Friday, January 19, 2007

We are their masters, Babe. Let them doubt it for a second and they'll walk all over you.

Omfg God this movie's for real!

(Tip to John/ Ameriblog)

The justice system moves swiftly, now that they've abolished all the lawyers.

The new rules for prosecuting terror suspects were released by the Pentagon last night.

The 238-page Manual for Military Commissions, published last night, offers suspected al-Qaida and Taliban militants "all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilised people," a Pentagon spokesman said.*

Some of the highlights-

- Defendants will get access all evidence against them. Material may be redacted to the point there are no legible nouns, pronouns, verbs or adjectives.

- Evidence obtained through torture won't be allowed however evidence gained through "coersion" will. Coersion is later defined as "tickling detainees with our fists," "playing the 'who talked first' game" by sticking the detainee in solitary for months on end and those actions generally accepted during frat hazing such as attaching a car battery to the genitalia or waterboarding.

- Hearsay evidence will be allowed but it has to be backed by at least three hearsay sources.

- Defendants have access to defense lawyers but those lawyers cannot be currently licensed to practice law anywhere within the continental United States and must wear a "Barney" costume during the course of the trial. When asked about this last point the pentagon spokesman said "Hey, those british guys have to wear wigs. It's like that."

- Conviction can lead to execution but acquittal certainly won't lead to not being executed.

(*When asked to define the term "civilised" the pentagon spokesman referred the reporter to the bible specifically 2 Kings 6:25-30 which defines the proper treatment of children during the siege of a major city, cultural norms promoted by the peoples of the Polynesian Marquesas Islands, legal treatment of Dutch dissidents such as Johan de Witt and his brother in the year 1672 and the organizational structure and means of the infamous Donner party.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude

It appears that all the celebrating regarding the administration's cave on FISA may be premature.

Ms. Wilson, who has scrutinized the program for the last year, said she believed the new approach relied on a blanket, “programmatic” approval of the president’s surveillance program, rather than approval of individual warrants.

Administration officials “have convinced a single judge in a secret session, in a nonadversarial session, to issue a court order to cover the president’s terrorism surveillance program,” Ms. Wilson said in a telephone interview. She said Congress needed to investigate further to determine how the program is run.

A blanket warrant issued to cover a program doesn't even sound remotely constitutional. Must be one of those liberal, activist judges on the FISA court that played along with the administration.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

The Otter Defense didn't work on me when he and the other Delta House degenerates were here at Farver and it certainly won't work when Tony Snow tries it.

The bestial Yahoos fight for no reason all. While we on the order hand fight for very good reasons, such as, well, our enemies are weaker than us.

Kevin Drum muddled an argument yesterday regarding critics of the war and the use of preemptive force and on his attempt at clarification he doesn't do much better.

However, I also made a specific comment about preventive war: namely that the failure in Iraq doesn't especially vindicate the argument that preventive war is almost always wrong. It is almost always wrong, and the fact that Iraq was a preventive war was a good reason to oppose it. But the specific quagmire that we find ourselves in now has very little to do with the fact that the Iraq war was preventive.

I'd drop the "almost" if I was Kevin. Preventive war is always and in all cases completely wrong on every level. Moral, philosophical, tactical. You name it.

This is because defining what is to be "prevented" by a state proactively attacking another state is entirely subjective and given to interpretation. For example: there is nothing in the concept of preventive war that internally defines what the term "threat" means. It's simply assumed that a threat will be so gravely self-evident, such as Saddam's supposed WMDs, that preventive attack will be justified to the world community. But is this always the case?

India and Pakistan have shared a traditional animosity through generations which has led there own mini arms race towards becoming nuclear states. If we were to turn back the clock to a point when neither country had WMD would the shared belief each country has the other imposes a grave and impending "threat" suddenly diminish? Of course not. If each of their armed forces were made up entirely of dogs with spoons duct-taped to their heads they'd still see the existence of their neighbor as a threat to their very existence. That's because the threat concept goes beyond the physical menace imposed by the neighboring nation-state and crosses into religious and cultural concepts of threat. Subjective concepts.

Thus the very non-quantifiable nature of the "threat" makes the idea of prosecuting a war based on it's prevention obscene.

UPDATE: I see Digby hits Kevin's argument from a different angle.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oh, no! The bad apes have the crystal lasers!

For some reason this ad reminds me of the Bush administration...