Thursday, May 26, 2011

X-Post: Donald Douglas: Insert Hypocrisy Noises Here.

Guy who preemptively moderates comments for ideological content whines and cries like a stuck polecat when his off-topic trollery gets moderated away. (Cached version)

And, addressing the purpose of Donalde's drive-by trolltack, one has to be a real douchebag to intentionally spread offline (and seemingly, unverified) information about another blogger to get revenge for some online difference of opinion. (After all, isn't posting (or, in the following referenced case, reposting) offline information what this freakout was--and continues to be-- all about?) Given the sickos out there, it can be an invitation for trouble.

Bad enough, if the info's actually accurate.

Worse yet, if they're painting the bullseye on the wrong guy's back.

1) Sadly, No! - Die Verwandlung

And apparently (with h/t to S,N! link @#1):
2) Who is Tintin at Sadly, No? Jonah Goldberg, of course! ~ Serr8d's Cutting Edge:
"This deleted comment from Dr. Donald Douglas found at Brendan's (bjkeefe) 'Free Speech! blog...
"I moderate comments primarily against your racist attacks, Reppy, but your stupid remark is beside the point."
I believe this is the second time Donalde has said that he moderates the comments to his blog for content, before to allowing them to appear, even, just because of me... I don't think I'm really all that scary a guy... Not even if I actually am "potentially even more dangerous than those hoisting banners on the street," who'd "kill you if [I got] the chance." (And I may be... I just may be...)

If that's really true (and Donalde has at least twice said that it is), I think that's kinda pathetically cowardly and sad... The record of most of what's gone on between us exists (Is anything ever really gone on the internet?) and I just don't believe that Donalde's self-confessed fear of me is warranted... They're just blog comments, and most of 'em were on topic and on point, and not at all about him... (Personally, I think the guy just doesn't like being shown up and beaten down right there on his own blog... but of course, that's just my opinion, and worth every cent you paid for it.)

3) The dreaded, diabolical, Donalde Douglass double-down. (Cached version) Despite "Carl's" denial, the ass prof is stickin' by his story, true or false. Also no recognition of the hypocrisy of shouting other folk's personal info far and wide--and whether he's factually correct or not, he thinks he is... In his mind, he is intentionally "outing" a pseudononymous blogger's given name, with the intent doing him some kinda reputational (if not actual) harm, all because of petty online disagreements--which is kinda weird, given all that whining he did when folk's posted his employer info online. (And lest we forget, that employer information was already online--and still is. It's even posted on Donalde's own blog, even.)

In any case, the truth is out there...

4) Why double down, when you can triple dig that "isreally" grave? (Cached version) "First rule of holes? That's only a suggestion, idnit? No, I'll just keep on keepin' on..."

There's no conspiracy that can't be made to sound even more conspiratorial and crazier with a whole lot more verbiage expressing even less possibility that one might, maybe, be mistaken. QED

5) American Power: Carl [Salamipants] Flushed Down the Memory Hole at Whiskey Fire!. (Cached version) The denials and off-topic trollery deletions (and calling him "Donalde," of course... I mean, who knows to do that, besides Tintin?) is the proof. Confession is good for the soul. It's obvious. Actor's T, and Carl is he, and we are all together. Koo-Koo Ka-Choo

(The possibility that folks are deleting his stupid fucking allegations and accusations for being in violation of online integritude, inane, or just plain off-friggin' topic never crosses Donalde's mind. He's got his meme, and he's stickin' to it, no matter what.)

6) At Carltintin's request--in a tweet to "himself," natch--all mentions of Carltintin's full name up to now will be disposed of. New mentions will be deleted. (Just further proof that we're all Tintin, I guess... TINTIN ISREAL!!!)

7) So, if other folks deleting his "Carl" comments was proof of a vast leftwing cover-up, what does it mean when Donaldee deletes his own posts on the subject? Is HE now part of the conspiracy, too?!?
"I'm on the verge of obtaining the mother of all tips on Tintin's identity. So until that information becomes available, and since Carl [] is threatening punitive retaliation against those looking into his shady his activities, I'm temporarily pulling my previous posts in the series." - Donald Kent Douglas - American Power: Outing Tintin at Sadly No!

8) American Power: Carl [] Threatens Libel Action Our little energizer bunny of malice is still going... Someone may or may not've brought a lawsuit against him. (He believes so, but I think the phrase "It's brought" is kinda vague, and could easily mean something other than what Dr Douglas thinks it does. On the other hand, he might be right. Either way, the posts pertaining to this subject that he took down are still down. Lawsuit or not, he's still talking tough, but acting kinda intimidated... YMMV...) And the intimidation tactics he's throwing in return (Countersuits, "Carl doesn't want this kind of publicity..." "The conservasphere will rise up like an army of Davids and investigate every aspect of his life if he sues..." don't seem to be having much effect. Still no big reveal, either...

9) (5/18/11) Added cached versions of the disappeared posts. Still no big reveal (or any mention of the topic at all, since 5/16/11) over at Donalde's blog.

10) (5/19/11) And Donalde keeps digging: American Power: Update on [] For the Record Of note, is this secton, where he says:
"Anyway, my (other) longstanding nemesis (James Casper) has been getting off on all of this, so I decided to drop a non-profane comment in the thread pictured, but he deleted it --- four times. Racist Repsac3 is one of the most hardcore free speech blog administrators online, but he wouldn't let this one through, despite the specific omission of actor212's identity. Maybe he didn't want that link to actor212's comment at Sadly No!, although that's an ad hoc adjustment. Racist Repsac3 = Casper keeps moving the goalposts:

The problem that Donalde has is that he jumps to conclusions. The fact was, his comment (the one he attempted to post 4 times in the space of just over an hour) was caught in the spam filter. I saw it, I added the comment (the first attempt, for the record), and deleted the three repeats.

I didn't screencap my spam comment queue, but the comment itself is posted here, just where Dr Douglas left it.

Jumps to conclusions... If this little incident isn't a metaphor for this whole hypocritical, conspiratorial (conspocritorical?) incident involving the "outing" of one/some of his enemies "real life" lives in the name of vengeance--if not much of Donalde's blogging, itself--I don't know what is. Donalde fixates on one idea--the one that most fits his chosen meme of 'fuck that other guy,' generally--and refuses to admit there could be any other possible possibility aside the one he's chosen.

A) [] IS Tintin. (Quite likely untrue, which is why it's at least a 50/50 shot that Donalde's disappeared posts will never again appear at his American Power blog.

B) I intentionally deleted his comment four times. (Check the bogus claim and the proof for yourself.)

C) Sasquatch Isreal represents the "'legitimacy myth' of Israel’s existence. As there’s of course a “Sasquatch myth,” it’s worth noting the implied comparison: that Israel is also an ape-like beast existing only in historical folklore. Absent legitimacy, Israel has 'no right to exist.'” [cite] (Need I say more?)

(For those interested or curious, there are more examples of Donalde seeing just what he wishes/chooses to see in this post.)

Maybe Donalde will correct his post, and maybe he won't. But either way, he's already shown himself to be a little too quick on the trigger, and I've shown it's not an anomaly. It happens entirely too often, and when it does, it's done with the purpose of attacking some perceived enemy with his quickly drawn (if not actually concocted out of thin air) conclusions.

Still waiting on the big reveal.

11) (5/26/11) - Just a quick non-update update. The closest our friend Donald Kent Douglas has come to this story since 5/19 is a few oddly-placed and forced mentions of [] or Sadly,No!, or links to the Alkon attack on same in posts about other topics on his blog. (An example: "And more at the "Amanda Marcotte" search. A really bad woman. Reminds me of []..." (The post was actually about John Edwards, so even the Amanda mention was kinda out of place...) No mention of "the investigation," or Tintin, no reposting of the disappeared posts, and needless to say, no big reveal... American Nihilist will keep you informed, should anything new develop. For now, though, it appears that Teh Donalde's bluster on this subject has been worth every cent you paid for it, and not a penny more...

An American Niiiiihilist X-post

Monday, May 23, 2011

In Reply: Birther/Deather/Truther Conspiracies

In reply to several comments made by a particular person (or maybe two folks) at the following post (or maybe more generally, throughout this blog): The idiocy that is Noam Chomsky - Common Sense Political Thought:
Sorry, Blu... Cannot join you on the truther bit (anymore than I can buy into the BHO birther or OBL deather nonsense). I have no problem with folks not automatically accepting common knowledge and established truth; asking questions and positing theories--indeed, that's often how we human beings learn stuff, even as folks armed with "what we've always known to be true" laugh and point at the questioner, (if they don't kill him for heresy)--but I think too many people confuse "having questions" about a given event with "proof" that what we all believe isn't true and we're all being lied to. I'm good with folks investigating and experimenting and looking to answer those questions... but having questions isn't the same as offering answers. I don't believe that conspiracies can be maintained for very long... The truth always finds it's way out... (And yes, I am aware that that's just what they WANT me to think...)

That said, you're certainly not wrong about everything.

Posted 23 May 2011 at 09:09

Saturday, May 21, 2011

X-Post: Words of Wisdom, from Donald Kent Douglas, Ph.D.

And students... He's an associate professor of Political Science at Long Beach City College, Long Beach, CA...
(Classes forming soon. Don't miss out.)

((Sorry, ladies... Dr Douglas is taken.))

May 21, 2011 2:19 PM


Monday, May 16, 2011

In Reply: Conspiracies, Glorious Conspiracies...

In reply to: The Google/Nightcruzr Tyranny Story That Won’t Die - Common Sense Political Thought

Just another in a series of right wing conspiracy theories.

I'm knee-deep in another, thankfully more limited one, but even so, the whining and egoistic self-important bellowing about how "I'm right, and there can be no other explanation for this but that ('liberals' / 'this/these particular liberal(s)' / 'Google/this guy at Google/this liberal guy at Google) are conspiring to... (whatever they're conspiring to do)" is getting really very hard to take at all seriously.

No doubt Nitecruzr got testy--and yes, he said and subsequently deleted some things he should never've said in the first place--but Ann's prima donna "Don't you know who I AM!?!" act, along with her minions clogging up and whining in the help cue stream, was the reason the guy got testy. Add that to the fact that the guy was and likely had been, for some time, dealing with a whole lot else due to the Google meltdown (lotta questions, lotta folks being testy toward him because he couldn't snap his fingers and make it all better, ...), and it was a recipe for trouble. No, that doesn't excuse him for being testy himself (maybe it would've been better if he'd just logged off, and not helped anyone at all, for a little while), but it should mitigate things, at least for those who can manage to see past a sinister political motive for everything that happens.

Every time you get a flat, drop the ice cream off your cone, or have to work overtime, it's not a part of Obama's (or the Republican's, or the Democrat's, or the Illuminati's) evil plan for one-world domination... Sometimes, these things just happen. (Who am I kidding? EVERYTHING is a part of the Illuminati's evil plan for one-world domination. I've seen that pyramid on the dollar bill... I know they're always watching... Can't fool me... Not no way, not no how...)

Full confession: The Illuminati made me write this comment. I feel so much better for having come clean. But if I don't comment again for awhi...

Your comment is awaiting moderation. Released and posted 16 May 2011 at 11:05

Bummer... My comment was released from moderation too soon. This was my next comment:





Didn't post it, because my comment had already been released from moderation. (Which is a good thing... except that I really liked my Illuminati comment.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

X-Post: Donalde Douglass Bingo (h/t Malaclypse, at LGM)

Malaclypse says:
I propose a new internet tradition: Donalde Douglass Bingo.

Whatever he says, I predict it will contain at least three of the following:


To which I add, off the top of my head:

Douche -

Add more common words and phrases in comments, and play along...
Winner yells BWAAAHAHA!!! (of course.)

An American ROTFLMFAO!! ROTFLMFAO!! (Nihilist) X-post

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

X-Post: Donald Douglas - Reading Comprehension - 05/10/2011 Edition

Because sometimes, the urge to attack the individuals and groups one disagrees with and to portray them as eternally and unfailingly "eeeeevil" overwhelms the ability to pay enough attention to understand what the words and phrases mean, and actually get the story right.

May 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Robert Farley said:
"That said, I think that Chomsky probably offers a bit more than most political scientists who study international relations are willing to concede; he writes about subjects that hover at the edge of the discipline, but that are quite important and that don’t receive enough attention."
...and Professor Donald Kent Douglas replies:
"I’m not surprised Rob “Che” Farley finds that Chomsky’s work is 'quite important' and doesn’t 'receive enough attention.'"


“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” - Anais Nin

An American Nihilist X-post

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

X-Post: The Politics of Fear... Red-baiting, McCarthyist, Guilt-by Association Fear...

Spoketh the Donalde, in his recent post: Communists and SEIU March in Los Angeles on May Day 2011 - Donald Kent Douglas - American Power:
"RACIST REPSAC = CASPER dropped in for a drive-by comment at Lawyers, Guns and Murder on Saturday, and he again offered up a variant of his pathetic delusion that there are no communists allied with the Democratic Party in contemporary American politics."
Reality check: Here's what I actually said:
"Ideas that are not born in one’s own head (or that harmonize and synchronize with the ones that are, at least) scare some folks silly.

Pointing and yelling “Anti-Seeeeemite!!!” (or “Cooooomunist!!” or “niiiiihilist!!”) at the top of one’s internet lungs is no substitute for reasoned discourse."
- repsac3, May 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm, at the post The CUNY Disgrace : Lawyers, Guns & Money.
So where exactly did I say "there are no communists allied with the Democratic Party in contemporary American politics?" Do you see it, or any variant of that thought, or anything that in any way even resembles that thought? If so, I'd like you to explain where you're getting that, in the comment section below. If not, I have to ask; Is there no lie our friend Dr. Douglas will tell in furtherance of his demonization of "the other"... or does he actually really and truly believe that the words I wrote mean what he's alleging they do? It's gotta make you wonder about him, either way...

(And what the hell is a "drive-by comment," anyway? Where does he come up with this bullshit, and what meme is he trying to sell by employing it? The fact is, I more'n'likely read and comment at Lawyers, Guns, and Money more often than he does... not that Donalde ever lets facts get in the way of whatever sinful crimes and breaches of his crackpot vision of the world he wishes to allege. But damn... He can't even get their name right, which ought to tell ya something...)
"I do not believe RACIST REPSAC = CASPER is a communist. He may be an anti-Semite, in addition to being a racist, and he's definitely a progressive. But that doesn't matter much to the foregoing analysis. The post shows conclusively the infiltration of the Democrat Party by the long-term ideological enemies of the United States. It's fact. That said, facts to not penetrate the world of blind hatred of RACIST REPSAC = CASPER, so this is just for the record, once again. But be warned: Pathetic RACIST REPSAC = CASPER, unfortunately, is potentially even more dangerous than those hoisting banners on the street, for he works in the Alinsky mold of destroying American greatness from within. You gotta watch out for these people. They'd kill you if they get the chance."
Donalde's post attempts to "prove" I'm wrong about something I never said, which is that no communists or socialists have ever aligned themselves with Democratic or mainstream liberal causes. The fact is, I never said it. Donalde is flat out, balls-to-the-wall lying. That, or really, really REALLY misunderstanding something I wrote, somewhere... (Look at what he does with the quote above, after all.) I believe it's the former... He does have a Doctorate, after all... But maybe he really just can't comprehend the written word. Anything is possible...

Either way, let's be clear...

Yes, large numbers of Democrats and communists were opposed to the invasion of Iraq, and support worker unions, health care reform, and other political actions and causes more liberal than that of conservatives. Yes, both groups, as well as those of other ideological, religious, racial, gender, and other cohorts, have protested together at the same events, opposing or supporting the same/similar political actions.

So far, so good. Clear enough, I hope.


I dispute whether their appearance at the same protests make their political beliefs or goals identical, or even all that similar. Being in favor of some kind of health care reform (though generally speaking, not the same health care reforms) does not make Communists of Democrats or Democrats of Marxists. There were many reasons to oppose the invasion of Iraq, and I'm pretty sure the pacifist priests were not there for the same reason as the mothers and fathers who lost sons or daughters in the invasion, or those Democrats who believed that military action not authorized by Congress was a breach of the Constitution, or that Iraq was a distraction from finding and waging war on Osama bin Laden, al Queda, and the Taliban who harbored both... or the socialists and communists who believed that large imperialist countries shouldn't seek to overtake small defenseless ones, either. Same protest, lots of different reasons for attending. Donalde would have you believe that they're all Marxists... ...or soon will be.

Given the make-up of the crowds (there's generally like 100 mainstream liberals--Democrats and Greens, mostly--to 1 communist), I question who's infiltrating who. The way I see it, some of those communists are slowly but surely coming in from the ideological cold, and not the other way round. (Others, I'm sure, are true believers, and think they'll help mainstream liberals defeat conservatives, and then rise up against the mainstream liberals... or something like that. It's far more likely they'll just turn 25, get a job, and vote on the Democrat, Green, or Working Families line.) Donalde would have you believe that the presence of even one communist is evidence that Communism will one day overtake the Democratic party... and perhaps, America.

I even question whether the communists at these rallies and protests are "long-term ideological enemies of the US." They're generally high school or college age kids handing out leaflets or holding a banner. We're not talking Stalinist murderers, here. I'm of the opinion that our Constitution and the American ideals for which we stand can handle being questioned by a few ideological college kids, who'll likely grow out of it by their mid-20's... (...and perhaps go so far as to become neocons, like Donalde. Let us not forget who founded the neoconservative movement, and not all that long ago, even, historically-speaking... Talk about yer communist infiltration... And then there's David Horowitz, too... Once a self-confessed, full-blown communist, and now, a hero of our neoconservative friend Donald Kent Douglas. Coincidence? I think not. But it's the Democratic party that's being infiltrated by communism... Suuuure it is...) ((Golly, this bullshit conspiratorial, guilt-by-association fear-mongering is easier'n I thought...)) (((Yes, I'm leaving the sarc marks off on purpose.)))

In fact, if you follow that link back to the Lawyers, Guns, and Money comment that has professor Douglas in such a tizzy, you'll see that THAT was my point in posting it. Rather than running away with blinders on and fingers in our ears, closing us off to any and all ideas and ideals with which we do not agree--or tossing a bullshit label on them and denouncing/renouncing, and moderating them away, as Donalde does, and would have us all do--we can beat them fair and square in the marketplace of ideas, right out in the open, and without demonizing each other as people either, more'n'likely. Our American ideals are not some hothouse flower that will wilt at the first whiff of a communist or socialist belief. Our Democratic Republic is made of far stronger stuff than Donalde seems to believe it is, and a few ideologically confused undergrads questioning--or even vehemently disagreeing with--some aspect of our American political system or makeup isn't going to cause the slightest dent. YMMV, of course...

Hopefully, this post is clear enough for even Teh Donalde to understand... but knowing him as I do, I wouldn't bet on it.

(Oh, and "Booga!! Booga!! Booga!!" Scared of me yet?)

Previously: DONALD KENT DOUGLAS: Deranged McCarthyist Red-Baiter

An American Niiiiihilist X-post

X-Post: Donald Douglas - Reading Comprehension - 05/09/2011 Edition

Because sometimes, the urge to attack the individuals and groups one disagrees with and to portray them as eternally and unfailingly "eeeeevil" overwhelms the ability to pay enough attention to understand what the words and phrases mean, and actually get the story right.

Monday, May 9, 2011, 2:00 AM

I say:
"Ideas that are not born in one’s own head (or that harmonize and synchronize with the ones that are, at least) scare some folks silly.

Pointing and yelling “Anti-Seeeeemite!!!” (or “Cooooomunist!!” or “niiiiihilist!!”) at the top of one’s internet lungs is no substitute for reasoned discourse."
Donald Douglas reads those words, and reacts by saying:
"RACIST REPSAC = CASPER dropped in for a drive-by comment at Lawyers, Guns and Murder on Saturday, and he again offered up a variant of his pathetic delusion that there are no communists allied with the Democratic Party in contemporary American politics."


“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” - Anais Nin

An American Racist = ASFL = Lying Asshat!!! (A.K.A. American Nihilist) X-post

Sunday, May 08, 2011

X-Post: Donald Douglas - Reading Comprehension - 05/07/2011 Edition

Because sometimes, the urge to attack the individuals and groups one disagrees with and to portray them as eternally and unfailingly "eeeeevil" overwhelms the ability to pay enough attention to understand what the words and phrases mean, and actually get the story right.

May 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Scott Lemieux says:
"I think the Donalde is trying to make KC Johnson look like the good cop. (I’m hoping KC will send us the full list of governments whose past actions should be exempt from criticism if we are to remain academics in good standing. Am I allowed to say that Andrew Jackson engaged in ethnic cleansing, or do I have to lie about it?)"
Donald Douglas reads what Scott wrote, and replies:
"Yes, Scott, if that’s your position. Not only are you a hypocrite, you’re now admitting you’ll resort to lies."
And even that reaction later morphed into:
"Scott’s a hypocrite and now a self-professed liar..."

“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” - Anais Nin

An American Nihilist X-post

In reply: It isn't anti-Semitic to disagree with something the State of Israel once did or is doing now, any more than it's anti-American to disagree with past or present US government policy.

In reply to this off-topic comment by Donald Douglas (largely repeated in my reply) at the American Niiiiihilist post What're We Supposed To Call These Folks... bin Ladeners??

What's with you and using comment sections like a mailbox? Do the words "off-topic" really mean nothing to you?

"From the AmPow comments on the LGM thread..."

Well, if Grant says it...

LGM's commenters are the both the dumbest and most demented. Awful people.

Your opinion too, is noted.

And Repsac3, you idiot, when have I ever alleged you a Jew-basher?

Do I not comment at LGM? Am I not a progressive? When you generalize about folks in the course of making an accusation, you accuse all the folks you generalize about. (That's one of the things that makes generalizing such a stupid thing to do.)

A racist, yes, for your white-supremacist views reared during the Pale Scot affair. You yourself said you judge people first by the color of their skin. That's bigoted and racist.

I'm pretty sure I didn't, but I invite you to cite it, rather than just make this random claim...

"And everyone distanced themselves from those views at the time, except you. I don't care personally. It's not about me. It's your hypocrisy."

Saying it doesn't make it so, Donald... Put up or shut up.

"And this is the key point about progressives, which is precisely true:
"When you hold the State of Israel – a nation in a struggle for its survival from the beginning, a target for the misogynist, racist, anti-western, dictatorial regimes which surround it – to a standard you would hold no other nation under normal circumstances, let alone under such exigencies – and when you spew libel against our sole regional democratic ally for “crimes” concocted by delegitimizers, you are an anti-Semite."

Sorry Donald, but the quote doesn't sound any better (or more correct) the 3rd (or is it 4th?) time you repeat it.

Israel's a fine country, but it isn't perfect... It's not above any/all criticism. They're kinda like America, in that regard... Some very questionable things done in their past, and differing opinions about government policies, from within and without, even to this day. They, (like us, in America) are held to a higher standard than these misogynist, racist, anti-western, dictatorial regimes because they, like us are viewed on the world stage as actually having a higher, more enlightened set of values and ideals. People expect more of Israel and the US because we demand more of ourselves. I'm surprised that you and Wiesenfeld fail to understand that.

It isn't anti-Semitic to disagree with something the State of Israel once did or is doing now, any more than it's anti-American to disagree with past or present US government policy. And because of the history of the Jewish people and anti-Semitism, it's as ugly an accusation to make as it is a false one.

There is straight up anti-Semitism in the world, Donald, but these kinda specious accusations cheapen the term and will in time make it meaningless from overuse. When every disagreement with any Jewish person or policy of the State of Israel is being called anti-Semitic, the term loses it's actual meaning.

I urge you to at least consider it, Dr Douglas...
Posted at American Nihilist May 8, 2011, 7:10 AM
Also submitted for moderator approval rejected for publication, for reasons I leave for the reader to determine (though I know what I think), at Dr Douglas' American Power: Scott Lemieux Backs Anti-Semitic Tony Kushner at Lawyers, Guns and Money post on May 8, 2011 4:05 AM (AmPow blog time). Hopefully, Dr Douglas won't be too cowardly to allow it to appear there at the post where it actually belongs, but knowing Dr. Douglas as I do, I'm not holding my breath.

Annual Repost: Mother’s Day: 5 Things Worth Knowing

It's a repeat, and yet it's still fresh and timely. Also see my: Annual Repost of Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, another retread from years past.

mental_floss Blog: Notes on the History of Mother’s Day: 5 Things Worth Knowing

Mother’s Day: 5 Things Worth Knowing
by David K. Israel - May 8, 2008 - 4:49 PM

1. Mother of the Pharaohs

As with many of our calendar-specific events and customs, some of the earliest records of a society honoring a mother can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who held an annual festival for the goddess Isis, sometimes referred to as the Mother of the Pharaohs.

Given the following list of a.k.a.’s, it’s no wonder she had her own day of celebration (top this moms!): Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Gods, The One Who is All, Lady of Green Crops, The Brilliant One in the Sky, Star of the Sea, Great Lady of Magic, Mistress of the House of Life, She Who Knows How To Make Right Use of the Heart, Light-Giver of Heaven, Lady of the Words of Power, and She Who Dominates the Remote (okay, okay, but she probably WOULD have, had there been remote control domination issues at the time).

2. Magna Mater

Of course, the Greeks and Romans had to have something like an Isis day, too. In Greece, there was a special day to celebrate the annual spring festival, in honor of Rhea, the Mother of Zeus, a.k.a., “The mother of the Gods.” The Roman’s (and some Greeks) called her Cybele, or Magna Mater. According to a few sources, male Magna Mater wannabees would castrate themselves, don women’s clothing and assume female identities. (Do we know any modern-day mom’s who’ve had the same effect on men?)

3. The Mother of all Churches

As Christianity spread through Europe, it became fashionable to honor the church in which one was baptized. People would honor their “mother church” with flowers on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ. Then, in England, in the 1600s, a decree took hold, widening the celebration to include actual mothers, and voila, we have the birth of “Mothering Sunday,” as it was called. Christians were also allowed to eat on this Lenten Sunday, which meant a one-day break from the 40 day pre-Easter fast. In addition to flowers, it was a time for families to travel in order to be together, much like our present-day Mother’s Day.

4. The Hymn for Womyn

What do Mother’s Day and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” have in common? Julia Ward Howe, of course. It was her eyes that saw much more than the glory of the coming of the Lord. In 1870, 12 years after penning the infamous lyric, she wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation that said:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts…
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

It was an anti-war protest of sorts, in which she insisted on an international Mother’s Day celebrating peace and motherhood. She proposed July 4th, but ultimately June 2nd was picked as the day. The new holiday, however, slowly fizzled out and by 1900, it was no longer celebrated.

5. The Hallmark of Hard Work

Then, in 1908, Mother’s Day was born again at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, thanks to the efforts of one Anna M. Jarvis, who was looking to honor her mother Anna Reeves Jarvis, who’d recently passed away after spending more than 20 years teaching Sunday school at the church. Every mom who showed up to the memorial received 2 white carnations. The event was so successful, Anna quit her job and went all over the country petitioning state governments, women groups, churches, anyone who’d get behind her cause to create a national Mother’s Day. Her hard work paid off and in 1912, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day. Two years later, good old President Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, reserving the second Sunday in May as the official Mother’s Day. And there was much rejoicing in the offices of Hallmark. (You think I’m joking, but the card company was founded in 1910, so it’s entirely possible.)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

In Reply: "...this country recognizes no legal authority higher than the US Constitution."

In reply to various comments made at Typical United Nations idiocy - Dana Pico - Common Sense Political Thought:
"One American value is that there is no substitute for victory. In war, the winners make the rules."
Winners write the history. The rules of war (and of post-war, too) are largely already written.

"Truman gave himself the “Right” to nuke Hiroshima..."
I'm pretty sure the right to drop bombs on a declared enemy during wartime existed prior to Truman. A new kind of bomb doesn't require a new "right," (though there were some spoken and unspoken negotiations and "rules" made about the use of such bombs, afterward.)

"...this country recognizes no legal authority higher than the US Constitution."
"There is no legal authority higher than the US Constitution and there is no legal authority over the US outside the US, period."

Sadly, this isn't as true as you folks'd like to believe. There are judgements made by the WTO and IMF that contravene our Constitution and US law. The Geneva conventions that Hitchcock cited earlier are "one world" laws, though they do largely fit in with US law. And, while they don't always have the force of law, we seem to give a good bit of deference to UN judgements, rules, and mandates, too. While I'm viscerally opposed to any body outweighing our sovereign US law at first thought, I also believe that there need to be rules governing the interactions between nations, just as there are rules that govern smaller sovereign bodies (states, cities, and we individuals). As I keep saying 'round here, I believe there are God-given, inalienable human rights that apply to every living person across the earth. (While "God bless America" is a wonderful slogan, the fact is that Tiny Tim's utterance was closer to the truth; God blesses us all, every one...) And while I believe that man is basically good, I also believe that we need laws and a means of enforcing them because man obviously isn't universally good... not even we Americans.

I believe in US sovereignty, but I also believe we need to make and keep legal agreements with other nations, and that there has to be a penalty for not doing so, that applies to every signing nation across the board (because otherwise, any agreement we make becomes meaningless.) For the most part, I believe that the international agreements we make and laws to which we agree are like the Geneva Conventions, in that they comport with our US Constitution and don't call our sovereignty into question. And to borrow Eric's point, being the biggest, baddest mofo's on the planet, I'm pretty sure we have the necessary leverage to maintain our US sovereignty and fealty to the Constitution in future international agreements and bodies, as well... YMMV...

Posted 7 May 2011 at 13:40

Thursday, May 05, 2011

In Reply: Torture Creep

In reply:
Hoagie sez:
One other thing, repsac3. Sometimes you are unaware of a “ticking timebomb” until you push enough buttons to uncover it. Saying “pretty-please” usually won’t work. Trust me.
Good article on the "torture creep" that Hoagie may or may not be advocating in his comment above about being unaware of ticking timebombs until you've "pushed enough buttons" to uncover it (a potentially ominous phrase, if ever I read one.)

Torture Opponents Were Right - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics - The Atlantic. The key paragraph:
The return of the torture debate is striking because its apologists no longer feel the need to advocate for a narrow exception to prevent an American city from being nuked or a busload of children from dying. In the jubilation over getting bin Laden, they're instead employing this frightening standard: torture of multiple detainees is justified if it might produce a single useful nugget that, combined with lots of other intelligence, helps lead us to the secret location of the highest value terrorist leader many years later. It's suddenly the new baseline in our renewed national argument.

Posted 5 May 2011 at 18:43

Added, 7:15 PM: Reading this comment over, I was far too kind... Not only is it what Hoagie was advocating, it's what every person who offers some variation of "Waterboarding / Enhanced Interrogation Tactics / Torture Works!!" is advocating. (For the record, one of those is a real right wing blog post title, right down to the exclamation points.) The fuse on the potential time bomb can now be seven years long, and the torture is still justified... and that's just nuts.

In Reply: Do It, But Then Stand Behind Your Actions

In reply to the following comment at Obama Waited 16 Hours (Good) Bush Waited 10 Minutes (Bad) - Common Sense Political Thought
Hoagie Sez: I don’t know how many battles you’ve engaged in Whistler, but as a man who spent 520 consecutive days in a theatre of war and participated in 42 battles, torture does work. You may not like it. You may not have the ability to inflict it. But it really does work. If it did not work no one would use it now would they? You may sit in your ivory tower and pontificate about the dignity of America all you want, but when our lives and those of our fellow warriors or families are at stake there is no line we will not cross to achieve victory. That’s why war sucks. All wars suck, even when we know we are right. It still sucks.
“…when our lives and those of our fellow warriors or families are at stake there is no line we will not cross to achieve victory.”
Y’know… I’m not actually opposed to that. If you really believe you’re in the classic ticking time bomb scenario, and truly believe you can end it Jack Bauer-style via torture, you do it. But then you stand trial, and justify your actions before a jury of your peers. I have little problem with jury nullification, and believe that a guy whose act of torture saved the lives of tens, hundreds, or thousands would never be convicted.

Posted 5 May 2011 at 13:12

In Reply: "Enhanced" Interrogation; It is what it is, and few minds are gonna change, either way

In reply to a whole bunch of comments at Dana Pico's The best result - Common Sense Political Thought

I don't know, guys...

The fact that some bit of useful intelligence might've been discovered as a result of "enhanced" interrogation methods, up to and including the "now-it's-torture-now-it-isn't-now-it-is-again" practice of water boarding, does not vindicate either the "enhanced" interrogation methods, or the torture.

First off, we'll probably never know for sure, as most of the folks there to tell us what we learned when and how have a vested interest, one way or the other. It's no accident that it's largely one political pov and folks who worked under 'em saying the death of bin Laden never would've happened without these methods, and the other political pov and folks who didn't work under the first political pov calling those assertions into question.

Second, there's no way to prove that it couldn't've happened the opposite way. The facts surrounding our interrogation history as regards all that lead to finding bin Laden are what they are. Maybe less harsh interrogation methods might've achieved a more reliable or a quicker result, or maybe without harsh interrogation methods, we never would've gotten bin Laden at all, and had we water boarded every detainee we captured, we might've caught/killed bin Laden years sooner. There's little point theorizing though, because the bell was rung, and it can't be unrung. We did our interrogations the way we did them, and obtained the information we obtained. There's no way of knowing "what might've been, had we used more (or fewer) harsh interrogation methods on fewer (or more) detainees, more (or less) often." As the saying goes, it is what it is (and it was what it was, too.)

This is also why I can't take seriously the occasional mini-meme of folks who say "Obama was opposed to such'n'such an interrogation method or detention facility, but had no problem using the info gleaned from them to kill bin Laden." The info was already obtained, however it was obtained... It wasn't as though Obama & co. could unlearn it, and then interrogate it out again the "right" way. Whatever the moralities or legalities of torture or other bad acts (I'm thinking of the syphilis testing done on black men, or other unethical bits of human experimentation over the years, for starters), we neither could or should unlearn the facts obtained because of their use, even as we criticize the methods, themselves. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.

I've voiced my bit on morality, values, and the American way as regards "enhanced" interrogation methods--whatever their effectiveness in this particular case or overall--and I've seen nothing so far that'd change my position.

So, while I'm sure the debate will rage on, I'm not sure there's any winning this one, for any person or point of view.

After giving it a whole lotta thought, and in the absence of solid facts to the contrary, I have decided to believe that bin Laden made a move or otherwise acted in some way that made his killing justified. I choose not to believe that the US government authorizes or condones summary execution of anyone, no matter how evil a person is or how many people he's killed. It was the best result, but even the best ends don't justify illegal or immoral means. We are a nation of laws, even in time of war, and even on the battlefield.

I pray I never have occasion to learn any different.

And just as an aside...
Dana Pico says:
4 May 2011 at 12:34
Casper wrote:
I see Pico deciphered my super-secret pseudo-pseudononymous nom-de-keyboard. Congratulations are in order. (It took some folks years to do the same, complete with cries and gnashing of teeth about how I was a coward unwilling to stand behind what I wrote, in a few cases.)

James Casper III... Pleased to meet'cha... You can call me whatever you wish or think you need to (as long as you're not breaking the rules here, and you don't call me late for dinner), but personally, I'm stickin' with repsac3, which I've been using at AOL and in/on newsgroups, e-groups, yahoogroups, and blogs (in order, as best as I can recall) since the mid-90's, on my very first teeny-tiny 100 mb Mac Classic. As long as you steer clear of the caps lock and the equals sign, we cool...

Posted 5 May 2011 at 11:21

X-Post: Something Someone Else Said (A Brain Rage meme)

Acknowledging that I'm once again "borrowing" from one time fellow blogger and lifetime honorary nihilist* JBW, his "something someone else said" blog meme, my post.(Fair warning, Webb... This prolly won't be the last time I use the meme or otherwise put your brain on display on one of my blogs. I get why you're not blogging these days, but dude, you got skills, yo. And if you're not gonna make use of 'em, I'm gonna get 'em out there as best I can... 'nuff said.):
"Personally, I am simply against torture. In all instances. I don't care if it gave us Bin Laden's location. Torture is absolutely morally abhorrent, in the same way as rape, and something completely contrary to the standard of human dignity appealed to by America's greatest thinkers.

This post might as well be titled 'Rape Works!' and include a story about how a raped woman got pregnant."
- Richard Booth, May 3, 2011 9:51 AM comment at the American Power post, Waterboarding Works!

*We're not really nihilists... Some just think we are...

Wingnuts & Moonbats X-post

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

In Reply: God-given inalienable rights apply to everyone, all the time.

In reply to the following comment by Dana Pico at the Common Sense Political Thought post, The best result.:
If he had a suicide vest on, it would mean that he was prepared for the attack, that he knew it was coming, in which case he’d almost certainly have tried to escape before the SEALs arrived.

It’s got to take some time to put on a suicide explosive vest and get it right, a lot more time than it would to grab an AK-47 and start defending yourself.

“Arresting” Osama bin Laden would have been like capturing Adolf Hitler, nothing but a circus. We did capture Saddam Hussein, and the Iraqis put him on trial, and, even without the idiocy that American jurisprudence has become, the trial turned into a circus.

Your God-given, inalienable rights are something to be considered in a trial, in a criminal proceeding. But this is war, has always been war, and when you encounter the enemy, the automatic prejudice is to shoot him.
I’m only going with what what I read, Dana… Perhaps I should’ve said "IED" rather than "suicide vest," but ObL blowing himself up really was a legitimate concern…

Osama bin Laden: Osama bin Laden's surrender wasn't a likely outcome in raid, U.S. officials say - "Bin Laden could have surrendered only 'if he did not pose any type of threat whatsoever,' White House counter-terrorism chief John Brennan said on Fox television, and if U.S. troops 'were confident of that in terms of his not having an IED [improvised explosives device] on his body, his not having some type of hidden weapon or whatever.'"

(In fact, there’s a more in depth version of this story I read somewhere, that tells of a team who tried to take a terrorist into custody in a similar situation (at night, at home, not expecting to be caught) where the guy did blow himself up (and took some of his would-be captors with him. I’ll post the link, if I ever find it, again.) [After looking around all day, I'm beginning to think I imagined it. The closest I came was the story further down at the very link I provided, that described the Jordanian who we believed to be working with us, who detonated a vest after several CIA agents gathered around to greet him.]

I agree with you about arresting the guy, and like I said, I do agree that this was the best result.

But no... God-given inalienable rights apply to everyone, all the time. Even in war, shooting folks who’re obviously unarmed isn’t kosher, morally or legally. I’d like to think he posed some immediate potential threat that justified his killing, because if this was an execution, I’m going to be experiencing a little bit more cognitive dissonance than I’d like, vis-à-vis who we are and what we stand for.
Posted 4 May 2011 at 12:51

In Reply: ObL: The Best Result, But... (Ends/Means)

In reply to The best result - Dana Pico - Common Sense Political Thought

It almost certainly was the best result.

But me and my pesky American values and firm belief in those God-given, inalienable rights, is having a little trouble with our executing an unarmed man, no matter who he was or what he “allegedly” did. (assuming that’s what we did, of course… The story is apparently still “fluid,” and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it change, yet again.) Once we make exceptions to those inalienable rights, they run the risk of devolving into wishy washy situational ethics, and I’m just not cool with that.

It helps to buy into the meme that he might’ve had a suicide vest on under his speed racer pj’s, and thus the men who shot him acted in defense of themselves, the innocent civilians, and the others in their squad… …but it’s a kind of thin cover, where rights and values are concerned.

Posted 4 May 2011 at 12:20

In Reply: Inalienable Rights are Supposed to be Universal and Everlasting, Aren't They?

In reply to Osama Bin Laden Likely Executed 'After' the Raid, Not Killed in a Firefight - New York News - Runnin' Scared

Sad and disappointing.

When America doesn't live up to our ideals and values, what have we got left?

I'm glad Osama bin Laden is dead, but I'm disappointed if it's true that the US military executed an unarmed man, especially if he could've been taken into custody (or actually was taken into custody, prior to being shot.)

I believe in God-given, inalienable rights that apply universally to all mankind, regardless of... ...well... regardless of anything. Once we allow for exceptions, they are no longer inalienable, universal rights. They're wishy-washy situational ethics. And situational ethics is not a solid foundation on which to rest a country or a form of government.

We can do better. We ARE better.

God bless America, and help us do right.

Posted 5/4/11, 11:36 AM (or so)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

In Reply: Whether or not torture "works," it's still a filthy immoral thing

In reply to this comment at the Common Sense Political Thought post Osama bin Laden Is Dead UPDATE: He Died In A Mansion? UPDATE: He Died Today In A Firefight UPDATE: GWB Congratulates BHO, Troops UPDATE: Dies On Holocaust Memorial Day (Too much to repost. Please visit CSPT for more info.)

I stand by what I've said. I do question the effectiveness of "enhanced" interrogation techniques, on the grounds that many interrogators have said that they elicit too much false information, and because the world wouldn't willingly choose not to engage in such methods if they really did lead to more reliable information, and/or do so more quickly. Obviously, others, both "expert" and ordinary citizen, believe otherwise. Whether such methods work, either as tools to get reliable information themselves, or to "break" a prisoner's spirit and thus get reliable information later--and the attendant questions of whether either/both outcome(s) are possible via more traditional and widely accepted means--will of course continue.

But to me, the effectiveness of "harsh" "coercive" "enhanced" interrogation techniques is a secondary issue, even if they did provide the key info that lead to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

From all I've read, and from what my own common sense and experiences tell me, water boarding -- the intentional drowning and simulated death of an unwilling participant, is a form of torture. We here in the US have successfully prosecuted both our own citizens and military men in other countries for committing the same/very similar acts on US citizens and servicemen. And while redefining the word torture and the act of water boarding can make once illegal acts legal, it cannot change the morality of committing them. (Whatever one's stand on abortion or homosexuality, the same rule applies; legality (or illegality) doesn't affect morality.) For me, it's that simple. While I have my doubts about the effectiveness of torture, my position would be the same even if it could be conclusively proven that torture produces the most reliable intelligence, and does so in half the time. Like the man said, "...sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'll never know because I won't eat the filthy motherfucker." We're Americans, and we live by a set of ideals. Whether or not torture "works," it's still a filthy thing, and I'm going to continue to speak out against anyone willing to lower our American standards and values enough to metephorically swallow it.

Posted 3 May 2011 at 21:31 and 3 May 2011 at 22:19

If Torture "Works," Why Do We Not Torture ALL of Our Legal/Military Detainees?

In reply to the following comment at the Common Sense Political Thought post Osama bin Laden Is Dead UPDATE: He Died In A Mansion? UPDATE: He Died Today In A Firefight UPDATE: GWB Congratulates BHO, Troops UPDATE: Dies On Holocaust Memorial Day"
But really — why do we maintain black sites if “ordinary” methods work just fine?

The answer to your question, of course, is that there are individuals who believe as you do, that torture works, or perhaps that, whether it works or not, it's use creates fear in the minds of our enemies and makes us appear more resolute in their eyes... ...and perhaps in the eyes of some of our own citizens, as well. We maintain (or maintained, I hope) black sites because the people in charge believe(d) that harsh interrogation methods that would not withstand the scrutiny of the US citizenry had some actual or propaganda value, and they also had power to put their theory into practice.

Of course, Hube, there is a correlation to the argument you're offering. If enhanced interrogation was significantly more effective than non-coercive means, it's use would be far more widespread and accepted here in America and throughout the world. However we choose to classify the "water cure" and other such methods, they've been around for a very long time, and countless military and law enforcement theoretical experts and in-the-field practitioners have had plenty of time to evaluate the effectiveness of such treatment on a detainee's willingness to provide truthful, reliable, actionable intelligence. So the question is, if the interrogation methods used at black sites are so effective, why are they not more prevalent in military/law enforcement interrogation rooms throughout the world?

Posted 3 May 2011 at 13:45

Added: Besides, Hube... While the theory that “if it exists, there must be a need for it” may be persuasive to some, one only has to consider the pet rock, or the KFC Double Down sandwich to realize the folly of the idea as a useful or accurate meme.

I’m just sayin’…

X-Post: What're We Supposed To Call These Folks... bin Ladeners?? (Deathers, apparently)

I'm sure I'll find others (and I'll update if/when I do), but it's somehow fitting that it's one of Donald Douglas' most prolific commenters and fans who is the first I've found giving voice to this "Osama's been dead for years" conspiracy. (And note Dave's continued birtherism, as well...)
Dave said...
So we are supposed to believe that the wealthiest murderer in history, who loved nothing more than making videos of himself threatening to blow up this or that, then pack it off to his friends at Al Jazeera, did not have access to a video camera since 2002, even though the Pakistanis reportedly built a compound for him sometime around 2005.

Osama wasn't exactly holed up in a cave with no electricity or running watter.

Osama was his own favorite video star, and those tapes stopped coming for one of two reasons:

1) He voluntarily stopped producing them,or-

2) He was no-longer able to produce them.

Last week, it was the release of yet another COLB, which most are taking as the gospel, and now this.

I don't know, but something about all this just doesn't feel right to me.

Maybe it's that I trust this White House about as far as I could push it.


May 1, 2011 11:33 PM

There are some really scary individuals out there in hyper-partisanland, and Dave is one of 'em.

Well that didn't take long:

(Freudian, perhaps--the hate is strong in this one, too--but a typo, nevertheless... He meant "Osama," not "Obama.")

@Dave Champion: Obama Osama died long ago. Most of the important players in the Middle East have known it. US media does Washington DC's bidding.

And where did I find this guy? Through another Donald Douglas link, of course:
9:30pm PST: Checking some progressives on Twitter, Karoli's not pleased with the response on the right.
(Two things: 1) In Donald's original post, the phrase "on the right" was a link as well, but I thought it'd make my point less clear if I included both in the quote. For those curious though, I include that second link here. 2) It seems pretty obvious to me that Karoli's concern about that first tweet was the typo saying "Obama's died long ago," and not the fact that Osama is dead. While she prolly ought to've realized it was just a rightwing-Freudian typo, that tweet doesn't show what The Donalde claims it does... ...and as far as the second tweet, I'm kinda with Karoli... I understand why folks are celebrating--folks left and right, BTW... Contrary to Dr Douglas' implication, it isn't only folks on the right dancing in the streets--but to my way of thinking, people killing other people isn't something to celebrate. It's often necessary, and in this case, I'm glad the guy is dead, but I won't be whooping it up. I'm just not built that way.) ((Now the exhortations involving the body and pork products or urine/feces--many of which are being offered by folks on the right--are just plain ghoulish and altogether disgusting. Celebrate if you must, but don't expose quite so much of the psyche, guys. Some things are better left thought about, but unspoken.))

Another, although this fellow is apparently a Truther, as well:
Dean Jackson sez:
Can you believe the lies? It's unbelievable. For those who pay attention Osama was murdered years ago. Fast forward to 2:10 minutes in the following BBC interview with Benazir Bhutto:
Found in the comments at: Osama Bin Laden dead: How Obama's focused pursuit paid off. - By John Dickerson - Slate Magazine (No comment permalinks, but scroll to Today (5/2/11) 7:17:29 AM EDT, to read this comment and more from this nutter.)

And if you watch his video, be sure to note the rebuttal video linked to it, as well: YouTube - Bhutto didn't mean to say "Osama bin Laden" (Can't post one without the other.)

The American Spectator : Osama bin Elvis

Inside Sources: Bin Laden’s Corpse Has Been On Ice For Nearly a Decade - Alex Jones - Infowars: There's a war on for your mind! and at memeorandum

Of course, every coin has two sides... While some say he's been dead for years, others want proof he's dead now... And someone from Breitbart's unstable stable leads the pack:
ThinkProgress - Meet The Deathers: Andrew Brietbart Website Pushing Conspiracy Theory That Osama Might Not Be Dead. Should we really be surprised? Here's the link to the post: J. Michael Waller - BigPeace: "Display Bin Laden’s Body At Ground Zero. Then Destroy The Al Qaeda Legacy." Now comes with a memeorandum link, too.

Mailbag: Goodbye 'birthers,' hello 'deathers' | Opinion L.A. | Los Angeles Times (While "deathers" seems to be the chosen term in the media, it was already taken in my mind for the folks insisting on those health care "death panels." But if it takes for these "Osama's been dead for years"/"prove Osama's dead now, long-form" idiots too, I'm willing to roll with it...)
memeorandum: Conspiracies conjure that Osama bin Laden still lives (The Politico)

An American Niiiiihilist X-post

Monday, May 02, 2011

In Reply: Osama and the Twin Memes of the Right

In reply to a series of comments at Raid that got bin Laden was culmination of years of work, senior administration officials say | Philip Klein | Politics | Washington Examiner

Any chance you could cite that NYT article that discusses this 2007 discovery of the courier's name at Guantanimo by title and author... Because the article I read said they learned the man's name four years ago (2007), but doesn't say that any Gitmo detainee was the source of that info. (We did get his nickname from a detainee, but that was "not long after 9/11.") The article I'm reading is titled "Detective work on courier lead to breakthrough on bin Laden," and was authored by Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper. Please show your work as well because, as I've been saying in the comments to this same article posted here at the Washington Examiner ten minutes earlier, no one yet has offered anything conclusive on the twin memes that 1) closing Guantanimo anytime after 2004 or so would've had any effect on the killing of bin Laden, or 2) that harsh interrogation techniques elicited the intelligence that lead to the Abbott & Costello compound where bin Laden was located.

I look forward to your reply.

Posted 5/2/11 11:25 PM

In Reply: "Enhanced Interrogation" (Torture) Vindicated? Not So Fast...

In reply to the following comment at the Washington Examiner post Bin Laden raid was culmination of years of work, senior administration officials say:
"My reply is not to invoke frustration regarding your comment. But, it does make me question your involvement in such matters. You said 'we get'. Are you or have you personally been involved in such matters? The theory of , it is better to talk than fight always sounds better. The praticality of it is not always true. War has been around for a very long time. I would believe if just talking worked would only be used. Physical and mental tactics are purposeful and effective."
I have not personally interrogated anyone, no. I'm willing to bet that the majority of us (that is, we Americans) similarly never have. I don't believe that my failure to do so should in any way negate my opinion on the matter, anymore than I believe that anyone who advocates in favor of war without ever having served in one is a chicken hawk. Our whole military structure is based on civilian leadership and oversight, and our government is similarly civilian lead and "overseen" by we, the people. As Americans, we have an obligation to speak up about the things our government is doing in our name... ...even if we haven't personally done those things, ourselves.

Further, I'm not advocating against war... I agree there is a time for talking, and a time for fighting. While I never thought Iraq was a particularly good idea (to this day... The ends don't justify the means.), I was never opposed to our invasion of Afghanistan, and I'm still not.

And, while I do question the effectiveness of torture (and it's euphemism, "enhanced interrogation"), that isn't the only reason to oppose their use. Even if they elicited nothing but 100% factual intelligence, they would still be morally and legally wrong. We Americans stand for a set of values, and one of them is that we treat others humanely, no matter how poorly they treat us. It is our values that define us and make us exceptional on the world stage. When we compromise them for short term gain--and as I said, I question whether there is any short term gain, besides--we compromise that which makes us who we are as a nation.

Since I posted my initial comment, Folks have been floating the meme that harsh interrogation tactics were responsible for some of the intelligence that lead to the killing of bin Laden. Facts in support have been sketchy, at best. (An AP report quoting unnamed sources...) Until I see something more definitive I'll have my doubts, but even if it turns out to be completely true, every word, I'll still believe that the use of torture goes against the values that make America great, and that we can get all the intelligence we need through the methods the military and law enforcement have always employed.

Posted 5/2/11, 10:38 PM

In Reply: In spite of the meme, is there any solid evidence that "harsh interrogation" played any part in finding ObL?

Revised and extended, in reply to the following AP blurb, posted at Officials: CIA interrogators at secret prisons developed first strands that led to bin Laden |
WASHINGTON - Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden's most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed's successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful. Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system.
Not a single official willing to go on record, though...

Perhaps they could at least clarify the methods used to obtain the information--because in spite of many of the claims being made in these comments and throughout the blogosphere, I don't see any official account saying that the intentional near drowning of any detainee lead to our getting the information in question.

There's a whole lotta disinformation, rearguard CYA, and wishful thinkin' going on around this story, methinks... It'd be far more believable if someone would speak on the record, and end the speculation and guesswork.

Nobody wanted to close Gitmo or any of the secret prisons because they were ineffective or didn't provide information; Obama and others wanted to close them because they'd become legal black holes, where people are being held without benefit of trial or conviction, and some of us believe that it is unAmerican / unjust to do that to ANYONE, no matter their nationality or the circumstances under which they were captured. Inalienable, God-given rights apply to everyone, or they're not inalienable, or God-given. If one has foundational principles, they apply across the board. Otherwise, they're nothing more than wishy-washy situational ethics. (And yes, I understand that Gitmo is legal; I'm not saying otherwise. What I am saying is it's immoral, and not in keeping with the notion that all men (not all citizens, but all men) are created equal, and should be treated that way, before the law.)

I've seen nothing to suggest that the information used to ultimately find Osama bin Laden was gathered through the use of intentional drowning or any other "harsh interrogation" method, or that Obama's failure to close Guantanamo in 2009 in any way helped them gather the information they did in 2007 or before (4 years ago). If anyone has solid evidence to the contrary--hopefully something with a name attached to it, this time--I'd be most interested in reading what you have to say.

As I've said elsewhere, I believe that a whole lot of named and nameless individuals working for or with either (or both) the Bush administration and the Obama administration, as well as the folks in the military who carried out the mission, deserve a whole lot of credit for finally getting this done. But there is zero evidence that any credit goes to Gitmo or the black sites as prisons, or to torture as a method of gathering information. (Even where KSM was concerned, reports are most of the reliable info they got from him was when he WASN'T being tortured, rather than when he was.) ((And where is this "KSM gave up the OBL info" meme coming from, btw... That's another one that seems to have no basis in fact...))

Posted (in shorter form) at the link above, May. 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM ( time)

In Reply: Grave-dancing

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy." - MLK Jr Jessica Dovey

Revised and extended, slightly, in reply to the following comment at the Lawyers, Guns & Money post It sounds as if Bin Laden may have been executed
Boudleaux says:
Since we are far enough through the looking glass that we even need to ask a Democratic President not to have American Citizens killed without any shred of due process, it is well too much to ask that any kind of “rule of law” stuff start with Bin Laden himself.

Other than that, I have small children, and I have yet to derive a clear picture in my mind of how to justify being happy someone got killed, no matter who it is.

Easter was an occasion for them to begin wrapping their minds around the fact that the Romans executed people. And that we do also. I’ll have to ease them into the notion of grave-dancing.

May 2, 2011 at 8:48 am
Boudleaux, you're obviously not one of them he-man, kill-'em-all, let-God-sort-'em-out, REAL Americans...

Me, neither. I had a similar reaction to the celebrations. I'm not unhappy that they guy is dead, or even that it happened the way it did, but I just don't have it in me to pop open the champagne (or a beer, even) and start chanting U-S-A!!, U-S-A!!, (or anything else) no matter who gets killed.

Everyone involved (the military, and folks working during both administrations) deserve our thanks and credit, but I won't be whipping out my Kool and The Gang CDs or the mirrored disco ball as a result of their accomplishment...

Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:36 am (LGM blog time)

Added, 5/3/11: Anatomy of a Fake Quotation - Megan McArdle. How a woman expressing a simple "No Grave-dancing" sentiment accidentally put folks in a tizzy, via the awesome power of the internet.

"USA! USA!" is the wrong response - War Room -
While the doughy pantload didn't get it, many of his commenters (fellow rightwingers, y'all) did: The Dumbest Reaction to Bin Laden’s Death So Far - By Jonah Goldberg - The Corner - National Review Online
Complications after a night of jubilation - The Washington Post
Gregory Rodriguez from ground zero: America reboots | Opinion L.A. | Los Angeles Times
Searching for Meaning in Bin Laden’s Death | FDL News Desk

In Reply: "No, it's a Rightwing Victory, Dammit!!"

In reply to the following comment at Bin Laden raid was culmination of years of work, senior administration officials say | Philip Klein | Beltway Confidential | Washington Examiner

What a delicious irony it would be to discover the intel gained from the gitmo detainee was obtained by waterboarding. (There's no comment permalinks. This comment was submitted 5/2/11, approximately 8:35 AM, Eastern)

Where did you read that? Because this article says nothing about waterboarding, or anything about the circumstances under which the detainees in question gave up the information, including where they were held, even.

I know there are folks on the right who want to spin this as some kinda victory just for them, but the facts in evidence just ain't cooperating... It was a victory for us all, not just those espousing a particular political point of view. You might be better off being one of those tinfoil hat types (bin Ladeners?) who claim Osama bin Laden was killed years ago under Bush, and it's all been kept from the American public, up till now... I'm sure Trump has folks investigating...

On Edit: I didn't notice this was a fantasy comment, first time 'round (though I am right that no one said "gitmo," either)... But in reply, yes, it would be ironic... though from what I've heard, unlikely. Most of the reliable info we get comes from talking to those we interrogate, not by almost drowning them, or otherwise making them feel pain.
Posted 5/2/11, approximately 9:01 AM, eastern

Nerd Score (Do nerds score?)