June 08, 2004



"FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

FROST: By definition.

NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position."

Welcome back to the 70's!

You know what would have been nice? JAG officers overseeing the interrogations whenever possible like we had for the first Gulf War. You're nitpicking this one piece of evidence that Bush's administration created a climate of disrespect for law governing treatment of prisoners as if it were the only one, but it's just the latest in a long string of such outrages that show an administration who thinks of human rights as an obstacle rather than a goal.


First Gulf was a war, fought against soldiers, of a nation, in uniform, with a chain of command. Therefore clearly subject to Geneva.

Still haven't read anything about Geneva and the war on terror I see.

But you're ready to play the Nixon card.

Classy as usual.


---Rumsfeld repeated that contention during the controversy over abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. He said that prisoners in Iraq were covered by the conventions, while members of al-Qaeda are not, adding, "Terrorists don't comply with the laws of war. They go around killing innocent civilians.

That knothead. Doesn't he know all those civilians at Abu Ghraib were actually unlawful combatants? Tell him jrl. Tell the Secretary of Defense how stupid he is.

You see, to be a "combatant" you must engage in "combat". The fourth convention covers civilians. 70-90% innocent. And those who were not innocent civilians were considered PoW's by our defense department.

You know what would be really great? If I posted that Nixon excerpt and everyone went "Huh?" With this president, everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Perhaps you could solicit Charles O. Jones' opinion on the matter lol

Media Hound

Hey Bryguy, I notice on your blog that the ONLY
thing you had to say about the death of Ronald
Reagan, was to attack Bush's campaign for telling
others to read some of Reagan's speeches
archived at georgewbush.com.


How sad.

Had you made a thoughtful comment on the day of
his passing, your faux "outrage" two days later
might have held some water.

Instead, you reference Reagan only to make a partisan
point, thereby becoming that which you attempted to
accuse others of being.

Perhaps you were looking for the below website?



Why don't you comment about my blog on my blog media hound? I'm pretty sure this is off topic here, though I assure you I will respond in the appropriate forum.


As per Geneva, the question in the WoT as whole -- and by the way Sherlocke, Iraq wasn't the focus of either the memo, or the article Dauber cites, or Dauber's criticism of the latter, so I'm not sure why you brought it up, especially since I was only explaining why the WoT is not GulfWar I as contra your "argument" -- is whether we ought to apply it and to whom.

The problem which you have ignored in other threads repeatedly is that under Geneva,as Dauber has pointed out again and again, and others like Dershowitz and the WSJ have noted, we cannot interrogate prisoners.

Do you really advocate applying Geneva to the those in Gitmo? To the foreign terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere as well? Are these to be POWs who we can't get info out of other than name, rank, serial number? Is that you opinion?

If not, then the question is what is permissible. What can we do in regard to interrogation techniques? That was the subject of the memo, and rightly so, given that any of those AlQ guys could have information on an impending attack that could kill 1,000s.

And as Dauber pointed out, and you ignored, this was a memo, not a final policy decision.

Do you disagree with the decision not to consider those in Gitmo as pows, not to apply Geneva to them. If so, why?

If not, what is wrong with examining what might or might not be permissible?

You on the other hand, ignored all of this and merely accused Bush of being Nixon.


---The problem which you have ignored in other threads repeatedly is that under Geneva,as Dauber has pointed out again and again, and others like Dershowitz and the WSJ have noted, we cannot interrogate prisoners.

No, under Geneva we can not torture people as part of the interrogation. I am even inclined to agree that there should be a necessity defense under Geneva and that we should change the law. But until the law is changed, it is the Executive Branch's constitutional duty to take care to execute the law.

And who the hell are you to complain about me comparing Bush to Nixon when you compared Gore to MUSSOLINI? Just get out of my face.

Media Hound

"Why don't you comment about my blog on my blog media hound?"

I wasn't commenting on your blog -- I was commenting on your
hypocrisy and lack of credibility.

Bryon Gill

This isn't the place, media hound. Let's take it outside where it belongs.

Are you anonymous on Democratic Underground too? Do you try to bait people into attacking Reagan there? I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if you were Mopaul.

Michael B

Lack of credibility is exactly right. You're attempting to equate the highly divisive and rancorous politicization of Wellstone's memorial service with the fact that the Bush campaign, upon RR's death, references some of his speeches at their web site? Rage all you want, that's both pathetic and risible as a comparison. If you believe that advances your credibility, you are mistaken, you can't simply make up your own facts and equivocations and then expect people to respect that.

Move on to the next kowtowing talking point, this one's stale, risible and ultimately a bit sad as well as it reflects you're simply mimicing someone else's talking point, repeating it mindlessly, or it reflects the fact you have no sound judgement in terms of being able to evaluate disparate events and circumstances.


Mmmmkay my little friend.

You have no idea what any of the Geneva conventions say, do you?

Because Geneva 3, which is what you apparently want to apply to the Gitmo prisoners, says no interrogations, none. Name, rank, serial number. That's it.

Maybe if you actualy investigated the debate going on right now in this country about Geneva and terrorism, you'd know what I'm talking about.

Nice way of avoiding the questions I posed tho.

Awhile back I actualy thought you were an honest poster -- back when you admitted you had no clue about Catholicism and the Rapture.

Now I know you're dishonest. In fact your a troll. Figures you're a DU guy.

Why would anyone want to go to your website?

I guess the increasing stridency of your posts is your desperate way of attracting readers?


Bryon Gill

Michael B: off topic here. Sorry. You're wrong but I'm not engaging on Reagan here, this discussion is about the torture memos.

jrl: still waiting on an apology, as is Dr. Jones. Again you're wrong- by the 3rd convention, interrogation is fine, coercion is not. Your twisted interpretation comes from the fact that prisoners are only *obligated* to comply with the request for name, rank and serial number. Stop spreading misinformation and stop wasting my time.

Doesn't anyone even care about the truth? I expected to find people who disagree with me here but I never expected so much personal hate.


I'm not really sure how or why this got so ugly so fast. I don't know what Bry said on his blog, and I don't really care. I think the Nixon quote was a valid attempt to draw a historical analogy about the use of executive privelage as a legal argument -- in short, I think his arguments are (as usual) wrong, but I don't think they're illegitimate or out of line at all, yet you guys are all over him. Maybe that's about something that happened on his blog, if so, please do "take it outside."

At some level I suspect that to be the case b/c here are some of my regular and most insightful posters getting under one another's skin in one or two comments.

As to Bry's comments -- I don't care how many memos the press uncovers. I WANT the administration to fully explore the limits and meaning of hte law for a war that Geneva never predicted. And I'm just not going to bite that these memos "created a climate" w/o evidence that there were action memos or a group of soldiers sitting around reading legal memos in their free time.

Bryon Gill


Agreed they should explore the limits, but the "inherent in the president" memo is about removing all limits. I'm wondering what made Ashcroft so evasive in his confrontation with Dick Durbin the other day though- if this opinion gave rise to an authorizing order, then we've left the realm of the theoretical.

I imagine you'd agree with me that renegotiating the Geneva convention to create exceptions for coercive interrogations in certain cases would be a good thing? I think the world would support that and that it could be signed and ratified pretty quickly. That's the process when you don't like the law; interpreting it down in secret is a dangerous thing to do. Better to be transparent about it if we're right.


I think there's no way to know why Ashcroft takes any argumentative or rhetorical position he's so bad as a tactician, so who knows? But just because renegotiating Geneva might make sense doesn't mean for a second we could do it, or do it in anything like a reasonable amount of time.

Besides -- who are we going to negotiate with? Should we perhaps articulate a vision of how we're going to handle detainees representing bloodthirsty jihadist groups who would never under any circumstances adhere to Geneva (the absurdity in Biden's argument), there's an argument there, but not in an election season.


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