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(The Dish)   Obama's pathetic response to the recent CIA spying scandal, and his refusal to release the torture report, are making even his most ardent supporters wonder if he's a hypocrite   (dish.andrewsullivan.com) divider line 156
    More: Fail, Obama, CIA, torture, hypocrites, collective securities, scandals, executive privilege  
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691 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Mar 2014 at 1:57 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-13 12:57:01 PM
Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.
 
2014-03-13 01:01:52 PM

DamnYankees: The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.


the CIA has something on everyone.
 
2014-03-13 01:10:37 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.


Sounds about right.
 
2014-03-13 01:24:06 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.


Maybe add

5) Obama decided that the justifications and rationalizations about "National Security" and "Fighting the Terrorists" that the Right Wingers and the Bush administration came up with when they instigated all this sort of made sense.
 
2014-03-13 01:26:34 PM

MrBallou: Maybe add

5) Obama decided that the justifications and rationalizations about "National Security" and "Fighting the Terrorists" that the Right Wingers and the Bush administration came up with when they instigated all this sort of made sense.


Maybe, but if that was the case he wouldn't still be so adamant about how we don't torture and he put a stop to it, no?
 
2014-03-13 01:31:38 PM

DamnYankees: MrBallou: Maybe add

5) Obama decided that the justifications and rationalizations about "National Security" and "Fighting the Terrorists" that the Right Wingers and the Bush administration came up with when they instigated all this sort of made sense.

Maybe, but if that was the case he wouldn't still be so adamant about how we don't torture and he put a stop to it, no?


I haven't kept track. Are we still waterboarding people? I mean besides figuratively every time Rand Paul opens his mouth.
 
2014-03-13 01:45:12 PM
If?

He's been a failure to the principles he ran for office on since day one.
 
2014-03-13 01:47:34 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.


5. Obama is a seekrit Muslin commie fascist socialist empty-suited dictator intent on destroying America and all that she stands for.
 
2014-03-13 01:57:59 PM
Yeah, we'll just see about that subby......
 
2014-03-13 01:58:55 PM
Well's, somebody's a war criminal ex-president let off the hook too late to figuring that one out.
 
2014-03-13 01:59:45 PM
Guantanamo

Nuff said..
 
2014-03-13 02:00:46 PM

Lackofname: Guantanamo

Nuff said..


I don't understand people being upset with Obama about Gitmo. It's entirely on Congress. They refused to let him close it. What's he supposed to do?
 
2014-03-13 02:01:37 PM
I'm dismayed - and somewhat sickened - by the continuing passivity of the president on one of the most important issues the country faces: accountability for the gravest crimes under international law in the first decade of the 21st Century.

Seriously?  OK, torturing detainees was not cool, but it's hardly the gravest crime that's been committed since 2000 under international law.  It may not even crack the top ten.
 
2014-03-13 02:02:48 PM

DamnYankees: 3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.
4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.


As a nuance variant between the two, there's the "he fears attempting to prosecute or reign in the offenders would trigger a coup" possibility. I mean, it's not like the CIA doesn't have decades of experience with trying to overthrow democratically elected leaders and installing military dictators wherever it's more convenient for them.
 
2014-03-13 02:02:51 PM

Lsherm: I'm dismayed - and somewhat sickened - by the continuing passivity of the president on one of the most important issues the country faces: accountability for the gravest crimes under international law in the first decade of the 21st Century.

Seriously?  OK, torturing detainees was not cool, but it's hardly the gravest crime that's been committed since 2000 under international law.  It may not even crack the top ten.


You don't think torture is one of the gravest crimes under international law? Other than genocide, what else is there?
 
2014-03-13 02:02:51 PM
on these kinds of issues is where Obama sucks big time.
 
2014-03-13 02:03:35 PM

abb3w: As a nuance variant between the two, there's the "he fears attempting to prosecute or reign in the offenders would trigger a coup" possibility. I mean, it's not like the CIA doesn't have decades of experience with trying to overthrow democratically elected leaders and installing military dictators wherever it's more convenient for them.


Are you serious? That's absurd. There's no way a coup would ever occur here, at least not in the foreseeable future.
 
2014-03-13 02:03:50 PM
If that's what they're wondering, "b..b.b.but the Republicans!" is funny way of expressing it.
 
2014-03-13 02:04:45 PM

DamnYankees: You don't think torture is one of the gravest crimes under international law? Other than genocide, what else is there?


Piracy on the high seas.
 
2014-03-13 02:04:48 PM

Headso: on these kinds of issues is where Obama sucks big time.


I wouldn't say he sucks so much as he's at his most disappointing. He's still better than literally every Republican and a lot of Democrats on issues of national security and torture.
 
2014-03-13 02:05:13 PM

DamnYankees: There's no way a coup would ever occur here


thanks Smedley
 
2014-03-13 02:05:45 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but.... There is no evidence that we are still torturing, and all of the handwringing is because we want more punishment? Or do I misunderstand?

The tone doesn't seem to match the reality but maybe I am missing something.
 
2014-03-13 02:05:50 PM

DamnYankees: 4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.


They have his real birth certificate. The one written in Farsi.
 
2014-03-13 02:05:56 PM

DamnYankees: Headso: on these kinds of issues is where Obama sucks big time.

I wouldn't say he sucks so much as he's at his most disappointing. He's still better than literally every Republican and a lot of Democrats on issues of national security and torture.


the tallest midget is still a short dude...
 
2014-03-13 02:06:58 PM

LasersHurt: There is no evidence that we are still torturing, and all of the handwringing is because we want more punishment? Or do I misunderstand?


It's not so much about punishment as we simply want to know what people are doing in our name. That's important. There's no possible way to run a democracy is people don't know what's happening.
 
2014-03-13 02:07:55 PM

DamnYankees: Lackofname: Guantanamo

Nuff said..

I don't understand people being upset with Obama about Gitmo. It's entirely on Congress. They refused to let him close it. What's he supposed to do?


Issue an order to the generals and admirals to redeploy back to continental US soil.  As CIC he can do that.
 
2014-03-13 02:09:10 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Issue an order to the generals and admirals to redeploy back to continental US soil.  As CIC he can do that.


And do what with the facilities and prisoners?
 
2014-03-13 02:09:51 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.


The CIA probably has video footage of President Obama throwing Zoe in front of a subway.
 
2014-03-13 02:09:53 PM

DamnYankees: Are you serious? That's absurd. There's no way a coup would ever occur here, at least not in the foreseeable future.


About half serious. While I consider others more likely, I think the probability is sufficiently non-negligible that it deserves consideration as a competing hypothesis.

Also note, the CIA success rate isn't particularly high. I agree, there's effectively no chance such a coup would succeed. The chances of being attempted, however -- and chances of associated casualties -- are logically higher.
 
2014-03-13 02:11:16 PM

abb3w: Also note, the CIA success rate isn't particularly high. I agree, there's effectively no chance such a coup would succeed. The chances of being attempted, however -- and chances of associated casualties -- are logically higher.


The CIA success rate is farking horrible. They seem to be very bad at what they do.
 
2014-03-13 02:11:18 PM

DamnYankees: LasersHurt: There is no evidence that we are still torturing, and all of the handwringing is because we want more punishment? Or do I misunderstand?

It's not so much about punishment as we simply want to know what people are doing in our name. That's important. There's no possible way to run a democracy is people don't know what's happening.


I... I don't disagree, but I don't know how that applies here. Please be specific, assume I'm a moron or something, why is Obama wrong on Torture specifically?
 
2014-03-13 02:13:40 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.


Missed one.

Obama is a CIA plant, making him the fourth president chosen and elected by the CIA. Those would be Bush I, ran the CIA, Clinton, in bed with the CIA to run drugs and scam real estate, Bush II, figure head run by CIA, Obama, mom was a CIA spook and he might be one too.
 
2014-03-13 02:14:13 PM

LasersHurt: DamnYankees: LasersHurt: There is no evidence that we are still torturing, and all of the handwringing is because we want more punishment? Or do I misunderstand?

It's not so much about punishment as we simply want to know what people are doing in our name. That's important. There's no possible way to run a democracy is people don't know what's happening.

I... I don't disagree, but I don't know how that applies here. Please be specific, assume I'm a moron or something, why is Obama wrong on Torture specifically?


In 2012 the Senate finished its comprehensive report on torture. It hasn't been released because the CIA doesn't want it released. Obama has so far sided with the CIA.
 
2014-03-13 02:14:36 PM

DamnYankees: LasersHurt: There is no evidence that we are still torturing, and all of the handwringing is because we want more punishment? Or do I misunderstand?

It's not so much about punishment as we simply want to know what people are doing in our name. That's important. There's no possible way to run a democracy is people don't know what's happening.


We're never going to know everything that goes on in our name. Maybe 50 years from now when everyone involved is dead they'll release a full account.
 
2014-03-13 02:15:18 PM

James!: We're never going to know everything that goes on in our name. Maybe 50 years from now when everyone involved is dead they'll release a full account.


We know that a full account exists right now, and the Senate committee that wrote it wants to release it.
 
2014-03-13 02:15:29 PM

DamnYankees: LasersHurt: DamnYankees: LasersHurt: There is no evidence that we are still torturing, and all of the handwringing is because we want more punishment? Or do I misunderstand?

It's not so much about punishment as we simply want to know what people are doing in our name. That's important. There's no possible way to run a democracy is people don't know what's happening.

I... I don't disagree, but I don't know how that applies here. Please be specific, assume I'm a moron or something, why is Obama wrong on Torture specifically?

In 2012 the Senate finished its comprehensive report on torture. It hasn't been released because the CIA doesn't want it released. Obama has so far sided with the CIA.


Oh, okay. Thanks for clarifying. The thread is a jumble of past and present and on and off topic, I wasn't sure.
 
2014-03-13 02:17:09 PM

DamnYankees: James!: We're never going to know everything that goes on in our name. Maybe 50 years from now when everyone involved is dead they'll release a full account.

We know that a full account exists right now, and the Senate committee that wrote it wants to release it.


But they still have to clear it with the CIA.  Just guessing, but I bet the CIA would like several things stricken.  Some of those things may be legitimate national security concerns, some of them may be ass covering.
 
2014-03-13 02:18:15 PM

James!: But they still have to clear it with the CIA.  Just guessing, but I bet the CIA would like several things stricken.  Some of those things may be legitimate national security concerns, some of them may be ass covering.


The CIA does not have veto rights. If the President wants to release it, he can.
 
2014-03-13 02:19:05 PM
The Executive is always going to be reluctant to go after his predecessors.

It's a shame, they're criminals. They know it and occasionally brag about it.
 
2014-03-13 02:19:31 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.


1) "Lying" is a bit of a strong word. I don't think he considers them as important as we were led to believe years ago. Although I voted third party, one of my hopes for his term in office was that he would hold true and show more concern for civil liberties. I think that ship has long sailed for both parties.

2) Unquestionably, I am sure he saw things he was not privy to on the campaign trail and that probably changed his views. I don't know if what he knows now that he didn't before justifies all that.

3) Plausible, but if it was really that insidious, I would think someone would blow the whistle by now, just because the money one could make on blowing up the CIA and TWO US Presidents (Bush and Obama) would be too good to pass up.

4) Fun to speculate about, but probably not true.

Whatever his reasoning, it appears that Mr. Obama is no less a fan of an expansive view of the power of the executive than Bush was.
 
2014-03-13 02:20:28 PM

DamnYankees: James!: But they still have to clear it with the CIA.  Just guessing, but I bet the CIA would like several things stricken.  Some of those things may be legitimate national security concerns, some of them may be ass covering.

The CIA does not have veto rights. If the President wants to release it, he can.


Devil's advocate, then, perhaps the president feels that some things would be legitimate national security concerns. None of us have the info to tell. Which is sort of the ongoing issue. It's a bit of a circle.

Were that the case, I'd rather he edit those parts and release the rest, at least.
 
2014-03-13 02:21:46 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.


Hicks said it all.
 
2014-03-13 02:22:49 PM

DamnYankees: James!: But they still have to clear it with the CIA.  Just guessing, but I bet the CIA would like several things stricken.  Some of those things may be legitimate national security concerns, some of them may be ass covering.

The CIA does not have veto rights. If the President wants to release it, he can.


Sure, but would he be wise to ignore the CIA's concerns?
 
2014-03-13 02:22:49 PM

DamnYankees: Here are the options, as I see them.

1) Obama has actually been lying and doesn't really care that much about torture and civil liberties.

2) Once in office, Obama was basically completely swamped by the CIA and the military industrial complex in terms of what kind of advice he was getting, and its massively changed/skewed his perspective.

3) Once he took office, Obama learned that things the CIA has been doing are so bad, and so beyond acceptable, that even though he doesn't like it, he thinks he needs to hide their crimes because releasing them would undermine the US way too much.

4) The CIA literally has something on Obama and is blackmailing him.

In order of likelihood, I think it goes 2-3-1-4.


I'd just like to note that #2 and #3 can both be true at the same time, and the likelihood that #2 is true without #3 being true is probably very small. So I would probably reverse the order of those two items in your ranking.
 
2014-03-13 02:24:57 PM

James!: Sure, but would he be wise to ignore the CIA's concerns?


Depends what the concern is. If the concern is "the CIA will look bad" then yes, it is.
 
2014-03-13 02:27:37 PM

DamnYankees: James!: Sure, but would he be wise to ignore the CIA's concerns?

Depends what the concern is. If the concern is "the CIA will look bad" then yes, it is.


And of course we don't know what the CIA's concerns are so all we can do is guess.
 
2014-03-13 02:28:40 PM
Hey maybe they extraordinary rendition people so they can hang out and chill in a different part of the world, we don't really know why they need to put them in the hands of regimes that torture people, it's possible it's just a coincidence because those areas also have the type of dry heat that is good for people with allergies.
 
2014-03-13 02:29:06 PM

Calmamity: If?

He's been a failure to the principles he ran for office on since day one.


media.tumblr.com
 
2014-03-13 02:29:13 PM

James!: DamnYankees: James!: Sure, but would he be wise to ignore the CIA's concerns?

Depends what the concern is. If the concern is "the CIA will look bad" then yes, it is.

And of course we don't know what the CIA's concerns are so all we can do is guess.


The CIA can go fark themselves. They don't have any credibility. This is a report which documents that the CIA engaged in systematic torture of captives and destroyed evidence of it - and that's just the stuff we already know. And I'm supposed to take their objections of secrecy and national security in good faith? Again, fark them.
 
2014-03-13 02:29:14 PM
Then there's that one other,  other possibility that we ought to consider, which was put forth almost in jest by a previous president...

When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were.

--John F. Kennedy

 
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