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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: American Freedom (tm) 2.0

“As you may remember, there was a little case of Republican Amnesia that happened a last month.”

“Q: There are allegations that we sent people to Syria to be tortured…
McCLELLAN: To Syria?
Q: Yes. You’ve never heard of any allegations like that?
McCLELLAN: No, I’ve never heard that one. That’s a new one.
Q: Syria? You haven’t heard that?
McCLELLAN: That’s a new one.
Q: Well, I can assure you it’s been well publicized. My question is…
McCLELLAN: By what, bloggers?”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, January 18, 2006

“That was in regards to this story.”

“A Canadian citizen who was detained last year at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as a suspected terrorist said Tuesday he was secretly deported to Syria and endured 10 months of torture in a Syrian prison.”
-Washington Post (front page), November 5, 2003

“Well, you’ll be happy to know that it turns out that American Freedom ™ is alive and well. It turns out that the Administration did nothing wrong. Whew, I’ll sleep easier.”

“A federal judge has tossed out a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Syrian-born Canadian man who claimed U.S. counterterrorism officials deported him so he could be tortured in Syria.
Citing ‘the national security and foreign policy considerations at stake,’ the judge said Arar had no grounds in a U.S. court to claim his constitutional right to due process was violated.”
-Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 17, 2006

“Hey the guy was Syrian, or even worse: Canadian. He obviously has no say in where we in America decide to ship him off to. He should think of it as a free vacation to a warm and sandy destination. There are some though that would deny Fearless Leader his moment of triumph.”

“We're in a new world now and the all-powerful U.S. government apparently has free rein to ruin innocent lives without even a nod in the direction of due process or fair play. Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen who, according to all evidence, has led an exemplary life, was seized and shackled by U.S.authorities at Kennedy Airport in 2002, and then shipped off to Syria, his native country, where he was held in a dungeon for the better part of a year. He was tormented physically and psychologically, and at times tortured.

The underground cell was tiny, about the size of a grave.
Mr. Arar's captors beat him savagely with an electrical cable. He was allowed to bathe in cold water once a week. He lost 40 pounds while in captivity.
This is a quintessential example of the reprehensible practice of extraordinary rendition, in which the U.S. government kidnaps individuals ­presumably terror suspects ­ and sends them off to regimes that are skilled in the fine art of torture. In terms of vile behavior, rendition stands shoulder to shoulder with contract killing.”
-Bob Herbert, New York Times, February 20, 2006

“In defense of American Freedom ™, I think that I need to point out something. We NEED to send people to other countries to be tortured. Otherwise we’d have to do the torturing, and for some strange reason, despite the authorization from Fearless Leader and his band of Enablers, Americans tend to frown on the use of the thumbscrews. Heck, there are even those people within America who feel that disobeying the Geneva Conventions is, dare I say it, wrong.”

“Legal theories granting the president the right to authorize abuse despite the Geneva Conventions were unlawful, dangerous and erroneous, then-General Counsel Alberto J. Mora advised officials in a secret memo. The 22-page document was obtained by the New Yorker for an article in its Feb. 27 issue.

Mora said Navy intelligence officers reported in 2002 that military-intelligence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were engaging in escalating levels of physical and psychological abuse rumored to have been authorized at a high level in Washington.
‘I was appalled by the whole thing,’ Mora told the magazine. ‘It was clearly abusive and it was clearly contrary to everything we were ever taught about American values.’
Mora said he thought his concerns were being addressed by a special group set up by the Pentagon. But he discovered in January 2003 that a Justice Department opinion had negated his arguments with what he described as ‘an extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the president's commander in chief authority.’"
-Associated Press, February 20, 2006

“Sometimes you just need to have these foreigners tortured just to keep them in their place. Soon, if things don’t start looking better in Iraq, we’re going to take collective punishment to a whole new level.”

“The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, warned yesterday that Washington might cut aid to the Iraqis if the new government included sectarian politicians, pointing out that the US had spent ‘billions’ in building up the police and the army.
‘American taxpayers expect their money to be spent properly. We are not going to invest the resources of the American people into forces run by people who are sectarian,’ he said. He singled out the defence and interior ministries, saying they should be in the hands of people ‘who are non-sectarian, broadly acceptable and who are not tied to militias’.”
-The Independent (UK), March 21, 2006

“Yep, we gave them free elections, but those darn Iraqis had the nerve to freely choose groups that we didn’t want them too. If they don’t cut that out we’ll have to cut off the money we send to support the puppet regime that we set up. That is what American Freedom ™ is all about. You are free to make any decision that we approve of first. If Iraq is lucky they will soon enjoy the same benefits of American Freedom ™ that we have here at home.”

“Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden.

The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words ‘Homeland Security.’ The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.”
-Washington Post, February 17, 2006

“Homeland Security: It isn’t just for terrorism anymore.”


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