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I probably shouldn't do this, but it's in the news again and I am totally disgusted. I couldn't believe it when we had so many politicians and pundits during the Bush years trying to justify these acts. Now they're at it again and it makes me sick. When people try to justify evil, yes evil, acts by saying they were for the common good, it makes me sick.


I offer these arguments:


  • If another country had water boarded our people, we would call them war criminals and want to hang them.
  • I don't care if they got actionable intel or not. A good outcome can't be used to justify a crime. That's like saying deporting the Jews from Poland solved over crowding.
  • If there are any circumstances where your core values can be ignored, then they aren't really core values.
  • "I was just following orders." is not a valid defense.
  • You can get a lawyer to write a letter justifying anything. That does't make it legal.
  • We aren't living in 1984, but we sure have a lot of Orwellian language. You can call it "Enhanced interrogation" but it's still torture.
  • We don't even know if these people actually had any information to give. It's besides the point. If they didn't, I'm sure they made some up.

In the end, no one will answer for these actions and people all the way to the White House are are calling the CIA agents patriots and that no crimes were committed.


Well, that's it. It probably didn't do me any good or win me any friends.







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The head of the ACLU was on Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC last night. It's been pretty clear from the beginning that President Obama has no stomach for prosecuting these criminals, so he suggested that they be pardoned instead. Since one cannot be pardoned unless one is guilty of a crime, pardoning them would forever label them as the criminals they are.


That's what President Carter did to the draft evaders, what Ford did to Nixon, what Reagan did to the Iran-Contra conspirators, what Bush the Lesser did to Scooter Libby, and what the others (Bush and Clinton) did, as well.

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I still think "BEHEADING" someone on national TV is the worst TORTURE imaginable. What their families have to endure. You have to look deeper to understand why the GOVERMENT would release such an outrages report, endangering so many Americans for retaliation, especially considering all that is still "classified".

I did watch the events unfold (Live TV) on September 11, 2001, and at that time I only could hope that our government would take all retaliatory actions at their disposal to avenge such a grievous deed (3,000 dead). More than lost at Pearl Harbor.

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I am not from the US so please don't crap on me. You all live here now so why do you care what happens there? I see the toucans, monkeys, parrots, coatamundis (sp) and today the macaws. None of these remind me of Canada or the reason I am here now. I am not being confrontational, just wondering why.

I will never see another bear like in my profile picture nor will I see Harper or Obama. I live here and it is pretty damn good. If it is just conversation then have atter.

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I don't know you. I'm not trying to attack you.


No one has been beheaded on national television. Recently, there have been reports of such things being done by ISIS and posted on the internet. I have not seen these and don't plan to see them. I believe they happened and are savage acts of murder. These perpetrators and those killing captured soldiers and citizens are monsters and should be put down. I don't know what we should do about them. They don't deserve mercy. Yet, I hate to see more young American soldiers maimed and killed.


​The people we tortured, were tortured years before Youtube even existed. If we captured an ISIS fighter today, torture still could not be justified. The vast majority of German soldiers did not commit war crimes in WWII. They were not tortured despite the atrocities committed by their peers.


​I also saw the twin towers fall. It was a horrible day and required a strong response. However, we can't use that to brutalize others.


As an atheist, I never ask what Jesus would do. But, I think I have a decent set of moral values and know right from wrong. These acts can't be pushed under the rug out of more fear.



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The problem with careing or not caring what is going on in the US is that whether you believe it or not the United States is intertwined in Costa Rica as well as dozens of other countries throuout the globe! They say that society's throuout history have only lasted about 200 years! If you look closely at what is going on in the United States it's easy to see the degradation of its core values. Nothing is the same as it was, say in the 50s. Everywhere you look they are changing the basic values that made the U.S. a great country, in religion, schools, business and rights.

If the United States were to fall, which I truly think we are on track too, the implications would ripple across the globe. And one beautiful peaceful country like Costa Rica Would be left to fend for its self. Just look at the history or her neighbors to the north and the south.

So yes I care!

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True, for most of us, we can't just stop caring about the US because we ourselves fled ... er ... left. My kids still live there. My friends. Family. Tom, I think your post was spot on, for what it's worth. And I do agree with Riverjop as far as what happens in the US ending up having (sometimes serious) ramifications in other parts of the world. It would be nice to just escape the drama and politics for real, but, we're still part of a world that's becoming more globalized every day, and we still have loved ones up north.


However, it depends on your perspective, as far as "nothing being the same as it was in the 50s", and "degredation of core values" and "changing what made the US a great country in religion/schools/rights, etc.". If you're a person of color, a gay person, or even a white woman (depending on your preferences), going back to the 1950s and earlier times would be a big no-go. The core values of things like Jim Crow, "separate but equal", redlining, discriminatory banking/loan practices, Black soldiers not receiving the same GI bill rights, forced family separations to send Native children to those gov't schools, etc. didn't make that such an idyllic time for lots of folks. That whole "I want my country back" ... it brings a lot of ideas that are only good for a select group of folks who don't like the idea of being toppled from their post as king of the mountain.

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Tiffany, you make compelling good sense. There is a book by Stephanie Coontz titled "The Way Things Never Were" that is well worth reading. It explodes a lot of the myths about those "good old days".




I used to work for a guy who lamented that the fabric of society was being torn apart. The argument can be made. An alternative view, however, might be that a new fabric is being woven.


While I've not read the torture report, it appears that it brings together in one place things that have been public knowledge for a long time. While no one has ever televised a CIA beheading (because, of course, it never happened), the videos of the waterboarding of Kalhid Sheik Mohammad by the CIA or its agents/contractors have been televised repeatedly. Anyone paying attention has seen them.

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Very valid points....and I agree with them. But it's the way that the vary fabric of the U.S. is being ripped apart everyday. Like the removing of prayer, the pledge of allegiance and individuality in our schools! The disintegration of the basic family! The dishonesty and total lack of responsibility of our leaders (all parties).

There definataly have been some good things happen since the 50s, but it's the way our very culture is changing.

I know that nothing is going to change immediately, but on the other hand change is inevitable, it will happen! I just hope it's for the better. In the mean time I will keep one eye on my homeland while I live out my life the way I want to in peace with the beauty of Costa Rica.

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I agree that in some ways we're taking a trip south in the proverbial handbasket, and it makes me sad as well, but I don't know that prayer in the schools and the pledge is the answer, or the cause of the problems. People love to insist that this is "a Christian country" and that the founding fathers were Christians, but that's not reality. The founding fathers were not all Christians, and the country was founded on the idea of FREEDOM FROM state-imposed religion, and freedom to practice or NOT practice whichever religion a person chose. (Well, that and the whole genocide of Native Americans thing, and enslaving the labor we needed to work the stolen land, but I'll put that aside for now.) We are a secular country. We're made up of many different cultures and religions, and religion has no place in state schools, or in government at all. If you instill one, you must instill them all, or you're going against the idea of those founding fathers. Everyone has the right to practice their religion freely, which is great, but no one should have one particular religion forced on them by the state. The thing that's causing a lot of problems for us in my personal opinion is not one particular issue, but the extreme polarization, fear, and hate that is going on in the country right now. It's bad, and I think that it, more than the issues themselves, is ripping us apart. But, I'm with you in that it's nice to be down here while it unfolds, with the luxury of being able to let it go a bit, and continue life here in peace. (I say that fully aware that it's a privilege not everyone has.)


David, I will check out that book, thanks. If anyone is interested, some other fabulous references are:


A People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn)


Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (James Loewen)

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Riverjop, you're welcome to your feelings about the removal of the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer from opening exercises in the public schools, but were you to actually read the compelling logic of the Supreme Court's decisions in those matters, your opinion might change.


Serious fundamentalist Christians asserted that the Bible prohibits swearing allegiance to anyone but God and to have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States violates that prohibition. The logic of the legal opinion of the Court that found in their favor is compelling. A similar argument was made, successfully, with respect to loyalty oaths formerly required of many public employees.


And while you can decry the cessation of the morning prayer, the compulsion for non-Christian children to be involved was, quite rationally, found to be unconstitutional. Or, imagine if you will, a situation in which, to be fair, children were required to recite a Christian (but Protestant) prayer on Monday, a Catholic one on Tuesday, a Koranic one (in Arabic, of course) on Wednesday, a Hindu one (in Urdu) on Thursday, a Taoist one in Japanese on Friday, a BaHai one on . . .


Oops! We've run out of school days but there are still religions to treat equally.


Imagine, too, how those fundamentalist Christians would react to their children praying "Koranically" in Arabic. Think about that.

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Good points, and actually I agree. But I guess my "writing" didn't quite convey what I felt, and what I think a lot of people think! So I got this email today, you can read it and decide for your self (I'm not attacking YOU I'm just addressing everyone reading this), anyway if everyone thinks that things are better in the direction that we are going as a nation than I guess that's your (the people's) opinion! I'm sorry that I don't think that we are headed in a better direction!

Oh well!

Here's the email;

First, we survived being born to mothers

Who smoked and/or drank while they were

Pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, Tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, Locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode Our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads. As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, No booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight.




Because we were always outside playing...that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, As long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps. And then ride them down the hill, only to find out We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes A few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, No cell phones, No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS And we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us Forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.


Imagine that!!


The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years Have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.


By the way I didn't write this, and don't think that everything in it was right, but for those of us that grew up in those times, I think you get the point!

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