Mr. Panetta Needs a History Lesson → Washingtons Blog
Mr. Panetta Needs a History Lesson - Washingtons Blog

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mr. Panetta Needs a History Lesson

CIA director Leon Panetta implied Sunday that the "reality of 9/11" excused the unconstitutional and criminal acts of the Bush administration:

The country was frightened, and political leaders were trying to respond as best they could. Judgments were made. Some of them were wrong.

Panetta makes it sound like all of the illegal decisions were made after 9/11, in response to that horrific event.

But as I've previously pointed out:

  • The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11
  • The decision to launch a war against Iran was made before 9/11
  • Cheney advocated strengthening the powers of the White House to the point of monarchy before 9/11

In addition, while the decision to torture appears to have been made after 9/11, it appears to have been made for the purpose of creating a false linkage between Iraq and 9/11 in order to justify the Iraq war. In other words, the post-9/11 decision to torture appears to have been made to rationalize the pre-9/11 decision to invade Iraq.

Moreover, it was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn't work to produce accurate intelligence.


  1. “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
    – James Madison, "Political Observations" (1795-04-20); also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491.

    “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
    However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion…
    In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.” – George Washington, Farewell Address, an open letter to the American public published on September 19, 1796.

  2. Your "news" about everything being planned long before is exactly what fool liberals do with everything...take a memo from someone who has no authority, twist its meaning, claim it is a right wing conspiracy. You are out of your mind with this nonsense. Completely and totally out of your fool mind.

    If you want to start prosecuting people who tortured, start with Bill Clinton. The CIA started the rendition program for him. Real torture was committed. Dtainees were shipped to countries that know how to torture. They didn't just make them get naked like Abu Ghraib. They tortured them, and that is not even disputed by any credible source. Michael Sheurer has spoken publicly about it (He created the program for Clinton)

    As for the lie that torture doesn't work...and it is a lie...of course it works. It may not work on everybody, and it won't "work" on innocent people, but it still works on some. That is why it has been used for as long as we have historical records. Real guilty people have been made to give up real information by torture. Not supporting torture, but I sure am tired of the lie that it doesn't work.

    Your tiny liberal brain needs to try to understand the real world.

  3. Torture works, alright, but not on the person being tortured. It works as a warning to others who learn about it that their government will do this to them, too, if they don't watch their step.


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