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Johann Hari writes: So what will be left of the Republican Party after next week's US election? The answer lies in the sands of Florida, where the sunshine-state Republicans have nominated an unrepentant torturer as their candidate for Congress. They view his readiness to torture an innocent Iraqi not as a source of shame, but as his prime qualification for office. This is American conservatism in the dying days of Bush – and it points out the direction that Sarah Palin would like to take it in 2012.


In August 2003, Colonel Allen West – commanding a US unit in Baghdad – heard a rumour that one of the Iraqi policeman he was working with was a secret insurgent. He ordered his officers to go and seize Yehiya Hamoodi, a thin, bespectacled 31-year-old, from his home. They dragged him into a Humvee, beat him, and then handcuffed, shackled and blindfolded him. In a dank interrogation room, they told him he had better start talking.... Read more.

Question: Is this well enough known in the US and is this the direction of travel for the Republican Party? And, if so, what is its future?


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fauxklore wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
I don't live in Florida and know little about most candidates for Congress there, so I would say the story is not well known.

But I think it is unfair to generalize about the Republican party on the basis of it. Nor do I see any actual evidence that his willingness to torture is being treated as his major qualification for office.

There are plenty of candidates of both major parties with dubious backgrounds.

One of my political heroes, James Longley, ran for governor of Maine as an independent (and won, largely on the platform that he hated everyone and everything. Would it be fair to conclude that independents are hateful based on that?
ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's a secret, because many people know that the U.S. now tortures prisoners. However, it isn't as widely known as it should be, and many who hear about it simply don't believe it because they cling to the myth of America as an honorable nation.

I think this is very much the direction that the Republican party chooses to go: "the end justifies the means." They forget that just a few decades ago, America condemned such arguments by the enemy; and they never learned something I've been pointing out for years: "The end does not justify the means; the means determine the end." Therefore, the result of using fear (frankly: terrorist tactics) and violence to advance the Republican party is that America will experience significantly more fear and violence. That is not the direction I want to go.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 28th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
red_pill wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 28th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
red_pill wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ex_londonso - Oct. 28th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ex_londonso - Oct. 28th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC) Expand
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)

But yes, it's entirely unfair to presume that the entire party is moving this way because of one fellow who is running in Florida. There are much better reasons to presume that Republicans, and even maybe most Americans, are willing to do whatever they can in a blind attempt at "fighting terror."
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 28th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
purplehamsa wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
way to hold the moral high ground.

If we are going to be the sort of country that will attempt to win at any cost, then we have lost the moral high ground. PERIOD.

If we lose the moral high ground, we cannot claim to care about those in other countries, their rights, their way of living or their way of governing.

This argument for torture negates the relevance of the US in the world.
siliconshaman wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Congratulations. You have now become exactly like the terrorists, at least morally and ethically.

What were you fighting for again?
allhatnocattle wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
That is the dumbest reason to support McCain. How do you know that you've won a war? What's the benchmark? You sound like terrorist to me.
siliconshaman wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
Republican party, the "win at any cost, by any means fair or foul" party.
It's not about principles, or ideals, nor even whatever the game is itself. [and all of life is a game]. It's about the winning !!

Yeah, so not surprised they'd resort to torture to win.
deadly_icy_calm wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
I would say this is not well known, as I have only just heard about it. I've been enjoying politics for a few weeks but right now I'm just sick of all of it. Democrats aren't as bad as Republicans, in my opinion, but everyone is making me sick these days. It had nothing to do with morality. What bothers me is the fact that everyone goes on about the same things over and over and no one will ever just be quiet for a few moments. Doesn't anyone take a few hours to watch a movie or anything? Do they really care that much 24/7? ANd do they really have so little to say for all their passion?
shalako357 wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks to G W Bush, the party will be left in smouldering ruins..The last four years he's ran the country aground. As far as the detainees go, habius corpus has already helped them. Usually prosecutors(military or not) slap down heavy charges trying to clear a case, hoping the bad guy will roll over. It's just the way it is. Florida is a big time republician state, though I hear Obama's working it pretty hard. I think that Colonel West made a real bad call, but it's hard to judge a man who is in combat, responsible for other people's lives. This isn't justification, just another way to look at it.
Most likely he's a poor choice to run things. There are plenty of other good people.
polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
It is not well enough known in the US and it is not the direction of travel for the Republican Party. Strange as it may seem, there are a few Republicans who get upset about torture as well, and they tend to be the ones that last in any governmental position for extended periods of time (let's change the tone here and point out that the ones that do support torture typically are the ones found in bed with dead 12 year old male prostitutes).

What is the Republican Party's future? Hell, I can't even be bothered to imagine. There's the problem with the future in general, but there's also the fact that in the last two months the Republican Party has completely reversed course economically, so it's not even the same Republican Party as it was six months ago. WTF, mate?

mungo_jerrie wrote:
Oct. 28th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Republican Party Torture Team?
The major problem with torture is IT DOESN'T WORK. It does not generate reliable, accurate military intelligence. The armed forces' own handbook makes this appallingly clear.

As is evidenced by the witchcraft "trials" of the Inquisition through Vietnam, from transcript after transcript, torturers simply obtain their own gobbledegook, their own suspicions, repeated back to them. A person being tortured is desperate to say what they feel their captors want to hear-and ONLY what their captors want to hear. Unfortunately what their captors want to hear...is not always the truth.

And quite bluntly, this lot of American interrogators are Amateur Night Out. They have neither the background, techniques, nor resources to make sense of what little intelligence they do generate, and they have managed to repulse senior armed forces officers and even the FBI, simply because what they got was not "useable".

Before you vote, try reading Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values by Philippe Sands. Then decide whether you want to support a political party that is committed to this tactical dead end.
allhatnocattle wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
It's not torture. It's rendition.
janet_prime wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 09:33 am (UTC)
Non-americans have to remember that the US is the size of all of Europe, from the arctic to the Med, and the Urals to the Atlantic. Nobody can or wants to keep track of 49 complex state elections. And Florida's culture/tradition is different from everyone else's.

Personally, the thought makes me ill. But there is literally nothing I can do about it, being 1,400 miles away in Illinois. And no, it didn't make the news here -- we are close neighbors with 8 states, and these use up our capacity of keeping track of others.
sahmahnthah wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
I think mechanisms (torture) for information gathering having the configurations as described in the article have proven to be an impotent method for maintaining security. All these measures prove is that a person will say anything to stop the torture. Which therefore proves that torture is an unreliable method or source for maintaining security.
bossiballs wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Fear factor.
Colin Powell, (who is well aware of the inside dope on all the fear factors) has announced the big qualitative shift that Obama's administration already is FOR.

What he said was, "Ready to be President."

And the one word..."Transformational."

That rings all the bells not sounded since Jack Kennedy got assassinated by the old guard spooks network.

Except by Dr martin Luther King Jr, (who got assassinated).

T'other Kennedys, (who got assassinated).

Laid back Jack, (who had a contract put out on his life,...
(later withdrawn)); who has personally introduced (or empowered/re-introduced) Transformation
as an actual live experiential dynamic; (in the jargon) a space and or place from which to come: into the personal lives of over a million people worldwide (so far).

In short, what we are all holding our breath about is,...is America
as a culture, finally doing the funky power judo on its own hubristic
past, and as such, are we looking at the place and or space of which Dr King
prophetically stated..."I may not get there with you" and foresaw?
mind_eclipse wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
I've been to more than six protests since 9/11 and "we" the United States went into Afghanistan and then Iraq. It seems that the power-hungry mongrels care what the general population would think about torture. That's why they don't want to talk about it. That's why when you're surrounded by 100,000 protesters in Washington DC, and they report it as "10s of 1000's"... Why don't we just say it plainly, there is no excuse for the destruction of human civil liberties.

It's not just "torture" because it's also oppression. It's a way to get the masses to behave. Come on folks, isn't that obvious? It's sending masses of people away to camps and forcing them into slavery, like the people in Saipan, those woman who are forced abortions so that they can't "procreate" like those damnable politicians could give a rat's ass what we thought about their military regime. The police state of america.

Yes, it is sick. It is so sick. We don't need to be ignoring our fellow man, we need to be standing up and helping for what we believe in...what have we become? PAWNS.
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