Obama’s Luntzian Language for Concealing Reality of War in Iraq & Syria

By: Thursday September 25, 2014 11:11 am

One of the bothersome aspects of the war escalation in Iraq and Syria has been the commitment of President Barack Obama’s administration to using language to conceal their war plans.

The White House has insisted this is not a war. The attacks on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are a part of a “counterterrorism strategy.” The US has not launched a war because it has previously been dropping Hellfire missiles on suspected terrorists in various countries. Those strikes, though they have killed hundreds of civilians and were questionable in their legality and success in bringing about “security,” were part of a “strategy.”

 

In Effect, Appeals Court Rules Torture & Abuse Is All ‘Foreseeable’ Part of Job at Guantanamo Bay

By: Wednesday June 11, 2014 11:19 am

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other employees of the Defense Department and effectively determined that torture or abuse, which Guantanamo Bay prisoners cleared for release may have experienced, was “incidental” and within the “scope of their employment.”

Rumsfeld Personifies Our Society

By: Sunday April 13, 2014 6:45 am

When Donald Rumsfeld used to hold press conferences about the Iraq war, the press corps would giggle at the clever ways in which he refused to actually say anything or answer any questions.

In a new film about Rumsfeld called The Unknown Knowns, the aging criminal is occasionally confronted with evidence that what he’s just said is false. He maintains a frozen grin and acts as if nothing has happened. The film’s director, interviewing Rumsfeld, never presses the truly uncomfortable points.

The Unknown Known: Rumsfeld Documentary on Screens Now

By: Sunday April 6, 2014 2:55 pm

My most profound disappointment is the interview was not conducted at the USP Florence ADMAX.

Late Night FDL: Times of Illusion

By: Thursday April 25, 2013 8:00 pm

On the rather surreal occasion of the opening of something solemnly called the George W. Bush “Library,” I was inexorably drawn not to my personal Bush Library of 92 infuriating volumes, but the somewhat smaller 60 or so in the Nixon section.  As I listened to snippets of Village homilies and President Obama predictably joshing chummily about the “clubhouse,”  I was reminded of Jonathan Schell’s masterful recounting of the Watergate era, The Time of Illusion. 

Chief of Iraq Torture Commandos: “The Americans knew about everything I did”

By: Saturday March 9, 2013 5:00 pm

The UK Guardian posted a very important story, with accompanying videos, examining in details and with witnesses the extraordinary efforts by US military and civilian personnel to assemble, train, and direct Shi’a commando brigades in Iraq. These police brigades and paramilitary units unleashed a hellish reign of terror, with massive round-ups, torture, and death squad killings.

Late Night: Booby Prizes

By: Thursday January 24, 2013 8:00 pm

I’ve often wondered what on earth it is that drives people to become Republicans.  Is it personal wealth and privilege?  Sometimes, undoubtedly.  Deep-seated bigotry?  That tends to play a role as well.  Stupidity?  Yes, but that only applies to voters, not the politicians themselves.

The likeliest answer, however, isn’t grounded in such subjective, and ultimately unknowable, value systems. 

Dismissal of Whistleblower’s Lawsuit Against Rumsfeld Grants US Officials Greater Immunity for Torture

By: Monday November 12, 2012 4:12 pm

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The suit, brought by Donald Vance, a US Navy veteran and former defense contractor, and Nathan Ertel, also a former defense contractor, alleged he was responsible for torture they had experienced in an American-run prison in Iraq for nearly one hundred days. The dismissal effectively makes it even more impossible for US citizens to sue high-ranking officials, who are responsible for their torture.

Five Stages of Impunity for Torture

By: Saturday September 22, 2012 10:15 am

One hallmark of the administration of President Barack Obama has been the commitment of the administration to move forward and not look back—to, as a Democratic Party operative only concerned with election results might say, not re-litigate the eight years of the administration of George W. Bush. This means no accountability for those responsible for committing torture. It means no justice for torture victims.

More Killing in Obama’s ‘War on Terror’ Than Bush’s ‘War’

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 1:40 pm

Michael Hayden, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director under President George W. Bush, delivered a speech yesterday where he outlined the ways that President Barack Obama has managed a “practical consensus,” which has fostered “powerful continuity between two vastly different presidents”—himself and his predecessor, Bush.

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