Saturday, July 18, 2009

Terror interrogation unit 

The AP is reporting that a "special unit" of interrogators is in the planning stages:
"The Obama administration is considering creating a special unit of professional interrogators to handle key terror suspects, focusing on intelligence-gathering rather than building criminal cases for prosecution, a government official said Saturday.

"The recommendation is expected from a presidential task force on interrogation methods that plans to send some findings to the White House on Tuesday."
In terms of the old honey vs. vinegar spectrum, the new unit would presumably err on the side of honey and talk very nicely to key terror suspects to extract information from them. Maybe Hollywood starlets would be brought in to seduce important intelligence out of their mouths; alternatively, they could stick the suspects in a clean, well-lit room with Vice President Joe Biden until they break -- that might take all of 20 minutes or so.

I think that President Obama will catch flack from the left wing of his base, because it seems to be a reasonable inference that if the emphasis is not going to be on "building criminal cases for prosecution," then these suspects may well fall into the prolonged detention or "Group Five" cases. Following President Obama's speech in May on the Gitmo detainees, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow went off on the new President:
"One civil liberties advocate told The New York Times today, quote, 'We've known this was on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.'

"And it is stunning. Particularly to hear President Obama claim the power to keep people in prison indefinitely with no charges against them, no conviction, no sentence, just imprisonment—it‘s particularly stunning to hear him make that claim in the middle of a speech that was all about the rule of law."
It's worth reading more of what she said on air back in May -- she really looked as though she was terribly upset. Alternatively, it could all be a feint to make President Obama appear to be centrist -- catch some orchestrated pretend grief from the left so that he can appear tough against terrorism man-made disasters, kind of a reverse Sister Souljah moment.


By Anonymous Candide, at Sat Jul 18, 10:06:00 PM:

Considering it's been very quiet on the domestic terrorism front for a long time, why does Obama feel the need to reinstate all the Bush measures one by one; the measures he campaigned against for two years?

Do they hear a lot of troubling chatter in the "illegal" wiretaps they are not doing at all?  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sat Jul 18, 10:08:00 PM:

Wait, I thought that Gore, Kerry, and many other Democrats assured us that we could treat terrorism as a law enforcement and criminal problem instead of going to war. Now we're not going to prosecute them either?

This is one of those ideas that's brilliant when it works and unutterably stupid when it doesn't. I am not sanguine about how it's going to be on balance.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Sun Jul 19, 12:16:00 AM:

"While waiting for terrorists to become available, the interrogators will practice their skills on any random CEO, Tea Partier, right-wing blogger or non-administration tax scofflaw they happen upon."


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Jul 19, 01:45:00 AM:

"Considering it's been very quiet on the domestic terrorism front for a long time..."






And those are only the ones known to the public.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Jul 19, 09:32:00 AM:

I would think that it is VERY appropriate for the White House to honey-coat the terrorism interrogations.

After all, Dick Cheney is not a healthy guy. If he dropped dead during a CIA interrogation, it would not poll well.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jul 19, 09:43:00 AM:


Obama is a domestic President. He made his tours of Europe and Africa to score points at home. He won't do anything in Iraq or Afghanistan to subject himself to criticism from the right at home. As I told my leftist friends during the election, Obama won't get us out of Iraq any faster, and probably less so.

I haven't watched her much but Rachel Maddow has impressed me as sincere -- totally misguided, but sincere. Interestingly, she's starting to turn on Obama first.

Olbermann made his name as a Bush-hater. Without Bush to beat on, he's got nothing -- he'll become increasingly tiring to his audience.

Link, over  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jul 19, 10:08:00 AM:

Obama needs Brown Shirts to handle some of his problems. The first group of "terrorists" this squad will visit and "interrogate" are those voicing objection to Obama's destruction of the US health care system.
Sooner, rather than later, these thugs will work over some of Obama's most faithful MSM servants because of their failure to continue to work miracles on his behalf.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jul 19, 11:04:00 AM:


I don't know where else to put this, so I'll put it here.

As I write, Obama is using the DNC to run attack ads on select Blue Dog democrats over Healthcare. This isn't surprising -- and to me actually expected -- as the Republicans hardly figure in the debate, John Boehner excepted. It's the fringe of the Democrats that matter right now. If Obama can maintain party discipline to push through Healthcare and Energy ... Mission Accomplished!

We already live in a world of Orwell. Political discourse is just doublespeak. There are so many examples, but to just to pick one of the latest -- Obama can say with a straight face that Healthcare is about cutting costs and promoting choice. Collectively, MSM is the Ministry of Truth ... not a free press. Rachel Maddow ironically may prove an interesting exception.
We’re all equal in the US, but we're not. The constitutionally favored, the politically organized and the politically connected want to fuck the rest of us over -- and they already are.

Math, science, economics and reason don’t figure. Just look at the details in the legislation that's been adopted or is in the hopper. We've already had a political power grab by a two-headed beast that lives in DC, with one head ascendant. Most of them wear blue ties, but many wear red. We’re very close to losing our Republic. The next few years will be telling.

I developed a very bad sense about Obama a year ago. He's met all the expectations I've feared -- he's my worst nightmare. He should be yours too.

The political dynamic Obama cultivates is based on making people thinking that by backing him he's making them a winner ... until they're eventually cut out. It's all about harvesting raw political power. You couldn't take down America from the outside, but it can happen from within.

Killing Healthcare and Energy is important, to limit the long-term damage. I expect our economy to be in severe distress by the end of the year -- because of the damage already done to our true private sector. On this, I think Obama & Co miscalculated. Obama is enough of a shithead bubble boy to believe the big pizza pie magically gets delivered every day. That's what comes from growing up without ever knowing anyone whoever worked a real job.

We will have a financial crisis at some point in the next few years -- does anyone here disagree? What's on the other side of this, Lord knows.

Developed, but hopefully changing ... Link, over  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Jul 19, 01:09:00 PM:

And people scoff at Texans who talk about leaving... why go down with a sinking ship, after all?  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sun Jul 19, 02:53:00 PM:

It is interesting to realise that we will find temporary allies on the far left as the duplicity of Democratic leadership becomes increasingly apparent. The extremists, after all, are at least used to taking some heat and speaking up without fear. I imagine they will be equally surprised to be temporary allies of ours, as well. Who knows, there might even be some mutual influence.

I'm not predicting any massive realignments over this, mind you, but Maddow won't be the only one.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jul 19, 05:30:00 PM:

From Link,

Obama won the election by being the anti-Bush. He gave one anti-War speech that hardly anyone heard when he gave it, but years later claimed it showed how prescient he was. In between he quietly voted for every bit of war funding Bush asked for -- Dennis Kucinich he's not -- but he was able to win the hearts and minds of the move-on.org crowd on the Iraq War issue. People like Rachel Maddow got played on this. Only the ACORN crowd understood what a community organizer was really about.

Rachel Maddow is starting to see this. She may be the first leftist in MSM to have the scales fall from her eyes. If so, I sense that she has the integrity to become a strident critic. Although misguided until now, like Kucinich she's a patriot at heart. Keith Olbermann is just a shithead and always will be -- the last thing a shithead can do is admit they've been wrong.

But will this extend to criticism of Obamanomics? Obama says he's only raising taxes on the top 5%, but he's put us on a path where we'll either have to raise taxes so much on so many that we'll kill our economy. The details of this are by design. As I've said here before, you could tax 100% on incomes over $200,000 and it's still not enough. The numbers here are so large that the result is ineluctable. I'm only left to wonder about Obama's personal motivation -- and the willful blindness of many of our elites.

I'd vote for a world of economic equality if I thought it could actually be realized. I'd also vote for government intervention if I thought it would work. Historical and even current experience proves the contrary.

For many years, government spending has been higher than our historical ability to tax. With social spending -- even before Obama -- we're already committed to spend even more. Direct government intervention in the economy is a root cause of our current predicament -- think Fannie and Freddie. There's a role for government to play as regulatory cop, but the feds have often proven inept at even that -- think recent SEC. There's a proven feedback loop that high taxes reduces economic activity -- especially the kind that creates new jobs. [Note: compared to AGW theories, this is better established than the theory of gravity.]

So Obama & Co want to double down on everything that's proven not to work. We've already adopted a huge Stimulus program that doesn't stimulate. The House has passed an Energy bill that all acknowledge won't reduce CO2 emissions at all. Now Obama is telling us that we need his Healthcare bill to cut costs and give us more choice ... How many sane Democrats do we have left in Congress? We'll soon find out. Developing ...

Link, over  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Jul 20, 12:27:00 AM:

Interesting comments noted.

Limbaugh made an offhand comment a few weeks ago that rang true with me:

If Al Queda is devoted to the destruction of the Great Satan America, with its ideals of capitalism and freedom...it had better hurry up...Because Obama is beating them to it!!

Clearly...and sadly...our greatest enemy at this point in history is our own leadership!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jul 20, 02:01:00 PM:

OMG - Obama is going to deploy the dreaded comfy chair.  

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