Drinking Liberally

DLBottlePlease join us at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally for an evening of politics under the influence. The festivities take place at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. beginning at 8:00 pm. Or stop by earlier for dinner.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGHqeKG8Io[/youtube]

Not in Seattle? The Drinking Liberally web site has dates and times for 328 chapters of Drinking Liberally spread across the earth.

Comments

  1. 1

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    YES! It’s about fucking time. Let’s start perp-walking these Bush Regime henchmen. I can’t wait!

  2. 3

    delbert spews:

    @1 – As soon as you start criminalizing policy differences, you are going to ruin the Republic.

    And I’d be willing to bet between the military and the Republicans, the left will be out-gunned and out-brained.

    Indignant rage – and the resulting hissy fit – will only take you so far.

  3. 4

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @1: “The very few individuals who were waterboarded gave up vital information that saved lives.”

    1. Torture is against the law.
    2. This is a nation of laws.
    3. Therefore you are an idiot.

    QED

  4. 5

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    I’d love to drop by, Goldy, but I’d get likkered up and would be a public menace trying to drive home (a long way south).

    We are a nation of laws….sigh.

  5. 6

    spews:

    @4
    Oh really. Like paying ones taxes? POTUS Obama cabinet members didn’t face any punishment for their “mistakes”…
    You or I would have faced prosecution for the same “mistakes”

    QED

    We’ll see if any prosecutions actually happen. IMO this is just a bone to the fringe “HA” types, and all about politics. Why not release all the memos? or the complete memo? Politics.

  6. 7

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    So first the right wing traitors said you can’t release any memos. Now it’s all of a sudden okay to release memos. You have to admire the ability of the right wing cowards to prove that they know more about the word HYPOCRITE than anyone.

  7. 8

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Here’s something for you kids to remember. Ronnie Raygun SOLD ARMS TO – wait for it, wait for it…

    I R A N!

    Yeah now THAT was a good idea – NOT!

  8. 9

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Did you know that the crook Nixon gave the leader of the USSR a Cadillac???

    Can you imagine the shrill screams of the right if PRESIDENT OBAMA did something like that.

    AGAIN – HYPOCRITES!

  9. 10

    spews:

    Right Stuff,

    “Oh really. Like paying ones taxes? POTUS Obama cabinet members didn’t face any punishment for their “mistakes”…
    You or I would have faced prosecution for the same “mistakes””

    All of Obama’s cabinet members have paid their taxes. What fucked up bullshit have you been listening to?

    Sure…some of them discovered errors and filed amended returns, but that is pretty ordinary.

    Oh..and yeah…they paid the SAME penalties and interest that you will pay the next time you go through your last 10 years of taxes and discover errors.

    Your insinuation that something illegal happened is pure, unadulterated BULLSHIT.

  10. 11

    Don Joe spews:

    RS @ 2

    The very few individuals who were waterboarded gave up vital information that saved lives.

    Until I see specifically what that information was and which specific plots were foiled because of that information, I’m not buying.

  11. 12

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    stupid stuff @6 sez: “Oh really. Like paying ones taxes?’

    Taxes are for little people. Didn’t you listen to your little rich heroine Leona Helmsly on this?

    And if you want Geithner so bad, you can have him. His policies are nothing but a coddling of Wall Street.

  12. 13

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @8: Yeah. That was a truly brilliant strategy. Sell arms to Iran to raise funds to off nuns in El Salvador.

    And to think those fuckers were all pardoned by George Bush el firsto. Now there is a crime.

  13. 14

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    fuckwit stuff sez: “POTUS Obama cabinet members didn’t face any punishment for their “mistakes”…”

    The few involved paid back the money and interest penalties as the LAW requires you dumb fuck.

    QED

    I sincerely hope you were born to well off parents, because the ignorant stupidity you bring here bodes ill for your ability to survive in the real world.

  14. 15

    spews:

    Darryl, with respect, I don’t make those type of errors on my taxes. And no, they did not file amendments, or in the case of Daschle, actually pay his back taxes and penalties even when fully aware of them.

    “Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Daschle’s former Democratic colleagues had rallied to Daschle’s defense in the wake of questions about his failure to fully pay his taxes from 2005 through 2007. Last month, he paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.

    “Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged,” Obama said Tuesday. “He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake and this decision cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country.”

    @9 and 11

    This is the political BS that is being played by the Obama administration. They should have released the full set of information.

    The techniques used were derived from SERE training. We put our own military personel thru this as training….

  15. 16

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    SO Wrong Stuff must think it was okay for Ronnie Raygun to sell arms to Iran. Again – the ability of the right to prove they eat, breathe and sleep hypocrite is astounding.

  16. 17

    spews:

    “Darryl, with respect, I don’t make those type of errors on my taxes. And no, they did not file amendments, or in the case of Daschle, actually pay his back taxes and penalties even when fully aware of them.

    How do you know you don’t make such mistakes? I mean, it is possible that your taxes are so simple that mistakes are unlikely. But if your taxes are at all complicated, there is a pretty good chance that a “tax vetting” would reveal inadvertent errors.

    And…what do you mean by saying that Daschle didn’t fully pay his taxes, penalty and interest? The article you cited specifically states, “Last month, he paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.”

  17. 18

    Tom Foss spews:

    On a pragmatic level, too, (never mind what we did to totally destroy our moral high ground we once had, plus undermine our own values and bill of rights) I think too many trolls believe that “24” is a reality TV show. Actually there is an overwhelming body of good peer reviewed empirical research dating to the 1300’s and even earlier that says torture does not work. And not one shred of real evidence in the last few years except undocumented oblique references by Bush hacks, proves that anything we did in this area has worked to do anything of value for us.

    Memo to trolls- Jack Bauer does not count. He is a fictional character.

    BTW, comparing as some kind of moral equivalency the idea of delinquent taxes (that actually were all paid) to extreme torture that destroyed our values, our moral high ground, and our standing in the world, as well as creating new generations of terrorists, is a new level of idiocy even for the trolls who inhabit this site.

  18. 20

    Rick D. spews:

    11. Don Joe spews:
    Until I see specifically what that information was and which specific plots were foiled because of that information, I’m not buying.

    So we’re in perfect agreement that the Obama administration can and should release any information obtained from those that had undergone enhanced interrogation techniques following 9/11 and let the American people decide whether those actions were necessary. I couldn’t agree more.

    Now, I’m sure you’ll be contacting the white house directly with your support of releasing said documents, correct?

  19. 21

    Rick D. spews:

    Darryl: And…what do you mean by saying that Daschle didn’t fully pay his taxes, penalty and interest? The article you cited specifically states, “Last month, he paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.”

    From a NY Times article:

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Daschle, Jenny Backus, said Mr. Daschle became concerned last June that he might owe taxes on the car and driver, and instructed his accountant to investigate. Mr. Obama named Mr. Daschle to the health secretary’s post on Dec. 11. But it was not until late December or early January, after the accountant came back to Mr. Daschle with a report on the back taxes owed, that the former senator informed the White House transition team. Ms. Backus said Mr. Daschle did not think to mention it earlier, in part because “he thought his accountant was taking care of it,” and in part because he had no idea the amount owed would be so high.
    “He took responsibility for his mistake as soon as he figured it out,” Ms. Backus said. “That’s about all you can do. People who know him and respect him are putting that mistake in context.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02.....schle.html

    Sure he finally paid up after his nomination was announced, but prior to that, he did everything to cover it up. I’m sure the “accountant investigating” this simple thing for 7 months was appreciative of the paycheck/kickback he was receiving….assuming of course that their actually was an “investigation” done at all.

    Smells like an outright lie to coverup his misdeeds to any sane individual.

  20. 22

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Keep drinkin’ Useful Idiots!

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009


    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 34% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-two percent (32%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +2 (see trends). On the Generic Congressional Ballot, it’s all tied—39% for the Democrats, 39% for the Republicans.

    Most voters continue to believe that the financial and auto bailouts were a bad idea, but the Political Class disagrees. Sixty percent (60%) now believe the federal government has too much power and too much money.

    Overall, 54% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far. Forty-six percent (46%) disapprove.

  21. 23

    Don Joe spews:

    RS @ 15

    This is the political BS that is being played by the Obama administration.

    Come again? The only evidence we have at all on torture is that it’s a great way to get people to lie, which is why we use it in things like SERE training. Other governments do, indeed, use torture, and they use it to get prisoners to tell lies that can then be used for propaganda purposes. Ask John McCain. He’ll tell you all about it.

    The political bullshit here is coming from apologists for the Bush administration, and they certainly have quite a strong motivation to bullshit us on this. They broke US and international law.

    They should have released the full set of information.

    You’re assuming, despite very strong evidence to the contrary, that this “full set of information” actually exists. Maybe you and Ricky D. are comfortable with a belief in pink unicorns, but that doesn’t relieve you of the burden of proof–a burden of proof that is not satisfied by demanding that others, including the Obama administration, prove that pink unicorns don’t exist.

  22. 24

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Darryl-
    Defending Daschle’s actions is ludicrous..
    Then again ludicrous is your specialty!

  23. 25

    Rick D. spews:

    You’re assuming, despite very strong evidence to the contrary, that this “full set of information” actually exists. Maybe you and Ricky D. are comfortable with a belief in pink unicorns, but that doesn’t relieve you of the burden of proof–a burden of proof that is not satisfied by demanding that others, including the Obama administration, prove that pink unicorns don’t exist.

    Nice dodge, Don Joe. Apparently, like the Obama administration, you’re afraid of airing all the evidence and would rather cherry pick only that which supports your myopic political agenda.

    …and where is this “very strong evidence to the contrary” you speak of? Talk about your pink unicorn driving a black helicopter theory.

    As for the bumbling Community organizer in chief, so much for that promise of “the most transparent administration in history” …. that’s laughable.

  24. 26

    spews:

    Rick D.

    Sure he finally paid up after his nomination was announced, but prior to that, he did everything to cover it up.

    Right. He did everything to cover it up like, “instruct[ing] his accountant to investigate” suspected errors in past returns.

    And you seem to agree that he fully paid his taxes, interest and penalties.

    So…essentially, this amounts to little more than you WingDingy types crying foul over people who filed amended returns to their taxes and paid-up.

    Wow…that really stacks up to illegal use of torture, spying on Americans, starting a war over imaginary WMD, shutting down a nuclear weapons counterproliferation program by outing a CIA operative, ….

  25. 27

    correctnotright spews:

    @2: Wrong stuff says:

    The very few individuals who were waterboarded gave up vital information that saved lives.

    Yeah, right. And where did you get that supposed information (that BS from the Bush administration)? From the bush administration that has lied about Nukes, WMDs and just about everything else in an attempt to scare americans to trade away our libertties for the cheap security they promised.

    Only a fool would believe that crap. They waterboarded Khalid Muhammed 183 times – if it was so damn effective, why did they have to do it so many times?

    If they got such great info out of it – why can’t they produce a single example? They have broken security before just to try and prove their political points.

    Are we supposed to believe the blatherings of Dick (torture) Cheney?

    the bottom line is that torture is illegal and we (the US of A) tortured. We brought ourselves down to the level of the very terrorists we were supposed to be fighting.

    This whole episode is a black stain on the honor of america. WE need to prosecute those who are guilty of crimes. Period. And Obama is backing prosecution of crimes by Holder. Good.

    We cannot bend and break the law whenever we “feel” like it for “security”.

    Ben Franklin had it right:

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

  26. 28

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    re 22: Leo Strauss, the neocon godfather of political philosophy, also had something to say about deception and ‘useful idiots’. The Teabagging incident is a prime example.

    Oh, and, Strauss — he’s not the guy who made dungarees in the Gold Rush.

  27. 29

    Winkydink, hey, it's April spews:

    Why would you have to waterboard someone 83 times in a month to get at the truth?

    And then the torturers have resentments about not being properly appreciated for their fine work in keeping us safe!!??!!

  28. 32

    Rick D. spews:

    26. Darryl spews:

    Right. He did everything to cover it up like, “instruct[ing] his accountant to investigate” suspected errors in past returns.

    At least that’s the story his staff and he are sticking with. Odd that it takes an “accountant” 7 months to investigate something when Joe citizen can clear up the same “oversight” with a simple phone call to the IRS and a revised IRS return with penalties assessed in a matter of a week or two. How convenient of Mr. Daschle to blame his “accountant” for the error…at least he wasn’t like Geithner, who blamed “Turbotax”.

    And you seem to agree that he fully paid his taxes, interest and penalties.

    Right, but apparently only after he was nominated for a post in the Obama administration. No telling when that “investigation” he sent his “accountant” on 7 months prior would have ever finished otherwise.

    So…essentially, this amounts to little more than you WingDingy types crying foul over people who filed amended returns to their taxes and paid-up.

    Cheating on your taxes is cheating on your taxes. Paying up after the fact doesn’t excuse the action nor the excuse laden cover-up that followed.

    Wow…that really stacks up to illegal use of torture, spying on Americans, starting a war over imaginary WMD, shutting down a nuclear weapons counterproliferation program by outing a CIA operative, ….

    Don’t look now, but Darryl’s got that Pink Unicorn piloting the black helicopter on their way to Oz…Where liberal fantasies are realities, if only in their heads.

  29. 34

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    10. Darryl spews:
    All of Obama’s cabinet members have paid their taxes. What fucked up bullshit have you been listening to?

     
    Finally. They didn’t pay them before obama picked them. It was only after the right pointed out the liberal hypocracy that those in charge of taxing citizens should have paid their taxes first.
      

    Oh..and yeah…they paid the SAME penalties and interest that you will pay the next time you go through your last 10 years of taxes and discover errors.

     
    I see you have been drinking liberally. Bullshit on the paying the SAME penalties.
     
    Now I see why your students consider you unprepared and lazy.

  30. 35

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    11. Don Joe spews:
    The very few individuals who were waterboarded gave up vital information that saved lives.

    Until I see specifically what that information was and which specific plots were foiled because of that information, I’m not buying.

     
    Since obama doesn’t want to release any memos that don’t prove his point, the transparency of the obama presidency is shrouded in political games. Since obama feels it’s okay to release them, release them all. Besides the truth, what is obama afraid of?
     
    Didn’t obama campaign that he was above this kind of stuff?

  31. 36

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    17. Darryl spews:
    And…what do you mean by saying that Daschle didn’t fully pay his taxes, penalty and interest? The article you cited specifically states, “Last month, he paid $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.”

     
    No mention of penalties paid?
     
    Yet the lazy professor says he paid penalties.

  32. 37

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    25. Rick D. spews:
    Nice dodge, Don Joe. Apparently, like the Obama administration, you’re afraid of airing all the evidence and would rather cherry pick only that which supports your myopic political agenda

     
    Exactly. Obama doesn’t want the truth to come out. He will only release the memos that prove his opinion.

  33. 38

    Don Joe spews:

    RD @ 25

    Nice dodge, Don Joe.

    Wow. In Ricky D’s mind, pointing out that other people have failed to meet a well-defined burden of proof is a “dodge”.

    Exactly which facts am I avoiding, Ricky? Do you even understand the difference between a statement of fact and a statement of opinion?

    [W]here is this “very strong evidence to the contrary” you speak of?

    There’s a reason we don’t let the cops beat the shit out of suspects in order to get confessions out of them.

  34. 39

    Rick D. spews:

    23. Don Joe spews:
    The only evidence we have at all on torture is that it’s a great way to get people to lie, which is why we use it in things like SERE training. Other governments do, indeed, use torture, and they use it to get prisoners to tell lies that can then be used for propaganda purposes. Ask John McCain. He’ll tell you all about it…You’re assuming, despite very strong evidence to the contrary, that this “full set of information” actually exists.

    Even Obama’s own National Intelligence chief disagrees with you Don Joe:

    The NBC correspondent concluded with Blair:
    The Obama administration’s own Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, wrote his employees last week that the interrogations produced “high-value information.” And he said he did not fault those who made the decisions at the time. But Blair left those controversial comments out of public statements he issued at the same time. Tonight, a senior official told NBC News Blair does not back away from his private comments, even though they appear to differ from the President’s rejection of the Bush policies.

    An AP dispatch related on Wednesday:National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, Obama’s top intelligence adviser, told intelligence personnel in an April 16 letter — the same day the Justice Department memos were released — that “high-value information came from interrogation in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al-Qaida organization that was attacking the country.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/b.....ntroversia

    …any other batshit crazy pink unicorns piloting black helicopters theories you’ve got that you’d like me disprove, Donny Joe? Now, I’ll ask again, where is that “strong evidence to the contrary” that you speak of? Or did you pull that theory out of your ass as well?

  35. 40

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D @ 39

    OMG. Talk about batshit crazy. An intelligence official writes a content-free CYA memo, and you buy it. (By the way, you can find the full memo here.)

    For evidence to the contrary, you can start here, and here.

    The first sets the stage for all of this:

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 – The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials.

    The second pertains specifically to Cheney’s comments with pithy little quotes like this one:

    “Cheney is full of crap,” one intelligence source with decades of experience said Tuesday.

    You can continue reading here, which points out how Bush Administration officials were claiming to have broken up the Library Tower plot in 2002. Khalid Shaykh Muhammad wasn’t even in US custody until March of 2003.

    And, let’s not forget this piece as well. Or, better yet, how ’bout this one:

    In contrast, considerable evidence — along with the many years of operational experience by the nation’s most accomplished interrogators — strongly suggested that coercive methods not only failed to consistently obtain reliable intelligence, but that such tactics are largely counterproductive in that they stiffen the resolve of detainees under questioning and undermine the stature of the U.S. on the world stage. (See, for example, the Intelligence Science Board’s study on Educing Information, December 2006.)

    We can also look at the history of waterboarding, and why SERE included it in their training. Waterboarding is what the Chinese and North Koreans used to elicit false confessions out of US soldiers during the Korean War.

    Is that enough evidence to the contrary for you, Ricky?

  36. 41

    Don Joe spews:

    Looks like my initial response to Ricky D is awaiting moderation. Not surprising, since it contains six links to a variety of sources debunking his Pink Unicornesque belief that these “enhanced interrogation” techniques actually worked.

    While we’re waiting for someone to OK my previous comment, here’s another source:

    One of the worst consequences of the use of these harsh techniques was that it reintroduced the so-called Chinese wall between the C.I.A. and F.B.I., similar to the communications obstacles that prevented us from working together to stop the 9/11 attacks. Because the bureau would not employ these problematic techniques, our agents who knew the most about the terrorists could have no part in the investigation. An F.B.I. colleague of mine who knew more about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed than anyone in the government was not allowed to speak to him.

    So, not only did these “enhanced interrogation” techniques fail to produce any significant actionable intelligence, their use inhibited our ability to use more effective methods of interrogation.

    Nevertheless, folks like Ricky D will continue to hold on to their belief in Pink Unicorns. The alternative would require them to admit that not only was the Bush Administration a bunch of criminals they were a bunch of feckless criminals.

  37. 42

    correctnotright spews:

    Poor little Rick D. – the torture apologist.

    Who cares if some “high value” information came from years of torture? A lot of crap also came and we probably could have gotten MORE information sooner with no torture.

    Besides, torture is against the law and we are supposed to be better than the religoin-crazed terrorists – we are not supposed to sink down to their disgustingly low level of ethics. unless you are a wingnut republican apologist and torture advocate who falls all over themselves to justify illegal and immoral activity.

    Where have we heard these rightwing argument before? Nazi Germany – the safety of the country required the terrorist Jews to be locked up!

  38. 43

    Rick D. spews:

    @41 ~ …and I provided you above, Obama’s own national intelligence chief agrees that these interrogation techniques provided “High-value Intelligence”.

    Therefore, wouldn’t it be consistent for Obama to release this information and prove that it held no valuable information? Sure it would, but he’s proven he’s a coward.

  39. 44

    Puddybud, Have You Said Thank You Today... spews:

    Toss Foss farts:

    Memo to trolls- Jack Bauer does not count. He is a fictional character.

    You should scold clueless wonder… he loves to use 24 as his argument ad nauseum whenever possible.

  40. 45

    Rick D. spews:

    41. correct[ional institute inmate]notright[in the head] spews:

    Poor little Rick D. – the torture apologist.

    Waterboarding isn’t torture stupes. It’s used everyday on U.S. Military personnel. Using your retard logic, we torture our troops daily in this country and there is no public outcry.

    Who cares if some “high value” information came from years of torture? A lot of crap also came and we probably could have gotten MORE information sooner with no torture.

    Ah, yes, stupes living in a world of “if’s”. Leave the thinking to those capable of it neverright, you continue to live in your fantasy world of “what if”.

    Besides, torture is against the law and we are supposed to be better than the religoin-crazed terrorists

    We didn’t commit torture, we waterboarded a few suspects that gave vital information that may have thwarted subsequent attacks on our nation. Cowards like you would have been villifying these same officials had a second attack occurred and they weren’t able to extract information by the intimidation methods you approve of like raising your vocal inflection level above conversational tone…again, the theoretical world is for losers.

    we are not supposed to sink down to their disgustingly low level of ethics. unless you are a wingnut republican apologist and torture advocate who falls all over themselves to justify illegal and immoral activity.

    Again, if it’s good enough for the U.S. Military, its certainly good enough for international terroristic weapons of mass destruction…….except of course, in the liberal fantasyland of theory.

    Where have we heard these rightwing argument before? Nazi Germany – the safety of the country required the terrorist Jews to be locked up!

    Remember, it’s the community organizer in chief calling for the formation of a “civilian national security force” that would be as well funded as the U.S. military. If that isn’t reminiscent of 1930’s Germany, I don’t know what is. Even Lee, the bet welcher had to admit to that.

  41. 46

    Don Joe spews:

    Rick D @ 43 (or 44 when my original response gets OK’d by the mods)

    Obama’s own national intelligence chief agrees that these interrogation techniques provided “High-value Intelligence”.

    Though it’s still awaiting moderation, I pointed out that this is a content-free, cover-your-ass memo. I should also point out that any statement made by an intelligence chief in the Obama administration is, of necessity, a conclusion of fact, not a statement of fact.

    Adm. Dennis Blair was not a member of the intelligence community during the period in question, so any conclusions he’s reaching are based on information that’s coming from other people who do have a vested interest in covering their asses.

    Contrast Adm. Blair’s comments with those that I quoted above from an FBI investigator who was involved in the actual interrogations in Gitmo.

    Let’s also recall that Ricky D’s first response to me accused me of dodging. I’ve asked for specific evidence, actual facts–not someone else’s conclusions of fact, that would substantiate the Republican claim that these interrogation techniques have actually worked. None has been forthcoming. So, who’s really the one dodging, here?

  42. 49

    YLB spews:

    Ohhh! Poor Little Rickie Dumbass exposes the right wing bullshit he’s bought like the sheep he is and has his ass handed to him for the trouble.

    It’s just too funny.

  43. 50

    Rick D. spews:

    45. Don Joe spews:
    Though it’s still awaiting moderation, I pointed out that this is a content-free, cover-your-ass memo.

    I see, so Don Joe doesn’t like Obama’s own intelligence chief labeling the content as “high value intelligence”, so in turn dismisses it as a “cover your ass” memo. HAHA, welcome to the land of pink Unicorns Don Joe.

    I should also point out that any statement made by an intelligence chief in the Obama administration is, of necessity, a conclusion of fact, not a statement of fact.

    Um, since he’s the ranking intelligence staff member within the Obama administration, one can only assume he’s actually dissected and digested the content and thus the conclusion of fact was arrived and backed by his statement to personnel in the internal memo. Getting tired of moving those goalposts, Don Joe?

    Adm. Dennis Blair was not a member of the intelligence community during the period in question, so any conclusions he’s reaching are based on information that’s coming from other people who do have a vested interest in covering their asses.

    If he’s not up to the job of discerning from the intelligence gathered whether or not the intelligence is of “high value”, then perhaps you should be writing to the whitehouse.gov with your concerns about Obama’s pick for to head the department.

    Contrast Adm. Blair’s comments with those that I quoted above from an FBI investigator who was involved in the actual interrogations in Gitmo.

    So now, a low level investigators opinion trumps that of the recognized chief of national intelligence? Interesting dichotomy you have going there, Don Joe.

    Let’s also recall that Ricky D’s first response to me accused me of dodging.

    Right, and you still are. You claimed there was “strong evidence to the contrary” that high value intelligence was gathered by the interrogators. I even gave you the assessment of your administrations own national intelligence chief. One of you are delusional, and since he was privy to ALL of the evidence, and you weren’t, let’s all do the math equation on this one.

    I’ve asked for specific evidence, actual facts–not someone else’s conclusions of fact, that would substantiate the Republican claim that these interrogation techniques have actually worked. None has been forthcoming. So, who’s really the one dodging, here?

    Are you stuck on stupid? I just gave you Dennis Blair. Since the coward in chief won’t release the information to the public, we can only accept that his hand picked intelligence chiefs conclusion of fact is also a statement of fact. Obama can change that by manning up and releasing the info for public consumption. Barring that, Blair words stand as fact.

    Welcome to reality.

  44. 51

    YLB spews:

    he loves to use 24

    That’s the torture porn you fools watch. It arouses you morons into a state of batshit insane right wing hysteria.

    I caught you in a lie Stupes – you said you didn’t watch it and you did….

    Liar, liar….

  45. 52

    Rick D. spews:

    @ 46~ So it’s your contention that the US military tortures its own personnel. Since in your theoretical world of pink unicorns that the practice is “against the law”, can you point me to any UCMJ case where this “torture committed on our own troops” has been adjudicated? I welcome the case law you provide.

  46. 53

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D spews:

    So now, a low level investigators opinion trumps that of the recognized chief of national intelligence?

    Um. No. That “low-level” investigator is relating facts that he obtained through first-hand experience. We’re not talking about one person’s opinion vs. some other person’s opinion. We’re talking about a first-hand account from someone who was there vs. the hearsay of someone who was not there. Get the difference?

    I’d said:

    I’ve asked for specific evidence, actual facts–not someone else’s conclusions of fact

    To which Ricky D replied:

    Are you stuck on stupid? I just gave you Dennis Blair

    Ricky D, who has very clearly demonstrated that he hasn’t a clue as to the substantive difference between a statement of fact and a statement of opinion asks me if I’m stuck on stupid.

  47. 55

    Don Joe spews:

    How far does Ricky D’s teh stupid reach? As a TPM reader points out:

    Last week, conservatives were complaining Obama was establishing a socialistic fascist dictatorship.

    This week, conservatives are complaining Obama does not want to torture his opponents.

    Sure puts the “con” in “conservative,” no?

  48. 56

    Rick D. spews:

    52. Don Joe spews:
    Um. No. That “low-level” investigator is relating facts that he obtained through first-hand experience. We’re not talking about one person’s opinion vs. some other person’s opinion.

    Actually, we are getting opinion from the low level investigator with “his” first hand account of the facts as he saw them.

    Since Blair is the head intelligence chief of the agency, he’s privy to “ALL” of the first hand accounts and has a broader pool of “facts” put forth by other investigators rather than one individuals account in order to arrive at his conclusion as to the validity of the intelligence. See the difference?

    We’re talking about a first-hand account from someone who was there vs. the hearsay of someone who was not there. Get the difference?

    The key here being a single “first-hand account” rather than multiple sources. I see the difference, do you? I could walk down the street and find some nut that proclaims that “the sky is blue today!”.
    If I were to accept his “statement of fact”, then of course, it could be gray, cloudy and raining, but since he said that it’s blue sky weather, I have to accept it right? Nope, that’s why you go to other equally first-hand sources. Remember, “TRUST, BUT VERIFY”. simple concept really.

    I’ve asked for specific evidence, actual facts–not someone else’s conclusions of fact

    Again, if the administration would release the information to the public, I could probably put some forth. Short of that, I and the rest of the country will have to go with Mr. Blair’s assertion that “high-value intelligence” was obtained. You agree, right?

    Ricky D, who has very clearly demonstrated that he hasn’t a clue as to the substantive difference between a statement of fact and a statement of opinion asks me if I’m stuck on stupid.

    See my previous post regarding this. Blairs statement is both fact and opinion, unless you can prove otherwise or the administration suddenly releases the documents they should have released days ago.
    Chasing your tail isn’t very productive , Don Joe.

  49. 58

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D spews:

    Actually, we are getting opinion from the low level investigator with “his” first hand account of the facts as he saw them.

    So, according to Ricky D, when Ali Soufan says:

    Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August.

    That’s not a statement of fact. That’s Ali Soufan’s opinion.

    Chalk up another score for “teh stupid”.

    Still trying to press his attempt to obliterate the distinction between facts and opinions, Ricky D spews:

    The key here being a single “first-hand account” rather than multiple sources.

    Actually, we have absolutely no idea what forms the basis for Adm. Blair’s conclusion, because Adm. Blair’s memo is completely void of any facts in support of that conclusion. For all we know, Adm. Blair’s conclusion could, itself, be based on yet other summary memos written by lower-level intelligence personnel who, themselves, did not participate in the activities under question. Indeed, the likelihood that Adm. Blair, as chief of intelligence, took the time to review “all” the facts rather than simply reading a few summary memos is extremely high.

    Which brings me to:

    Again, if the administration would release the information to the public, I could probably put some forth.

    This statement completely ignores every instance where the Bush Administration has declassified information in support of torture only to have it blow up in their faces.

    One of my favorites was the notion that Khalid Shaykh Muhammad revealed the existence of a plot to take out the Liberty Tower in LA. Bush Administration officials were touting their having foiled this so-called plot back in 2002. Khalid Shaykh Muhamamd wasn’t in US custody until 2003.

    If one could cite a single instance where the use of coercive techniques have actually produced valid, actionable intelligence, one might have a case. Until then, claims that the information even exists don’t pass the sniff test.

    Lastly, regarding the difference between a statement of fact and a statement of opinion, Ricky D spews this completely incoherent assertion:

    Blairs statement is both fact and opinion.

    Not possible. A statement is either a statement of fact or it’s a statement of opinion. It cannot be both. The categories are mutually exclusive.

  50. 59

    YLB spews:

    One of my favorites was the notion that Khalid Shaykh Muhammad revealed the existence of a plot to take out the Liberty Tower in LA. Bush Administration officials were touting their having foiled this so-called plot back in 2002. Khalid Shaykh Muhamamd wasn’t in US custody until 2003.

    That is hysterical. All the fool’s right wing heroes like Rove and Dumbya have crowed about that Library Tower being justification for waterboarding KSM and the idiots couldn’t keep their dates straight.

    I mean Rove and Shrub really think some people are THAT stupid and given the likes of little Rickie Dumbass, PuddyStupes, Crusader, Mr. Klynical and the rest: yep, they’ve got a point:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2216601/

  51. 60

    Rick D. spews:

    57. Don Joe spews:

    So, according to Ricky D, when Ali Soufan says:
    Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August.
    That’s not a statement of fact. That’s Ali Soufan’s opinion.

    Yup. Of course, since Soufan wasn’t present when the other personnel he claims were there were debriefed, his opinion isn’t fact, simply his version of what occured.

    Chalk up another score for “teh stupid”.

    Can I quote you on that?…complete with misspelling?

    Actually, we have absolutely no idea what forms the basis for Adm. Blair’s conclusion, because Adm. Blair’s memo is completely void of any facts in support of that conclusion.

    Since he’s the only one privy to ALL of the information put forth, his word stands. Your partisan blinder’s doesn’t change that reality.

    For all we know, Adm. Blair’s conclusion could, itself, be based on yet other summary memos written by lower-level intelligence personnel who, themselves, did not participate in the activities under question.

    Which is why this cowardly administration should just ante up and release all of the information and not just cherry pick their agenda driven bits and pieces of the memo. Blair’s seen the evidence and assessed it…as the head of the national inelligence, we can only accept his finding as “fact”. Sorry that reality doesn’t conform to your ideology, Don Joe, but facts is facts.

    Indeed, the likelihood that Adm. Blair, as chief of intelligence, took the time to review “all” the facts rather than simply reading a few summary memos is extremely high.

    Now you’re arguing with yourself, nice touch.

    If one could cite a single instance where the use of coercive techniques have actually produced valid, actionable intelligence, one might have a case. Until then, claims that the information even exists don’t pass the sniff test.

    Adm. Blair did that just yesterday. Putting your hands over your ears because you don’t want to hear it doesn’t change this reality, Don Joe. Wow, are you just having a disconnect with reality moment or what?
    Blairs statement is both fact and opinion.

    Not possible. A statement is either a statement of fact or it’s a statement of opinion. It cannot be both. The categories are mutually exclusive.

    Nope. Short of evidence to the contrary, in this instance it can be arrived they are, in fact, one and the same.

    The sky is blue today is a statement of opinion
    It also holds that, if the sky is indeed blue that day, it is also a statement of fact. This is arrived at by consensus.

    Stuck on stupid again are we, Don Joe?

  52. 61

    Don Joe spews:

    I have a meeting to go to, but this is really too rich to avoid comment:

    The sky is blue today is a statement of opinion

    Um. No. That’s a statement of fact. It can be independently verified by direct observation.

    Ricky, you’re not going to get very far by failing to grok the difference between a conclusion of fact and a statement of fact. The former is an opinion, and not a fact.

    Go to a trial, once. See if you can’t find an instance where one attorney objects to a question on the basis that the question calls for a conclusion on the part of the witness. When you do, tell us how judge rules on the objection.

    Oh, and “teh stupid” is geek-speak. The misspelling is intentional. You’re even too stupid to know this fact.

  53. 62

    Rick D. spews:

    57. Don Joe spews:
    Not possible. A statement is either a statement of fact or it’s a statement of opinion. It cannot be both. The categories are mutually exclusive.

    Wow, you’re one delusional fellow there, Don Joe.I’m still mystified by the blatant disconnect with logic with that statement.

    60. Don Joe spews:
    I have a meeting to go to, but this is really too rich to avoid comment:

    I agree. When you’re faced with reality, your fallback position is to delve into the land of “what could be” or “what if this happened”. Reality is not your friend today, DJ.

    Um. No. [the sky is blue today is] a statement of fact. It can be independently verified by direct observation.

    So if the slobbering, mentally unstable drunk on the street proclaims that “the sky is blue today” and his fellow street denizen agrees with his statement, when in fact there are dark, looming stormclouds, that’s not a statement of opinion…it’s a statement of fact according to Don Joe because it was what the drunk observed and was independently verified by his equally inebriated buddy.

    Too rich indeed. Goldy needs to save this one for the “stupidity of stupidity” archives.

    Ricky, you’re not going to get very far by failing to grok the difference between a conclusion of fact and a statement of fact. The former is an opinion, and not a fact.

    Twisted logic isn’t working for you Don Joe. We have the National intelligence chief arriving at a conclusion of fact that “high value intelligence” was obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques. This is both opinion and fact, unless further proof is given to the contrary. Playing naked twister with yourself isn’t making your points any more valid…or lucid for that matter.

    Oh, and “teh stupid” is geek-speak. The misspelling is intentional. You’re even too stupid to know this fact.

    I don’t hang out with Geeks, so I’ll let you be the expert on the stupidity that you and other geeks share while stimulating your hard drives.

  54. 63

    Don Joe spews:

    I’d pointed out that the categories of “fact” and “opinion” are mutually exclusive, to which Ricky D has replied:

    Wow, you’re one delusional fellow there, Don Joe.I’m still mystified by the blatant disconnect with logic with that statement.

    Gosh, you know, if I’m delusional, then so is, say, the Longview Community College, or Rhodes University. And those are just two quick pages I was able to find with a simple web search.

    Fascinating, however, that some universities find it necessary to point these distinctions out.

    So if the slobbering, mentally unstable drunk on the street proclaims that “the sky is blue today” and his fellow street denizen agrees with his statement, when in fact there are dark, looming stormclouds, that’s not a statement of opinion. [emphasis added]

    Notice how Ricky D’s argument about a particular statement of fact requires him to state with conviction that some other condition is “in fact” true. Apparently, in Ricky D’s world, a statement of fact is only a statement of fact if the statement is, in fact, true. If the statement of fact is, in fact, false, then that statement of fact is really a statement of opinion. Talk about convoluted logic with no regard for the ontology involved.

    Does Ricky D ever stop to ask, how do we know that any given statement of fact is, in fact, false? Apparently not. If he did bother to ask that question, the absurdity of his position would be obvious even to him.

    But, let’s see if we can apply this reasoning to Ricky D’s conclusion:

    We have the National intelligence chief arriving at a conclusion of fact that “high value intelligence” was obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques. This is both opinion and fact, unless further proof is given to the contrary.

    Well, it’s a conclusion of fact (more accurately described as a “judgement”), but it’s, supposedly, also true. But, if it’s an opinion, it can’t be either true or false. The only way to fit this into Ricky D’s ontology is to argue that Adm. Blair’s conclusion is really a statement of fact, but, because it’s also an opinion, it must be a statement of fact that is, in fact, not true. Oh, but, somehow, I’m required to prove that the statement of fact is, in fact, not true before we can regard it as an opinion. The incoherence of Ricky D’s argument, here, is absolutely astounding.

    Let’s deconstruct this in a slightly different way. A conclusion of fact is not a statement of fact. It’s more accurately described as a “judgement” which is best categorized as a particular form of opinion. In a court of law, for example, expert testimony generally involves conclusions of fact but such conclusions are universally referred to as “expert opinion” (Google that phrase to verify that what I’ve said is, in fact, true.)

    A conclusion of fact can either be well-founded or not well-founded. Ricky D can, for example, conclude that I’m stuck on stupid, but that conclusion wouldn’t be all that well-founded. In order for a conclusion to be well-founded, it has to be based on verifiable facts and sound reasoning neither of which are present in Ricky D’s conclusion.

    So, what we have is Adm. Blair’s conclusion of fact, but we have absolutely no idea what forms the basis for Adm. Blair’s conclusions of fact. Adm. Blair doesn’t cite a single fact in support of his conclusion, and he provides no reasoning based on those facts. Adm. Blair’s statement is what we would generally refer to as a “bald assertion” (another phrase for Ricky D to google).

    Ricky D wants to presume that Adm. Blair’s conclusion of fact is true in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. Note, that Ricky D never fully articulates what would constitute evidence to the contrary.

    One might argue that the testimony of Ali Soufan, which I have quoted and cited, constitutes evidence to the contrary, but Ricky D has discounted this on the basis of Ricky D’s own assumption that Adm. Blair is, somehow, privy to “all” the facts while Ali Soufan is not so privy. It’s worth noting that Ricky D offers no supporting evidence for this claim of his and that Ricky D also discounts the fact that Adm. Blair couldn’t possibly base his own conclusions on first-hand knowledge (Adm. Blair’s statement is, at best, second-hand hearsay).

    So, in order to, somehow, bolster Ricky D’s presumption of the validity of Adm. Blair’s conclusion, Ricky D needs to try to come up with this most convoluted notion that a statement of fact can, through the magic of some rhetorical hocus pocus, be also regarded as a statement of opinion. Because, if Adm. Blair’s conclusion is not also a statement of fact, then Ricky D’s presumption is completely bogus.

    Thus, Ricky D engages in logic that makes a contorted filbert tree look as ramrod straight as a Douglas fir. The really funny part is, to quote him again:

    I’m still mystified by the blatant disconnect with logic with that statement.

    No shit. Ricky D argued that waterboarding is not torture, because waterboarding is used in a US military training program designed to expose members of our military to the torture they’ll likely experience if they’re captured by our enemies. Anyone willing to make that kind of argument is going to be mystified, and will see anything resembling sound logic and reasoning to be blatantly disconnected from his own alternate reality.

    By the way, Goldy, Lee, Darryl, can one of you please release my comment currently at 40 above? It’s about time that Ricky D be confronted with the full breadth of “evidence to the contrary” that his presumption requires us to ignore.

  55. 64

    Rick D. spews:

    62. Don Joe spews:

    I’d pointed out that the categories of “fact” and “opinion” are mutually exclusive,

    You held that a statement of fact and a statement of opinion could not both be true. As we all know, this is incorrect, which explains your obfuscation from what Adm. Blair arrived at with totality of evidence presented before him.

    Does Ricky D ever stop to ask, how do we know that any given statement of fact is, in fact, false?

    Does DonnyJo always speak to no one in particular in the 3rd person? Or is he losing the argument on merit and must detract from the original debate?

    But, let’s see if we can apply this reasoning to Ricky D’s conclusion:

    Hmmm, more 3rd personal monologue from DonnyJo, perhaps we should move ahead in his discussion with himself.

    Oh, but, somehow, I’m required to prove that the statement of fact is, in fact, not true before we can regard it as an opinion.

    Uh, yeah. Because you posited that there existed “strong evidence to contrary” of what judgment Mr. Blair arrived at, even though he was privy to all of the information and you were privy to none of it. Put up or shut up on your assertion that this contradictory evidence does indeed exist. Otherwise, the head of the National intelligence agency Mr. Blair’s contention that “high-value intelligence” stands as fact, despite the Longview Comm.College grad’s admamant, yet uninformed opinion is completely 180 to that of Mr. Blair’s.
    This is definately one for the “stop him before he says more stupid things file”, Goldy.

    The incoherence of Ricky D’s argument, here, is absolutely astounding.

    Almost as incoherent as you arriving at an opinion while never seeing any evidence put forth to support it. Your opinion is arrived at cherry picking fragmented 2nd hand accounts of events. The key word there being fragmented.

    A conclusion of fact can either be well-founded or not well-founded. Ricky D can, for example, conclude that I’m stuck on stupid, but that conclusion wouldn’t be all that well-founded.

    I’m fairly certain many reading this incoherent rambling post of yours would disagree.

    In order for a conclusion to be well-founded, it has to be based on verifiable facts and sound reasoning neither of which are present in Ricky D’s conclusion.

    I issue this thread as the evidence.

    So, what we have is Adm. Blair’s conclusion of fact, but we have absolutely no idea what forms the basis for Adm. Blair’s conclusions of fact.

    Um, perhaps its the mountains of evidence and intelligence he’s poured over in order to arrive at an informed conclusion. You know, the one you don’t have.

    Adm. Blair doesn’t cite a single fact in support of his conclusion, and he provides no reasoning based on those facts.

    This isn’t he SCOTUS, Don Joe. He doesn’t have to validate his conclusions with Longview CC grads apparently. Which brings us back to the question, “why doesn’t Obama just release the information?”. You then may be able to even present a cogent argument on actual evidence, rather than theory, which is what you’ve presented here.

    Ricky D wants to presume that Adm. Blair’s conclusion of fact is true in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.

    Only because you haven’t provided any. I assume since he’s the guy in charge, he’s got the big picture, while you’re posting links to articles from a ripped off dog eared corner from the big picture.
    Wow, I can’t believe you’re this vacuous, Don Joe. It’s mindboggling that you’re arguing the merits of a case you have not a shred of evidence to back it up with other than mere conjecture.

    Note, that Ricky D never fully articulates what would constitute evidence to the contrary.

    I’d accept anything forthcoming that undermines Mr. Blairs conclusions that their was “high value intelligence” obtained. He’s arrived at his decision, while you’re stuck at lawyer fantasy camp, Don Joe. Too amusing for words.

    By the way, Goldy, Lee, Darryl, can one of you please release my comment currently at 40 above? It’s about time that Ricky D be confronted with the full breadth of “evidence to the contrary” that his presumption requires us to ignore.

    yes, by all means release more rambling from Don Joe. I haven’t been this amused since reading the Unibomber’s manifesto.

    Truthfully, I think you suffer from delusions of adequacy, Don Joe. But that’s a whole different debate for another day.

  56. 65

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    I want to see how long it takes Handjob Hannity to back down from his claim he’s willing to be waterboarded for charity. Yeah – RIGHT – like that bitch has the nuts to do ANYTHING like be waterboarded. The cunt wouldn’t even go fight in Gulf War I when it was his turn – but he’s PRO MILITARY – like most publicans – just so long as he can send “people of color” to do all the fighting.

  57. 66

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D spews:

    You held that a statement of fact and a statement of opinion could not both be true.

    Uh. No. Once again, here is my exact statement:

    Not possible. A statement is either a statement of fact or it’s a statement of opinion. It cannot be both. The categories are mutually exclusive.

    Ricky D has quoted me twice on this, yet he still manages to completely misrepresent what I’d said.

    Ricky D had boldly proclaimed:

    Blairs statement is both fact and opinion.

    I think Ricky D should make up his mind, but it seems rather clear that a conclusion cannot be a fact. It might be a well-founded conclusion, and we’ll get to this in just a bit. First, Ricky D whined about my use of the third person:

    Does DonnyJo always speak to no one in particular in the 3rd person?

    Apparently Ricky D has no clue as to why someone might use the third person voice in a discussion in which Ricky D is participating. More amusingly, the fact that I’ve chosen to use the third person voice in reference to Ricky D somehow weakens my argument. He’s cute, isn’t he?

    Ricky D doesn’t bother to read everything I’ve said, so why should I bother to address Ricky D personally?

    A key paragraph in my previous comment was:

    One might argue that the testimony of Ali Soufan, which I have quoted and cited, constitutes evidence to the contrary, but Ricky D has discounted this on the basis of Ricky D’s own assumption that Adm. Blair is, somehow, privy to “all” the facts while Ali Soufan is not so privy. It’s worth noting that Ricky D offers no supporting evidence for this claim of his and that Ricky D also discounts the fact that Adm. Blair couldn’t possibly base his own conclusions on first-hand knowledge (Adm. Blair’s statement is, at best, second-hand hearsay).

    Yet, Ricky D’s most recent response makes absolutely no attempt whatsoever to address the points raised in that paragraph. Instead, Ricky D avers:

    Almost as incoherent as you arriving at an opinion while never seeing any evidence put forth to support it.

    And then follows that up with:

    I assume since [Adm. Blair is] the guy in charge, he’s got the big picture…

    In the first instance, Ricky D, again, misrepresents my opinion, which is that torture simply does not produce actionable intelligence. Torture is used to get people to lie.

    In support of this, I’ve already cited mountains of evidence, not the least of which would be the fact that our enemies used these same torture techniques to get our soldiers to make false statements that our enemies could then use for propaganda purposes.

    I stated this position way back in my comment @ 23, where I pointed out that John McCain could tell us all about why our enemies use torture, so Ricky D really has no excuse for misrepresenting my position on this.

    As a side note, I should point out the vacuousness of Rush Limbaugh’s argument about the efficacy of torture. Limbaugh points to McCain’s statement that torture “broke him” as evidence that torture “works.” Well, if your purpose is to get people to tell lies that you can then use for propaganda purposes (oh, say, that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda for example), then, yes, torture “works”.

    Other evidence in support of this presumption isn’t difficult to find. For example:

    In contrast, considerable evidence — along with the many years of operational experience by the nation’s most accomplished interrogators — strongly suggested that coercive methods not only failed to consistently obtain reliable intelligence, but that such tactics are largely counterproductive in that they stiffen the resolve of detainees under questioning and undermine the stature of the U.S. on the world stage. (See, for example, the Intelligence Science Board’s study on Educing Information, December 2006.) [Quoted here.]

    This evidence is all rather easy to find. As a means of obtaining actionable intelligence, torture doesn’t work. Period. No one has been able to cite a specific instance where torture was used to effectively obtain real, actionable information. People have only been able to cite vague hypotheticals, and those do not constitute compelling evidence.

    Moreover, I have yet to even mention the well-established facts that Khalid Shaykh Muhammad and Abu Zubaydah were each waterboarded, respectively, 83 and 183 times over the course of one month. That’s not interrogation. That’s punishment.

    Secondly, and this is really astounding, Ricky D deems himself justified in assuming (his word) that Adm. Blair’s conclusion is well-founded, yet the only piece of evidence that Ricky D can cite in support of that claim is the fact that Adm. Blair is the current chief advisor to President Obama on national intelligence.

    I’ve earlier pointed out that it’s entirely possible that Adm. Blair has based his opinion on yet other memos that are, themselves, conclusions of fact written by other intelligence officers who might well have been influenced by a desire to cover their own asses. We simply don’t know.

    Yet, in the absence of any direct evidence whatsoever, Ricky D assumes that Adm Blair’s conclusion is well-founded.

    I’d asked what would constitute evidence to the contrary with respect to Adm. Blair’s conclusion, to which Ricky Dy replied:

    I’d accept anything forthcoming that undermines Mr. Blairs conclusions that their was “high value intelligence” obtained.

    Truly astounding. I’ve already cited the direct testimony of someone who spent some four months (March to June of 2002) actually interrogating Abu Zubaydah. Yet, in Ricky D’s mind that does not serve to “undermine” Mr. Blair’s conclusion. In Ricky D’s mind, Adm. Blair’s unadorned and unsubstantiated hearsay trumps Ali Soufan’s direct testimony, which, through the operations of Ricky D’s magical rhetorical decoder ring somehow managed to morph into a “fragmented 2nd-hand account.”

    It would seem that the only way to undermine Ricky D’s assumption regarding the validity of Adm. Blair’s unadorned and unsubstantiated conclusion is for me to round up every interrogator who worked at Gitmo over the course of the entire operation there, and elicit their testimony.

    I’m accused of “cherry-picking” facts, and then just flat out accused of having not produced any facts whatsoever. Yet Ricky D placidly assumes that Adm. Blair’s bald assertion is valid, even going so far as to claim that Adm. Blair’s conclusion represents established fact, thereby completely ignoring the basic ontology wherein “fact” and “opinion” are mutually exclusive categories.

    What Ricky D wants is some way to presume that torture does, in fact, produce actionable intelligence, because that, in turn, allows him to presume that there exists some conclusive information in some memo somewhere that the Obama Administration is keeping hidden away.

    Ricky D’s political agenda is to deflect attention away from the rather clear conclusion that the Bush Administration did not actually pursue torture for the purposes of obtaining actionable intelligence. Rather, all the existing evidence rather strongly suggests that the Bush Administration resorted to torture in order to establish a clear link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein so that it could be used to justify the war in Iraq.

    This is why Ricky D clings tenaciously to his sole assumption that Adm. Dennis Blair reached a sound conclusion and has to brush away John McCain, Ali Soufan, reports from experienced intelligence experts, SERE and the date discrepancies in cases where Bush Administration apologists have previously attempted to claim that torture produced actionable intelligence.

    With each post, Ricky D sinks further and further into the realm of pink unicorns, and the only evidence he can cite in his favor is the fact that someone in a position of authority claims to have actually seen one from a distance.

  58. 67

    Rick D. spews:

    Wow, Don Joe. How long did that take to put together only to post in the 3rd person?

    Keep chasing your tail Don Joe.

    It’s almost laughable to keep this thread alive when you have a Longview Comm. Coll. graduate with no access to actual intelligence reports declaring that the head of National Intelligence for our country (Annapolis grad btw)and hand picked by Obama himself is wrong in his assessment that “high value intelligence” was obtained through the use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

    Final score:
    Annappolis graduate , Admiral Dennis Blair- 1
    Longview C.C. graduate, Don Joe – 0

    Put this one in the vault to keep, Goldy. Filed under the heading “truly absurd”

  59. 68

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D asks:

    Wow, Don Joe. How long did that take to put together only to post in the 3rd person?

    Apparently I used too many words for Ricky D to be able to respond to any of the points I’ve raised.

    Instead, Ricky D purports to insult me by referring to me as a graduate of Longview Community College. Ricky D is so completely feckless, he can’t even come up with a reasonable insult without pulling facts out of his ass.

    Ricky D. The guy who said that “the sky is blue” is a statement of opinion, the guy who said that waterboarding is not torture because we train members of our military how to resist torture by using waterboarding, the guy who said that a statement can be both a statement of fact and a statement of opinion, this guy thinks he can tell us what the score is.

    Is there any wonder Ricky D wants Goldy to keep this thread locked away in a vault somewhere?

    Me, I’d rather it stays out here for everyone to see.

  60. 69

    Steve spews:

    @67 I’ve been following this thread and it’s been truly bizarre.

    Don Joe, you must have the patience of a saint.

  61. 70

    Rick D. spews:

    67. Don Joe spews:

    Apparently I used too many words for Ricky D to be able to respond to any of the points I’ve raised.

    What points? You’ve seen no intelligence reports to prove anything because they haven’t been released. Meanwhile, the National intelligence chief privy to all of this information has come to an educated assessment of the validity of said intelligence reports and stated that they indeed contained “high value intelligence”, which you disagreed with though you have zero evidence to the contrary.
    The further you go in this the dumber you look, Don Joe. So , by all means…continue.

    Instead, Ricky D purports to insult me by referring to me as a graduate of Longview Community College.

    Actually, the biggest insult you can provide is to keep posting your pink unicorn theories not based in factual evidence, but simply baseless conjecture.

    Ricky D. The guy who said that “the sky is blue” is a statement of opinion, the guy who said that waterboarding is not torture because we train members of our military how to resist torture by using waterboarding, the guy who said that a statement can be both a statement of fact and a statement of opinion, this guy thinks he can tell us what the score is.

    Um, given your weak, factless arguments refuting an actual U.S. national intelligence chiefs assessment, I feel pretty comfortable with that score.

    Is there any wonder Ricky D wants Goldy to keep this thread locked away in a vault somewhere?

    Sure, I want to look back on how stupid some people insist on being while continuing to defend some delusional argument that doesn’t exist on an evidentiary basis in the first place.

    Me, I’d rather it stays out here for everyone to see.

    On that, we both agree.

  62. 71

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D asks:

    What points?

    Apparently the ones that Ricky D has either chosen not to read or has simply failed to comprehend. I’ll repeat just one here:

    In contrast, considerable evidence — along with the many years of operational experience by the nation’s most accomplished interrogators — strongly suggested that coercive methods not only failed to consistently obtain reliable intelligence, but that such tactics are largely counterproductive in that they stiffen the resolve of detainees under questioning and undermine the stature of the U.S. on the world stage. (See, for example, the Intelligence Science Board’s study on Educing Information, December 2006.)

    The full statement with other links can be found here, and if you want to see the original report from the National Defense Intelligence College you can download this 2.0 MB pdf.

    In short, there is a strong presumption that torture simply does not work. Period. This is a point that Ricky D has consistently failed to address in any form whatsoever. No logic. No reasoning. Simply complete ignorance.

    Instead, Ricky D asserts:

    You’ve seen no intelligence reports to prove anything because they haven’t been released.

    Neither has Ricky D, for that matter. This is Ricky D’s canard, his attempt to cast me as, somehow, some kind of expert standing in sole opposition against Adm. Blair. It is a complete misrepresentation of my position.

    Ricky D wants the presumption to be in his favor, and the only thing he can come up with to adduce this presumption is:

    Meanwhile, the National intelligence chief privy to all of this information has come to an educated assessment of the validity of said intelligence reports and said it contained “high value intelligence”, which you disagreed with though you have zero evidence to the contrary.

    First of all, again, Ricky D is forced to misrepresent my position, which is that I find Adm. Blair’s bald assertion to be insufficient to overcome the presumption that torture is not an effective means of educing information from an adversary.

    Second, Ricky D asserts that Adm. Blair has performed an “educated assessment of the validity of said intelligence reports…” Adm. Blair simply makes the bald assertion that we were able to obtain “high value intelligence” through the use of torture. The sum-total of what Adm. Blair says on the subject is:

    High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.

    You can see the full text of the memo (PDF) here.

    Nowhere does Adm. Blair provide any information as to the basis of his conclusion. Adm. Blair doesn’t even claim, himself, that he’s conducted any kind of review of the evidence. Go read it for yourself.

    For those who are keeping score, its:

    Ricky D: The conclusion of one rear admiral chief intelligence advisor who was never involved in any of the specific decisions to use and/or continue to use torture and who doesn’t explain his conclusion;

    vs.

    Don Joe: The universal conclusion of scores of experts in interrogation who’ve not only stated their expert opinions but who’ve backed those opinions up with explanations of their reasoning and supporting facts.

    ‘Course that score tends to leave Ricky D on the losing end. With what creative, or uncreative, means will Ricky D endeavor to, yet again, fail to address the points I’ve raised?

  63. 72

    Rick D. spews:

    For those who are keeping score, its:

    Ricky D: The conclusion of one rear admiral chief intelligence advisor [hand-picked by the president himself] who was never involved in any of the specific decisions to use and/or continue to use torture Enhanced Interrogation techniques, [but was privy to all of the evidence and intelligence reports gained through these operations] and who doesn’t explain his conclusion [because his boss, the President of the United States has deemed this information top secret and will not release any reports that Adm. Blair can point to specifically defend his intelligence assessment]

    vs.

    Don Joe: The universal conclusion of scores a handfull of experts in [theoretical] interrogation who’ve not only stated their [alleged] expert opinions but who’ve backed those opinions up with explanations of their reasoning and supporting facts [despite not being involved in witnessing the interrogation techniques employed that was successfull in , by the Presidents own chief of the U.S. Intelligence admission, providing “high-value intelligence” to their interrogators].

    Final Score V.2.0
    Admiral Dennis Blair, National Intelligence Chief- 1
    Don Joe, by day, paralegal intern/ by night fantasy camp lawyer- 0

  64. 73

    Don Joe spews:

    Well, I guess we have our answer to my question:

    Ricky D redacts:

    torture Enhanced Interrogation techniques

    Again, Ricky D reiterates his fanciful claim that waterboarding is not torture. I’ve related Ricky D’s logic to one of my coworkers who described it as “exquisitely circular.”

    Ricky D then follows up his red-lining with a soliloquy that begins with the word “because,” that is based entirely on conjecture:

    because his boss, the President of the United States has deemed this information top secret and will not release any reports that Adm. Blair can point to specifically defend his intelligence assessment

    Adm. Blair makes absolutely no reference to any reports in his conclusion. We have no knowledge of the basis for Adm. Blair’s claim. We do know that some of the best information that Adm. Blair might have been able to use for his conclusion has been destroyed (the CIA tapes). These are all facts that Ricky D would have us ignore.

    Further Ricky D redaction:

    scores a handfull of experts

    Obviously Ricky D didn’t bother to follow the links that I provided. I can count 30 different experts in those two links alone, and that’s note even close to an exhaustive list of the experts who’ve said that torture simply doesn’t work.

    Ricky D further adds:

    despite not being involved in witnessing the interrogation techniques employed

    Already Ricky D has forgotten Ali Soufan (who, by the way, is not among the 30 experts counted above).

    In sum, Ricky D’s response is to both pull stuff out of his ass in order to bolster his position, and to ignore facts already adduced when those facts would undermine his position.

    Ricky D ends with some notion of “Final Score V.2.0″ that, now, purports to insult me by referring to me as some kind of paralegal/intern/fantasy-camp lawyer. Who would have thought that, in Ricky D’s mind, having some working knowledge of the way facts and opinions are used as evidence in a court of law would be something worthy of ridicule?

    I’ve contemplated how best to convey the shear weight of the evidence that Ricky D must ignore in order to even lend a modicum of credibility to Adm. Blair’s claim. At every turn, I’m confronted by the simple fact that Goldy’s software prevents me from coalescing all of the links in one place.

    And, given the extent to which Ricky D will refuse to acquaint himself with all of these facts, one would be justified in asking, why bother?

    Nevertheless, for the benefit of those still paying attention to this thread, I’ll go with just one link. Dan Fromkin has made a career out of debunking various claims that torture works in general, and that the torture authorized by the Bush administration was, in any way, successful. A good starting point is here.

    Go there. Read all of the articles. Follow the many links that Dan posts in support of his position. It will take you some time, but, after you’ve worked your way through all of the information, it becomes pretty clear that Adm. Blair’s claim just doesn’t pass the sniff test.

  65. 74

    proud leftist spews:

    Don Joe
    Why do you do this to yourself? Little Ricky can’t reason, and he doesn’t know a fact from a fairy. So, why do you honor him with a debate? He is the limbless Black Knight of Monty Python fame. Let him spew, he will soon be dead.

  66. 75

    Don Joe spews:

    PL

    Why do you do this to yourself?

    Because someone has to chop the arms and legs off the Black Knight before his absurdity becomes visible to everyone else.

    It’s analogous to the difference between potential and kinetic energy. I’m plumbing the depths to which Ricky D’s potential stupidity can be converted into actual, kinetic stupidity.

  67. 76

    Rick D. spews:

    72. Don Joe spews:

    Well, I guess we have our answer to my question:

    Um, which question was that? All you have is a series of monologues conducted in the 3rd person.

    Again, Ricky D reiterates his fanciful claim that waterboarding is not torture.

    Which, if its torture, is in fact conducted daily on U.S. Military personnel by fellow U.S. military personnel. I’ve asked Don Joe for the UCMJ cases relating to prosecuting these “torturous” misdeeds conducted by said personnel, but none has been forthcoming.

    Ricky D then follows up his red-lining with a soliloquy that begins with the word “because,” that is based entirely on conjecture:
    because his boss, the President of the United States has deemed this information top secret and will not release any reports that Adm. Blair can point to specifically defend his intelligence assessment

    Not conjecture, simply reality. Anyone with a brain knows that all of the information has not been released to the general public and therefore, Adm. Blair is objectively hamstrung by the president from releasing the details of how he arrived at his educated decision based on the evidence he’s seen, and Don Joe and his theoretical world of contrarians have not.

    Adm. Blair makes absolutely no reference to any reports in his conclusion.

    Hmm, yes. Those reports deemed Top secret by the administration are not being discussed in public by the chief Intelligence officer in the country. Sounds so odd doesn’t it, Don Joe?

    We have no knowledge of the basis for Adm. Blair’s claim.

    We have even less basis for your uneducated claim, so what’s your point exactly?

    We do know that some of the best information that Adm. Blair might have been able to use for his conclusion has been destroyed (the CIA tapes). These are all facts that Ricky D would have us ignore.

    Oh, yes. Don Joe and the mysterious “we” club, complete with missing CIA tapes that exist only his mind. Wow, it’s scary the disconnect from reality you have Donny Joe.

    Already Ricky D has forgotten Ali Soufan (who, by the way, is not among the 30 experts counted above).

    One man with one account. Some evidence you’ve stacked up there, Don Joe.

    In sum, Ricky D’s response is to both pull stuff out of his ass in order to bolster his position, and to ignore facts already adduced when those facts would undermine his position.

    Actually, that would be your position since it’s your word against the Top U.S. Intelligence official, but by all means Don Joe, Keep tilting at those imaginary windmills as your cause is “just” if only in your delusional mind.

    Ricky D ends with some notion of “Final Score V.2.0″ that, now, purports to insult me by referring to me as some kind of paralegal/intern/fantasy-camp lawyer.

    I just call ‘em as I see ‘em, Don Joe.

    I’ve contemplated how best to convey the shear weight of the evidence that Ricky D must ignore in order to even lend a modicum of credibility to Adm. Blair’s claim.

    …hmmm yes, I should discount the word of the United States National intelligence chief put in place by a Democratic admiistration privy to all of the intelligence briefings and memos produced therein and instead listen to an unknown poster on some obscure blog called “horsesass.org” originating from Enumclaw,WA.
    How could I have doubted you, Don Joe?

    And, given the extent to which Ricky D will refuse to acquaint himself with all of these facts, one would be justified in asking, why bother?

    Yeah, I felt the same way when you questioned the validity of the National intelligence chiefs assessment given his extensive exposure to all of the evidence while you give a contrarian position with only theoretical evidence to back it. Somehow, that two legged stool can’t stand.

    Will there be an encore performance tonight, Don Joe?

  68. 77

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D comes back for yet more punishment.

    On waterboarding as torture, he avers:

    Which, if [waterboarding is] torture, is in fact conducted daily on U.S. Military personnel by fellow U.S. military personnel.

    I’ve already pointed out SERE training. The “R” stands for “Resistance.” In other words, we use waterboarding to train people in how to resist torture. In Ricky D’s mind, this means that waterboarding is not, in fact, torture.

    I’ve asked Don Joe for the UCMJ cases relating to prosecuting these “torturous” misdeeds conducted by said personnel, but none has been forthcoming.

    Ricky D has never provided a rhetorical justification for requiring an answer to that question. Ricky D might as well ask me what I had for lunch three Mondays ago, but neither the question nor the answer is relevant to the question under debate.

    The question is whether or not waterboarding is torture. The question is not whether or not torture is illegal under any and all circumstances, and, indeed, one could point out that people have voluntarily subjected themselves to torture for a variety of reasons without any legal repercussions to those who administered the torture. It shouldn’t be necessary to point out specific examples. They’ve been in the news within the past year.

    Ricky D then tries to, yet again, invoke the existence of some ill-defined documentary evidence:

    Anyone with a brain knows that all of the information has not been released to the general public and therefore, Adm. Blair is objectively hamstrung by the president from releasing the details of how he arrived at his educated decision based on the evidence he’s seen

    The only fact not under contention is that there are some details that have not been released. We have no knowledge of just how probative the unreleased information is.

    We do know that the Bush Administration, in their attempts to justify their torture policies, have declassified information that turned out to have not actually justified the use of torture. You can read about it in the various web pages starting with the link I posted in my last comment. Yet, as I predicted, Ricky D hasn’t bothered to inform himself of any of this information that I’ve provided, he simply chooses to argue from a position of ignorance.

    In light of all of that information, the notion that there is anything probative left is pure conjecture. Indeed, the idea that Adm. Blair is merely covering the asses of CIA officers is at least as plausible as Ricky D’s conjecture that there really are some yet-to-be declassified documents that would substantiate the claim that Adm. Blair makes.

    Ricky D then attempts to get in yet another insult with:

    We have even less basis for your uneducated claim, so what’s your point exactly?

    First of all, I’m claiming skepticism, and I’ve provided more than ample evidence that my skepticism is justified. Yet, somehow, in Ricky D’s mind, this is an “uneducated” claim. Is there no limit to the conjecture to which Ricky D will resort when the facts aren’t enough to help him reach his desired rhetorical destination?

    As for what’s my point exactly, it’s difficult to be more clear than what I’d said, “We have no knowledge of the basis for Adm. Blair’s claim.”

    I’ve used the term “bald assertion” enough that Ricky D’s claim of ignorance about my point lacks any credibility whatsoever.

    I’d pointed out the fact that the CIA destroyed tapes of the interrogations, to which Ricky D gave this astounding reply:

    Oh, yes. Don Joe and the mysterious “we” club, complete with missing CIA tapes that exist only his mind.

    You know, there really is no justification for Ricky D’s level of ignorance.

    I’d pointed to “scores” of experts, which Ricky had redacted to “handful” and further claimed that none of the experts I’d pointed to had direct involvement with any of the interrogations in question, at which point I reminded Ricky D of Ali Soufan. Ricky D’s less than stellar response:

    One man with one account. Some evidence you’ve stacked up there, Don Joe.

    Now we’re back to Ricky D ignoring, without any justification whatsoever, the 30 specifically counted experts along with the reams of evidence that can be found if one follows through on the link I posted in my last comment.

    And, with the following, Ricky D completes is full assumption of the ostrich posture:

    I should discount the word of the United States National intelligence chief put in place by a Democratic admiistration privy to all of the intelligence briefings and memos produced therein and instead listen to an unknown poster on some obscure blog called “horsesass.org” originating from Enumclaw,WA.

    This whole thread started when Ricky D demanded that I produce the mountain of evidence to the contrary. I have since, in comment after comment, provided links to more evidence than Ricky D can possibly digest in even a month of careful and thoughtful reading. Ricky D’s response is to say that, despite all of these links and all of the evidence that I’ve adduced, I’m asking Ricky D to simply take my word for it.

    No. I’m suggesting that Ricky D, and anyone else wondering why I’m skeptical about Adm. Blair’s claim, should go and look at all that evidence for themselves. I claim no expertise on the subject matter whatsoever.

    The more Ricky D tries to paint this as a case of my word against Adm. Blair’s word, the more Ricky D reveals his own utter lack of interest in the actual issues and details.

    This isn’t a case of my word against Adm. Blair’s word. This is a case of Ricky D’s complete and utter failure to come up with a convincing argument capable of overcoming a reasonable person’s well-founded skepticism about anyone’s unsubstantiated claims regarding the efficacy of torture. By attempting to paint this as Don Joe vs Adm. Blair, Ricky D hopes to absolve himself of having to do any intellectual weightlifting on his own.

    Perhaps Ricky D will amuse us with Final Score 3.0, or maybe it should be Final Score 2009? Whatever Ricky D comes up with, most everyone else around here knows the score.

  69. 78

    Rick D. spews:

    In sumnation sports fans, this thread has produced a number of revealing things:

    1- Don Joe believes that waterboarding International terrorists is “torture”, whereas if the same technique is applied to U.S. Military personnel, his definition switches to merely an instructional “exercise” for the special forces training.

    2- Don Joe believes that the National Intelligence chief Adm. Dennis Blair’s assessment that waterboarding and other EIT’s provided “high value intelligence” to the United States, is falsely arrived at.
    His evidence? Well, he has none, as the information in question that Mr. Blair has poured over is not accessible to the general public and therefore, Don Joe isn’t able to make a compelling argument as to why Mr. Blair is incorrect in arriving at his conclusion. Don Joe presents links to theory-based arguments against the techniques used to obtain the “high value” intelligence, which are an apples-oranges argument as these people were not present during this operation. The one person account from Ali Soufan is, as I said above, only a dog eared corner of the big picture. Don Joe would prefer we take that dog eared corner and declare he knows what’s in the rest of the picture. Meanwhile, the intelligence chief has not only a full view of the picture, but is able to frame it in the context of actual intelligence derived at by looking at it as a whole. Don Joe on the other hand, is insisting his dog-earred corner of his picture is the ‘whole’ picture and is standing by it despite any sane rational thought to persuade him otherwise.

    3- Don Joe is supportive of the presidents decision not to release the rest of the document that contains portions that would conceivably contain information which could be used to make a compelling argument against Mr. Blair’s assessment. Barring this, Mr. Blair’s assessment is fact, while Don Joe’s protestations are theory arrived at because the determination by Adm. Blair didn’t fit his ideological construct of “what should be” rather than ‘what is’, which is the model Adm. Blair was working from.

    Thanks for the laugh, Don Joe. Should I give you the final score again, or will you be jousting at inadamant objects yet again in your quixotic adventure into absurdity?

  70. 79

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D has problems getting facts straight. This is what Ricky D should have said, if Ricky D had any desire to be truthful:

    1) Don Joe believes that waterboarding is torture whether it’s used by our government to try to obtain information from detainees or by our military to train personnel how to resist torture.

    2) Don Joe believes that torture is simply not an effective means of obtaining actionable intelligence. In support of this belief, Don Joe has produced mountains of evidence from a wide range of experts. This evidence includes:

    a) Throughout the history of torture in general, and waterboarding in particular, the only “effective” use of this interrogation technique has been to elicit false confessions that can be used for propaganda purposes.

    b) Expert after expert has said that torture, including waterboarding, is not only ineffective as a means of obtaining useful information, it often ends up being counter-productive. The altered states of mind that these techniques are designed to induce also have the effect of altering a subject’s perception of truth.

    c) In every case where the Bush Administration has declassified information in support of the use of torture, that “information” has turned out to have been bogus. There has been no exception to this, and Ricky D can’t find any exception.

    d) Where we do have direct testimony from people who actually participated in the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, that testimony is unequivocal as to the harm that the use of torture brought to our efforts to obtain useful information from either of those two detainees.

    3) Don Joe has never expressed an opinion on whether or not the Obama Administration should or should not release any additional information about the effectiveness of the torture used in Guantanamo. Don Joe has expressed, based on the facts cited above, a great deal of skepticism that reliable memos within the CIA even exist. Ricky D’s insistence that such documents actually do exist is one of pure inference and has no direct evidentiary support.

    Lastly, I have no idea what Ricky D means by “inadamant” objects. Ricky D, himself, seems pretty damn adamant to me.

  71. 80

    Rick D. spews:

    No. I’m suggesting that Ricky D, and anyone else wondering why I’m skeptical about Adm. Blair’s claim, should go and look at all that evidence for themselves I claim no expertise on the subject matter whatsoever.

    All that evidence? or All of THE evidence? Big difference Donnyjoe. You’re skeptical because his decision (with all the facts) didn’t fit with your political view (with none of the facts), simple as that.

    The more Ricky D tries to paint this as a case of my word against Adm. Blair’s word, the more Ricky D reveals his own utter lack of interest in the actual issues and details.

    Hmm, you’re calling into question whose determination that “high value intelligence” was obtained? I can, only because I have none of the actual evidence that Adm. Blair was privy to (same as you), only take Adm. Blair at his educated assessment after taking in all of the intelligence reports, memos, debriefing of personnel. This is Don Joe Vs. Adm. Dennis Blair as you’re calling into question a decision he’s arrived at. I can no more argue Mr. Blairs position without the evidence than you can argue against it. But, it is highly entertaining to watch you try, Don Joe.

    This isn’t a case of my word against Adm. Blair’s word.

    Someone get the straightjacket for Don Joe. He just wasted a ton of font arguing exactly that point.

    This is a case of Ricky D’s complete and utter failure to come up with a convincing argument capable of overcoming a reasonable person’s well-founded skepticism about anyone’s unsubstantiated claims regarding the efficacy of torture.

    My most convincing argument for waterboarding is that it has resulted, by delcaration of the national top Inelligence chief, that it produced “high value” intelligence. As for the “reasonable person’s well-founded” skepticism, you honestly don’t believe that you presented that here do you?

    Wow, in your world, you believe reason is when you argue facts with theory? Odd concept, but not widely held by “reasoned people” as a whole.

    By attempting to paint this as Don Joe vs Adm. Blair, Ricky D hopes to absolve himself of having to do any intellectual weightlifting on his own.

    Is that what you believe you’ve done here, Don Joe?
    You had no access to the evidence Adm. Blair did, you pulled theory out of your ass and delcared it a fact.You dismissed waterboarding on US troops as training, while those same techniques used on terrorists you deemed “torture”. Your entire thesis is full of holes which is why I ridicule it openly while others reading this are laughing from within at your odd insistence that the Adm. is wrong in his assessment, despite you having not one iota of the evidence he was taked with disseminating and processing.This entire thread was about you and the Admiral, not about me and Don Joe as I can’t argue an assessment arrived at by the National intelligence chief without all of the factual evidence which is not forthcoming as it is “top secret” and the whitehouse is not releasing it. You’re one delusional dude, Don Joe.

    Perhaps Ricky D will amuse us with Final Score 3.0, or maybe it should be Final Score 2009? Whatever Ricky D comes up with, most everyone else around here knows the score.

    On that, we both agree. As it’s been posted twice already.

  72. 81

    Another TJ spews:

    I have to admit, these Rick D. trainwreck threads are entertaining.

    Schadenfreude’s like that.

  73. 82

    Republican teabaggers unite spews:

    So who is in the lead for “Troll of the Month?” Anybody keeping score?

  74. 83

    Republican teabaggers unite spews:

    Hey Rickie D

    You think waterboarding is not torture.

    So are you willing to put your life where your mouth is? Are you willing to submit to a public demonstration of waterboarding? Say five minutes duration. Either you go the distance or you admit it is torture to make the waterboarding end early.

    I’m willing to donate a dollar to a veterans charity for each second you last. Hey, it’s an easy $300 for you. After all, you won’t be getting tortured.

  75. 84

    Don Joe spews:

    Ricky D would do well to stop misrepresenting my position in this discussion. I doubt he will, because that’s the only way he can continue to ridicule me, and it seems he’s far more interested in ridiculing me than he is in conducting a well-reasoned debate.

    Ricky D exclaims:

    Hmm, you’re calling into question whose determination that “high value intelligence” was obtained?

    I’m expressing skepticism. A synonym for that word is “doubt.” I have no idea whether or not Adm. Blair’s judgement is sound, because I have no knowledge of exactly what Adm. Blair used as the basis for his judgement.

    I have not explicitly stated that Adm. Blair is wrong. Ricky D’s argument is, fundamentally, the fallacy of the excluded middle. In Ricky D’s world, one either wholeheartedly accepts Adm. Blair’s judgement or one explicitly avers that Adm. Blair’s judgement is wrong. Ricky D states:

    I can, only because I have none of the actual evidence that Adm. Blair was privy to (same as you), only take Adm. Blair at his educated assessment after taking in all of the intelligence reports, memos, debriefing of personnel.

    Ricky D might believe that he can only take Adm. Blair at his word on this, but that’s not the only option available. Nor, for that matter, is the set of alternative options limited to saying that Adm. Blair is flat out wrong.

    For some reason that Ricky D has yet to explain, “I don’t know if Adm. Blair’s judgement is sound” is not an option.

    So, where does this leave us? Well, it leaves us with what we do actually know. In this respect, Ricky D exclaims:

    you pulled theory out of your ass and delcared it a fact.

    Amazing, isn’t it? With a single hand wave, Ricky D purports to completely dismiss the evidentiary basis of my skepticism. By mere pronouncement that all of that evidence is nothing but “theory,” Ricky D seems to think that he has conclusively shown that my skepticism is not well-founded.

    Nor, for that matter, can Ricky D convincingly state that I have declared my conclusion to be “fact”. Indeed, if one has followed the previous discussion in which I have used the phrase “well-founded,” one cannot conclude that I regard my skepticism as anything but my own opinion.

    Why does Ricky D attempt this kind of rhetorical sleight-of-hand? Who knows. Ricky D’s babbling about the difference between fact and opinion has been nothing short of completely incoherent.

    Does Ricky D question the validity of a single fact that I have adduced in support of my skepticism? Apparently only one:

    You dismissed waterboarding on US troops as training, while those same techniques used on terrorists you deemed “torture”.

    Frankly, I have no idea how I’ve “dismissed” anything. I’ve pointed out that our military uses waterboarding in an effort to train some of our troops how to resist torture. Ricky D doesn’t contend that this fact is false.

    Instead, Ricky D invokes an argument that looks like a moebius strip: waterboarding isn’t torture, because, well, it’s torture.

    The mere fact that Ricky D has to press such a laughably absurd argument into service is a tacit admission that my skepticism about the efficacy of torture is well-founded. Lacking any ability to undermine the volume of evidence I’ve adduced in support of my skepticism, Ricky D’s only recourse is to claim that waterboarding is not, in fact, torture.

    To summarize, I am skeptical of Adm. Blair’s claim that our torture of detainees at Guantanamo produced valuable information, and that skepticism is based on voluminous evidence that torture simply does not produce valuable information. Being skeptical means that I have doubts, not that I believe him to be explicitly wrong. It merely means that I have no basis upon which to decide whether or not Adm. Blair’s judgement is sound. I can only base my own opinions on what I do know, not what I don’t know.

    Ricky D, on the other hand, thinks that I should completely disregard the volumes of evidence upon which I base my judgement that torture is not effective, and I should take Adm. Blair’s unadorned and bald assertion as the Gospel truth.