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Stand Up For Michigan – Video Of Benton Harbor Parade With Gov. Snyder!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

To My Mom, The Best There Ever Was!

My mother was the best mom you could possibly have. I’m going to tell you a little bit about what made her so incredible. This isn’t to take away from all the other great moms out there, it is a testament to all moms.

She lived a very full life and passed away 11 years ago, leaving behind a legacy and a path of love that will continue till the end of time.

When she was 19 years old, she worked as an assistant to the President of Gerber Baby Food up in Fremont Michigan, their corporate headquarters. One of her jobs was to reply to all the people who mailed in photos of their babies hoping to be the next Gerber baby.

She joined the WAVES during World War II and ended up with a Top Secret level job working in the office of the Commander of the Navy. Before being hired, the FBI sent a team of agents to Muskegon Michigan to investigate her and talk to neighbors and friends to see what type of person she was.  My mother was one of the most honorable, honest individuals that ever walked the planet. She got the job. She used to say how she couldn’t tell anyone where she worked or what she did. She could only say, I work at the Pentagon.

One of her jobs as an assistant to the Commander of the Navy was to actually move the pins around on the map which showed where enemy subs were located, based on the latest intelligence. She said that she was frisked when she entered the office and when she left. She loved Washington DC and always encouraged me to visit there, which I have yet to do. Soon, Ma, soon.

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May 8, 2011 Posted by | General | | 4 Comments

Governor Rick Snyder Takes His Victory Lap In Benton Harbor Michigan

As with all photos taken by me personally, they are free for the taking. If you want a high resolution version, just email me at liberalforreal@gmail.com.

And this close up from the previous photo is for the person who tweeted me hateful comments about the people of Benton Harbor. Look at the faces on these lovely young ladies.

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Public Domain | 4 Comments

Did Bradley Manning Almost Blow The Operation To Capture/Kill Osama Bin Laden?

I want to start out by saying don’t read this if you may be someone who will pass judgment on Bradley Manning in the future. He does deserve a fair “trial”, but this information must be told. A fellow blogger tipped me and a few other bloggers off to a connection that hadn’t been made between two seemingly unrelated events – the latest Wikileaks leak of files from Guantanamo Bay and the operation to capture/kill Osama bin Laden. In my eyes, there is a very real possibility that information leaked recently, may have led to the Obama administration moving up the schedule of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Bradley Manning and The Leaks

Now, how can Bradley Manning be connected to the release of the Gitmo papers? Well, let’s look at his own words as he laid bare his actions to Adrian Lamo, courtesy of Wired.com…(emphasis mine)

(04:32:05 PM) Manning: oh, the JTF GTMO papers… Assange has those too
(04:32:16 PM) Lamo: Read it.
(04:33:21 PM) Lamo: Anything else interesting on his table, as a former collector of interesting .com info?
(04:33:44 PM) Manning: idk… i only know what i provide him xD
(04:34:14 PM) Lamo: what do you consider the highlights?
(04:35:31 PM) Manning: The Gharani airstrike videos and full report, Iraq war event log, the “Gitmo Papers”, and State Department cable database
(04:35:50 PM) Lamo: Not too shabby.
(04:36:03 PM) Manning: thats just me….
(04:36:26 PM) Manning: idk about the rest… he *hopefully* has more

And apparently Bradley Manning’s defenders are trying to say that those weren’t the ones Bradley gave him, no, those were from before. At the least, they are trying to downplay it. Greg Mitchell at The Nation, no friend of President Obama these days, is keeping a log of Bradley updates. He says this about the above…

9:50  What was Bradley Manning’s role in the leak of the Gitmo files? In the infamous “chat logs” with Lamo he makes very few, and sketchy, references to leaking some sort of Gitmo files, but much less descriptive to his references to other leaks he is accused of (we note again, he has not been convicted of anything).  Also, there were rumors and reports that WikiLeaks had Gitmo files before Manning’s alleged leaking took place.  So hard to nail down right now.

He tries to cast a lot of doubt on whether it was Bradley but he left himself a rather good out, “So hard to nail down right now.” Well, Bradley Manning specifically referred to the Gitmo files twice in addition to referring to all the other files Wikileaks has already published on their site. So saying “there were rumors and reports” that Assange had other Gitmo files from before, give me a freakin break. If you believe that, I have some beach front property around the corner that I’ll sell you really cheap. None of the other Wikileak’s releases have named Bradley Manning as the source of the classified intel, since by doing so, Wikileaks would be providing evidence that Manning was the source of the material and thus would be acting as a witness against him in his upcoming trial. He is charged with violating the Espionage Act among other serious charges.

It isn’t just me who thinks it’s pretty obvious that those documents came through Manning. Andy Greenberg at Forbes says this…

As with the last four major releases from WikiLeaks, imprisoned Army private Bradley Manning remains the suspected source of the leak. In a chat with confidant Adrian Lamo published by Wired.com last year, Lamo asks which of the documents he’s leaked Manning deems most important. He lists: “The Gharani airstrike videos and full report, Iraq war event log, the “Gitmo Papers”, and State Department cable database.” All of those files other than the Gharani airstrike video–a clip that purportedly shows more than a hundred civilians being killed in Afghanistan by American forces–have now been released.

The Gitmo files, which Wikileaks began releasing daily on April 24th, 2011, came directly from DoD Classified Intelligence databases and are of the same classified categorical designations as other DoD and State Dept intelligence cables previously released by Wikileaks. The above cited Gitmo File was specifically classified as “SECRET// NOFORN.” The classified category of “SECRET// NOFORN” means that any intel labeled as such should not ever be seen by any foreign government personnel or citizens. There was a reason this intel was classified. Releasing any of this intelligence would likely compromise Top Secret operations in the planning stage or those on the verge of being executed.

This is all background for what comes next. The Osama bin Laden operation and the connection to the release of the Gitmo files. My first visit to Osborne Ink was when I clicked on a link in a Bradley Manning story. I’ve been a regular since then. A few days ago, Matt put a post up that asked a great question to the defenders of Bradley Manning, the “Hamwaldians” as he calls them. From Osborne Ink…

If Bradley Manning had blown the bin Laden Operation, would the HamWaldians still be advocating his release? It’s a fair question, because when Manning (allegedly) put those hundred thousand-plus cables on his thumb drive, he certainly had not read them all. In fact, it’s pretty certain Manning had no idea what was in them — and no clue how many potential OPs might get blown by their release.

If he had blown the OP and allowed bin Laden to get away, would he still be a hero?

My opinion of the Bradley Manning”s massive data dump has always been that it isn’t whistleblowing, how could releasing documents that you haven’t even read be whistleblowing? It can’t be. The act that protects whistleblowers is pretty specific. From Wikipedia…(emphasis mine)

The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

What Manning did was expose to the entire world, friends and foes, information that overwhelmingly was not any violation of law, regulation etc.. He leaked diplomatic and Top Secret (in question) secret, sensitive information as well as frivolous, stupid stuff. And his defenders, Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher and Greg Mitchell think he is an innocent man, going so far as to say he is a hero and should be released. Wow, the extent that these people will go to try to hurt the President of the United State’s reputation, accusing him of torturing Manning because he was in solitary confinement, is unbelievable.  Is it that hard to understand that the defense department might want to put a man who bragged about how many files he was copying, with no concern for what impact it might have on his country’s security and defense, in solitary confinement? From the government’s perspective, I imagine this kid is the worst spy they’ve ever seen. By they way, everyone in max security at Quantico is housed by themselves in their own cell. I’ve posted about his conditions in the past, go here to get caught up on that, if needed. In your mind, was this kid a hero?

The Connection

So the other night, I’m on Twitter and one of my fellow bloggers, who prefers to remain nameless, put up a couple of links in a post. I dutifully clicked on them and saw this short article on The Guardian’s website detailing information from one of the latest Wikileaks of Gitmo files, here is the paragraph and sentence that caught my eye…

According to the document, Libi fled to Peshawar in Pakistan and was living there in 2003 when he was asked to become one of Bin Laden’s messengers. The document says: “In July 2003, detainee received a letter from [Bin Laden's] designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organising travel and distributing funds for families in Pakistan. [Bin Laden] stated detainee would be the official messenger between [Bin Laden] and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad (Pakistan) and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.”

[...]

WikiLeaks released the report last week, prompting speculation that the US, afraid that its planned raid might be preempted, brought forward its attack.

I actually typed in exclamation “No Shit?”. I had just read a description of what looked like the exact evidence that led to locating Osama bin Laden. How does that read to you, knowing what you do know now about how we got OBL? My jaw was on my chest. Here is a link to the actual leaked document. The pertinent information contained in this Wikileak release is found on page 5, in the paragraph starting with “(S//NF)  In October 2002,” which reveals that the DoD had both the name of bin Laden’s courier and the city where bin Laden was living.

Considering that Wikileaks began releasing the Gitmo Files on April 24th and that we now know that President Obama signed the order to begin this operation on Friday April 29th, to originally be carried out the following day on Saturday, there was just 5 days from the point at which Wikileaks released the pertinent classified intelligence and when the President signed off on the OBL capture/ kill mission. This substantially supports the possibility that the classified intelligence, Bradley Manning is charged with removing from DoD classified databases and then passing to Wikileaks, may very well have caused the White House to step up the operation to get OBL. Can you just imagine how our President and his national security team felt when they saw that document get released by Wikileaks, after tracking and planning this mission since August? This innocent kid who danced around and sang while the files copied over very well could have been responsible for Osama bin Laden slipping through our fingers, once again. Unbelievable!

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 54 Comments

Some Beauty To Cleanse The Week With

All photos taken by me personally are free for the taking. If you want a high resolution version of one, just email me at liberalforreal@gmail.com.

Photos by Extreme Liberal

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Photography, Public Domain | 6 Comments

Let’s Play “The Semantic Game” And Damage A Milestone For Our Country!

With the killing of Osama bin Laden, we have entered a new era. It’s been kind of surreal watching what has transpired since Sunday night, when the world was turned on it’s head with the successful operation to take out the most wanted man on the planet, America’s arch enemy, the inspiration for the attacks of 9/11 that caused a chain reaction of stupidity by the Bush Administration. The reaction of people in this country was seen by people in many different ways. There was a lot of cognitive dissonance happening in people’s brains. I certainly had mixed feelings about the celebrations and had to step back and think about why it was happening. My gut feeling was that it wasn’t right, presented a horrible visual for our country and wasn’t going to be received very well in the Muslim world. But that didn’t stop me from being glad that he was gone and proud of our President for getting it done.

As I sat in my bed with my laptop on fire, many of us on Twitter were high-fiving each other and I even went and mixed a drink so I could toast with others who had done the same thing. I rarely drink alcohol, so it was a rare occasion for me. I put up a post in the morning that expressed how I felt and my views on it haven’t changed much as the light of day has emerged on the story.

Some of the harsh critics of President Obama on the left immediately began to get righteous and holier-than-thou with their pronouncements about him being unarmed, saying it was an assassination and recently, Michael Moore has called it an execution. I’ve been calling it what it is, we killed him. It seems to me that the semantic games that some of these critics are playing are just attempts to use words to play on people’s emotions, inflame them, and appeal to their inner pacifists. Yesterday, someone commented that no where in the definition is the word “pacifist”. And I cheered. Although I long considered myself a pacifist and if there are degrees of pacifism, I would say mine has changed over the years as I’ve learned more about the harsh realities of the world we live in. When I hear or see people like Michael Moore with their ideological purity that they expect all of us to have, I find myself thinking how naive they are, how unrealistic they are and really how deluded their thinking is. I frequently say to myself “what would they have him do?”

I highly recommend John Cole’s piece over at Balloon Juice, although I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says. Go read it.

So the silly word games that people like Michael Moore are using and the ideological purity test that he and others keep trying to give us needs to stop. That Osama bin Laden character has spent many years using his charisma and money to bring death and destruction to people all over the world and people like Michael Moore aren’t doing themselves any favors by trying to convince us all that we should have given him all the rights and privileges of every ordinary citizen, except there is one problem, Osama bin Laden was not an ordinary person and you are going to have a hard time convincing us that he was. He’s dead, end of story.

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Politics | | 4 Comments

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…President Obama Keeps Plugging Away At It!

Here is Steve Benen’s updated chart that shows the stark difference between Bush’s job creation and President Obama’s. Go read his article on it here. H/T to The Maddow Blog…

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Accomplishments, Economy, Jobs, President Barack Obama | 7 Comments

Bragging Rights – Rachel Maddow Reminds Us How Cool Our President Is

As regular readers of my blog know, I’ve posted several times about the accomplishments of our excellent President Obama. As many on the Professional Left seem to see it as their duty to only point out things they don’t like about the man, it’s great to have real journalists like Rachel Maddow who, although she is critical and holds the administration’s feet to the fire, also gives him the credit he deserves and is able to see the big picture – that he has kicked ass in his first 2 and 1/2 years as president. Rachel does another great piece on our president in light of Sunday’s operation that killed Osama bin Laden. Go Rachel…

May 6, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Politics, President Barack Obama | | 1 Comment

A Picture Has Power – The Situation Room Photo

I follow Pete Souza on Twitter, he’s the official Whitehouse photographer. Today he tweeted a link to this story on CNN’s website by John Blake. He quotes from Cheryl Contee, co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics, you need to bookmark that site right now. I’m just going to share a few pieces of the CNN article that stuck out to me, go read the whole thing. First, let’s look at the photo in question one more time…

From CNN’s John Blake…

(CNN) — By now, the photo is a classic. It’s become the most viewed image on Flickr — a mesmerizing picture that suggests as much as it reveals.

You may know it simply as the “Situation Room Photo,” but you may not be aware of what some say are three subliminal messages that make it so powerful and unusual.

[...]

But look deeper and that photo becomes historic in a more subtle way. It’s a snapshot of how much this nation’s attitudes about race, women and presidential swagger are changing, several scholars and historians say.

[...]

There’s no historical precedent for this image, she says. White Americans now see a black man not just as their president but their “protector in chief,” Contee says.

“That photo is amazing,” she says. “It’s another step toward rehabilitation of the image of black men in American culture. It’s going to forever impact how people see black men in America.”

[...]

For much of U.S. history, the black man has often been portrayed as the threat to America’s safety — the angry man, the thug, the one you cross the street to avoid, says Cheryl Contee, co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics, a blog focused on current affairs from a black perspective.

But in the Situation Room photo, Contee says, the black man is America’s protector.

[...]

“This is one of the rare times that Tea Party supporters have referred to Obama as President Obama,” says Ari Kohen, an associate professor of social justice and political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

[...]

Go back and examine the defining historic photos of American military might in action, and women are absent, historians say.

[...]

Yet you see two powerful women in the Situation Room photograph — Clinton and Audrey Tomason, director for counterterrorism, who is straining to see from the back. Their inclusion shows how far women have come, Ambar says, even though Clinton’s response is ambiguous because she’s covering her mouth in what looks to be alarm.

And there is much more good stuff in John Blake’s article. For those people playing the pundit games they like to play, I keep hearing how this OBL event won’t have any long term impact on the President’s approval ratings or chances in 2012. Anyone who is saying that doesn’t understand the psyche of the American people very well. On Monday, I heard an anecdote that I know happened all across the country. A person on the street said to a reporter, “I didn’t vote for him last time, but I’m definitely voting for him next time. He got Osama bin Laden.” I wrote about this a little in a post the other day, that the effect on the entire country on 9/11 was profound. Something that hit deep inside all of us. For people to say that bringing Osama bin Laden to justice will not have an impact on the electorate is just plain stupid. President Obama showed once again that he is the most qualified person in public life to run this country.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Photography, President Barack Obama | , | Leave a comment

President Barack Obama – A Man Of The People!

As I listened to the families of the victims of 9/11 talk about meeting President Obama and the effect that he had on them, I heard several times that he was genuine, caring and very sincere in his meetings with them. It made me want to pull out some more photos of the President when he was still a candidate for the job. How can anyone look at that warm smile and that genuineness and call him the names they do, or assign the motives they do, or doubt his worthiness to be president. The reason this man was elected president is because for those people who aren’t slanted by their racism or ideological bent, they see that he is extremely intelligent, caring, warm and a person who really does want to help people. I continue to be proud of his great leadership and drive.

Photos by Extreme Liberal

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Photography, President Barack Obama | | 2 Comments

Racism And Politics Are More Powerful Than Patriotism!

Watch out, I’m about to rant. Profanity warning!!!

What – In – The – Fuck is wrong with this fucking country that the racists and right-wing partisans (one in the same) can actually protest the President of the United States going to ground zero after having killed the man responsible for the attacks of 9/11. I think I’ve lost any sliver of respect I had for these assholes who are obviously driven by their fucking racist hatred for our first black president. There can be no other reason.

Remember back to 9/11 when the whole country rallied around our one president, after the most contentious election in modern times. Democrats weren’t partisan, they stood behind President Bush, even if they had to hold their noses. There was no criticism from anyone that got any attention. I’m sure there was some out there, but they didn’t get paraded on the cable news shows to undermine our one and only President. I am so fucking disgusted with this bullshit that just keeps pouring out of the right-wing and the media, who are their enablers, and in many cases are the driving force behind it. Only after the Bush administration decided to use the event to push their stupid ass agenda of owning Iraq for no fucking reason at all, did the left start to ask serious questions, based in fact I have to say, not the lies and innuendo that drives the GOP these days.

I’ve written before about how up until the election of President Barack Obama, national security has always been pretty much a non-partisan affair. It used to be that politicians never criticized our country on foreign soil, it was not done. Not anymore, the extreme hatred for President Obama has obliterated that concept and many others. The wingnuts who are now running the GOP have no shame, no honor and in my opinion are unpatriotic and should be thrown on the stinking waste pile along with their new ideological leader, Donald Trump.

I hope the President gives a speech that shames those motherfuckers back into their rat holes and exposes their unpatriotic, shameless, racist asses for the whole world to see.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Accomplishments, President Barack Obama, Racism, Republican Party | , | 7 Comments

Defending Dumbasses, The Glenn and Jane “Hamwald” Show

I just found this post at Osborne Ink (Twitter link from him) about the Bradley Manning fiasco that Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher are using to sucker people into giving money to there PAC and clicking on their shitty blogs for even more click-money. Matt Osborne actually served in our military and signed papers saying he wouldn’t do what Bradley Manning did. His perspective is very worthy of reading, here is a small piece, go read the whole thing…

To whom Manning gave secrets, why, and whether Julian Assange asked him first are really not important questions here. When the military court convenes (and the delay is because his defense asked for it), the only question that will get answered is did Bradley Manning break the law? And the almost-certain answer is “yes.”

Giving away American secrets is against the law; the penalties are stiff. Manning knew that, but chose to give secrets away — and then got caught by bragging about it to strangers on the internet.  That there are no other prisoners in Quantico accused of espionage is a happy accident: most American service members take their oaths as seriously as I did, and do. Manning didn’t. A justice system will adjudicate what that means, not Glenn Greenwald.

Put another way: there are something like 25,000 Americans enduring the same inhumane conditions as Bradley Manning, and while I would love to have a national conversation about prison reform this is not that.

As a newby to Twitter and because I follow Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher so I can torment them, :) , I get to see what they promote on their Twitter feeds. It’s a virtual Bradley Manning Wheel O’ Fun coming from those two hateful people. They’ve apparently found a small nitch of uber anti-government, anti-authority, anti-Obama, anti-whatever-works-for-clicks group of people who they throw red meat to on a regular basis. One of them was hassling me this morning and he reeked of being a Glennbot, same stupid logic, same stupid arrogance…maybe it was Glenn.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | National Security, Politics | , , | 2 Comments

I’ll Take Transparency Over “Messaging” Anytime!

I’m all for “messaging” when running a campaign for elected office. The idea of having surrogates and your supporters parroting the talking points consistently, with no room for wedges to be inserted and breaks to form in the message is a noble goal. That is kind of the game that is played between the press and a campaign, staying on message, pounding home your themes and not getting distracted from the “message” of the day, week or entire campaign. I’m totally down with that concept. When it comes to governing a country, I’m not such a huge fan of that process. Ronald Reagan and his puppet-masters had it down to a science and in my idealistic head, it was maddening. There was no transparency, there was no window into that administration, only what we and the media were spoon fed. Some in the media pushed back against it, pointing out to their readers and viewers that it was happening. But those were much different times in the media.

Candidate Clinton adopted a lot of that mentality even with all the distractions he had to fight back. They stuck to their “It’s the economy stupid” theme and just kept driving it home to a big win in 1992. The comeback kid confirmed that in elections, you have to stick to your message and pound it relentlessly. In thinking back to the Clinton presidency, it occurs to me that they, like Reagan and Bush 1, brought that into the Whitehouse with them.

The Obama campaign and candidate Obama showed great discipline with their messaging during the campaign, but promised an era of transparency in the Whitehouse. The two concepts don’t necessarily go hand in hand. The recent “messaging” problem that many in the press and blogosphere are accusing the Whitehouse of in the wake of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, to me is because of that transparency. I’m glad that the Whitehouse didn’t clamp down and make everyone come out like robots and repeat the same “message”. Instead, the Whitehouse released an intense and not necessarily flattering photo of the situation room during a very tense moment. We saw a room full of people who were all watching the same thing, but not necessarily all seeing the same thing or interpreting it the same way.

Each one of the people in that room and then their staffs have different perspectives and perceptions of what happened. With transparency in the Whitehouse and nothing to hide, these people were allowed to talk to the media. Why are the details so different depending on who said it? I equate it very much to someone whispering something at one end of a table and by the time it makes it to the other end, the story has changed wildly. That’s what happens when humans share information. It’s why outlets like Fox News purposely feed misinformation into the public to be spread around, they understand that idea and use it for their evil purposes.

So as I watch the details of the operation get revised and corrected, with one person contradicting someone else and no clear, repeated message coming from the Whitehouse, in many ways I’m glad. If we just look at one instance in the Bush administration that backfired on them monumentally, partly because of the “messaging” idea and partly because they were fucking propagandists trying to justify their stupid fucking wars and keep the cheerleaders for their venture on the sidelines with their pom poms. The instance was the killing of Pat Tillman. If you want to know the history of that one, go here. The Bush Administration picked their message, a manufactured cover story, and they ran with it. As anyone with a brain knows, lies beget lies. One lie usually leads to many other lies to cover the first one.

Now, with a situation that is developing, with details being revealed from many sources, would it be better for the Whitehouse to immediately concoct a “message” for the masses, even as the details are still emerging. Or how about clamping down on anyone saying anything until those details are clear, then the press would spend their time pounding on the door of the press room, writing conspiracy stories about why they aren’t telling us the details and thus tainting any “message” that eventually comes out. Transparency is a messy business, folks. Letting officials and staffers speak out with all their flaws in perceptions and interpretations will cause some contradictions, revisions and people walking back things when the actual details and evidence comes along. It may look haphazard and incompetent, but as someone who likes the idea of the Whitehouse allowing information to flow to the public, I’ll take that confusion in a heartbeat over the lock-step messaging that took a brave man like Pat Tillman and used him for a “message” that was consistent at first, but went on to hurt a man’s family and our country for years to come.

I’m glad that information is flowing about the operation to capture/kill Osama bin Laden, even if it isn’t so neat and tidy and wrapped up with a nice bow.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Media, Politics | | 7 Comments

Photos Of President Obama – My Personal Photos

I had a press pass for this speech for video and stills. I took about 400 photos and these are some of my favorites. I’d love to have Pete Souza’s job.

All above photos taken by Extreme Liberal and available to use as you please. If you need a higher resolution, just ask. liberalforreal@gmail.com

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Photography, President Barack Obama, Public Domain | 7 Comments

Republicans And Torture – A Love Story!

On Sunday night I kept trying to imagine what crazy shit the Republicans would come up with to both not give credit to President Obama and divert the credit towards President George “Pet Goat” Bush. I never imagined it would be the reprisal of the “waterboarding is good” meme. It’s just so hard to predict stupid, you know? I guess that’s a good thing, though. And of course the person who is primarily pushing it is none other than the PR guy for waterboarding, Rep. Peter King of New York. I’m sorry but that man is as dumb as a box of rocks. From ThinkProgress…

KING: Well I don’t know if everyone knows this or not, but you mentioned the fact that we obtained information several years ago, vital information about the courier for Obama [sic]. We obtained that information through waterboarding. So for those who say that waterboarding doesn’t work, who say it should be stopped and never used again, we got vital information which directly led us to bin Laden.

O’REILLY: Wow! Let me stop you there. I did not know that and I’m sure most of my audience didn’t know that. Explain how that went down. How did we get that information, where did it come from, was it from Guantanamo Bay?

KING: It came from an overseas prison where Khaled Sheik Mohammed was being interrogated. Waterboarding was used, and it was during the interrogation of Khaled Sheik Mohammed, through waterboarding, that this information was learned.

O’REILLY: KSM gave it up? Mohammed himself gave it up?

KING: KSM gave us the first lead.

That was a complete fabrication that his fellow Republicans and former Bush minions admitted back when the “waterboarding is good” meme was being developed. I’m not even going to bother to chase down the quotes, sometimes I think Republicans say stupid shit just to keep us liberal bloggers occupied, chasing our tails. The linked stories debunk it pretty well anyway. I don’t always blame Republicans for knowingly lying, most are just so fucking stupid that they don’t know better, but they will defend that stupidity to the death.

But getting to the heart of the matter, you have to wonder why so many on the right like inflicting pain on other people, is it some sort of a “blood lust” or something. I once shot an interview with a World War II veteran who fought with the Red Arrow Division in what was the bloodiest front of the war, Buna/New Guinea. After the interview, as we were standing around he told me how when he was hiding in the jungles, constantly looking for Japanese soldiers. known as the fiercest of fighters, he had this obsession, a lust for wanting to kill as many “Japs” as he could. It was his mission. I wish the camera had been rolling. He said it was a kill or be killed attitude, it’s really hard to convey it in words. I have to equate a similar mindset to people like Rep. Peter King and the other crazy Rep. King, Steve from Iowa. From TPM…

The most prominent of these conservatives was Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who took to Twitter to ask sardonically, “Wonder what President Obama thinks of water boarding now?

[...]

“The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful,” the AP wrote. “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.”

There’s just one problem. The key bit of intel wasn’t acquired via torture, according to a more fleshed out version of the same report.

So the AP ran with a very flimsy story that seemed to evolve over time. I call it “Evolving Journalism“. I particularly notice it whenever I am dumbstruck and go over to Salon.com to torture myself with the writing of Glenn Greenwald, who loves to update his stories many times over. But, is that what we should expect from the AP now?

Besides the “blood lust” theory I proposed, I really don’t understand the mentality of these people who want to justify torture. Making the connection between information gleaned many years ago to what happened on Sunday is a huge stretch, even if we play along with them on the “waterboarding did it” idea. It’s like 6 years later, trails get pretty cold after 6 years. The only other thing that comes to mind is that kid in the neighborhood who liked to pull the wings off insects or do other hideous things to small animals, well, I guess some of them grow up to be Congressmen and Senators and they just have graduated up to torturing humans.

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Republican Party | | 3 Comments

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