of the public. A recent CNN poll showed tha 68 percent of Americans said waterboarding was torture.

So what does the White House claim? That the Congress is just being influenced by far-left bloggers. Thats hilarious, if 68 percent of Americans were doing what I am right now we’d be a far less productive nation.

The United Nations also believes that waterboarding should be prosecuted as torture. I know a lot of Americans are told to hate international governmental organizations, but we actually control the UN more than we have to go along with it. It takes a lot more for them to sanction us than for us to put harsh economic crunches on inter-war Iraq, for example.

Brave New Films on the unsuspecting civilians asked to carry out horrific acts, authorized at the highest level. Very powerful! It’s always interesting to hear the private thoughts of people carrying out these orders.

A Scranton native explains how it was partly John McCain’s father who helped communicate the warning of the military industrial complex to President Eisenhower. He also warns against military-funded think tanks.

Would waterboarding be torture if Iranians did it to our soldiers and civilians?

I doubt anything would actually come of this, but the idea of people being called on their transgressions and possibly even taking responsibilty for them gives me a warm feeling. Ahh…fantasy-land.

Matt Lauer confronts President Bush on waterboarding and torture. The president basically says “don’t look behind the curtain…” I wonder if he knows we’re smarter than this, or if he thinks he’s got us duped? Oliver Stone needs to use the song Big Balls by AC/DC in his docu-drama, maybe as W entrance music during the coke-daze in college.

Below are the declassified documents alleged to be memos authorizing torture, which are signed by President Bush. You be the judge, and we’ll see as people with resources investigate. Originally posted at DKos.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, saying that torture isn’t a violation of the 8th Amendment, not because it isn’t cruel or unusual, but because it isn’t punishment.

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