Shepard Smith and the Bottom Line

Many of you know Shepherd is in my extended family by marriage. I’m eternally grateful to him for his Katrina reporting and editorializing and I think it has been moments like those–cutting through the bullshit–that have led him to overwhelming success as the best newscaster in the business. He’s done it a lot through the years, and sometimes I think he’s wrong. But I never doubt his sincerity, something I can’t say for many on tv. I posted the punchlines earlier not knowing I’d come across this tonight, so forgive the dueling and opposite themes coming at you in one day. I’ve heard a lot of back and forth on this all week, but Shepherd is the first person I’ve heard, right or left, who I believe has discussed torture properly. At least he’s come as close as I’ve heard. If this post starts blowing up with talking points that’s fine, but don’t neglect to add your take on the lighter side post as well.  Two videos are below. You can guess what the quote of the day is if you watch carefully in video number 1.

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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47 Responses to Shepard Smith and the Bottom Line

  1. smilyj says:

    Yeah, i like Shepard. not sure on all this torture. It doesnt sound like it was all that bad. I think they should establish that they aren’t going to do some stuff anymore and leave it at that. I know if I had to waterboard someone to save my child, I’d do it. Or that the people who were burned alive at the trade center or the ones that knowlingly jumped to their deaths because of the 1500 degree heat scorching their skin were way more greater victims of torture than the 3 people we actually tortured with the techniques in the memos. Also, if the techniques described are truly torture then I was a victim of torture everyday for six weeks at the State Fire Academy.

  2. Zeek says:

    If we are officially at war, then adherence to the Geneva Convention should be maintained. I do not advocate the torture of another country’s SOLDIER. However, if you are talking about radical TERRORISTS who have no value of human life and helped take part in an attack of innocent Americans on American soil, then I have no problem with getting info by any means necessary. You know Nicholson was not too far off in his rant on the stand in A FEW GOOD MEN. While extreme measures being taken may be tragic, if it saves thousands of U.S. soldiers and citizens lives, then just say “thank you” for your blanket of freedom and don’t question the manner in which it was provided. Does everyone really believe that no enemy was tortured in WW I&II or Korea or Vietnam? Come on, man!!

  3. Madd Dawg says:

    How easily people forget the past when it is politically expedient to do so:
    _______
    Members of Congress were briefed on the subject of interrogation techniques more than 30 times since 2002, FOX News has learned. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was at the first meeting, and she raised no objections.

    FOXNews.com

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was among those briefed on CIA interrogations.
    __________

  4. MD–What about my post makes you believe I won’t hold Democrats as accountable as Republicans? This is yet another issue that it confounds me that political ideology divides the country. The whole mess should be investigated and let the chips fall where they may. Furthermore, I don’t want additional precedent set whereby the President, Democrat or Republican, can claim unfettered immunity from the consequences of their acts. This, if for no other reason, ought to make the right think long and hard about their position on something so clearly illegal and immoral. Can you imagine the “legal memos” the Obama admin could cook up to justify getting rid of guns, for example?

    Having said all that, I also am under the current belief that while all this dirty laundry should be aired, prosecutions should not take place against out of office officials like Cheney et al. As a lawyer, that sort of sickens me, but as an American, I believe the harm may outweigh the benefit. I do think the so-called lawyer, now judge, who wrote the memos should be disbarred and removed from the bench. I fail to see from a legal perspective how any of this is murky, nonetheless, I think some new specific laws should be passed to make reliance on spurious legal reasoning over the definition of torture punishable. It reminds me a bit over the question of the definition of “it.” And if Pelosi or any serving politician is proven to be complicit they should either face prosecution or resign.

    Smiley–I would feel the same way about my child, or yours for that matter. That is precisely why the government prosecutes crime and not victims. Honestly, the effectiveness of torture has been debunked since the Inquisition or before. Something I learned recently about that glorious period of human history, by the way, the Church had its own version of the torture memo. Drawing blood was considered physically harmful, thus torture and against the Bible’s teachings. Hence, the rack and other means were developed to get around that little technicality.

    Back to the legal “question”–here’s how you define torture–If you have to ask, its torture.

  5. irvineredd says:

    TB, here’s a legal question. I defer to you as the lawyer here, what should the statute of limitations be on elected officials who break the law?

    Also, I’m glad you brought up the inquisition. I hadn’t thought about that.

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

  6. That’s a pertinent question Irv and I can’t give a firm answer. Hopefully I will be appointed special prosecutor and get a fat budget and I can find out.

    But to try and answer, some crimes, like murder, have no statute of limitations–see the Beckwith conviction a few years back. Other crimes or civil liability have varying limitations periods, but they don’t begin to run in many cases until evidence of the wrongdoing comes to light. As for breaking some specific statute as it relates to the time a prosecution must begin, I do not know, but I doubt it has run out due to the secretive nature of the matter.

  7. Madd Dawg says:

    Torture:
    -Larry being deprived of chicken wings for over a week;
    -TB and sEan being forced to repeatedly watch the end of the Ole Miss/State game where the Hand of God came down and swatted away State’s winning field goal;
    -Brad hearing a doctor every day say “Brad, you do not have any terminal illnesses and/or diseases”;
    -Mike being forced to repeatedly listen to a taped recording of his cell phone malfunction call with the bride at his side;
    -Zeek being looked in a small room with Dinky for an hour

  8. Madd Dawg says:

    I can see an argument for holding responsible a top official who makes a decision to intentionally break the law, but how can you hold an underling responsible for “reliance on spurious legal reasoning” ? Not being trained in the law, how are they to determined what is spurious?

    Further, if we are going to disbar every lawyer who makes a spurious legal argument in a brief or memo, then we will have a shortage of lawyers.

  9. I think that is a good point MD. But an investigation into what went into the making of the memo is called for. What he wrote was spurious. So much so that there is probable cause that it was written for the purpose of providing legal cover for acts that were known by some person(s) to be illegal in the first place. It appears to me the timeline went (1) we want to torture (2) get somebody to give us legal cover (3) Some bastard wrote a dissenting opinion calling out the one we like as total BS–get every copy and destroy them (this happened). My call for disbarment was premature. I should have added, and do now, the disclaimer, “if his memo is proved to have been written in furtherance of an illegal conspiracy”. But there is a lot of smoke and we need to find out what caused it.

  10. irvineredd says:

    I definitely think we need to get to the bottom of all of this and would agree that it is unfair to prosecute those acting under the direction of superiors who claim it is legal. The issue there is when the interrogators go beyond the guidelines laid out in those memos. Specifically the amount of times just the two people were waterboarded in a month eclipsing 200 times.

    My concerns as far as not prosecuting those who are now out of office is that, at least to me, it sets an ugly precedent. It allows a politician to possibly perform an illegal act, and as long as they are not caught while in office, they get away with it.

    I just hope we get past our partisan bull shit and take an honest look at what we’ve done and whatever the consequences accept them like grown ups.

  11. smilyj says:

    I think the fact that they only used the waterboarding tactic on 3 prisoners shows they understood how harsh it was. They weren’t just using it on people to punish them or gain info that they were unsure of. They knew something horrible was imminent and they had already gained intel to support that. Thus, after other tactics failed they used the waterboarding as a last resort.

    That being said, I can understand Obama banning it. That’s his job now to make those decisions. To decide what he thinks is something Americans will or will not do. Ban it and move on. Whether it was lawful or not is still to be seen. Judges have different interpretations of the law. Its hard for one person sometimes to decide that something is undoubtedly illegal. Sometimes its opinion.

    Torture:

    -TB being forced to drink a case then dangle Allgood’s cheesestix in front of him just out of reach enough that he never reaches them.
    -MD’s wife getting excited when he makes love for 30 seconds instead of 15 and then coming to the realization that it was still just 30 seconds.
    -What all the ladies out there went through when they heard Smilyj got married!

  12. Not a man alive could’ve kept that cheese stix away from TB back in the heyday.

  13. There are lots of issues here. So, pardon me if my comments are all over the place.

    I’d put a bullet in anyone’s head if he was about to kill someone’s child. I have small children myself, so I know full well that sentiment. However, I don’t believe that’s the issue here. The ticking time bomb scenario is always the one that gets brought up to defend torture. But every legitimate expert on the subject agrees that the ticking time bomb only appears in movies. And to the extent it does exist, it’s so rare that we shouldn’t base policy on it. A perfect example is this: it’s possible a tornado may hit my house at some point, but I’m not going to stow my family in the laundry room every time it rains. There is zero indication that the torture we carried out was of the ticking time bomb type.

    Further, when you waterboard someone over 150 times, chances are you’ve gotten whatever the guy was going to give you. “Damn, this guy is good. 184 dunks and we got nothing. Maybe #185 will do the trick.” That’s ridiculous.

    I agree with MD about reliance on legal opinions. One should be able to do that. But I would add that using a legal opinion as cover is a whole other matter. I learned from the tobacco litigation that people are not above having a lawyer write something that they know damn well is wrong and then hiding behind the fact that an attorney wrote it.

    Finally, I’m all for investigating potential criminal activity. And I couldn’t give less of a care whether that leads to Democrats or Republicans or both. I don’t get caught up in what letter appears before a politician’s name.

    It’s getting lesser news coverage, but another memo was leaked detailing how CIA operatives were interrogating a sheep. An Al Qaeda member saw this, got nervous, and yelled, “Those sheep lie!”

  14. smilyj says:

    mmmmmm….Allgoods.

    I believe its been said that plots that would’ve killed Americans and children were uncovered from info from these interrogations. And they didn’t base policy on it. They didn’t interrogate all prisoners with these methods. Just 3. I know there is no for sure way of knowing if these specific techniques were the only ways to get this intel but they got the intel and in the end none of the interrogations injured the terrorist. By injured, I mean more than a bobo.

  15. quail09 says:

    Every legitimate expert?….how about an ex CIA chief who said that the assertion that waterboarding does not work is wrong…. TB, you know i love me some shep smith, but he’s naive to say, “we are america, we don’t torture”…..the opinion that we should not torture is in power now…we’ll see what not torturing these morons gets us…i hope nothing….i hope we stay untouched like we’ve been for the last 7 years or so…..but something tells me americans will line up and pay good money to torture one of these killers of adults and children should another terrorist episode happen

  16. Stone says:

    This is simple. We are the good guys. Therefore, we should not torture. There should be no need for legal opinions because close calls should be resolved in favor of not doing what you are not sure is torture or not. To do otherwise makes us not the good guys. That is not acceptable.

    TB you are correct, this should not be a political issue.

  17. BR says:

    i agree with no torture of soliders while in war with another country. As for terrorist i believe we need use the ole motto”Don’t ask don’t tell”.

  18. irvineredd says:

    The CIA cheif says it works, the head of the FBI says it doesn’t. We were getting information on possible terrorist attacks before 9/11, without torturing people as far as we know. Everybody knows about the memo given to the president in August 2001 that said bin laden was aiming to attack us soon. Plus an FBI agent tried to raise red flags about some muslim individuals who were learning to fly but had little interest in landing or taking off. So really our agencies dropped the ball when the info was there for them.

    So I think it is possible for us to thwart attacks without abandoning our principles. It’s tougher yeah, but that is what makes us America.

  19. Zeek says:

    Maybe some of you lads missed my earlier comment about Nicholson in A FEW GOOD MEN. Some of you (including Shep Smith-who I like) are just plain naive if you say”we’re America(the good guys), so we don’t torture.” I can’t believe there is such an overwhelming amount of sympathy for these terrorist bastards. These smelly, nasty f**kers came onto our soil and laid in wait, training for the day of 9/11, and committed a heinous act that made Pearl Harbor look like Beach Blanket Bingo. Why do you care? They could tie those SOB’s down to an ant bed and pour honey on them, or shove a steel wire hairbrush up their arse third-reich-style, as far as I’m concerned, and I know many agree with me. That is one of the problems with this country now, and why our kids are growing up like pu**ies, everyone is so touchy feely and sensitive. Well, go sing Kumbaya with Bin Laden and see how fast he cuts your infadel head off when you turn your back for the tamborine!!!
    As I said before, if we are at war, we should not torture enemy soldiers, I think most believe that. But I guarantee you almost everyone of ones crying for these turds now would have lined up to rip off toenails a few weeks after 9/11. Don’t lose your anger, that is what they’re counting on!!!

  20. smilyj says:

    The agencies were put in bad positions and did not operate efficiently. Due to old policies by both parties. I wonder how the memos being released affects their operation after 8 years of trying to straighten them out.

    At least 5 former CIA directors advised Obama not to release the memos. They advised him it would hurt the CIA. These 5 directors were appointed by Rep and Dem Presidents. Its not a political issue, it’s a common sense issue. Listen to the experts you put in the positions that require expert advise. Duh.

    He can ban the practice. That’s fine. I’ll support him on that. It’s his decision. But all the other nonsense seems a little too much with everything else that’s going on in this country. It almost seems that the whole thing is just to refocus on the past administration. Move on.

    I doubt very seriously that these politicians have that much regard for what is legal and what ain’t. Cheney should keep his mouth shut. Obama should come out and put the issue to rest. For all of Bush’s negatives, he seems to have more class by keeping silent and not criticizing anyone than all of congress and the new administration.

  21. workinbaen says:

    Zeek, the perspective I have is not about who they are but who we are.

    Smily, you make a good point on Bush’s silence.

  22. smilyj says:

    Furthermore IR, concerning 9/11, if Bush dropped the ball on those attacks that just means evrything since then should be ramped up. The CIA should be strengthened not harmed or weakened. What does 9/11 have to do with uncovering plots after that. Except that it showed us how to not underestimate the terrorists and how vital it is to get specifics about future attacks.

    One simple point should be made about the interrogations. If they didn’t work, Why did they use them more than once?

    If the techniques didn’t get intel then they wouldn’t have wasted the time doing them.

  23. Zeek says:

    I understand that TB, and I am well acquainted with the turn the other cheek philosophy, and the notion that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world,and remain accountable for our actions. That being said, while I do not want the U.S. to become a barbaric entity, I think we need to wake up and realize that a large part of the world already views us as intrusive, overbearing, two-faced bullies, while we fancy ourselves as being the “policeman of the world”. The rest of the world knows better. We step in when it makes sense from a financial and/or political/media standpoint. We have already discussed the atrocities in Darfur, and trust me, there are millions of other suffering people in this world we do not lift a finger to help.
    I just think that this is more media fodder and people are blowing this out of proportion(media/politicians) You know, there are some pretty messy jobs that most people don’t want to do that happen to come with being a SUPERPOWER. I think how we treat “civilized” people, even if they are enemies, determines who we are, not how we deal with terrorist vermin who hold no value on life at all. I do not think that we can afford to be naive and treat these hostiles any other way than with extreme prejudice. Unfortunately, the world for the most part is an ugly place, and while unpleasant, it is necessary to get our hands dirty when the situation dictates it.
    I do want to make it clear that I do not condone torture per say, I think its value is very limited. If you torture me for a few minutes I will confess to setting the Great Chicago Fire, but I have a low threshold for pain. I guess there is a fine line. I just don’t see why all the fuss is being made over the treatment of captured terrorists who brutally murdered thousands of our countrymen on our soil, when there are hundreds of thousands of our own countrymen who committed far less serious (not even violent) crimes, but are wharehoused like cattle and probably treated worse in our own American prisons. Where is the outrage and cry for humanity for them???
    I might sound like a G. Gordon Liddy disciple when I say this, but I don’t think the public needs to know everything. People are stupid and cannot deal with highly sensitive and unpleasant information. The “people have a right to know” slogan only gave the media more power (political and financial) and is a major factor in the downfall of our society for the past 45 years in my opinion.

  24. If that is who we are to be, let’s make it legal. I have had enough of right wingers and their version of the “rule of law.” If a law is on the books, it ought to be enforced consistently and fairly. If someone wants to do something a different way than the law allows, they should introduce new legislation and see if it passes. The naivety accusation can go both ways, you know. From my perch, I see the danger of setting a dangerous precedent–and I know full well it won’t be the first one–that can lead to other instances where the government is above the law. And it may be in some area you don’t want it to be next time.

    As for the discussion of whether torture is effective, I decline to engage. To do so (and I already have more than I’d have liked) is to imply that if it is effective it is acceptable. That is why I posted that Shepard nailed it close to perfectly. As did Stone.

  25. Zeek says:

    I can live with that, but I think it makes too much sense. To think that one or more of the geniuses in D.C. would introduce new legislation and it would be passed to solve the problem is really naive,idealistic,yet naive!!(I couldn’t resist, TB)

  26. Many of the comments drawing distinctions between civilized folks and damn bastard terrorists assume that at the time we’re dunking these people that we know they’re terrorists. This simply isn’t the case.

    Some of the detainees are/were known terrorists, but a whole lot more are just “suspected” terrorists. Many of them may be terrorists as well, but many of them are probably not. I don’t think we can be who we claim to be and tolerate torture of people we “think” are terrorists.

    Not everyone named Ahmed is a terrorist. Actually, my middle name is Ahmed — named after an distant maternal uncle. Ok, that’s not true, but it would have made my point so much better if it were.

    As for being sympathetic for terrorists and all that, I assure you I am not. I’m as tough as the next person on violent crime. For years, I’ve advocated the passage of a law that sets up a date certain in the future called The Don’t F*** With People day. If you commit a violent crime after that day, you get a lifetime stay at a manual labor camp. No parole. No hope of escape. Leading up to TDFWP day, our airwaves, newspapers, billboards, and websites would be filled with warning that TDFWP day is approaching. And if you’re convicted of F***ing with people after that day, you’re gone. Period. End of story. That’s being tough on crime.

  27. irvineredd says:

    Smily, I didn’t say Bush dropped the ball, I said agencies did. And the Hart-Rudman Report had suggested a method of stregthening our intelligence and justice departments, by having them more closely integrated. The problem being that those suggestions were not acted upon until after 9/11 with the establishment of the Homeland Security Dept and better communications between our various military/police branches. Personally, I don’t think allowing them to perfom acts known to be illegal under the guise of one highly biased legal opinion stregthens them.

    9/11 was the catalyst for everything we have done since then, so I think it has plenty to do with how we’ve been uncovering terrorist plots.

  28. Madd Dawg says:

    I don’t think that we should torture anyone as a matter of public policy. However, in the ticking timebomb scenerio with a terrorist, I want the information so that we can stop the slaughter of innocent civilians, and I would have a hard time punishing a guy for getting that information–however he got it. Maybe that is a situation for a Presidential pardon.

    I know that I always root for Jack Bauer on the show 24 when he uses heightened interrogation methods.

  29. Madd Dawg says:

    I agree with Zeek on there being a slight distiction between a foreign soldier and a terrorist and on the point there are always things done in the heat of the moment by special forces/intelligence operatives in other countries that we don’t need to know about.

  30. smilyj says:

    I’m not for waterboarding all suspected terrorists either. And neither were the ones doing it. That’s why they limited to only three known terrorists who had info about known future acts and other terrorists. They had to have specific details of these acts. Also, they only used the techniques when other techniques failed to crack the terrorists. I just don’t see it as what most people consider torture. However, that is my opinion. Obama clarifies it now as definitely torture. Thus, now it is illegal. I understand that. But I dont believe it was that clear before. So, I just question how illegal it was. But I’m no legal expert, and I know not all laws on the books are cut and dry.

    I can see where allowing such techniques leads to the concern that the techniques themselves may be abused and carried out in immoral and unresponsible circumstances. But it seems that all involved went to the limits and beyond to insure the safety of these terrorists. That’s not what I think of when I try to imagine torturing someone.

    From now on. these techniques are clearly considered torture and thus not allowed. But i don’t see the benefit in wasting time investigating the past use of it or who knew and didn’t know.

  31. Zeek says:

    Wit, I definitely don’t want an innocent person detained for one minute, let alone tortured. I’m sure we may have become a little zealous in the aftermath, but can you blame us?? I have a hard time believing there are too many “innocent ” detainees in Gitmo. Our intelligence is pretty good actually. I sincerely hope there is none. AND I certainly am aware that there are wonderful people of Arab descent.(My best friend is Arab–Just Kidding) However, I am also aware that there are plenty who HATE me simply because I am white, Christian, and American. I may not care for them too much either, BUT, I wish them well and say live and let live as long as I’m not messed with. THEY on the other hand hate me AND want to see me beheaded, that is a fact that we have to learn to deal with safely yet appropriately, my friend.

  32. Zeek, the crazies will always be among us, but I like being the ones with standards and the rule of law.

    But in an abundance of caution, I’m changing my name to Mohammed Goldstein O’Connor Polpot al-Bashir Pro-Lifer McVeigh.

    Smiley, I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that we waterboarded more than 3 people.

  33. quail09 says:

    TB….I REALLY don’t think stone nor shep nailed it….i’ve, of course, lived in the U.S. my whole life; and i have never thought that we were the “good guys” to such an extreme extent that we should not waterboard a known terrorist in order to get info on their ongoing operations….the fact that shep asserted his point in such an emotional way is just embarrassing…declaring that “we are america, we don’t torture” is false for starters, and it smacks of a puritanical, naivite that i’m really, genuinely surprised that many people possess….look, i get the point of what you, stone, and shep are saying; but you gotta be kidding!….we have spied, evesdropped, wiretapped, tortured, etc. for many, many years….i guess i’m trying to ask the question…why is everyone so up in arms about it now?….it seems that NOW would be the THE time be as vigilent and effective as we can be in keeping these pieces of human debris from touching another hair on the head of ANY american

  34. Stone says:

    Zeek:

    If we start to set aside our principles based on legal classifications of the person in custody, we will be in trouble fast. I am a lawyer. I can distinguish the facts with the best of them. They aren’t soldiers (yea I get it). They are not protected by the constitution (yea I get that too).

    Just remember, everyone in charge thinks they are right and that their actions are justified. They will distinguish the facts to support their wrong headed actions. John Adams tried to pass laws to crush free speech. FDR tried to pack the Court.

    If a murderer was caught by a victims family and tortured, would I shed a tear for the murderer? Nope. However, would I condone the government torturing the murderer? Nope.

    Torture is wrong. Americans should not do it. Why not? Because we are better than they are and those that say otherwise (Chavez, that nut from Iran, etc.) are stupid, jealous, and wrong. I want to keep it that way.

    I say this as moderate. In my view TB is way too left and MD is way to right. I would not investigate this stuff. I do not see how that will serve us well and I suspect both parties got wrapped up in the fear following 9/11 such that there will be very few innocents. I would pass some laws making it clear that the USA does not torture anyone.

  35. Zeek says:

    Wit- I like being the ones with heads intact. All I’m saying is “drastic times, drastic measures”. Nice new name by the way.

    Quail- I’m right there with you bro.(imagine me holding two fingers up to my eyes and motioning back and forth between us)

    Stone- You certainly weave a web as most jurist doctorates do, but I promise you this: I have had the good fortune of rising with the cream to the top and I’ve wallowed with the s**t on the bottom(I take full responsibility for being the major factor in my being on the bottom, and I promise you it is far worse than you can imagine). My point is, I’ve been formally educated and taught by the school of hard knocks, so it is pretty tough to get bullsh*t by me,legalese or otherwise. I think everyone thinks they’re right, not just the ones in charge, and why is it ok for a victim’s family to torture and kill a murderer ala’ vigilante style, but not ok for our military to extract vital info from a terrorist that could save the lives of thousands of American soldiers and citizens? I agree that torture is wrong, but I also know that sometimes you have to nut up and do some gut wrenching sh*t when that is the hand you’re dealt and the greater good of a whole country is at stake. I agree with your last paragraph, but I fully expect that the same practices will carry on, hopefully under wraps as it should be done. Whoever the idiot was that thought it was a great idea to break this story to the public is the one that should be tortured. I guess I’m just enough of a realist to see it from the perspective that these unpleasant and controversial acts were done so that we could continue to be the best and live in a country where we can openly debate these issues and question our gov’t’s actions. We are better than everyone else(which is pretty vain, by the way) because our country will go to any lengths to protect ITS people. Believe it or not, atrocities have been committed so that you enjoy all the freedoms you do. The world is an ugly, violent, unforgiving place, and the proper measures must be taken to ensure that the rest of the world’s ugliness does not permeate our borders. I shall now descend from my soapbox and introduce our next performer, you may know him as……

  36. quail09 says:

    Stone, the murderer’s victim’s family would be torturing the murderer out of revenge….you know, inflicting pain on a criminal who took a beloved family member to exact some kind of vigilante justice…..more of that should be allowed to happen in my opinion….and you are FOR that…but, torturing a terrorist to extract specific information from him to uncover ongoing plots is a different action than that…..it is NOT to be mean and vindictive to him like the above-mentioned family….it is for people who are in that functional position to get info……I AGREE that governments should not be doing what the family members are doing (that you agree with)….i’ll leave it up to you lawyers to argue about how terrorists are punished for their deeds…..but lets leave it up to other experts on how best to get the information from them that they need to protect us ….you’re a lawyer…you oughta be able to separate the two

  37. Smiley says:

    Wit, Of course we waterboarded more than 3. Because all the memos detailed only 3 and all the precautions taken, means nothing. Also, it must be true because Americans enjoy causing the poor abused detainees too suffer, right? The Americans in charge at the time were not concerned with the safety of other Americans. They just wanted revenge for what had happened, right? They probably went out looking for Arabs that they thought would be fun to waterboard. Probably women and children and puppies even, right? How could I be so wrong? I forgot Obama and the dems were the only ones that cared about humanity and are thus straightening all us other Americans out since we’ve been misbehaving so long.

  38. Zeek, thanks. The new name keeps me safe.

    Smiley, how on earth saying I’m against torture translates to all that you say is beyond me. I’m not smart enough to make the connection between the statement that I’m against torture to the belief that Americans are horrible human beings.

    This sounds like more of that “Why do you hate America?” BS that was floating around a few years ago.

  39. smilyj says:

    Exactly. Point being, should stick with the facts. Which say there were only 3.

  40. coachteajay says:

    I like Shep, other than he plugs anything to do with Ole Miss when he gets a chance.

    As for torture, its like this, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, if our enemies are going to use suicide attacks to attack innocent civilians then we need to take the gloves off and do what it takes. Shep and people who think like him probably believe we owe Japan an apology for dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And they probably believe Truman was wrong in his decision. Wake up America! We have real enemies that don’t play by our rules. How did we defeat the British in the American Revolution? We stopped standing out in an open field and exchanging vollies with them. Someone got smart and found a tree to hide behind, pop off a few shots and run and hide. The Brits cried foul, but we ended up winning in the long run. If the methods you are using are not working you have to adapt to the situation.

    On a side note, I’ll probably run into some people tonight I would like to waterboard…just sayin

  41. quail09 says:

    Coach….you my boy!!!!…..just sayin….except for the ole miss stuff…but you my boy!!

  42. Stone says:

    Whooooo! It is not ok for the family to torture. I said I would not shed a tear for the murderer. The distinction I am trying to make is what you want to do and what a government should do are two different things. I have no pity for the terrorist that were, in my view, tortured. However, that torture should not be condoned or allowed. If we slip on this principal, we will set the stage for all sorts of justifications for doing all sorts of things in the name of national security or justice.

    I like being who we are. We are the country that does not condone torture. Does this mean that through the years soldiers have not stepped across the line. No, they have. But, we have always taken the position that such actions are wrong. Also, our military is the worlds most disciplined and therefore is generally trusted and respected. That, and not torture, is what got our tail out of a mess in Iraq. In the end, despite problems with instances of torture and other horrible acts, the US military was the most trusted institution in Iraq. If we give that up by saying it is legally ok to torture, we are giving up a lot.

  43. Zeek says:

    Wit- You’re welcome.

    TJ- I can’t believe it, but we’re on the same page, except for that nasty little Ole Miss comment.

  44. smilyj says:

    “F” Omiss.

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