The Real Romney?

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Cheney in 1994 on Iraq

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Reagan Campaigns for Truman in 1948

Ronald Reagan – then a liberal Democrat – campaigns on the radio for President Truman in 1948. He also supports Hubert Humphrey for Senator from Minnesota and opposes the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 which had been passed by the Republican congress over Truman’s veto

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Waterboarders for God

After World War II, Japanese soldiers were hanged for the war crime of waterboarding American soldiers. Indeed, patriots and prophets have made it clear from our earliest days that such abuse has no place in America.

Waterboarders for God

By Ray McGovern
February 8, 2008

After one spends 45 years in Washington, high farce does not normally throw one off balance. But I found the events of Thursday to be an acid test of my equilibrium.

I missed the National Prayer Breakfast—for the 45th time in a row. But, as I drove to work I listened with rapt attention as President George W. Bush gave his insights on prayer:

“When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in his sight. We’re all equally precious. … In prayer we grow in mercy and compassion. … When we answer God’s call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man — and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father.”

Vice President Dick Cheney skipped Thursday’s prayer breakfast in order to put the final touches on the speech he gave later that morning to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Perhaps he felt he needed some extra time to devise careful words to extol “the interrogation program run by the CIA … a tougher program for tougher customers, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11,” without conceding that the program has involved torture.

But there was a touch of defensiveness in Cheney’s remarks, as he saw fit repeatedly to reassure his audience that America is a “decent” country.

After all, on Tuesday, CIA Director Michael Hayden had confirmed publicly that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two other “high-value” detainees had been waterboarded in 2002-2003, though Hayden added that the technique had since been discontinued.

An extreme form of interrogation going back at least as far as the Spanish Inquisition, waterboarding has been condemned as torture by just about everyone – except the legal experts of the Bush administration.

On Wednesday, however, President Bush’s spokesman Tony Fratto revealed that the White House reserves the right to approve waterboarding again, “depending upon circumstances.”

Fratto matter-of-factly described the process still followed by the Bush administration to approve torture—er, I mean “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding:

“The process includes the director of the Central Intelligence Agency bringing the proposal to the attorney general, where the review would be conducted to determine if the plan would be legal and effective. At that point, the proposal would go to the president. The president would listen to the determination of his advisers and make a decision.”

Dissing Congress

Cheney’s task of convincing the nation about its decency was made no easier when Attorney General Michael Mukasey stonewalled questions from the hapless John Conyers, titular chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers tried, and failed, to get straight answers from Mukasey on torture.

Conyers referred to Hayden’s admission about waterboarding and branded the practice “odious.” But Mukasey seemed to take perverse delight in “dissing” Conyers, as the expression goes in inner-city Washington. Sadly, the tired chairman took the disrespect stoically.

Chairman Conyers did summon the courage to ask Attorney General Mukasey directly, “Are you ready to start a criminal investigation into whether this confirmed use of waterboarding by U.S. agents was illegal?”

“No, I am not,” Mukasey answered.

Mukasey claimed that “waterboarding was found to be permissible under the law as it existed” in the years immediately after 9/11; thus, the Justice Department couldn’t investigate someone for doing something the department had declared legal.

“That would mean that the same department that authorized the program would now consider prosecuting somebody who followed that advice,” Mukasey said.

Oddly, however, Mukasey is on record saying waterboarding would be torture if applied to him. And Michael McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, was even more explicit in taking the same line in an interview with Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker magazine. McConnell told Wright that, for him:

“Waterboarding would be excruciating. If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can’t imagine how painful! Whether it’s torture by anybody else’s definition, for me it would be torture.”

Okay, it would be torture if done to you, Mike; how about if done to others?

Sadly, McConnell, too, missed the prayer breakfast and the president’s moving reminder that we are called “to love a neighbor as ourselves.” Are detainees not covered?

oh, there’s more, stay connected here.

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Swin Against the Current Folks, even a dead fish can go with the flow….

BEWARE OF CORPORATE “HEROES”

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Swim against the Current

Jim Hightower

Best Price $17.13
or Buy New $17.13

Book Description

Pssssst! Bookstore browsers!

Don’t
look around, but the corporate and political powers that be want you to
put this book down, right now. It definitely is NOT on their approved
list.

Swim against the Current is one of those books that the
power elites don’t like seeing in stores, much less in your
hands—not merely because it challenges their established order,
but especially because our book reveals paths that folks like you can
use to escape their rigid, hierarchical structures and discover a bit
more satisfaction in life.

They prefer that you pick up one of
those escapist novels over there across the store, rather than finding
out that the greatest escape of all can be from stultifying
conventional wisdom. We Americans are constantly harassed into thinking
that we can’t break the mold that those in charge have made for us. But
as a friend of ours puts it: “Those who say it can’t be done should not
interrupt those who are doing it.”

It’s the uplifting stories
of mavericks that we tell here. They’ve broken free of the corporate
tentacles, free of business-as-usual politics, free of top-down elites.
They’re figuring out new ways to do commerce, ways to create political
channels that empower grassroots Americans, and ways to live their
lives.

As these folks show, resistance is not futile . . . it’s fertile. Join the fun! Happy reading!

Swim against the Current

Jim Hightower

Best Price $17.13
or Buy New $17.13

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Share the Wealth with Labor…

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