Balkinization  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The latest act of our constitutional dictator

Sandy Levinson

Can there be any serious doubt that the US attack on Syria is, to use a perhaps old-fashioned term, an "act of war"? And can there be any serious doubt that the current understanding of the President's power, presumably based on the Commander-in-Chief clause, is that he is entitled to initiate acts of war on other countries more or less at will so long as they're not very important countries who are deemed to have the ability to retaliate against the territorial US? So why, exactly, should we not view this as one more example of the de-facto constitutional dictatorship that we live under, perhaps courtesy of the Constitution (assuming that Bush's actions in ordering the attack are constitutional), perhaps not (if one believes, for example, that the assent of the entire Congress is a predicate condition for "going to war" with a country with whom we are formally at peace? George W. Bush is, as the saying goes, the "only president we have" at the present time. But a week from tomorrow that will not be true except in the most formal sense: I.e., We the People (assuming one gives any credence to that hoary term) will have spoken and selected one of two candidates who are competing with one another at the present moment over who is more truly anti-Bush. So why exactly is it a good idea that the discredited Mr. Bush will have the unilateral ability to engage in provocative and war-like actions vis-a-vis any country he wishes for another 10 weeks? Is it his experence? His wisdom? His propensity to listen to trustworthy advisers? Do we expect him, incidentally, to "consult" with the People's Choice after November 4 and perhaps even to be guided by the PC should he happen to disagree with what Mr. Bush prefers to do? Should the PC be prepared to explain to the world that Mr. Bush does not in fact any longer "represent" the American people but that we have the misfortune to live under a Constitution that leaves him in full possession of all legal powers of the presidency for another 10 weeks?



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Anybody else puzzled by the fact that the administration took credit for the action? This is highly abnormal in my experience, and I'm a bit curious as to why they would break with decades of the rule that covert ops are covert.

On a simple cost/benefit analysis there seems to be no benefit to the US, and significant cost, to claiming the action.
 

Sandy:

You know better than this and frankly "constitutional dictatorship" schtick is getting old.

From Congress' 2001 AUMF:

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.


Under Congress' AUMF, we are in a state of de jure war against any nation sheltering al Qaeda - including Syria.

The President at long last authorized a raid against the command cell of al Qaeda headquartered in Syria and killed the terrorist leader responsible for transporting al Qeada suicide bombers across Syria with Syria's almost certain acquiescence into Iraq to kill US and Iraqi personnel.

While there is no real doubt that a President elect McCain will continue Congress' intent to use the military against al Qaeda where ever it sets up shop, one would hope that Obama is not so stupid and/or cowardly that he allows al Qaeda safe haven in places like Syria.
 

c2h50h said...

Anybody else puzzled by the fact that the administration took credit for the action? This is highly abnormal in my experience, and I'm a bit curious as to why they would break with decades of the rule that covert ops are covert.

On a simple cost/benefit analysis there seems to be no benefit to the US, and significant cost, to claiming the action.


The miliblogs then the press reported on this raid immediately after it happened. Although the cat was well out of the bag from the outset, the Administration initially declined to comment.

However, when Syrian propaganda claimed that the US had murdered a group of civilians, it was necessary for public relations to admit the raid and report success in killing and capturing the al Qaeda cell.

If the Syrians had gone with the flow and similarly declined to comment, the US probably would have kept being discrete to avoid embarrassing Syria and compromising other joint operations.
 

As Bart says, the AUMF is basically a blank check, but it's a blank check Congress has not seen fit to rescind.

Congress is free at any time to demand that the President get their permission before going after al-Qaeda, but they haven't made that demand. In any event, it seems to me that most Presidents in recent memory have taken the position that they don't need permission to conduct small-scale military operations against sensitive targets, although they generally try to consult informally with key Congressional leaders in advance.

President Bush may not have much legitimacy remaining at this point, but unless there's been some political outcry over Syria that I missed, there doesn't seem to be much evidence that he's "going rogue."
 

A quibble: The lame-duck period is eleven weeks, not ten.
 

So I'm being asked to believe that, to counter a Syrian claim that the US violated Syrian territory and killed civilians, the best the administration could come up with was "yes, it was us, but it wasn't civilians".

That's really an improvement over simple denial with rumors about a high-value AQ target.

By taking public responsibility, they now have a responsibility for demonstrating publicly it was done for good reasons, and it achieved the desired goals. Hard to do, in the international arena, which is why covert ops are so seldom avowed.

On the other hand, if this was announced to feed domestic opinion, and hopefully influence the election, it makes sense.
 

i've got a quibble too .. since all treaties we ratify and are a party to become black letter law .. as part and parcel of the constitution ..

how can congress .. with the passing of an AUMF ..simply blow off all the requirements of those treaties and agreements ..

i'm tinkining specifically about the UN charter section which outlaws agressive war .. attacking countries which have not attacked your country ..
 

The Long Awaited October Surprise

I went to google news, saw nothing until I explicitly searched for "Syria".

Our initial strike will get little exposure, but anything they do in retaliation, even if just complaining to the UN, will get front page, bold type. It's a variation on the big lie. The folks who know we started it will be few and far between, compared with the folks who get inundated with any response.

Will it be enough? We'll see in about 8 days.
 

the AUMF is basically a blank check, but it's a blank check Congress has not seen fit to rescind.

The September 2001 AUMF is limited to those who participated in, etc. the attacks of September 11. Unless the Administration claims that the target here was one of those persons, then it provides no authorization.

how can congress .. with the passing of an AUMF ..simply blow off all the requirements of those treaties and agreements ..

Speaking generally, treaties have the same legal effect as statutes. Thus, Congress can pass later statutes which override earlier ones.
 

I wish that people would realize that what makes a "constitutional dictatorship" "constitutional" is precisely that it is authorized. What I'm blogging about, excessively or not, is the unilateral power held by the President over certain matters of life and death even in contexts where there is no plausible argument that the US is faced with a dire emergency that requires such unilateral action. The fact that Congress arguably (though dubiously) authorized this attack on a foreign country some seven years after passing the AUMF is no more relevant to my basic argument than is the fact that the Roman consuls, operating under the Roman "constitution," were authorized to name a dictator to hold office for six months.

Sooner or later, I say optimstically, we will have a cogent discussion of how we wish to structure our own version of "constitutional dictatorship" instead of assuming, as we whistle past the graveyard, that the term just doesn't apply to the good old USA and its irreproachable Constitution.
 

Yup, and I wish people would also realize that authorizing a crime is a crime in and of itself....


Article 6. * * * The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

(c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

Article 7. The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.

Article 8. The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires.

-- IMT Charter (London 1945)
 

The September 2001 AUMF is limited to those who participated in, etc. the attacks of September 11. Unless the Administration claims that the target here was one of those persons, then it provides no authorization.

I think they do, in fact, claim it was al-Qaeda. The AUMF does refer to "organizations," not just the specific individuals who were involved in 9/11.
 

I think they do, in fact, claim it was al-Qaeda.

I'm guessing it was AQ in Iraq, which is not the same as the entity which carried out 9/11. The AUMF also requires that the force be used to "prevent future acts of terrorism", so they have that to prove as well.

I'm not saying it's impossible for them to make a showing, just that I'm skeptical.
 

mark:

al Qeada is an umbrella organization of dozens of terror organizations. AQI is one of those groups. Indeed, until the Surge decimated it, AQI was the largest and most active of the al Qaeda terror groups.
 

Britain's Sky News is reporting that the propaganda out of Syria may be an elaborate Kabuki Dance to avoid being seen as cooperating with the US. Sources inside the US intelligence community claim that Syria gave the US permission to launch the raid.
 

Charles, perhaps we can put Clinton in the stock next to Bush, then, given his bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.
 

in full possession of all legal powers of the presidency for another 10 weeks

Plus all the extralegal and just plain illegal powers he's arrogated. Yep.

Systems where a vote of no confidence can take the head of state out of office in days if not hours do offer advantages, including some that are all too clear for us right now.

However our system does offer accountability for the head of state. We just chose not to use it. It's a myth that the people get one accountability moment per four years. We had dozens every month for the last eight years. Our Congress passed up chance after chance. Where there was an abuser, there were hundreds of enablers.
 

It bears repeating, apropos of the general chatter, that AQ anywhere is our bad karma coming back to us (see this wonderful post by Mourad a while back, starting with the Brzezinski interview. Look for the words, "some stirred up Moslems").

That said, yes, our Constitutional Dictator is at it again. Yes, our Constitution creates that power. But, Professor, I ask again, and again, and again, have you never heard of the phenomenon of unintended consequences? And do you really for a second think you or anyone could manage to prevent worse springing forth from any deep systemic changes? As for me, yes, the specter of unintended consequences counsels me to rather bear those ills we have and to continue preaching the truth of conscience to power.

JPK's observations about the absence of political will to impeach this administration for its many and varied material lies and crimes is quite apt.
 

de-facto constitutional dictatorship

telling phrase ... it is by result a "constitutional dictatorship." If one actually goes by the spirit (and at times the actual text, which often doesn't take us too far by itself) of the document, the actions are illegitimate.

Again, failure of will won't suddenly disappear with your favorite alternative. I assume you understand this but given you think some of us simply can't get it, maybe the reverse can be true too.

Sadly, I think AUMF very well might be stretched this far ... it just suggests how problematic it is.
 

Well Robert I hear what you're saying, but aren't Sandy's criticisms and intended reforms precisely a matter of enabling the political will of the nation to act more effectively in situations just like the nightmare of the last eight years?

Further: the political will is about to be expressed anew, and there is no statute of limitation or immunity for many of the crimes that Mr. Bush and his gang have committed. The powerlessness that you and so many others appear to accept is this regard is simply a figment: I've never accepted the notion that Mr. Bush can or will escape responsibility for his CRIMES for one minute.

And I never will.
 

@Joe,

That's why I've been banging my little drum at Repeal AUMF since '06. So long as AUMF 2001 stands, courts will be inclined to give the executive a pass, based on the normally sound principle of deference to the executive where there is arguable legislative support. Only problem is, AUMF is unconstitutional on its face, void for vagueness, and no court (nor any sane person) should be able to question that with a straight face. Why, the executive needn't even be reasonable in her determinations, much less truthful or accurate. AUMF is bad law, with many bad relatives, and we can only hope to see it swept away in our life time.
 

Brett,

You are talking to the wrong person about Bill Clinton. There's not a doubt in my mind that particular attack was a crime.

But it wasn't even in the same universe as the RAPE of Iraq.
 

@Charles,

While I agree with your assessment of Bush as criminal against humanity, I do not share your optimism about the inevitability of retribution, much as I do not share the black-and-white thinking by which you name some of my true and dear friends, Republicans, with the epithet "Nazi". Bush wouldn't be the first such villain to get off scot free, and not all members of a party hold with the actions of the worst elements of that party.

And, to answer your question, no, I don't think Professor Levinson's reforms would in necessity empower the political will, and yes, I do think our system is good enough to work within rather than risk breaking it utterly by the kinds of change he suggests. Maybe I worry too much about the folks who thought we were only going to modify the Articles of Confederation back in 1786.

Peace,

rl
 

Occasional paranoid outbursts and delusions give way to full-fledged florid hallucinations:

While there is no real doubt that a President elect McCain will continue Congress' intent to use the military against al Qaeda where ever it sets up shop,....

<*DUM-dum-DUM-dum-DUM-dum...*>

"Gonna need a bigger Haldol pill...."

Cheers,
 

It is truly amasing how quickly those attacked become foes of the Unites States....:

However, when Syrian propaganda claimed that the US had murdered a group of civilians, it was necessary for public relations to admit the raid and report success in killing and capturing the al Qaeda cell.

What's more amasing is that some of these changes of heart come even after death. Who says there's isn't an after-life?...

Cheers,
 

I'm glad Charles Gittings pointed out that our attack in Syria is a war crime, (yet another in a series).

And yes, Bill Clinton is a war criminal, as well.

No doubt there may be people in the American mainland who could be accused--never mind proving it, as we don't bother to prove it of those we accuse abroad--of being "Al Qaeda." Shall we accept military jets dropping bombs on those areas where "American AQ" are purported to be hiding out at any given time, or ground troops storming into buildings terrorizing the residents or raining gunfire on them, to be excused after the fact on the basis that "they were Al Qaeda?"

Frankly, until unimpeachable corroboration can be produced, I assume the military, as with our own government and with our police, are lying in any statements they promulgate for public consumption. This is one reason we have the Constitution: those in power can never be trusted by rational citizens, and must be held to the leash. Unfortunately, the dogs are loose.
 

Robert Cook: "Unfortunately, the dogs are loose."

Aye. And the rational citizens are far too few and far between. But we keep the faith anyway, eh?

Peace,

rl
 

Robert,

When did I say "inevitable"?

The continued existence of the human race is NOT inevitable, which has something to do with my attitude towards goons like Bush and Cheney. I just don't see any reasonable or lawful basis to exclude or defer prosecuting them for their crimes. Failing to do so would only encourage future repetitions, hence it's just the right thing to do.

*

Your friends you say. Shall we include my first-born son, my father, my favorite nephew, and my best friend (among so many others) too?

I dare say you could make a similar claim about German Nazis in 1945 as well: not all of them were Eichmann, Mengele, Goebbels, or Himmler, etc. The problem there is that moral responsibility does not depend on opinions or emotional attachments, but on facts, and being a little bit complicit in mass-murder is like being a little bit pregnant.

I don't care anything about party affiliations per se. If there are Republicans who condemn these criminals, I welcome them. The problem is that I JUST DON'T HEAR MANY OF THEM DOING IT, and when they do, they tend to hem and haw and fudge a great deal.

How many people have been murdered or crippled in Iraq? How many Iraqi children will bear emotional scars for the rest of their lives?

The only reason the Bush gang is still occupying the White House pretending to be the government of the US is that the Republican Party found it convenient to aid and abet their crimes for political reasons.

What I dislike MOST about Mr. McCain...

a) His utter hypocrisy on the torture issue.

b) His enthusiastic support for the RAPE of Iraq.

c) His endless pandering to slobbering goons like Bart about how we must have a VICTORY in IRAQ, just like a rapist who's going to make the girl LIKE it to impress his beer buddies.

Some things simply cannot be excused, and I speak as a former Republican who reached the point of nausea in 1987 -- I have no tolerance for the current GOP at all. It's criminal organization, and that's all it is.

I love my son a lot, but what exactly am I supposed to do Robert?

Lie to him?

Tell him it's OK to murder people if you get a majority to join the crime?

Or maybe I should just betray everything I've believed in since I was 10 years old?

Write off every person that was ever abused, enslaved, or murdered by tyrants since the dawn of "civilization" as a loser?

What??
 

"But it wasn't even in the same universe as the RAPE of Iraq."

Quite true, the "rape" of Iraq actually had some positive consequences, such as freeing a nation from a murderous tyrant. Whereas the bombing of Sudan's chief pharmaceutical factory had no positive consequences AT ALL. Unless you count taking the heat off Clinton for a few days...

Why, I don't think we ever so much as apologized for the mistake, let alone rebuilt the plant, the way we've been rebuilding Iraq.

So, yes, they're not at all comparable, the bombing of the pharmaceutical plant was a more clear cut example of a war crime.
 

Brett,

BS. Bush has murdered more Iraqis over the last five years than Saddam did the five years before that. It isn't even close.

Iraq was better off under Saddam than it is now.
 

charles gittings said...

BS. Bush has murdered more Iraqis over the last five years than Saddam did the five years before that. It isn't even close.

Would you care to support that reprehensible slander against Mr. Bush and by implication our troops with some evidence or man up and admit that you are a liar?

1) Do not count enemy dead as innocent civilians.

2) Do not blame our troops for the civilians murdered by the enemy. Blame the enemy.

3) Show me the graves, not Lancet propaganda polls. Saddam left dozens of mass graves filled with his victims. If our troops murdered far more Iraqis than did Saddam, you will have an easy time showing us the graves.
 

Quite true, the "rape" of Iraq actually had some positive consequences, such as freeing a nation from a murderous tyrant. Whereas the bombing of Sudan's chief pharmaceutical factory had no positive consequences AT ALL. Unless you count taking the heat off Clinton for a few days...

Your point loses its force -- assuming it ever had any other than snark -- by leaving out the harm done. In Clinton's case the harm was relatively small. In Iraq it has been catastrophic.
 

Bart,

I count the dead as dead, and Iraqis are only enemies of the United States in the same sense that Jews, Poles, French, Dutch, Norwegians, etc, were enemies of Germany in 1939-40.

If you want to see a real enemy of the United States, just look in a mirror Bart: this nation doesn't have any worse enemies than you new-age Nazis.
 

Shorter Bart:

“You can’t prove it, so it didn’t happen.”
 

Folks, the AUMF passage quoted by BDP is in past tense:

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

It does not authorize force against any nation, organization, or person which may harbor al-Qaeda in future.

Nor is it clear that Syria is "harboring" al-Qaeda. Anyone got any authority on that word's meaning?

But regardless, the AUMF is retrospective, not prospective.
 

Brett:

Quite true, the "rape" of Iraq actually had some positive consequences, such as freeing a nation from a murderous tyrant.

Yes, every people should have the privilege of having the U.S. bomb the sh*te outta them to free them of the gummint that we don't like.

There is some precedent for getting U.N. sanction for such manoeuvres to depose the truly malign ... which precedent was duly ignored (not to mention, said "freeing [] from a murderous tyrant" was hardly the stated rationale when the U.S. went to the Security Council [and had it been, they would have told the U.S. in no uncertain terms to MYOB ]. Not to mention, "Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss" applies; the Iraqis are hardly happy with our approach to "spreading democracy from the fuse of a GBU".

Cheers,
 

"Bart":

1) Do not count enemy dead as innocent civilians.

Why not? You count innocent civilians as "enemy dead". If they're dead, they are, ipso facto, "Terra-ists". This has happened repeatedly in the U.S. campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cheers,
 

Quite true, the "rape" of Iraq actually had some positive consequences, such as freeing a nation from a murderous tyrant.

They appear to be hard at work finding a murderous tyrant to replace him.
 

As for not blaming America for the deaths and violence meted out to Iraqis by "our enemy," (sic), who else to blame? Absent the social order of an existing government, the forces of chaos will have their way. We may deplore Hussein as a brutal thug and dictator, but he maintained order in Iraq such that Iraqis did not face murder--or kidnapping and torture and then murder--when venturing out to work, buy food, or meet friends or family. The violence of our own forces aside, our destruction of that social order is the direct cause of the violence that has occurred and is still taking place in Iraq.

In addition to the many many Iraqis dead at our hands, consider those rendered homeless...they number in the millions. Those are millions of people that had homes, livelihoods, and intact families prior to our criminal invasion of Iraq under false pretenses.

Of course, Bart has no concern at all for the wrecked lives of the living, given his utter lack of care for the murdered.
 

Charles: "I love my son a lot, but what exactly am I supposed to do Robert?"

Depends on your goal. If you just want to breast-beat and maintain your self-righteous moral superiority then by all means, call your son a fascist, a Nazi, whatever, and be done with it. On the other hand, if your goal is to sway him from a foolish course, well, Momma always told me, "You catch more flies with honey." If your son is as literate and reasoned as one would expect of your progeny (that's a compliment, take it) then one could reasonably expect civil discourse about matters over which people of good faith can disagree. Establishing a safe emotional space for such discourse is your first job. Then, once that safety is felt, only then can you begin the long task of gently helping each other question your own unspoken or unexamined assumptions.

On the other hand, if he's as rabidly dogmatic as you (that's not a compliment, you don't have to take it) one might not reasonably expect civil discourse or the eventual freedom to question assumptions. Not much you can do if he's picked up that kind of inhuman closed mindedness.

Either way, best of luck, and I'll thank you not to call my friends and family fascists. How you deal with your own people is, I suppose, your problem.
 

Well Robert, I'll tell your friends and family exactly what I told my son:

I'll quit calling you folks fascists when you quit behaving like fascists.

Sic semper tyrannis even.



As for your accusations, feel free to identify anything I've said that's "dogmatic" -- that's pure BS, and you ought to know better.

Murder is murder. Subversion is subversion. Wars of aggression are wars of aggression. Facts are facts. Go right ahead and explain what's "dogmatic" about any of that. I'd also be curious to know what part of the inherent fascism of the AUMF is unclear to you.
 

Charles: "I'd also be curious to know what part of the inherent fascism of the AUMF is unclear to you."

Dude, you really are barking up the wrong tree. I'm the guy who in 2006 faxed everyone in congress a draft proposal to repeal AUMF 2001.

That said, you are absurdly black-and-white in your thinking and dogmatic in your approach. There are plenty of positions between being a card carrying member of PNAC and being a Republican who shudders in horror at what has been done to their party in the past N years. At least, sane folks can see those varied positions. You, by contrast, seem to have adopted exactly the kind of polarized, "If you're not with me you're against me" ideology you decry in others.

We agree that the current ruling cabal works evil, and we agree that failing to oppose them is bad. We disagree on whether to treat folks who fall short of informed and willful complicity as unworthy of our compassion and efforts to engage so as to sway them away from the acts of the ruling cabal. There were plenty of good Germans who did evil, for whom I still pray, pray that we might find a way to give their spiritual children the strength and wisdom and will to turn from the evils they are otherwise helpless to prevent or even abstain from.

Shall we agree to let each other be?
 

"If you're not with me you're against me" ideology you decry in others.

I don't see that at all. His ideology appears to be that if you support the fascists, you are a fascist. I can't imagine why you have a problem with that?
 

@bartbuster,

Is it possible to be a Republican and not support the fascists? Or to support the fascists while being a Democrat? I answer yes and yes, respectively. Charles seems to answer no and no. To Charles all Republicans are Nazis, or so he seems to say up-thread. Even if he modified it to be "all Republicans are either Nazis or Nazi dupes" I'd be closer to seeing his way. But he hasn't even that much moderation in his view, so far as I can tell.
 

To Charles all Republicans are Nazis, or so he seems to say up-thread.

You should have read everything that he posted.

His words:

I don't care anything about party affiliations per se. If there are Republicans who condemn these criminals, I welcome them.

 

@bartbuster: I suppose it is comforting to find even that much indicia of of equanimity in Charles' statements. It certainly isn't reflective of the bulk of those statements.

I fear we've reached a point of diminishing returns. Defend him as you will, and he is free to voice his opinions, but I find those opinions increasingly shrill, polarized, and un-engaging, which I suppose only really bothers me because I respect his passion and knowledge.

Bowing out now.
 

but I find those opinions increasingly shrill, polarized, and un-engaging

It helps if you actually read them.
 

"Dude, you really are barking up the wrong tree. I'm the guy who in 2006 faxed everyone in congress a draft proposal to repeal AUMF 2001."

I'm well aware of it Robert -- that's exactly why I brought it up. I know were on the same side, and be assured, I've got plenty of compassion for these folks, including even Bart and Brett, Addington and Yoo, or Cheney and Bush. People are just people, and I'm well aware how frail and imperfect we all are, especially me.

But the real problem here is this:

"[Y]ou are absurdly black-and-white in your thinking and dogmatic in your approach."

I'm nothing of the kind, and your figments are not my approach or thinking. What I mostly strive for is accuracy, and I believe an objective examination of my record over the last seven years won't leave much room for doubt on the point.

Imagine that someone waved a magic wand and you suddenly found yourself a German citizen in 1935 knowing everything about the Nazis you know right now. It's a long story, but that's about the situation I found myself in on 911. I'm an analyst, I'm a natural at it, and I've literally been working on certain problems since I was 10 years old. I'm not imagining anything here, and I'm not much inclined towards metaphysics.

Neither am I much inclined to agree to disagree in matters which allow no room for reasonable disagreements: if you want to accuse me of dogmatism, you'll have to show me the dogma. In this case, what you'll find is that my factual conclusions conflict with your own gratuitous assumptions, and I don't say that in anger, it's just an apparent fact unless I'm mistaken about something, and mistakes aren't dogmas any more than facts are.

But my analysis has been confirmed over and over for seven years now.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Would you care to support that reprehensible slander against Mr. Bush and by implication our troops with some evidence or man up and admit that you are a liar?

1) Do not count enemy dead as innocent civilians.

2) Do not blame our troops for the civilians murdered by the enemy. Blame the enemy.

3) Show me the graves, not Lancet propaganda polls.


Oooh, I want to play too!

4) Be thorough, yet succinct.

5) Any deaths that occurred after invasion are the fault of the Iraqi police force.

6) Any deaths that occurred during the invasion are acceptable losses, and thus can't be counted.

7) Plese print your answer in cursive.
 

Bart said:

al Qeada (sic) is an umbrella organization of dozens of terror organizations. AQI is one of those groups. Indeed, until the Surge decimated it, AQI was the largest and most active of the al Qaeda terror groups.

And before we invaded Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist.
 

It's not a dictatorship as long as the congress has the authority to intervene. It does and refuses to. You can't blame the prosecution for a weak and unprepared defense.
As with the previous posts, this one misses the point.
 

hank gillette said...

And before we invaded Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist.

True. Iraq's al Qaeda allies operated under different names.

Iraq and al Qaeda's umbrella of terror groups had a long and very well documented working relationship in the business of terror after the Persian Gulf War.
 

Iraq and al Qaeda's umbrella of terror groups had a long and very well documented working relationship in the business of terror after the Persian Gulf War.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 4:59 PM


Baghdad, you need to come up with some better lies. No one is buying that one.
 

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Liseli kızların ve Türbanlı ateşli hatunların sikiş filmlerini izle.
Siyah karanlık odada porno yapan evli çift.
harika Duvar Kağıtları bunlar
tamamen ithal duvar kağıdı olanlar var
 

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