Anyway. Just a few things going on. First, what do we make of this nie report that says that Iran stopped its nukular program 4 years ago? Besides the obvious, that Bush and Cheney didn't want us to know that as they have been angling for a justification to bomb another country? As someone said on the blogs, this reinforces the unfortunate truth that we cannot accept anything this administration says on face value. We cannot trust them at all. And that is sad. Sure am glad he is a Christian. That makes this all better.
You can watch our President fumble around this question here. Sigh.
Oh, but what about our MSM? NBC Journalist David Gregory was asked to name the cause of the increased polarization in our political dialogue today, he said it was the bloggers. Yeah, that's right, the bloggers. Words of Power suggests that is a flawed idea:
Yes, of course, it was the bloggers who polarized the US body politic.So many reporters seem to misunderstand the satire of Stewart and Colbert and seem to miss just how much they are the targets of that criticism. If someone like Gregory doesn't understand just how badly the MSM has dropped the ball on the key questions of the day, well,....
The bloggers impeached a popular President at a time of peace and economic prosperity over testimony in a civil suit involving sexual intercourse.
The bloggers swift-boated John Kerry in 2004, morphed Max Cleland's face into Osama bin Laden's in 2002 TV ads, and smeared John McCain in South Carolina in 2000.
The bloggers fired eight US Attorneys for pursuing Bush-Cheney associates and not pursuing Bush-Cheney adversaries. The bloggers made Habeas Corpus and the Bill of Rights optional.
The bloggers established a Gulag system, instituted torture and rendition, and started disappearing people. The bloggers stayed on vacation while New Orleans drowned.
Opinions You Should Have agrees and has a very funny take on Karl Rove's recent spinfest:
Karl Rove today said that George Bush's presidency would have been a great success if Democrats had not forced Bush to make countless numbers of flawed decisions that have led the country down the path toward national disaster.
"We wouldn't have invaded Iraq, we would have saved New Orleans, we would have staffed FEMA," said Rove. "It's all the Democrats' fault."
Rove went on to say that if voters wanted a change from the disastrous Bush years, they'd have to vote Republican. "It's sad how these Democrats mishandled the Bush Presidency."
More humor. A friend of mine has a bumper sticker that reads "Impeach Bush/Torture Cheney." I am not sure I like it simply because I don't want us to torture anyone. But it does point to a reality that the people in support of torture are more like our enemies than they think.
And what is that torture policy gaining us? Scott Horton suggests that we are losing the respect of our allies.
Is America a nation that tortures? The question is being asked all around the world. It’s not a matter of idle speculation. Under international treaties, which many nations, not being liberated by the law-what-law?mantra of the Neocons, treat very seriously, there are specific prohibitions about cooperation with nations which torture. In particular, there is article 3 of the Convention Against Torture, which forbids any state party to return a prisoner to a nation where he is likely to be tortured.
In 2006, I had an off-the-record discussion with the chief law enforcement officer of one of America’s most important allies. Having read the torture memoranda out of the Justice Department, and having seen the reports issued by the Department of the Army dealing with abuses in Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantánamo, I asked, is your Government in a position to engage in prisoner exchanges with the Americans or to allow American interrogators unfettered access to persons in your Government’s custody? He responded in a manner that showed the question had been studied carefully. “I can assure you that we take our obligations under article 3 very seriously. We will not speak publicly about this, but of course we have terminated cooperation with the United States in ways that would violate article 3. And of course we have reached the only possible conclusion, which is that the United States has embraced torture as a matter of formal policy.” This is a nation which continues to be one of our dwindling number of allies, but it faces increasingly steep challenges in cooperating while it complies with the requirements of law.
And this judgment is a very broad one—now shared almost universally by America’s allies. We don’t have to consider what the enemies think.
In fact, Canada's Federal Court has actually ruled that America does not
comply adequately with Article 33 of the UN Refugee Convention, which prohibits return to persecution, or Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture, which prohibits return to torture — specifically naming the Maher Arar case as an example of the United States’ failure to protect.And these are our friends. I am sure glad that Bush and Cheney have been given such a long leash.
As one of the experts who described the ways in which U.S. asylum law (in particular, the one-year filing deadline) violates international law, I am proud to note that the court found “the Applicant’s experts to be more credible, both in terms of their expertise and the sufficiency, directness and logic of their reports” and “more objective and dispassionate in their analysis and report” than the government’s experts. Of particular note, the Court found that “it would be unreasonable to conclude that the one-year bar, as it is applied in the U.S., is consistent with the Convention Against Torture and the Refugee Convention” and that this bar “has a disproportionate impact on gender and sexual orientation claims” for asylum. The Court also found that women making asylum claims based on domestic violence are not sufficiently protected under U.S. law.