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WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY

Filed at 7:14 pm under by dcobranchi

Read this NYT editorial and then tell me that Bush doesn’t deserve the label.

15 Responses to “WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY”


Comment by
Rob
March 31st, 2008
at 10:43 am

People who think waterboarding is torture don’t know much about either.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 10:45 am

Right. People like John McCain. And the Army. And Torquemada. And every civilized country in the world.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 10:48 am

“All I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today,” Mr. McCain, who spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, said in a telephone interview.

Of presidential candidates like Mr. Giuliani, who say that they are unsure whether waterboarding is torture, Mr. McCain said: “They should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.”

Source: NYT


Comment by
Rob
March 31st, 2008
at 11:14 am

I know, I know. Torture is the intentional infliction of pain or discomfort by some group for some purpose. I get it.

Perhaps it’s just a deficiency in our language that allows us to dump waterboarding in the same category as raping a 13 yr old girl in front of their parents, and then disembowling her, and then doing the same thing to the wife, and then making the husband/dad dig the graves.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 11:34 am

Bent Sørensen, Senior Medical Consultant to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and former member of the United Nations Committee against Torture said:

“It’s a clear-cut case: Waterboarding can without any reservation be labeled as torture. It fulfils all of the four central criteria that according to the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) defines an act of torture. First, when water is forced into your lungs in this fashion, in addition to the pain you are likely to experience an immediate and extreme fear of death. You may even suffer a heart attack from the stress or damage to the lungs and brain from inhalation of water and oxygen deprivation. In other words there is no doubt that waterboarding causes severe physical and/or mental suffering – one central element in the UNCAT’s definition of torture. In addition the CIA’s waterboarding clearly fulfills the three additional definition criteria stated in the Convention for a deed to be labeled torture, since it is 1) done intentionally, 2) for a specific purpose and 3) by a representative of a state – in this case the US.” [98]

Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, concurred by stating, in a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he believes waterboarding violates Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.[99]

Source: Wikipedia


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 11:38 am

[In] 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II,” he said.

Source: WaPo


Comment by
Rob
March 31st, 2008
at 11:38 am

So, in your opinion, is water boarding akin to raping a 13 yr old girl in front of her parents, and then disembowling her, and then doing the same thing to the wife, and then making the husband/dad dig the graves? Are they morally equivalent? Are they roughly equal in severity? Pick your measure, and place them both on the scale where you think they ought to be.

I’m truly interested to know the answer.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 11:45 am

People who think waterboarding is torture don’t know much about either.

Care to provide a little context to your rather emphatic claim? What makes you an expert such that you feel comfortable claiming that the rather esteemed officials quoted above don’t know what they’re talking about?

And, BTW, SERE training doesn’t count.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 11:48 am

So, in your opinion, is water boarding akin to raping a 13 yr old girl in front of her parents, and then disembowling her, and then doing the same thing to the wife, and then making the husband/dad dig the graves? Are they morally equivalent? Are they roughly equal in severity? Pick your measure, and place them both on the scale where you think they ought to be.

They are both torture, illegal, and crimes against humanity. Does the degree of barbarity really matter that much to you that you’re willing to say it’s okay for the US to be only slightly less barbaric than folks who rape 13-year-old girls?

Is that really the state of conservative thought?


Comment by
Rob
March 31st, 2008
at 1:29 pm

“Care to provide a little context to your rather emphatic claim?”
In my mind, extreme physical discomfort, the fear of or perception of serious trauma, that comes to an end and leaves the victim shaken up but unharmed – that’s one thing. Sure, call it torture. Ban it. Throw every nation that does it onto world headlines. But to call it “only slightly less barbaric” than what I described, well, I’m as aghast at you as you are at me.

“What makes you an expert such that you feel comfortable claiming that the rather esteemed officials quoted above don’t know what they’re talking about?” I’m sure they know what they’re talking about. Fine – it falls at one end of the spectrum of activities that can justly be called torture. But again – dang – equating it with the other end of the spectrum just seems so totally clueless, so devoid of understanding about what people actually do to each other and the actual results when they do it; well, I’m as much at a loss to respond to you as you are to me.

As for Bush being the worst president in history, if we’re using human rights violations as a standard, I’d still have to disagree. I figure Woodrow Wilson’s administration, which saw 175,000 arrested for not being patriotic enough, which saw authorities refusing to prosecute or convict murderers of people who refused to say the pledge of allegiance, I’d say Wilson would come a bit closer to earning the title.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 1:51 pm

I’m glad you’ve decided to recant your original statement. Note that my original post in this thread said absolutely nothing about human rights. I was referencing his complete destruction of the various advisory and regulatory commissions over a single nomination of a terribly flawed candidate. I view him as a stubborn, shallow man who governs like a three-year-old whose blankie has gone missing.

And I never equated waterboarding with your hypothetical. I stated explicitly that one was worse than the other. But what’s infinity minus one?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 1:52 pm

And, BTW, your harmless little “extreme physical discomfort, the fear of or perception of serious trauma, that comes to an end and leaves the victim shaken up but unharmed” can be and has been fatal.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
March 31st, 2008
at 1:55 pm

Waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing a person on their back with the head inclined downward (the Trendelenburg position), and pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages.[1] Through forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences the process of drowning and is made to believe that death is imminent.[2] In contrast to merely submerging the head face-forward, waterboarding almost immediately elicits the gag reflex.[3] Although waterboarding does not always cause lasting physical damage, it carries the risks of extreme pain, damage to the lungs, brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, injuries (including broken bones) due to struggling against restraints, and even death.[4] The psychological effects on victims of waterboarding can last for years after the procedure.[5]

Source: Wikipedia


Comment by
Rob
March 31st, 2008
at 2:51 pm

“your harmless little “extreme physical discomfort, the fear of or perception of serious trauma, that comes to an end and leaves the victim shaken up but unharmed” can be and has been fatal.”

The same is true about walking down the street, driving in a car, or making love. Shouldn’t we take how often into account?

Regardless, until this thread, I was of the impression that good ol’ American waterboarding involved plastic or some other barrier over the victim’s head, providing the fear of drowning and the psycological impact without the actual water entering the airways. Now I’m hearing differently, and yes, it does cause me to do a bit of re-thinking.


Comment by
don
April 2nd, 2008
at 2:06 pm

Rob’s first comment: “People who think waterboarding is torture don’t know much about either.”

Rob’s last comment: “Regardless, until this thread, I was of the impression that good ol’ American waterboarding involved plastic or some other barrier over the victim’s head, providing the fear of drowning and the psycological impact without the actual water entering the airways. Now I’m hearing differently, and yes, it does cause me to do a bit of re-thinking.”

My conslusion: People who think waterboarding is NOT torture don’t know much about either.