Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prosecution May Be A Slippery Slope

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

The reports that Obama has bowed to pressure from Liberals are true. He had promised America that he wouldn't seek prosecution against individuals responsible for what he perceives to be war crimes, that is, rather forceful, but effective interrogation techniques, meant to illicit vital information from enemy combatants that posses knowledge of potential future terrorist attacks on our country.

But now, he has recanted, due to pressure from outspoken America-hating, "blame America first" Liberals.

Now, he has suggested that his legal department may seek legal action against the Bush administration's legal department for certain memo's they wrote regarding the method by which interrogators received information that ultimately prevented many terrorist attacks on the American people and infrastructure. At least one of these prevented attacks (the flying of airplanes into a building in Los Angeles) would have been similar to the amount of death and destruction sustained in the infamous attacks of September 11, 2001.

For the record, I personally differ from my Conservative comrades on the subject of whether the practice known as "waterboarding" can be called "torture".

I understand the practice of waterboarding is part of the standard training of CIA and other covert operative trainees. I have heard (although I can't know for sure), that no one has ever withstood more than 2 minutes under this interrogation technique. Even hardened, battle tested veterans of the CIA have failed to last more than 2 minutes.

I am loathe to disagree with so many of my Conservative heroes, such as Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh etc, but in my humble opinion, any technique that will cause everyone, including all CIA operatives, trainees or experienced, to break in less than two minutes is definitely torture.

How can it not be?

That said, I have no qualms whatsoever in applying any technique, torture or not, to any enemy combatants and/or terrorists, if it will save human lives.

Flaming bamboo jammed underneath fingernails? Yep. Inserting glass rods into penises and then breaking them, resulting in excruciating pain the rest of their lives every time they urinate? You betcha! Hooking testicles up to battery leads? Go for it! Attaching a bag full of ravenous rats to the face? No problem!

Whatever it takes to save American lives. Damn the Geneva Convention. They want to play rough? I say, "oblige them".

But that is not my point. So, I digress.

Not that I care if Obama gets himself into trouble, but in my opinion, Barack Hussein Obama needs to be very, very careful in going this route. Prosecuting these attorneys on Bush's staff could well be the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

If he can successfully prosecute them, what's to stop him from then going after George W. Bush himself?

This is where I believe Obama would do himself a huge favor by not heading for this slippery slope.

(I feel safe giving him this free advice because I know this will never get back to him.)

I may be wrong, and if I am, any attorneys that read this will please correct me, but there is a little term called "Legal Precedence".

Unless I'm wrong, it is very hard to break new ground, jurisprudentially (is that even a word?) speaking, unless legal precedence can be established first.

Prosecuting a former President for war crimes, or even complicity in war crimes would be a devastatingly unprecedented groundbreaking legal maneuver. And, if Obama attempts it, and is, God forbid, successful, he would be establishing legal precedence, thereby making the prosecution of a former President much easier the next time.

Therefore, should Obama go that route, he could be putting his own future in serious jeopardy.

Obama is pretty brazen, as we have seen. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he tries it. He certainly has the required arrogance.

I almost hope he tries to prosecute Bush.

It would almost be worth it to see Obama frog marched out of the courthouse in chains.

Of course, in my opinion, he doesn't have to do anything that outrageous. He already deserves prosecution for trying to mount a quiet revolution contrary to the Constitution, in his overt attempt to change the United States of America into the United Socialist States of America.

There is also another little thing called "providing aid and comfort" to the enemies of The United States of America.

And, attempting a [violent] overthrow of the United States of America.

FYI: I finally published an introspective type piece on my other (religious) blog, "God's way/My way" today, in case anyone wants to peruse the religious side of Mark. The link is in my blogroll.


Timothy said...

I really don't see Obama hesitating in pursuing legal action against Bush's legal team and Bush as well, because I don't think Obama ever plans on stepping down from the office of president. He's already taken the action of a dictator in firing the CEO of GM. No one stopped him, and his quest for power and unrestrained control will continue. This is why he is seeking control of the internet, and in bringing back the fairness doctrine. If those two things come about, we will never get rid of him.

But this is all coming from my skeptical fearful side... so... take it with a grain of salt.

Mark said...

Well, then, Timothy, it would be even more fun to watch a sitting President frog-marched out of the White House in chains!

Mark said...

By the way, Mark Levin has publicly offered to defend the Bush administration's lawyers if Obama gives the go-ahead to prosecute them. Levin, a Constitutional lawyer, and former assistant to Reagan attorney General, Ed Meese, says, "I never lose" and likens a lawsuit to a war, in which, in his words, "I don't take prisoners".

I'd pay good money to see that confrontation.

Gayle said...

"Well, then, Timothy, it would be even more fun to watch a sitting President frog-marched out of the White House in chains!"It may come to that yet, Mark. (I hope!) I also agree with you and I don't consider water-boarding "torture". We use it on our own soldiers during training. No one seems to be concerned about that!

This just might be the straw that breaks the back of this socialist demagog.

Mark said...

Then you and I disagree, Gayle. I said I believe waterboarding to be torture precisely because even Battle hardened veterans break within the first 2 minutes.

If it can break them, it has to be torture. Do you think they would break under a simple interrogation? If they did, we wouldn't be free very long.

Tonto said...

Mark - I wish I knew the answer to your legal question for certain but I have a liberal constitional law professor with his own blog who is my former Poli Sci professor who I have to admit taught me how to think and turned me on to politics.

I will get back to you. His blog is at which is pretty good. A commentator from NRO is also on that blog too. His other blog is at the

I say all this because he likely would post on something like this. So I will check it out.

That aside, there are several hurdles Obama will have to overcome to prosecute those lawyers...1)attorney client privilege...2)governmental immunities...3) arbitrariness of prosecuting these people as opposed to other...but I would like to know the standard for war crimes because we must have something on the books since the Hitler days and prosecuting all those Nazis who came here. That may be where the "legal precedent" lies.

What Nazis did was "legal" when they did it so what "changed" and what is the standard which lays out when something once "legal" to turn into a war crime.

I doubt whatever they bring up about the Bush lawyers show they are so different from now that they have established is illegal or a war crime.

An attorney giving advice being prosecuted sounds ridiculous and appears as a pandering act to a loony left to me. But that is just my opinion. They will find nothing and embarass whereever they can in what does come out.

making us all just a little unsafer by the day.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Obama is setting himself up for a very great fall. With all of his arrogance, he just may end up like Sadam Hussein, dancing at the end of a rope.

Mark said...

Be careful Father, that could be construed as a threat.

Mark said...

So, Tonto, If I'm understanding your legalese correctly, you are saying my interpretation of legal precedence is correct?

Tonto said...

Mark -

I watched O'Reilly last night because they talked about this so I could understand the stiaution better.

My first response is..."What possible legal cause of action could they charge the Justice Dept with? I don't think one exists other than malpractice...if you had to name something.

This isn't gonna go anywhere they just want a headline...its stupid.

Because continuing this in any serious way will lead Obama down a path he doesn't know the answer to.

My job is to give advice to school districts and cities everyday about a questions that come up...for instance...yesterday I was asked to do a MEMO answering a school's question about whether a teacher is in trouble for putting poltical flyers in each student's backpack to support a proposition or vote a certain way.

This is the same as the CIA Memos. The Justice Dept was asked to do a MEMO for the CIA...because they are their LEGAL COUNSEL.

My memo like all legal memos lays out the laws already on the books, and as they are currently in place and being used, and lawyers tell their client this is what we know we can do under the law...or how we can use the law based on past precedents or current caselaw at this time and these are the ramifications if we go this way or if we go that way.

So the Justice Dept Lawyers weren't making it UP and writing a torture manual...furthermore its not CRIMINAL in the least...maybe malpractice if they were so OFF on their advice they made no sense but that is clearly not the case.

This is all just smoke because Obama got elected saying he would get to the bottom of the torture...and now he his putting on a show he can't really complete.

So Mark...basically as a lawyer not even getting into the issues but just looking at the process...I honestly don't know what they are talking about...

It is NOT A CRIME for a Lawyer to give legal advice and recommendations or warnings or whatever to a client.

The only thing the Justice Dept could have done wrong is ignore obvious laws in giving their advice on how to interrogate...
CIA didn't have to follow it. That makes the Justice Dept guilty of malpractice but NOT a crime.

I assume because I don't know the laws here that Obama can't really prove/show the lawyers were just dead wrong and lied to the CIA so knowing the CIA would go out and torture. Makes no Sense...what lawyer would do that and then be dumb enough to write it up in a memo to pass out all over the CIA...puhlease.

The Justice Dept doesn't need to do that there are laws they could use and looks like they did.

Mark said...

Thanks for that valuable input, Tonto!

I don't have a lot of experience dealing with attorneys, but the ones I have dealt with all told me their job was to tell me what my choices are, and then, it was my job to decide on my own what course I should take.

Gayle said...

Mark, I guess the fine line here between uncomfortable interrogation methods and torture in regard to water boarding is that water boarding doesn't cause any permanent damage. It's not like pulling someone's nails out with pliars, for example. I understand it's uncomfortable and that those who it's used on - unless they are warned beforehand - believe it's going to kill them, so yes, in that respect I will admit it is a form of torture, although it is child's play considering what many of our enemies consider torture. I'm for it in the case where we know without a doubt that a person has information that could save lives but won't give up that information. I'm sure that in that situation those who are against it would feel differently if they knew that waterboarding would save their own family.

Mark said...

Can't disagree with that, Gayle!

Although, pulling out fingernails with a pair of pliers doesn't cause permanent damage, either, really.

Remove the whole finger, absolutely.

Trader Rick said...

The worse torture I could think of would be to prop their eyes open and shove a color picture of Nanci Pelosi in their face!

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "I don't think Obama ever plans on stepping down from the office of president."

LOL! Full cirle! The loonies on the leftiest left said the same thing about President Bush until, like, last fall or so. LOLOL!

Jim said...

At least one of these prevented attacks (the flying of airplanes into a building in Los Angeles)Proved false. Supposedly KSM gave up the plot after being tortured. However, the plot was stopped in February 2002 and KSM was captured in March 2003.

Go figure.

Mark said...

Yeah, Jim? Where did you get that talking point? Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, or Huffington Post?

Mark said...

ER, yep, they did. But then, Bush isn't a pathological narcissist.

Obama is. If anyone would attempt to repeal term limits to be President for life, it would be Obama, but I predict even his slobbering worshipers will get tired of his antics before his first term is done.

By that time he could be defeated by Mickey Mouse.

Erudite Redneck said...

Good luck with your problems, Mark.

Mark said...

Thanks for the well wishes, ER!

I know we have hope in Obama. As long as he keeps doing what he's doing, he will be out of office on Jan, 2013, if not sooner.

Then, this country will get the change he promised us.

Marshall Art said...


I guess kudos are in order for stating what you think constitutes torture. You've at least defined it by how quickly the technique breaks the captive. What if it was tickling and the captive couldn't take it for two minutes? Is tickling then torture? What if Trader Rick's idea was employed and the captive broke in two minutes? Or how about any of the other techniques described in these stories, such as lowering the temperature of a captive's cell? If he can't take shivering for more than a minute, is that torture?

I guess my point is that the word torture is thrown around far too loosely without a definition upon which everyone can agree. The word alone evokes images of far worse than the comfy chair and is used for political points rather than a serious discussion of what should or shouldn't be done.

My latest post is also on the torture issue and for all intents and purposes, I mirror your general sentiments. I just apply the word according to slightly different standards. Have a look.

Jim said...

Yeah, Jim? Where did you get that talking point?Don't remember which, but I do remember it had a video of Bush announcing how his administration had broken up a plot to fly airplanes into the LA tower in 2002, which was a year before KSM was captured.

Do you have anything to refute this?

Erudite Redneck said...

Would Jesus torture?

Mark said...

I don't know, ER. Ask Jesus after He comes back with His army of angels and fills the valley of Meddigo with blood as high as a horse's bridle.

Mark said...

Hey, Jim. Since you are so good at Copying and pasting, perhaps you could copy and paste where I said KSM was the one that gave up the information about the attack in LA.

Mark said...

Uh....that's Meggido.

Erudite Redneck said...

Would Jesus torture?

April 24, 2009 10:16 PM
Mark said... I don't know, ER.

Enough said.

Jim said...

Mark, that's absurd! You haven't said any such thing, but you are referring to people who have. And they are lying.

Mark said...

Art, you may have missed the part where I said waterboarding is used to train CIA trainees, and to test Battle hardened, experienced, tough, CIA operatives, and even they broke in less than two minutes.

You said, "What if it was tickling and the captive couldn't take it for two minutes? Is tickling then torture?"

For me, it would be, but not experienced CIA operatives. They would be conditioned and trained to resist. I can, if really really determined, endure tickling as torture, but I am ticklish so it would be tough for me.

What if Trader Rick's idea was employed and the captive broke in two minutes?

Well, yes. That's a form of torture I wouldn't even wish on al Qaida. It's just too horrible.

How about any of the other techniques described in these stories, such as lowering the temperature of a captive's cell? If he can't take shivering for more than a minute, is that torture?"

Again, this is something experienced trained operatives would be conditioned to withstand. From what I've heard, no one can withstand waterboarding.

Mark said...

ER, I apologize. You are right, of course. Jesus wouldn't have tortured.

Jesus already knows what's in the minds of the terrorists. He knows what they are planning. He doesn't have to torture. In fact, he doesn't have to fight them.

Mortal men, however, don't have that advantage. Mortal men must use whatever tools they have at their disposal, and if torture works, (and it has been proven that it does) and saves American lives, I say go for it.

Erudite Redneck said...

That's the problem with emphasizing the worship of "Christ" the superhero rather than following Jesus of Nazareth. None of us can follow a superhero. Any of us can follow Jesus if we surrender. I keep working on it, myself, so I'm not gonna knock you upside the head ... today. :-)

Joe said...

" one has ever withstood more than 2 minutes under this interrogation technique. Even hardened, battle tested veterans of the CIA have failed to last more than 2 minutes."

If that is so, how did KSM endure the reported 189 waterboardings? He must really be tough!

Mark said...

Joe, from what I understood, they never used the waterboarding technique for more than 45 seconds at a time, and never used it on KSM for more than 12 minutes in a 48 hour period. His so-called torture was minimal, at best.

Mark said...

Jim, for the record, I copied and pasted this from Townhall:

Al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah provided the intelligence used to capture KSM who in turn "yielded critical information" -- according to one of the released memos -- that helped foil additional terrorist plots including a "Second Wave" with Los Angeles as the target.

I don't know if that's factual or not, but that, nevertheless, is what it says. The folks at are in a better position to know than you or I.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

how did KSM endure the reported 189 waterboardings?Just to be clear, KSM seems to have had 5 sessions (this is confirmed by KSM himself). The "183" number bandied about refers to the total number of applications/pourings he received during those sessions.

Do you have anything to refute this?Jim,

In regard to the Library Tower plot being foiled, go here.

Jim said...

"Do you have anything to refute this?Jim"

Do you have any citation to back this up?