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May 13, 2009


Mark T

When they meet behind closed doors in DC, they check their party badges. There is no reason not to believe Pelosi was involved.

Here's what I don't get, however - torture in Iraq would go on, no matter what anyone authorized. No presidential authorization was needed. Someone would have to actively try to stop it, and that did not happen. So I'm wondering how much of this is just a smokescreen for Obama to hide behind, while standard U.S. practices are still going on.

There's another facet to this issue too - that is that there is military torture, and CIA torture. The military is actually pretty upright about it, in their field manuals and all, condemning it and ordinarily soldiers to not engage in it and to report it. Some of those words might actually have meaning.

But then there is CIA torture - Alfred McCoy, who I cited yesterday at POM, talked exclusively about CIA torture, and said that Abu Ghraib was a CIA operation. The CIA can pretty well act with impunity, and has in all our wars since it came into existence in the early 1950's. They are not subject to a military chain of command.

So maybe the cognitive dissonance I am dealing with has only to do with the CIA/Military conflict. Maybe the military actually as to be ordered to engage in torture, while CIA does what it does no matter what.

Anyway, torture is a policy. has to be - counterinsurgencies are not effective without torture. You have to break the enemy - not just kill him.


Mark, I agree with you on every specific, save this:

There is no reason not to believe Pelosi was involved.

There is no reason to believe that she was, save deflection of scrutiny against those who really were involved.

However, it's a small matter. With a little luck, this tactic of ham-handed deception will backfire on the wingnuts, and we will get a truth commission simply because they are screaming for an investigation into Pelosi. If she ends up a casualty, who cares. Others will fall far further and faster than she will.


The right really think they have a winner here.

Pelosi's comments haven't been the most lucid to date. Supposedly she is tired from her trip to Iraq. We'll have to wait and see what happens. Former Sen Nelson of Florida seems to be corroborating her version of events.

In any case, the wingnuts are going after this but their inability to handle the slightest questioning on the matter might betray an awareness of the flimsiness and possible two sidedness of this issue:



oops -- it's graham, not nelson. i guess rockefeller is also backing her up...

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