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wake up, leftie america

When they gather around telling big fish stories years from now, this guy won't be the one that got away - especially if his capture prevents attacks like this.

Since the capture of this animal, I've been reading blogs of leftists and sites devoted to the far liberal agenda that these people are worried. They worry that this poor man will be tortured or killed. They worry about his rights. They are decrying, in advance, the treatment that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will be handed.

I say to those people, have you forgotten? Khalid is the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Did you already purge the image of those falling towers from your mind? Are you so wrapped up in the civil liberties of criminals that you no longer look at the image of people jumping to their death and want vengeance?

Of course. You are the ones who think America deserved this. You are the ones who think Khalid didn't even commit these crimes, that the President of the United States of America himself did.

I look at this monster and I see the the anguished faces of the relatives of the victims of his crimes. I revisti the funerals and memorial services I attended and remember the crying children, the grieving widows. I remember watching the smoke fill the sky.

I look at this murderer and I do not see a political prisoner who has rights. I see a man who is responsible for the death of thousands. I see a man who brought America to its knees in grief.

Why do you have such compassion for someone who dreamed up such a horrendous plan, yet you have a hard time finding compassion for the country he used that plan on?

This is why I swayed from the left. This is why I will never associate myself with the far liberal movement again. The values and morals of those who profess to care about humanity and freedom yet use those very ideas to spew hatred and bigotry is not something I would ever align myself with.

I pity all of you who spew more words in defense of the rights of this murderer rather than in celebration of his capture.

Wake up, leftists. If and when the terrorists come back for us, they won't hesitate to slash your throat as well. Your little peace signs and your penchant for defending their rights mean nothing to them. You are pawns in their game.


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Aside from the who 'vengence shall be mine' thing, I agree with the above post. He deserves to be brought to justice, but the best way to do it is by going through the proper channels. Prove to the world that even the worst criminals will not make you tear up the constitution.
Then put him in the toughest prison in the land with a sign round his neck saying 'I did 9/11'. And see how long he lasts.

I'm not going to say that I disagree with you, however, when it comes to American citizens--even if they are known terroristss, I still think they should be afforded due process, attorney privileges and the whole innocent until proven guilty in a court of law thing. I don't know if that makes me a liberal or not--and I hope it does not in your opinion--but I certainly think that sometimes in Mr. Bush's or Ashcrofts blood lust they seem to forget about the rights of the American citizen and that is what concerns me. It goes back to that whole overused quote "When they came for the Jews, I didn't complain because I wasn't a Jew...yadda yadda". I don't necessarily look American, as I am darker skinned with jet black hair (I am some sort of native American, but most people think I am a Mexican or Middle Easterner...(only I don't have the hair on my back like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed) I sometimes wonder, what if I were just randomly rounded up based on my appearance and we had let it slide to the point where I was allowed no attorney or basic constitutional rights? I would think that it would be a violation of my rights yes? Again, I am only talking about the rights of the American citizen here--which Mohammed is not--but there has already been at least one that has been tried and convicted in Mr. Bush's own "variety" of justice (American citizen blown up in a car in the dessert of the Middle East) and it will be interesting to see how other "citizen terrorists" are processed (Lindh, Hamdi, Padilla, the Buffalo Six, and the Portland Six). Sure, I want to throw the book at them too, but I think the thing that is concerning people is the way that this Administration continues to disregard the Constitution and the rights of the American citizen. So much for the smaller government we were promised, I guess. And this is why I went from Republican to Independent leaning Libertarian. It seems to me that more and more under the Bush "purview" people in general are now guilty until proven innocent since 9/11--just try to board an airplane for instance, but all the while Mr. Bush keeps asserting that we should not let the terrorists change the way we live our everyday lives or the freedoms we hold so dear in this country. I think the left just wants to disagree because that is what they do--disagree with the right. It would be exactly the same for the right, in my opinion, if Gore were President, threatening Saddam without UN backing and the right were in the minority. However, I think we need to be careful about lableing those that are genuinely concerned about our constitutional rights and our freedoms in this country as leftists and just because one does not swallow everything Mr. Bush spoon feeds us I hope that does not make us lefties either. Good topic. Keep up the good work with TroopTrax!

I could care less about the human rights of a terrorist, they don't even rise to the level of human being in my book. Should we torture him? All jokes aside, yes, only if we've exhausted all other methods of extracting information from him or if time is of the essence.

As for "due process", Mohammed could easily be termed an illegal combatant and therefore subject to summary execution. But I wouldn't do that. Once we have every bit of information we need from him, he should get a quick military tribunal for the war crimes he planned where he'll be sentenced to hang. There are no circumstances in which he should be tried in a civilian court, this is war.

i bet there was a line a mile long to be the guy who get's to extract info from this scumbag.

bottom line: he isn't american. he has no rights. he's open game for us to do WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to safeguard american lives. even the ungrateful wastes of space liberals.

It's convenient that everyone has seemingly forgotten our quest to depose Saddam Hussein has, when all else fails come back to the argument that "He's a brutal dictator who spits on human rights and tortures and kills all those he believes are enemy combatants." Now, Saddam may be a little more paranoid than Ashcroft, but what makes you think that America's credibility on human rights will stand up against the summary torture of one of our own enemy combatants? Do you think the Bush rhetoric against Saddam will exclude the human rights arguments when our own are guilty of the same abuses? Or will the then-hypocritical accusations continue?

You know, as much as I'd love to see this guy removed from the face of the earth in the most painful way possible, I think we have to refrain from torturing his miserable ass. For one thing, we've cast this struggle as one between the "civilized world" and a bunch of evil bastards. One of the hallmarks of the civilized world is that we respect human rights, and we don't torture people even when they really deserve it--we allow the justice process (not blind rage or revenge) to prevail. Is that naive? Maybe so, but if we're going to take the moral high ground when other people (China, Russia, etc) torture their enemies, we have to be willing to let the same rules apply to ourselves.

Of course there's the argument that by torturing him we can extract valuable information we might otherwise not be privy to. Perhaps. But I'm reminded of the quote from Reservoir Dogs: "If you torture this prick, he'll tell you he's the fucking Queen of England, but that don't necessarily make it fucking so!"

All in all I agree with Ed...let's show the world that our values and convictions are stronger than blind vengeance. Then let's see how much he likes his short-ass life living in an American prison.


You are correct that the information revealed through torture can be unreliable, which is why I'd only use it as a last resort. Though it would be immensely satisfying to see Mohammed howling in agony, I can see your point. Emotion gets the better of me sometimes.

Old Sparky at Sing Sing is waiting for him

Blogged here

Two important points.

If you ride around in a car with terrorists, you might get blown up. Lesson: Don't ride around with terrorists. Not too many innocent guys waiting in the car while the others rob the 7-11, know what I mean, Vern?

Torture is a word with many meanings. I suspect that our captives are being treated better than, oh, say, US POW's were in North Vietnam. Remember the big complaint last Fall was that we were using women to question them. I would think that "giggle juice" is the interrogation method of choice.

Yes, the airport is the best example of our lost liberties, and that predates Sept. 11. Now the report is that they want to run a credit check on all passengers to help them flag potential problems. BTW, this is why the airlines can't make any money. Lots of people won't fly because of all this stupidity.

I think, in review, i misunderstood Michele. In the case of mohammad I really don't care as he IS NOT A US CITIZEN (right?). I think the issue Michele was making is to whether or not he should be tortured and how the left views this as a violation of human rights. My mistake. It's war--and even if it has been made perpetual war so that govt can do whatever they need to do--it is still war and we need to grill the enemy in the quest for more info. I hope and trust they are doing this "legall" by geneva convention standards or whatever, but if they aren't and it saves a few thousand lives, I can live with it. My apologies. My concern is how they treat actual US citizens--and maybe that is more of an issue as to who they let in this country and give citizenship to in the first place, but that could be a different topic all together.


I don't get the credit check thing...what, do terrorists pass bad checks and fail to pay their credit card bills on time? I swear, the TSA is going to be such a disaster.

Chuck, just a quick point of clarification:

The reason the airlines "can't make any money" has very little to do with the security process. The primary reason they are losing cash hand over fist has to do with the fact that we're in a recession and they can no longer charge outrageous fares to business travellers, who are either now unemployed or can't justify the airfare expense to superiors in a time of cost-cutting. The other reason has to do with ridiculously high labor costs in the major airlines: Delta, for one, pays its pilots $245/hr. Compare that to JetBlue, a profitable airline, which pays about 1/4 less -- around $60-70/hr.

"bottom line: he isn't american. he has no rights."
I don't know about anyone else, but this comment scares the shit out of me. Are you saying that the 5.75 billion non-Americans in the world have no rights? Everyone has rights; that is the basis of international law, the UN Charter, and God knows how many treaties. If this was a declared war (which is up for debate; I like my wars to be defined: Enemy position here, our position here and so on.), then you have the Geneva Convention to work with. If (as I think you should, terrorists do not deserve the honour of being classed as warriors) you deal with them within civil law, you have that to work with. If you disregard all law in dealing with them, then you sink to their level. The terrorists in this case despise America and democracy. Their hatred of government of the people, for the people and by the people is one of the biggest weapons you have against them. Democratise the Middle East, and you'll take away their power base (eventually; things like this take time). But you can't spread democracy by tearing up your own laws to do it.
My two cents, anyway.


I have to agree with you that the Geneva Convention doesn't apply to this guy. The federal courts might be an option for trying this guy. Perhaps. (though I think the military court system may be a more appropriate forum.

But what happens in the meantime? Should this guy be afforded the whole panoply of constitutional protections "regular" criminals get? For example, under Miranda v. Arizona, once a criminal suspect under custodial protection invokes his right not to talk without his attorney, the police are supposed to stop all interrogation. Should this apply to someone who has information whose extraction could save literally an unknown number of lives? Even if there is an argument that Miranda and other constitutional protections don't apply, the authorities may feel constrained, absent any clear indication about applicability, in extracting any useful information.

More to the point, any information he has is time-critical. Al Qaeda knows we have him, and will doubtless change their procedures. As a result, the more we wait, the less useful the information will be.


Regarding Ed's suggestion:

Once we know for sure that he's the person who planned and facilitated these events, I'd add the phrase "...and I just lo-o-ove little children" to that sign around his neck.

=Then= put him in prison.

I wasn't saying don't interrogate him; that would be, in it's mildest form, f***ing stupid. However, what I was saying was that you can't tear up the rulebook just to satisfy the domestic thirst for vengence. A comprimise between civil and military law is probably the way forward. Mainly because, as you have said, under US law interrogation without a lawyer is bad, and the geneva convention states that:
"No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."
So there has to be an area between these two legal systems where terrorists can be treated. They are (overwhemingly) not citizens of liberal democracies (Richard Reid aside; the legal system worked with him), nor are they legal combatants. The grey area between the two should be clarified and enshrined in law.

You beat the terrorists by not stooping to their level. Prove that the democratic system is strong enough, and that you faith in it is strong enough to defeat their attacks on it. If you tear up the Bill of Rights, they can claim a victory. If, however, you clear up the 'grey area', in keeping with the spirit of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, you claim a victory.
Another 2 cents.

"All appropriate pressure" definately.
Our country must protect itself.

Man, I know some of you are going to think I flipped to the other side, but trust me, I'm still a founding member of the VRWC. But here it goes.

He has rights and they need to be protected so that our entire system doesn't crumble. It is not HIM that we protect when we do this, but US. If we give the government free reign to do as they please, then it won't be long until one of us is in custody because of our views.

Once he has been tried and convicted, then he has other rights. The right to be slowly dipped into a vat of ill tempered sea bass. The right to have each finger removed with a rusty spoon. The right to be methodically roasted on an open spit. The "human rights" bullshit is out the door once convicted. Hell, as far as I'm concerned, imprisonment is as cruel as it gets, so why bother?

I hate this guy with a passion you cannot believe, but I also love my daughter. I don't want her to grow up in a country where we automatically hide the judicial system because someone is considered a threat.

I'd prefer to bring justice to this guy in an open way to show the fucktards who attacked us what we're really made of. And, as long as the process takes place, the end result doesn't phase me. Get our info, try his ass, then {insert punishment here}. And if the punishment consists of sulfuric acid and an eyedropper, so be it.

Pardon me for the slight hypocrisy at the end there....

the 5.75 billion non-americans have rights. just not the same as americans. they don't have Miranda rights. no Bill of Rights. no Constitutional rights. that was my point. when they drag this guy stateside for trial, we're going to start hearing about his "right" to a lawyer etc.... my point is that he doesn't have the right to that. he's an enemy combatant. technically, him and all the other Al Queda pricks don't even get protection of Geneva Convention. They aren't a uniformed army from a country that formally declares war. You want your "definitions" and "rules"?? fine, but you better be prepared to watch the US play by them even when you don't agree. and i still don't get how this is even a debate. this guy has the info. there's no question about it. squeezing every last name and location out of him will save lives. hundreds maybe thousands. i for one don't want to wait around to look out my window and see DC engulfed in flames so that everyone can sleep knowing we were the "civilized ones". and the difference between us torturing this guy and saddam doing torturing is that we're doing this to enemy prisoners and only the enemy prisoner for the purpose of extracting vital info. NOT torturing your own people and their families just for the hell of it. THAT'S the difference. get this thru your head, we're ALREADY at war and war isn't pretty.

Let's not be so naive to think this guy would get his ass kicked if he went to prison, regardless of the fact he'd go in with everybody knowing what he was responsible for.

He'd immediately be protected by Muslim faction within the prison and probably be hailed as a hero.

Robb, I would share your concern if this guy was captured here in the United States. But he wasn't. Trying him in court and then executing him won't prove anything, other than the fact that we are afraid to go after these people with the force we should be going after them.

I love my daughter too and you know what? I don't want to lose her one day in some kind of attack that an asshole like this would love to carry out. Preventing that from happening is not going to be accomplished in a courtroom.

I'd get all I could out of the guy, put a bullet in his brain, or better yet slit his throat like he did to Daniel Pearl (remember him?) and send that to Al-Jazeera television with a note - "This is what you get for fucking with us."


I have noticed that there is a war ongoing. I don't think that it is the same as other wars that have gone before. In many ways, it has more in common with the 'War on Drugs" than previous military campaigns. A declared war is fought for specific aims (ie, the survival of South Vietnam, the liberation of Europe, etc). The War on Terror is not so defined. It is an open-ended commitment to fighting terrorism as and when it challenges the United States, it's citizens, and to an extent, it's allies.
Also, I have already stated that I feel that there should be a special legal catagory for these terrorists; they don't deserve the same rights as the citizens they target, and they sure as hell don't deserve the honour of being treated like warriors. However, they do deserve some rights. The right to a fair trial. The right not to be tortured just to satisfy the public bloodlust. Interrogate, drug and torture him if needbe, but only for specific aims. To save lives. To do damage to the al-Quaeda network. Not just because you can.
(Out of curiousity, what is your view on Richard Reid? A citizen of a western democratic nation (coincidently, your closest ally in the War on Terror), caught in the attempted execution of an act of terrorism, who was dealt with within the law? I feel that relegating him to the status of common criminal is the best option; he deserves to be treated as he is. He is not a holy warrior, he is a deluded, homicidal fool.)
Back to the point. You state that I should be prepared to watch the US play by rules and definitions even when I don't agree with them. Fine. I am not only prepared to do so, but I would welcome with open arms such rules. At the minute, the persuit of the War on Terror is haphazard to say the least. Afghanistan was a great step forward, as will Iraq be when it is wrapped up. But Bali told the world that the terror is not limited to the middle east. The deployment of US combat troops to the Phillipines is a welcome step, but what of militants in Indonesia? In Kashmir? Hell, what about the IRA, ETA and the Chechens? With rules and definitions come consistency. And this is something sadly lacking with this campaign so far.
And to Jay:
You may have noticed that Muslims were among the loudest at condemning the 9/11 attacks. I think that, should he be sent to federal prison, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed would find life nasty, brutish and very, very short. The ODC's inside would see to that. I'm sure that the sheer magnitude of his crimes would be sufficent to get the muslim groups within the prison to overlook his (somewhat dodgy) claims to be a Muslim. And anyway, if he was sentenced by a cross between the civil and military courts, he would have a good chance of going to a military prison. Which would not increase the odds of his survival through the first week.
Also, remember what you felt when you heard of and saw the fate of Daniel Pearl. Imagine how many willing followers Osama would gain by doing the same thing to his men. You have the moral high ground. Don't surrender it for the sake of petty vengence.

"You may have noticed that Muslims were among the loudest at condemning the 9/11 attacks."

Actually, Ed, I doubt Jay noticed that because it's not true. I remember seeing dancing in the streets, and watching "Muslim leaders" do contortionist verbal dances to avoid condemning terrorism.

Sure, I've heard Muslims condemn the 9-11 attack. I've even heard some condemn terrorism in general. But those voices are quiet, rare, and often intimidated into silence by their fellow Muslims.

"Among the loudest"? Bull.

Our law enforcement often does get confessions/information out of people, and yet we do not torture. We have it down to such a science, we even get FALSE confessions more often than I feel comfortable with.

And yet this is no ordinary street thug - he has very few incentives to talk and his info is VASTLY more vital than the name of the latest heroin middleman. This difference is what makes torture contemplatable to some, and is also why not immediately granting him U.S. citizen rights isn't likely to destroy the rule of law as we know it.

He knows that the very BEST outcome for him is life in an American jail(or even Gitmo)... and this is the only carrot we have. If we bring him over here, and its almost a certainty that we can't send him back. And even if this american college graduate doesn't grasp that being in this country means being safe from a paki prison, his american lawyer will tell him.

So by keeping him in Pakistan, we are pursuing the only course which allows us to give him a reason to confess WITHOUT torture. Funny how this results in us being accused of being as bad as Saddam.

My first reaction is that he has the right to remain silent. Should he choose to give up the right to remain silent, he may scream as loudly as he chooses.

My second, and more "civilized", reaction is that he is entitled to whatever any other enemy combatant who has committed war crimes is.

Nevertheless, I hope his interrogators are using whatever means necessary to get information out of him.

Heh, gives "By Any Means Necessary" (a anti-war/minority rights group) a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

I'm am 100% against the death penalty of any person. Including this man. Do I remember the people jumping from the trade towers, and the amazing death toll? Yes, I do. But do I think that killing this man will solve anything? No, I don't.

even though i personaly would like to see him tortured to satisfy my own personal bloodlust and i'm sure there's a lot of support for it, i don't think it's the correct thing to do. no, he'll be tortured just for info. that's good enough for me.

richard reid attempted to murder a plane full of people. he should be jailed on howver many counts of such a charge. i'm sure it'll keep him behind bars long enough to where he'll make a few boyfriends. he should NOT, i repeat, NOT get out on an insanity plea.

consistancy? wait so you're saying that because we haven't dropped troops in Ireland and everywhere on the planet we're suddenly not being consistant? i don't think so. remember, even though it seems like it, we aren't fighting this war on terror alone. we're letting foreign governments deal with terror rooted in their countries on their own. sometimes we might lend a hand more in some places because they need extra help (Phillipines, colombia, etc...) but that doesn't mean that we're IGNORING everywhere else. please don't tell me you're that ignorant to think that.

Eh? What the heck are you about, pal? The subject here is torture, not the death penalty.

And if it were, you "lets go easy on him" bozos would have even LESS of a crutch to hobble on, since the death penalty is legal (even in military tribunals), while torture by Americans is not.

My last post was a reply to Zach, not jimmy. The comments are coming fast and furious.

well isn't zach just the kindly forgiving person. so instead of seeing this guy pay for his crimes. the TAXPAYER pays for his crimes. i get to write my tax check so that i can keep him warm, sheltered, and fed for the rest of his life. but hey, how humane we're being. i feel so big and civilized now. i could be European!!!

Solve anything, no, but make millions happy? Yes. So there is a reason even if some people don't like it.

And I agree this man is not even qualified to be called human. If they have to squeeze the information out of his testicles with a vice grip, I'm all for it. I just don't want this to set a precident for how we deal with everything. The new Patriot act (and I haven't actually read the whole thing, only excerpts from the blogosphere so my info may be incorrect) reeks to me of something I don't like. If terrorists get "special" classification, what stops the government from labeling ANYTHING that goes against their principles as terroristic. Then they can pack you and your family away and not have to tell nor answer to anyone.

Personally a long trip down I-85 face down under the tranny doesn't seem too cruel to me for this asshat.

But do I think that killing this man will solve anything? No, I don't.

Well we are talking about using torture to get information out of him.

But killing him would certainly solve something. He wouldn't able to coordinate any more attacks against the United States.

Besides, when we're talking about torture, it doesn't necessarily have to be physical right?

Shit, have him watch 2 episodes of 'Clarissa Explains It All' on Noggin and he'll be singing like a jaybird before the second one is over.

Well, regarding who can be labeled a terrorist. those asshats who blow up suv's and pound spikes into trees (to break saw blades), and firebomb places that use animal research might be first in line.

Which actually makes some sense, given that they are indeed using terrorist-like tactics. Though I don't imagine they'd be too happy with the patriot act, no I don't.

KSM is the best candidate yet for a military tribunal. A trial in a US court would be purely a propoganda show. And, if the tribunal finds him guilty, and any appeal is exausted, hang him like they did Tojo.

If the death penalty is wrong, surely it is 50 times more wrong to torture people. Jimmy, it cost more to put a man to death than it does to keep them in prison with all the different things that are involved. I have the info lying around here somewhere, it is just a matter of finding it.

I really cannot believe that the topic of torturing someone, for anything, is even something that is mentioned. I don't even know how to address that. No man, no matter the severity of their crime, should ever be tortured. Whether it be as a punishment, a way of getting information, or both. I'm a strong Christian, so I believe that everyone is worthy of forgiveness.


Implicit in your comment is that to be a "strong Christian", one must be against the death penalty. If I'm wrong, then I apologize. However, if that is indeed the case, I'd have to strongly disagree. Christianity and a belief that the death penalty is appropriate under certain circumstances are not incompatible.


Zach, although I am not a Christian, I believe I have a good, forgiving heart.

However, there is only so far my forgiveness goes. I can not find one speck of sympathy, compassion or even pity for this man.

I think he should die a nasty death, but not before he gives us the information we need.

I am not saying we should inflict that nasty death on him ourselves; but if that does happen I am not going to cry.

Wrong Zach but thanks for playing. "strong Christian" doesn't and shouldn't equal "ignorant moron". which is what you're acting like. just because YOUR religion says everyone should be all happy-lovey dovey doesn't mean everyone else's does. and it doesn't. like the islamic fundamentalists.

Alright. Tony, I did not mean to imply that, and I apologize for giving off that impression.

Michele, I accept that, but what is it going to accomplish making sure he has a nice painful death. Nothing. It's not going to bring back the lives of the people that were lost.

Jimmy, I'm not saying I'm all, ahem, "lovey-dovey" it means I am NOT going to support the torturing of a man for information. And if being ignorant, supports what I just said, then I take that as a compliment.

My view is that war often involves causing a relatively small catastrophe in order to avoid suffering a much bigger one. A classic example is the decision to nuke Hiroshima and Nakasaki in WWII -- the US took out tens of thousands of civilians to force Japan into a quick surrender, because the alternative at the time was to try to take Japan by conventional means, which would have meant casualties in the hundreds of thousands, possibly even the millions.

I'm tempted to put torture into this category also. It's not Emily Post to torture this guy. It isn't nice. It isn't the decent, civilized thing to do. It isn't something you want to happen to non-terrorists. But sometimes war requires that you avoid a huge atrocity by committing a small one. So as a practical matter, if torturing this guy saves hundreds of lives, I say go for it.

I'm sure I'll hear from people who are appalled at the idea. :)

actually yeah it DOES mean that. and i know plenty of religious minded folks. my best friend is. what he ISN'T....is stupid enough to think that if we just sit in our house praying that everything will work out all right in the end. and no, killing won't bring the lost back. but good lord don't be an idiot. don't hold back from doing what needs to be done to PREVENT (key word there) MORE INNOCENT LIVES lost. and if you think they'll stop killing us just because we back off you need to just give up down and lay down and die. we had 8 years of appeasement and backing down. it only gave them the willpower to attack us. we're about to take it away.

Hm, I'm sorry, perhaps we have gone off topic. I said we should not torture the man, and any Christian who say's we should I would enjoy talking to.

I never said I am some anti-war peace protestor. I'm not sure if you got that assumption somehow, but I'm not.

"The values and morals of those who profess to care about humanity and freedom yet use those very ideas to spew hatred and bigotry is not something I would ever align myself with."

That statement works for extremist assholes on both sides of the "right/left" divide. Do you watch Fox News? Do you ever have the unfortunate experience of hearing Hannity, Limbaugh, Buchanan, etc.? And who on the left spews hatred and bigotry on the level of Trent Lott or any of the above named?

I'm sure you'd label me as a "lefty" and I can safely say that I don't fall into the categories of your broad accusations against the left. Most "lefty" people I know are more educated and rational that you give them credit for (at least the ones who I'd align myself with).

Nobody who is sane says that 9/11 was deserved. Even Noam Chomsky, the great enemy of the righty hegemony, offers reasons why America is hated. Reasons are different from excuses and they are not apologies. You smear anyone who would look into the manner in which U.S. foreign policy may have irritated certain tensions and label them as people who believe that we deserved this. Right after 9/11 when my heart was aching and my eyes weren't used to not seeing that familiar skyline down the Hudson River I found Chomsky's and certain "lefties" words jarring and upsetting. I wanted to believe Bush was noble and good (even though I had no respect for him, based on researching his career), I wanted to believe that we were being looked after by a government that cared about us. But eventually emotion gave way to reason and I became angry at my own country for putting my life and the lives of my loved ones in danger with short-sighted and selfish policies abroad. America did not deserve 9/11, but there are reasons for everything. And reasons need to be addressed and dealt with in order to prevent it from happening again. And remember, reasons are not always right, and, especially in the case of 9/11, they don't make anyone deserving of such destruction. But ignoring the atrocities committed by our own government, ignoring the inequalities in our own system and blindly wrapping your face in the American flag without questioning anything (and attacking anyone who does) is dangerous and stupid.

And as a side note: remember how you felt when the towers fell? Remember that feeling if the bombs start to fall on Bagdad. Remember that no matter how "careful" and "smart" the bombs are, there will be thousands of people who feel that way -- pawns in a couple of rich men's game.

So as for Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, if he is really the mastermind of one of the worst days of our lives, I want to see him brought to justice. But he must be treated in accordance with the law. Thomas Moore once claimed that he would treat the devil to the justice of law. For once you've knocked down every law and the devil turns around on you what have you to fall back on?

This fellow and his friends put themselves beyond the pale, we did not. A Soldier gets the protection of the Geneva Convention by abiding by the rules and when he deliberately breaks the rules of war as a tactical choice, he is not entitled to protection from anything.

Traditionally, illegal combatants have been executed at the time of capture. The German infiltrators who wore American uniforms at the Battle of the Bulge were shot at once, no trials, no questions, no repurcussions.

This isn't Olly-olly-outs-in-free... you can't step out of bounds then jump back in and call "Safe!". This isn't about freedom or rights or being the "Good Guys".

This bastard slit the throat of an innocent man for politcal points. Whatever happens to him could not be painful enough for me.

Take some time and read the Geneva Convention...

Especially this part...

Article 4
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; Nope... independant terrorist cells don't qualify

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; Hmmmm... I don't think your boy Atta was wearing a "Hi, I'm here to kill you!" button

© That of carrying arms openly; The box cutters were definitely hidden

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. Nope... plane loads of civilians were not in the rule book.

[cue up game show music]
BZZZZTTD... "Wrong answer Sheik-dude... that's an Article 4, Section A.2.a violation...
let's open the curtain and see what the goat humper has won... WOW, an all expense paid vacation at an undisclosed location courtesy of the United States Government. Now give us the names of all your friends so we can bring them in to play...




Yeah, Mike S., that's right.

As far as international law says, this guy has no right to a trial or to a POW camp. But, we're not going to beat him and such. Any bruising in those photos was courtesy of our allies, the Pakistanis, who happily beat folks every day for no apparent reason.

He's getting the giggle juice treatment, disorientation with lights and such. And, like the last guy, he'll squeal like a pig. There aren't a lot of John McCain's in the world. Most of these guys roll over pretty easily. Plus, he had all this info with him, cell phones, lap top, files and papers. Like Bugs Bunny says "What a maroon!" Hardly a 007.

Even Noam Chomsky, the great enemy of the righty hegemony, offers reasons why America is hated. Reasons are different from excuses and they are not apologies.
Bull. Noam's "reasons" are exactly the same as Limbaugh's "excuses," it's just the same words coming from a different mouth. To claim anything else is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

The left completely lost my respect when they decided that lies, when presented as facts, must be the truth.

Alcibiades was an Athenian, No Athenian ever drank to excess,
therefore Alcibiades never drank to excess.

- Socrates, in defense of Alcibiades
(and an example of the logic used by leftists, in defense of Saddam)

I'd like to second pretty much everything Chuck said. However, I also feel an obligation as a lawyer to point out that the U.S. Constitution generally protects PERSONS, not CITIZENS, contrary to a number of assertions made in these comments. Now, whether those protections extend to unlawful combatants is an entirely different question; while not entirely informed as to details, I am of the opinion that they mostly do not.

I suppose it's easy to discount Chomsky's work. But how much of it have you read? He's pretty careful to site facts and contextualize his information. But you can only lead a horse to water...

The little of Limbaugh that I've been able to stomach is based more in opinion than fact. That's the difference, there. But I'm by no means overly familiar with Limbaugh as I have little time for blow-hards.

Depends. Chomsky's WORK may indeed be of some value. However his WORK is not in question: his ill-concieved, contratictory, anti-american stances, interviews, and posturing is.

He may be a linguist, but we aren't blasting his language skills. That should be rather obvious. Instead his interviews, public speeches, and suchlike is what provides most of the fodder for people to read and disagree with.

And forgive me if I'm skeptical that his weekly speeches are as fact-citing and as contextulaized as you would like to imply. He likes to call things "facts" every chance he gets, but more often they are pure propaganda. No, Chomsky's bad rep is 100% earned.

Its rather amusing that you defend Chomsky in the same paragraph that you slam someone else as a "blowhard".

The interesting part about the lefties isn't their fervent desire to prevent torture. It's the incessant predictions of dire future behavior THAT ARE NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. They have to jump now since they know we are not going to torture him. Of course, later on torture will be redefined to include interrogations without force but where he wasn't allowed a lawyer.

What I want to know is why they never admit they were full of shit after the fact. After 9/11, they were immediately convinced muslims were in danger, which turned out to be a load of crap. Imagine something like 9/11 happening anywhere else including Europe. Would we come off as well? There's more animosity in Europe for Americans today than there is in the US toward Muslims generally.

Six months from now they will be patting themselves on the back convinced the US would have tortured him but for their outcries. Similarly, the idiots in Iraq will believe we would have bombed the school they were in if they hadn't been there.

Its rather amusing that you defend Chomsky in the same paragraph that you slam someone else as a "blowhard".

I know isn't it? What was I thinking?

Is "anti-American propaganda" any attempt to pierce the sacred-cow bubble of "America is always right"? People get so angry when you point out the U.S. government does bad things, they support governments that do bad things, and it's all in the name of short-sighted power-mongering and greed. Does that mean that the U.S. government is always wrong and evil? Of course not. But U.S. history, up to this very moment, is littered with bad people doing bad things... you can ignore it, call it propaganda, subscribe to revisionist history but it doesn't change the fact that it's true.

Why attack people for introducing new questions? For attempting to broaden the national discourse? Even if you feel they're wrong, they have every right to voice their perceptions of fact and they do a service by causing people to think.

Even Limbaugh and Coulter (as much as I despise all that they stand for) at the very least give me fodder -- something to keep me grounded in the fact that there are loads of scary people in this country with a lot of hate and venom bottled up inside them.

Discussion, disagreement, argument -- these are good things for democracy. Otherwise we end up with two identical political parties, a mass media complex controlled by corporate interests, and a government that caters to the rich and powerful. Uh, wait a minute...

Remember in the days before the Geniva Convention pirates caught could be hanged on the spot.

Is is quite correct that he does not under the rules have protection under Geniva

It is also true that if he gets to the US he gains some rights under US law.

Which is why he will not be sent to the US, he will likely never tough US soil till the war is over, and then only for a military tribunal, a likely execution and a burial in pig skin (my idea)

Remember Lincoln suspended Habius corpus. When asked about it he said don't worry I am guarding the Constitution well.

These people who suspect Ashcroft and Bush and are fanitics about them are divorced from the reality of the situation and the reality that civil rights have NOT been trampled no matter how many times they say it.

The problem for the left is when your world view does not allow for such a reality to be accepted then it forces thought and the possibility that they might be wrong. Since this can not be tolorated then un-reality must be embrased.

I feel sorry for them.

Whatever we do to him won't approach what he did to Daniel Pearl

Whatever we do to him won't approach what he did to Daniel Pearl


Read my closing quote again.

It is a syllogism, and one of the basic building blocks of logic. Given that the first and second statements are axiomatically true, the third statement is also, by logical necessity, true. Socrates was famous, as the founder of logical debate, and this quote on his part is an example of logic that is perfect, unarguable... and completely wrong.

The second statement - that no Athenian ever drank to excess - is so patently untrue that it renders the entire argument, and any other arguments based upon it, utterly without merit. (The Senate forum felt the same, and Socrates' defense of Alcibiades failed to save him from execution.) And this, in a more advanced form, is exactly what Noam Chomsky has based his entire post-linguistic career upon... taking completely flawed axioms (such as "The American people have no control over the American government"), and exploring the perfectly logical implications of them, without any regard to the fact that he is spinning tales out of nothing.

In short, he is the primary purveyor of intellectual dishonesty of our time.

"Nineteen of the last twenty-three American Presidents have been members of the Trilateral Comission. Why do you think that is?"

"If the UN is as powerful and as bent on world domination as you claim, why haven't twenty-three of the last twenty-three American Presidents been members of the Trilateral Commission?"

- Conversation in Deus Ex, or rather, how I think it
should have gone.


I understood the syllogism -- I just don't agree with your use of it in this context. If your major qualm is with his feeling that "The American people have no control over the American government," you're over-simplifying certain aspects. Besides, of course it's not true as you worded it. SOME american people DO have control of the american government. SOME being the key added word. Through a series of mechanisms that I'm all to familiar with, democracy is subverted by american hegemony. But I'm not here to re-interpret Chomsky or any other "leftist" thinkers for you.

Chomsky is meaningless and "wrong" to you because you don't agree with his feeling that democracy is subverted by narrow interests. (I'm subsitituting "the american people have no control over the american government" with "democracy is subverted" because the former statement is rather innacurate -- many "left" thinkers, including Chomsky believe that the american people CAN have control if they mobilize --through democratic means -- against these special interests that dominate). It is then logical that if you perceive that statement to be wrong -- anything based on that statement is wrong. That, however, is where we differ on this subject. I agree with that fact , thus I agree with some of (not all of) Chomsky. You state that Chomsky is wrong on that count as if it is authoritative fact. Do the american people have control over the government? I say no -- certainly not the extent of a well-functioning, well-informed representative democracy.

Well, if SOME people have control over the government (without specifying WHO, that's a stunningly obvious statement), then what does Noam have to say about Iraq? Or his beloved Palestine Authority?

Oh right. He DOESN'T. Or at least he doesn't attempt to make a career of it.

So, having nothing good at all to say about america, and lying when one can get away with it, this is "broadening the debate". As opposed to people who disagree, these " loads of scary people in this country with a lot of hate".

Which presumably doesn't include the fools carrying Bush=Hitler signs, because THEY are part of the democratic process... unlike Coulter. Do I have your disgusting and one-sided views down about right?

Let me be very clear so you understand. You CAN lie with the thruth. In this instance, if you ignore the good things about America, and if you shrilly extol the bad, with dark unfalsifiable hints about worse streaming from your lips, ignoring context, using long-debunked lies, ANYTHING, anything at all as long as it could possibly attack America...

Well then you are about as much a credit to free speech as Gobbels was. He certainly broadened the debate according to your definition, now didn't he?

Hey Ryan,

Chill brother. I think there are some pretty a-okay things about america. I really do. The fact that I can sit here and have this discussion is still pretty cool in my book and a lot better than, say, Iraq. It was better than Iraq when they were our ally too. And it's better than Saudi Arabia and it's better than many of our other ally/client/puppet states. While america is among the best places to live it CAN be better and it is rife with hypocrisy and paradox. Shit, if I didn't love this fucked-up country I wouldn't rage about it like I do.

Bush doesn't = Hitler (yet, but everybody's gotta have goals and Ashcroft has an edge on him at that). But he is an over-privileged little sociopathic bitch who I have never found worthy of respect (I long for a president who doesn't seem like a crooked asshole -- it's been a while since we've had one -- the bar keeps lowering).

As for the talking heads. Coulter is a moron (at least she appears to be -- I don't know her personally). And Limbaugh is a hateful bastard (these are my humble opinions). There are hateful morons on every side. Shit, I just read Michele's post about Crissy Hynde and I think that was some pretty stupid shit that she (Hynde) spewed (in fact -- I posted that as "left" as I may be, I totally don't agree with her).

And you are right, facts can be manipulated. Both sides do it quite well. That's why one does good to look back on as many sources as possible if one wants to be informed. But I don't need to tell you that. However, I've heard Chomsky say nice things about america. I've also heard him level some harsh criticism too. But one is not anti-American when they criticize what they feel is a country enveloped in illness. One of the greatest duties of a citizen in a democracy is to question their leaders, hold them accountable. But y'all jump on that as blasphemy (on ash wednesday, no less!!!).

Look, I'm by no means a strident Chomsky follower, my opinion is fairly independent and based on my observations and other sources (mainstream and other). However, I'm noticing a certain right-winged clampdown on discussion and debate (in general) and that's the ugliest side america can show (call it the festering sore on the VD-ridden genitals of america).

Oh, and completely as a side-comment...

Forgetting whether you're liberal or conservative -- do you ever have the urge to just give Ari Fleischer and atomic wedgy? This is a completely non-partisan question. He's such a tool.


I meant AN atomic wedgy... but I think you got the picture.

I'd give him an atomic wedgie... but Helen Thomas (and most of the other reporters) would be way ahead of him in the line.

If he's a tool, then they are doing their damnedest to pick him up and hammer a few political nails with him. Perhaps that accounts for his obtuseness, no?

And you need to find a better word than "clampdown". Unless its your position that my criticism of you is stifling your free debate.

But then, "the stifling of free debate in America" is one of Noam's favorites, isn't it? In fact he FREELY SPEAKS that quite often...

I thought I made it clear that I wasn't directly referring to you with the word "clampdown." If I didn't, I didn't mean your criticism. However I better word might be "trivialization" ("ah, but they do that on their own...")

Hey! I love Helen Thomas -- on the off chance I get to watch C-Span I love watching her give him hell as he spews some bullshit propaganda slogan back because he can't figure the spin on his feet.

Besides, how much "free debate" do you really see in the mass discourse? A very narrow margin of opinion is truly represented, but that's another argument completely that just gives me a headache. The left IS increasingly marginalized, closed out, etc. Not by force, not even by an organized conspiracy but through mass mediated conventions.

Its less that you are being stifled but that the "Bush=Hitler" crowd is drowning you out. Unless you think THEY are the ones not getting enough media time?

If you want a better noise-to-signal ratio, do it yourself. Conservatives had to marginalize their radicals to get their message through after the Goldwater era: now its your turn.

Your position is entirely partisan: If the voice is conservative, its shutting down debate and spewing hate. If the voice is liberal, its promoting debate and giving them hell for their bullshit propaganda.

And apparently you are so blinded by your ideology that you can't see the problem.

Maybe. But did you ever think that the media and certain agendas tend to focus on the more radical, tin-foil hat types. Examine any mainstream media outlet. Make it a project -- look at the language they use, look at how the "left" is condescendingly dealt with. I've actually looked at independent studies of groups of researchers who just sit in front of TVs or newspapers and "code" what they see. Documented empirical studies.

What is the media going to focus on... a normal citizen expressing their view or some lunatic with a freak hat and a "Bush=Hitler" sign?

Actually, to be fair, the media was a little better with 2/15 round of protests. Most camera work showed the massive numbers, but still a few gatekeepers focused on the extreme. Shit, if all anti-war protesters behaved like most media and "conservatives" would lead you to believe from their depictions it would be fucking bedlam. And the truth shows that it wasn't. There are loonies in every bunch.

Believe me, if I didn't accept Right-wing debate I wouldn't be here to hear the other side's view. It seems to me that the "right," especially the executive branch and powerful "conservatives," are going out of their way to stifle debate. I make no bones that my subjectivity is with the left -- that's where my heart and morals rest. It would probably be much easier to turn off my conscience and side with the establishment and not feel like it's all such an uphill battle (not to imply that the right doesn't have a conscience -- It would just go against MY conscience, MY beliefs on what's right and what's wrong -- I have to make that point before I'm attacked for calling the entire "right" a bunch of cold-hearted animals -- heaven knows I wouldn't do that ;-). Some people on the left completely discount the right just as badly -- but c'mon, the right OWNS everything. You're the establishment. The right is in a much better position to stifle argument -- or more accurately to control the discourse. So it's like comparing apples to pears.

What is the media going to focus on... a normal citizen expressing their view or some lunatic with a freak hat and a "Bush=Hitler" sign?

Well one is news, the other isn't, if that helps. If you don't want to be painted with the ANSWER party line, you don't put ANSWER in charge.

To illustrate your choice - I'm certain that there are anti-abortion KKK members... probably a lot, since they like to describe themselves as christian. And yet, do you think people wearing white sheets would be allowed at an abortion clinic protest?

No. And why? Because it would be in the papers the next day. Does this suppress the poor wittle Klansman's free speech?

And are you referring to the protests on the mall? You know, the ones where every channel except fox moved their cameras in REAL close so you couldn't see just how small the protest was? Yeah, fight the powah! Those evil conservative media people are stifling debate!

And... oh GOD that You're the establishment. is so frigging 70's. I'm almost tempted to ask you if you've been in cold storage since Vietnam and just recently thawed.

Its also a distorion of such breathtaking scope that it needs a debunking of its very own.

  • Media: WHO is the conservative Dan Rather? You bitch about Rush and Coltier, but you neglect to mention that they comparatively very recent. Whereas Dan has been happily plying his liberal trade for eons.
  • Mass Media: Of WHICH political persuasion is the Hollywood establishment? WHO gets the most money from the movie industy, the music industry, etc?
  • Education: WHOSE newspapers are stolen and smashed? WHOSE voices are unceremoniusly denied funding by their ideological enemies? WHO is getting entire fields of study created to staff their professors: Post-modernism, "American Studies", African-american history. I must have missed all those new theology courses at UCLA.
  • Government: Yes, we CURRENTLY have a Republican Government, by a razor's hair margin. It goes back and forth, but the breaking of the liberal stranglehold on Congress is so new they don't know how to mentally handle it.
  • Business: The repubs have a slight upper hand here. Of course, most large NGO's are fiercely liberal and as big as many corps. And of course there is a lot of big-business contribution to liberal causes and organizations.
  • Law: WHO gets funding from the law industry, again?

You casually drop a lie like that and expect people to swallow it? Maybe on democratsunderground.com... they are very essence of free speech by the way. I invite you to write a pro-gun post there and see what happens. Stifling of free speech indeed.

YOU'RE RIGHT!!! Ryan Waxx you've changed me! Thank you for leading me to the light of knowledge. Your words have overturned my beliefs. I shall forsake my liberal education and years of research at university. Tomorrow, I'm going to join the republican party, join the army and kill some 'raqis whilst believing everything the american media/government tells me while simultaneously rejecting those bitter "lefties."

My hands hurt -- I'll make this overly simple...

Media: Corporate conglomeration fostered by the government. Lobby money goes to gov't, gov't helps with legislation, media gives favorable coverage (ignores all FCC dealings). (to oversimplify)

Mass Media: See above -- hegemony -- least common denomenator pandering to optimize revenue in bottom-lined concerned corporate ownership. Fewer and fewer choices.

Education: Based on my collegiate background, I'll give you that one -- strange how "uneducated" most of america is then, eh? However I've been out of high school too long to remember the biases of that establishment

Business: Has BOTH parties in its pocket. LOBBY LOBBY LOBBY. Not to mention the pro-corporate bias of Shrub, et al. (and even Gore for that matter). In the oligarchy that is america, money talks and bullshit walks. You don't have money, you have no voice, no say, no influence unless you seriously mobilize until they cannot ignore you.

Law: Judicial Branch. Supreme Court. Overturned democracy to declare Bush king.

Cold Storage: Man cars get better gas mileage now then when they froze me!!! And it's good to see that Kiss never took their makeup off!

I swear I'm not going to give myself carpel tunnel over this circular argument. Being that I'm too tired to discuss this any further, read this if you care to: What Liberal Media?. Alterman hits on a lot of points I've discovered in my own studies and research. Otherwise, agree to disagree --or read my blog -- you'll see where I'm coming from. I'm not going to discuss this anymore as I have work to do.

Peace and Love,

wow...im a life-long republican...but you guys need to get a life!!! But hey, guess it takes all kinds?! Rock on losers!!!

oh...lefties are gay...get a real education and join the world (yep...i's talkin to you tom!)

Watcha neams iut

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