Waterboarded in WNC?

For all the recent controversy about waterboarding, a torture technique used by the CIA to interrogate Al Qaeda operatives, there have been precious few firsthand accounts of what it’s actually like to be waterboarded. (The technique involves strapping a person to a board, with their legs elevated and their head leaned back, then wrapping their face in towels, which are then drenched with water so that the person begins to drown.)

The iconoclastic writer and critic Christopher Hitchens decided to find out for himself. In the August issue of Vanity Fair, he provides a harrowing, minute-by-minute account of his waterboarding, which he volunteered for in May. The title of the article: “Believe Me, It’s Torture.”

Hitchens agreed to protect the anonymity of the former Army Special Forces troops who put him through the procedure. Such troops, among other commando units, are sometimes waterboarded as part of their SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training. Before the war on terror, Hitchens notes, such torture tactics were “something that Americans were being trained to resist, not inflict.”

The Special Forces — aka Green Berets — receive their SERE training at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, which is in the eastern part of North Carolina. However, in a curious aside, Hitchens says that his trial by waterboard was conducted at a facility “deep in the hill country of western North Carolina.”

No further details about the location are mentioned, leaving us at Xpress stumped. We’re not aware of any WNC-area facility, governmental or private, that would have personnel who are trained in such dark arts. Are you? Please share any tips or possibilities in the comment field below.

(Click here to read Hitchens’ article, and here to watch a video of the writer undergoing waterboarding.)

— Jon Elliston, managing editor

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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95 thoughts on “Waterboarded in WNC?

  1. Green Berets and others have trained up here in the mountains for decades; you see the helicopters and C130s a lot. No mountains down east for mountain training, eh?

    Anyway, I’m sure there are facilities and that’s fine.

  2. I know of at least one ex Military guy who is involved with the training of other military guys. It’s so hard to tell who was special forces and who isn’t. If you ask 99% of the people who were involved with the military at any level and they’ll tell you they were a Green Beret or Navy SEAL.

    I wonder why that is.

  3. JDNC

    Jason, 99% huh? You must have done an exhaustive survey. Can you share with us your sampling techniques?

  4. Jason, I was not a Seal or a Green Beret, I was Air Mobile! (1st Air Cav Div) … Like paratroopers, we jumped out of perfectly good airplanes. Unlike paratroopers, we waited until the aircraft were reasonably close to the ground.

    But that reminds me of an amusing anecdote:

    Back in the 1980s I had a sweetheart deal to write a book on artificially intelligent machine controls used in the auto industry and bankrolled by Daimler-Benz, the manufacturer of Mercedes cars. During this period I got to meet a LOT of Germans and see a lot of car assembly lines. Of all the Germans I met who where of military age during WWII, ALL of them informed me they fought with Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, in North Africa. (That being, I suppose, more respectable than saying, “I vuz a concentration camp guard.”) Based on that data, I could then extrapolate that Rommel had something like FOUR MILLION troops! Interesting that George Patton still won against those kind of odds, eh?

  5. It amazes me when you find out that the SEALs had like 35,000 members and nobody was a mechanic for the boat or a cook.

  6. Ken Hanke

    It amazes me when you find out that the SEALs had like 35,000 members and nobody was a mechanic for the boat or a cook.

    It’s very like how everyone’s previous life has them as Cleopatra or Alexander the Great, never the lavatory attendant in ancient Thebes.

  7. shadmarsh

    If he “volunteered” for it, it ain’t “what it’s actually like to be waterboarded”.

  8. Ex-Pat

    Hitchens has been in Asheville fairly recently. If my memory serves me right, it was about a year or so ago he addressed the John Locke Foundation at the Grove Park Inn. Perhaps he surmised it was a perfectly bucolic setting for a snort of water torture.

  9. tatuaje

    <object classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000″ width=”400″ height=”400″><embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” src=”http://current.com/e/76347282/en_US” width=”400″ height=”400″ wmode=”transparent” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” ></embed></object>

  10. tatuaje

    Well, that didn’t work so well…I was trying to embed a video of waterboarding…

    For all the recent controversy about waterboarding, a torture technique used by the CIA to interrogate Al Qaeda operatives, there have been precious few firsthand accounts of what it’s actually like to be waterboarded.

    This shows a former special forces operative being waterboarded. He wanted people to be aware of just how horrible the process is. This IS NOT SIMULATED! It is disturbing….I’ll post a link to it here:

    http://current.com/pods/controversy/PD04399

    Jon, if you do find that this torture technique is being taught in WNC, that would indeed be big news….

  11. tatuaje:

    I have been waterboarded, and that video is totally wrong. It is the equivalent of a gratuitous snuff video.

    Most people break in under 30 seconds (I lasted 12 my first time), and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is said to have lasted more than 90 seconds before he broke. (Some reports say over two minutes).

    Waterboarding is a non-destructive interrogation technique as applied by our forces, and last I heard, applied very sparingly in practice. Our guys and gals undergo waterboarding at a ratio of tens of thousands for every terrorist that has been waterboarded.

    Here is a video that is close, and shows variations on the technique, but, it is without the accompanying yelling and noise and other methods used to ratchet up the fear level in the terrorist. Our people undergo the same psychological factors as the terrorists.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2006/11/04/video-steve-harrigan-gets-waterboarded-on-fox/

    If you would like, I can arrange to have you waterboarded the proper way.

    Calling it torture is naive. The proper descriptive is Non-destruction Interrogation Technique.

    And as with any interrogation technique, the answers provided must be properly interpreted according to many factors.

    Is waterboarding going on in WNC?

    You can bet that if I knew, I’d never tell. I hope it is being used to train our guys.

  12. Those aren’t “our guys” TP. I don’t recall you and I going and recruiting them. I looked at my journal and I don’t remember you and I disciplining them with cleaning the latrine for forgetting their cadence. I don’t recall “us” teaching “our guys” how to understand an intelligence report. The best I can remember is that we just bragged on our blogs and those guys had nothing to do with us.

  13. He wanted people to be aware of just how horrible the process is.

    well… er… it’s TORTURE, it’s supposed to be horrible.

  14. JDNC

    Waterboarding only takes seconds once it starts. TP you are exactly right. My boss, ex SF, lasted less than 20 seconds.

  15. Jason Bugg:

    The recruitment and discipline was done in the stead of all Americans by appropriately selected Americans. You can love it, leave it, or fix it…but rest assured people like me will fight you (and yours) every step of the way, using every tool in our kit. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

    JDNC:

    It might takes seconds, but feels like forever.

  16. Ken Hanke

    The recruitment and discipline was done in the stead of all Americans by appropriately selected Americans

    Selected by whom?

  17. Ken Hanke

    By people in the chain of command, are you really so dense, or just anarchistic?

    Neither. Merely curious as to what you meant. Though if objecting to waterboarding makes me anarchistic, I’m that, too.

  18. tatuaje

    I have been waterboarded, and that video is totally wrong. It is the equivalent of a gratuitous snuff video.Here is a video that is close, and shows variations on the technique, but, it is without the accompanying yelling and noise and other methods used to ratchet up the fear level in the terrorist.

    From what I understand, the video I linked to is the more correct in terms of techniques actually used. From what I understand, a cloth is held over the victim’s nose and mouth and when saturated creates the illusion of lungs filling up with liquid. However, the exact mechanics of the procedure, I believe, are besides the point. The physical, emotional, and mental effects are the point.

    Calling it torture is naive. The proper descriptive is Non-destruction Interrogation Technique.

    Hmmm…Well, everyone else in the world, besides the current administration of course, seems to disagree with you. Including past presidents…

    Torture is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. § 2340. The definition of torture used is as follows:

    1. “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
    2. “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from – (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (C) the threat of imminent death; or (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality;

    Waterboarding even seems to fit the definition of the Bybee Memo, the controversial legal opinion of assistant AJ Jay Bybee, who defined torture as “physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death”. Waterboarding produces suffering by “impairment of bodily function” since breathing is a major body function. Lungs are organs, and filling them with water produces suffering equivalent to that organ’s failure.

    Waterboarding clearly meets all of the above criteria.

    Torture in all forms is banned by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which the United States participated in drafting. The United States is a party to the following conventions (international treaties) which prohibit torture: the American Convention on Human Rights (signed 1977) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (signed 1977; ratified 1992). It has neither signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture[1].

    Not only that, but the US used to consider the practice illegal….

    Waterboarding was designated as illegal by U.S. generals in the Vietnam War. On January 21, 1968, The Washington Post published a controversial photograph of two U.S soldiers and one South Vietnamese soldier participating in the waterboarding of a North Vietnamese POW near Da Nang. The article described the practice as “fairly common”. The photograph led to the soldier being court-martialled by a U.S. military court within one month of its publication, and he was discharged from the army. Another waterboarding photograph of the same scene is also exhibited in the War Remnants Museum at Ho Chi Minh City.

    And….

    After the Spanish American War of 1898 in the Philippines, the US Army used waterboarding which was called the “water cure” or “Chinese water torture.” at the time. Major Edwin Glenn was court martialed and sentenced to 10 years hard labor for waterboarding a suspected insurgent.[42] President Theodore Roosevelt ordered the court-martial of the American General on the island of Samar for allowing his troops to waterboard.

    It is TORTURE, plain and simple…even Ralph agrees, and he NEVER agrees with me…

    If you would like, I can arrange to have you waterboarded the proper way.

    I have been accused of a few aberrant behaviors in my time, but masochism has never been one…However, sounds like the intrepid editor for the MX may be interested….

  19. tatuaje

    Also, from a Washington Post article (linked below)….
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html

    After World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war. At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: “I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure.” He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. “Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning,” he replied, “just gasping between life and death.”

    Nielsen’s experience was not unique. Nor was the prosecution of his captors. After Japan surrendered, the United States organized and participated in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, generally called the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Leading members of Japan’s military and government elite were charged, among their many other crimes, with torturing Allied military personnel and civilians. The principal proof upon which their torture convictions were based was conduct that we would now call waterboarding.

    Hmmmm….Leading members of Japan’s military and government elite were charged…Now who would the corresponding personnel be from the US?

    Also, from the same article….

    More recently, waterboarding cases have appeared in U.S. district courts. One was a civil action brought by several Filipinos seeking damages against the estate of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. The plaintiffs claimed they had been subjected to torture, including water torture. The court awarded $766 million in damages, noting in its findings that “the plaintiffs experienced human rights violations including, but not limited to . . . the water cure, where a cloth was placed over the detainee’s mouth and nose, and water producing a drowning sensation.”

    A sheriff from Texas, along with a couple of his deputies, were charged, convicted, and sentenced in 1983 for waterboarding as well…

  20. Don’t miss understand me, tatuaje — in the case of Islamic and other terrorists I am in favor of waterboarding. I would rather our authorities did that than thousands more innocent Americans die at the hands of some twisted religious fanatic.

    Luckily, that’s what being done.

  21. typo police say ‘misunderstand’ is one word.

    I do not think the typo police use waterboarding but one does not want to cross them.

  22. Ralph, I would rather our troops come home than to do die because of the twisted religious fanatic who sent them there.

  23. tatuaje

    in the case of Islamic and other terrorists I am in favor of waterboarding.

    So it’s wrong to do it to Americans (as in the examples I stated above), but OK to do it to other nationalities and religious adherents? Are there other terrorists besides Islamic ones, Ralph? Are there Christian terrorists? That is not a rhetorical question, by the way.

    Maybe we should all look at that word that gets bandied about so much. What is it’s definition? Where does it come from?

    Terrorist
    (from the dictionary on my mac)

    terrorist |?ter?rist|
    noun
    a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.

    ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from French terroriste, from Latin terror (see terror ). The word was originally applied to supporters of the Jacobins in the French Revolution, who advocated repression and violence in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality.

    So what is terrorism?

    terrorism |?ter??riz?m|
    noun
    the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

    So, let’s see…. violence and intimidation in order to bring about a desired political ambition, originally those in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality. Interesting…

    So the question I pose to you Ralph….and ThunderPig and JDNC and anyone else….Knowing these definitions, knowing for a fact about certain tactics, techniques, strategies, etc. used by this country currently and in the past, are members of the American Military, or have they ever been, terrorists? And when we say ‘The War on Terror’, must we, on some level, be at war with ourselves? I know that this will immediately bring shots of ‘traitor!’ & ‘treason!’ down upon my head, but I sincerely hope these questions will bring about some serious critical thought….

    Secondly….

    I would rather our authorities did that than thousands more innocent Americans die at the hands of some twisted religious fanatic.

    The reliability of the information that comes from torture has been questioned by a wide range of experts in all relevant fields…

    From another article in the Washington Post (linked to below)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/15/AR2007011501204.html

    There is almost no scientific evidence to back up the U.S. intelligence community’s use of controversial interrogation techniques in the fight against terrorism, and experts believe some painful and coercive approaches could hinder the ability to get good information, according to a new report from an intelligence advisory group.

    The 374-page report from the Intelligence Science Board examines several aspects of broad interrogation methods and approaches, and it finds that no significant scientific research has been conducted in more than four decades about the effectiveness of many techniques the U.S. military and intelligence groups use regularly. Intelligence experts wrote that a lack of research could explain why abuse has been alleged at U.S. facilities in Afghanistan, Cuba and Iraq.

    Also…

    The report explores scientific knowledge on interrogation in the wake of reported abuse around the globe. The study, sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Field Activity, was posted yesterday on the Federation of American Scientists’ Web site, at http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf.

    The new study finds that there may be no value to coercive techniques.

    “The scientific community has never established that coercive interrogation methods are an effective means of obtaining reliable intelligence information,” wrote Col. Steven M. Kleinman, who has served as the Pentagon’s senior intelligence officer for special survival training.

    Kleinman wrote that intelligence gathered with coercion is sometimes inaccurate or false, noting that isolation, a tactic U.S. officials have used regularly, causes “profound emotional, psychological, and physical discomfort” and can “significantly and negatively impact the ability of the source to recall information accurately.”

    A man who served as the Pentagon’s senior intelligence officer for special survival training thinks the intel from torture is bogus…

    So, not only is it morally repulsive, but it’s ineffective to boot…

  24. tatuaje, there seem to be a lot more Islamic terrorists than Christian ones. If someone’s ideal of martyrdom is blowing up innocent CIVILIAN men, women, and children, I say waterboarding is more than justified.

  25. Jason, we’ve been fighting Islam since the 7th century — Bush is not the problem, THEIR fanaticism is. That is not to say I totally support Bush, he attacked the wrong countries after all — we should have hit Iran and Saudi Arabia. Where were all the 9/11 terrorists from? Where are the Wahabi wackos that spawned Bin Laden and so many other terrorists? Saudi Arabia. Saddam was a madman but he coulda been contained.

    The bottom line: if a major reformation does not occur in Islam (like the one in Christianity that Martin Luther and others got going) then we’re be fighting them for another thousand years and more.

  26. tatuaje

    there seem to be a lot more Islamic terrorists than Christian ones.

    Really? So, to you Ralph, this is a religious debate? And if so, please reply to my quandary on the existence, or lack thereof, of American terrorists.

    If someone’s ideal of martyrdom is blowing up innocent CIVILIAN men, women, and children, I say waterboarding is more than justified.

    So is it the martydom that you have a problem with or the blowing up of innocent civilian men, women, and children? This is not a rhetorical question.

  27. tatuaje, it’s not a religious debate it’s a discussion of survival. You might want to choose sides one of these days. I chose America a long time ago and have fought for her freedom. \

    what have you done for America? the freedom you enjoy is not free, it has been earned for you and is still being earned in Iraq and Afghanistan and a hundred other places most people have never even heard of.

    waterboarding and all the rest? I quote General George Patton: “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” … or, as in the current war, his religion.

    whatever.

  28. tatuaje

    Bush is not the problem, THEIR fanaticism is.

    Wow! I mean WOW! Their fanaticism, huh?

    From another Washington Post article (linked below)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/13/AR2005101301688.html

    The reemergence of the controversy that President Bush allegedly told Palestinian leaders that God told him to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq is not the only time that his comments regarding God have sparked confusion.

    In July 2004, he stopped to campaign with some Amish folks at Lapp Electric Service in Smoketown, Pa. Just as the meeting ended, Bush, according to Mennonite Weekly Review columnist Jack Brubaker, told the group: “I trust God speaks through me. Without that I couldn’t do my job.” This also produced White House denials that Bush used those words.

    Loop Fans will recall that the Palestinian kerfuffle began in June 2003, when an Israeli paper reported that former Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas said Bush told the Palestinian leaders: “God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam Hussein, which I did.”

    The newest uproar was sparked by a BBC documentary airing this week in which Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath says Bush said during that meeting that he was “driven with a mission from God.”

    “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq. . . . And I did.” This sounds much like the original Haaretz version. Bush then allegedly said God had now told him to “go get the Palestinians their state.”

    Fanaticism, indeed….

  29. shadmarsh

    Freeeeeedom isn’t free? My God what revelation! You should put that on a bumpersticker, and maybe a few T-shirt… or at least a body-bag or two, that way when they ship the bodies out in the middle of the night, the baggage handlers will remember exactly why they are there.

  30. shadmarsh

    “what are you doing for America?”

    I can answer that one for ya.

    I am playing Army in the woods with my closeted friends. We play these S&M;games (but we don’t call ’em that) where we dress up in fatigues and masks and grunt at one another (with the occasional–unintentional mind you– naughty touch) then we oil up our guns and fantasize about shooting them.

    What are you doing for America? (other than blathering recycled right-wing platitudes)

  31. tatuaje

    You might want to choose sides one of these days.

    I love it…Once again, attempt to bring up valid concerns and arguments and you are labeled ‘unpatriotic’ for refusing to toe the party line….i’ll go ahead and share
    some quotes from the other thread where my love of country was questioned….

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. – Edward R. Murrow

    The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. – H.R. Mencken

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. – Edward R. Murrow

    The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. – H.R. Mencken

    “Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism.” – John Kerry

    To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. – Theodore Roosevelt

    Choose sides? Didn’t realize we were playing dodgeball, here…. Who the hell are you to question ANYONE’s patriotism?

    what have you done for America?

    So, according to you, to have done anything worthwhile for this country, one must have, at some point, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, gone to some other nation and killed someone?!?!?!? You know nothing about me. For all you know I have served in the military. I do not feel the need to justify my appreciation for this country to you or anyone else on this planet…I love you Christians…always good for a laugh…

    By bringing attention to the wrongs that have been committed in our country’s name I hope to, perhaps, bring this country to it’s full potential.

    Torture is illegal and ineffective. It is unethical and immoral under any circumstance.

  32. I am not the problem, guys…. conservatives are not the problem… progressives are not even the problem..

    the problem are those who, in the name of religion, would like to visit your house and blow it up with you and your family inside.

    don’t worry about me, worry about THEM … and be thankful to the ones who keep the wolves from your doors.

  33. tatuaje

    the problem are those who, in the name of religion, would like to visit your house and blow it up with you and your family inside.

    don’t worry about me, worry about THEM … and be thankful to the ones who keep the wolves from your doors.

    Don’t you think there’s an Iraqi father telling that to his 10 year old son right now….

    (Feel free to replace Iraqi with: Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Sudan, ..hell…any country where the populace is predominately not white…)

  34. I’ll say it again, and let’s see if it gets moderated: Nationalism is a crutch for stupid people. This “love it or leave it” and “freedom isn’t free” crap is as dead as my great grandmother.

  35. JDNC

    Tat – I’m sure there’s an Iraqi father worrying about that – however, he’s worrying about an insurgent from IRAN or another country fighting his jihad who’s going to slowly cut their heads off with a rusty knife.

  36. tatuaje

    Tat – I’m sure there’s an Iraqi father worrying about that – however, he’s worrying about an insurgent from IRAN or another country fighting his jihad who’s going to slowly cut their heads off with a rusty knife.

    Not really sure I get what point you’re trying to make….

    What I’ve put forth with my posts, and backed up with quotes, logic, etc., is that waterboarding, which is indeed torture, is immoral, illegal, and ineffective. No matter what country, religion, or economic reason it’s done in the name of….

    And if representatives from our country, or any other, are being trained in WNC to use this form of torture in my name, I hope the Mountain Xpress is able to expose it.

  37. Ex-Pat

    Tatuaje: Thank you for so valiantly trying to make well-reasoned (and excellently backed-up) arguments.

    Ironically, Cowboy Ralph, who drank the patriotic (er, fascist) Kool Aid of Islamophobia and xenophobia long ago, amply demonstrates his own fundamentalism in his arguments. In psychology this is referred to as “projection” – the habit of projecting/blaming one’s fears and insecurities about themselves onto someone or something else.

    And Ol’ Ralph appears to be very afflicted with this existential identity dilemma. It might explain his relentless need to shower the county with all of those tired, old Westerns on URTV that do nothing but regurgitate the most dated racist and sexist myths about this country – when men were men, women knew their place and white men knew that the greatest means to self-realization was picking off all those God-forsaken Injuns.

    Sorry, Ralph. You’re in need of a serious update. The USA wagon train mentality is at the heart of our problems. Last time I checked (which I do often – facts, that is, not mythology) the body counts, the victims of Sept. 11 numbered just a few thousand. Low-ball figures for post-US invasion bloodletting in Iraq are 500,000-1,000,000. Hmmmm…yes, let’s return to Tatuaje’s question…er, what is a terrorist?

    By the way, I’d prefer this question be asked of Native Americans, rather than Ralph, our compulsive expert on this subject. I think they’d be much better qualified to answer.

  38. Well, this election will certainly be an interesting test of what people believe.

    Even Obama is moving to the right because he knows there is no ground swell on the left. He has to convince as many Americans as he can that he believes what they believe.

    Some people would describe torture as sitting in a classroom all day, or hearing Greta van Susterin speak (now THAT’S torture!)

    Waterboarding will continue, whether or not Congress or President McCain or President Osama outlaws it.

    Jason:

    What we have is a Balkanization of American values, and a valueless multicultural view that says all cultures are equal. That’s a lie. Not all cultures, or nations, are equal.

    Our nation has the best culture (despite the crap that is on TV or MTV), and is a superior nation.

    How many Americans are intertubing to Cuba? Walking to Mexico through the desert?

    President George W. Bush has liberated 50 million people, and all lefties can do is whine about terrorists being waterboarded. I wish I could live long enough to see you guys get compared to the Copperhead Democrats of the Civil War in the history books a generation from now, and deserve the same punishment.

  39. I’ll say it again, and let’s see if it gets moderated: Nationalism is a crutch for stupid people. This “love it or leave it” and “freedom isn’t free” crap is as dead as my great grandmother.

    that’s a sad, sad statement… if your great-grandmother WAS alive, she’d spank you’re little heinie.

    she would

    yes

  40. thanks for the commercial, Ex-Pat … Tex Ralph’s Westerns, every Saturday night at 8pm on cable channel 20, URTV.

    and don’t miss “Rapid Ralph Runs the Roads” every Monday at 7pm.

    At least I am proud to be an American and willing to put my real face and name on my posts. If you want me to take your arguments seriously, then do the same.

  41. Ken Hanke

    willing to put my real face and name on my posts. If you want me to take your arguments seriously, then do the same.

    Does that mean that you do not take the arguments of Thunder Pig or travelah or JDNC seriously?

  42. “that’s a sad, sad statement… if your great-grandmother WAS alive, she’d spank you’re little heinie.

    she would

    yes”

    Actually she wouldn’t have. I knew my great grandma (or as I called her, Mamaw Bugg) and the only time I remember her talking about politics around me was when she told me to never join the military because it meant that I would be owned by someone.

    Funny thing about Mamaw Bugg, she dropped out of school in 8th grade, but she knew a scam when she saw it.

  43. I know who at least some of those people are… but what about your pic, Ken? … anyway, I am a long time advocate of changing this to a ‘real name’ board. It’s easy to spew out all sorts of trollish stuff if one hides behind a pseudonym.

  44. dave

    “Does that mean that you do not take the arguments of Thunder Pig or travelah or JDNC seriously?”

    Ken-

    There is no logic in Roberts’ debate. He merely relies on invective and cliche anecdote.

    Torture should not be used in ‘our’ name. All the “War on Terror” does is create more enemies. The notion that the people ‘being tortured’ are all high-level combat prisoners is nonsense.

    And I see Ralph has still failed to do his homework on British Petroleum and the CIA”s intervention in the Democratic Process in Iran, precipitating the current so-called ‘crises’ there now. Jingoism and cliche are not an informed opinion. You so-called Patriots, who defend Torture, are merely paroting the things you have been spoon fed.

    Arent all you guys the same ones who, in the 90’s, were into Militias and believed the Federal Gov’t. was a bad ting? Why, then, the blind-patriotism since 9-11 guys? Scared of standing up for your beliefs in the face of a Growing Fascism here on the homefront?

  45. Ex-Pat

    I find it interesting that Ralph swiftly shifted the topic to poster anonymity rather than directly address the points I raise. I can only deduce that this was your last line of defense.

    Dancing on the grave of John Wayne,

    Ex-Pat

  46. If people want to keep their identity a secret, I have no problem with that, after all, The Federalist Papers were written using pseudonyms, and if it was good enough for The Founding Fathers, it’s good enough for me.

    I’m easy to find. just follow the link from my profile page to one of my blogs. From there, you should be able to find nearly all of my websites and track my activities. (Several already have).

  47. Ex-Pat

    (Laughing now) No! Ha-ha!

    It’s funny. Until I posted, you had no problem whatsoever taking other anonymous posters seriously.

    Your words are wilting…

  48. my words, as ever, grow tall an vigorous… I have spoken out against anonymous posting for here and many other places for years.

  49. tatuaje

    Waterboarding will continue, whether or not Congress or President McCain or President Osama outlaws it.

    I disagree. If soldiers and “intelligence” operatives all the way up the chain of command, to the Commander in Chief himself/herself, refused to break the law and hold those that do accountable, waterboarding, and all torture, by Americans could end today.

    Once again, it is immoral, illegal, and ineffective…

    Our nation has the best culture (despite the crap that is on TV or MTV), and is a superior nation.

    I can hardly even bring myself to comment on this statement. Beliefs such as these, that one nation or one religion or one economic system is inherently good(superior) and the rest inherently bad(inferior) is the basis of war itself. I love our culture, too. I was born and raised in the south and love everything, well almost, that comes with it. I have lived in western Europe and traveled all over Central America. They have amazing cultures as well. But the idea that one culture is superior to another is known as jingoism and, as any psychologist would attest, actually shares many attributes of symptoms of paranoia, schizophrenia, and many other mental illnesses. That is at the very heart of why men such as Hitler believed wholeheartedly in the fact of their righteousness.

    Thunderpig, this actually brings me back to my point earlier about the definitions of terrorism and terrorists. Any comment?

    And please, come up with another rebuttal that does not include a challenge to my love of country and/or appreciation of it…it’s getting old…

    At least I am proud to be an American and willing to put my real face and name on my posts. If you want me to take your arguments seriously, then do the same.

    Once again, you have not debated any points made in any of my posts. You simply challenge my patriotism, this time by pinning my lack thereof on my use of a screen name and lack of a photo.

    Thunderpig…hear that? Ralph just called you unpatriotic….

    It’s easy to spew out all sorts of trollish stuff if one hides behind a pseudonym.

    I don’t think you could possibly categorize my posts as trolling, Ralph. I have laid out logical, well researched and documented arguments. You however, have simply challenged my patriotism and spouted jingoistic sentiments as if they constitute some sort of rational, logical argument.

    I can only deduce that this was your last line of defense.

    Yep…apparently..

    And so it goes on these threads…a chance to have a vigorous debate on issues that are currently effecting our world and the best we can do is devolve into playground name-calling….and people wonder why I hold out such little hope for that species called humans…

  50. “And so it goes on these threads…a chance to have a vigorous debate on issues that are currently effecting our world and the best we can do is devolve into playground name-calling….”

    I think this is because, in real life, when people spew such inanities as “Love it or Leave it” or whatever, intelligent people can actually counter them with informed, rational debate. But, on the internet, they get to ramble on, without having to hear any logical rebuttal. It is a perfect haven for people who have very little leg to stand on, logically speaking.

    Can you imagine a conversation with Ralph Roberts about this stuff in real life? How would he respond to your opinions? By telling you your socks dont match, or that you use too much slang?

  51. JDNC

    As a relatively new MX poster …. I’m finding the discussions degrade because of the limited number of regulars. Everyone knows what the other guy is going to say before they say it. It starts to be the same thing over and over regardless of the topic. It lets the air out of contributing.

  52. [b]However, sounds like the intrepid editor for the MX may be interested….[/b]

    I hope you are referring to Jon Elliston. As the less-intrepid editor for MX, I’ll gladly say that I’m not really into the idea of experiencing simulated drowning. Well, maybe if there’s tacos afterwards.

  53. Ex-Pat

    “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.”
    — Benjamin Franklin

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
    — Samuel Johnson

  54. atruth:

    I never said “love or leave it”.

    I said “You can love it, leave it, or fix it…but rest assured people like me will fight you (and yours) every step of the way, using every tool in our kit.”

    Of course, the only way you’ll get your way is “over my dead body”.

    tatuaje:

    You said, “If soldiers and “intelligence” operatives all the way up the chain of command, to the Commander in Chief himself/herself, refused to break the law and hold those that do accountable, waterboarding, and all torture, by Americans could end today.

    Sweeping Generalizations rarely, if ever, are accurate. I still remember that from 7th Grade English Class.

    About the superior culture objection, I show you the barbaric culture of the Druids that condoned the burning alive of people as human sacrifices?

    Surely that culture cannot be equal to our own. It is an inferior culture, as were all the cultures that practiced (or still practice) human sacrifice.
    There other cultures that are still extant today that practice various forms of genital and breast mutilation to restrict their females.

    Surely those cultures cannot be equal to our own, or superior. They are inferior.

    I can go on and on, and in many areas.

    War exists because people believe that it is a cheap way of getting something they cannot through other means, and they usually seek it against people that are not likely to defend themselves vigorously, or give an impression that they are weak like the French in the Second World War. The french had superior firepower, but not the will to use it.

    If France or the other western powers had invaded Germany prior to hostilities, a lot less than 65 million people would have died. We can draw the same parallel with Afghanistan, with Iraq, and hopefully (I pray) with Iran.

    A terrorist is someone like Che Guevara, Yasir Arafat, Osama bin Laden, Khaled Mashaal, Ismail Haniya and the tens of millions of people who follow(ed) them.

    How do you fight terrorists?

    With heroes. Heroes in our armed forces, heroes of the coalition forces, heroes of the Iraqi Army, Heroes of the Northern Alliance, Heroes who volunteer to become policemen in Iraq, the Sons of Iraq, the people who brave death to vote in Iraq, the heroes who teach little girls in Afghanistan to read. The Iraqi who threw himself on a grenade to save the Americans who were training him how to fight terrorists.

    History will never know many of their names.

    That is why when I approach people who are protesting out involvement in World War IV, I always spit on the ground. In that way, I show my utter contempt for their opposition in this war. I respect their right to protest. They just have to deal with my little “counter-protest”.

  55. [b]As a relatively new MX poster …. I’m finding the discussions degrade because of the limited number of regulars. Everyone knows what the other guy is going to say before they say it.[/b]

    Any idea how to combat this? Aside from waterboarding, I mean. (Seriously, if you — or any reader — have ideas on this, maybe drop a line in our forums in the “Xpress suggestion box” thead, which you can find here: http://www.mountainx.com/forums/viewthread/357/)

  56. I pride myself on being unpredictable. I don’t even know what I’m going to type next.

    Camping stove!

    Wow, where did that come from?

  57. I love it when Jason is on a thread, even though we almost never agree.

    My view is that these discussions can take a long time to evolve. Just stick with it.

    I’ve seen some usenet discussions that were impossible to follow without going back YEARS for the backstory.

  58. tatuaje

    Wow…spent some time out diggin’ in the dirt and it looks like I’ve got some catchin’ up to do…

    But, on the internet, they get to ramble on, without having to hear any logical rebuttal. It is a perfect haven for people who have very little leg to stand on, logically speaking

    Yeah, I guess it’s hard to know if people actually ever read your posts. I know that Thunder Pig & JDNC are pretty much the only ones who ever even attempt to counter mine.

    I’m finding the discussions degrade because of the limited number of regulars. Everyone knows what the other guy is going to say before they say it.

    Yeah, it would be nice to have more regulars and therefore, presumably, more viewpoints. However, there are a few posters who do a damn good job at coming up with something original….Thunder Pig and yourself obviously at least think about what you post and take other views into consideration. Hanke almost always has something worthwhile to say and JBo consistently gets to the heart of any discussion and gets people debating. Those are just a few, of course….So get on it, Steve. Earn that paycheck…

    I hope you are referring to Jon Elliston.

    Absolutely….he’s to blame for this damn thread in the first place….

    Well, maybe if there’s tacos afterwards.

    Hell man, I’ll put up a twenty spot at Mamacita’s (or the taco stand of your choice)……

    I love it when Jason is on a thread, even though we almost never agree.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever agreed or disagreed with him, but I usually get a chuckle…

    and now back to the weight of the matter….

    Thunder Pig

    Sweeping Generalizations rarely, if ever, are accurate.

    I did not mean to make a sweeping generalization. In fact, I meant to be very specific. If every soldier and “intelligence” operative all the way up the chain of command, to the Commander in Chief himself/herself, refused to break the law and hold those that do accountable, waterboarding, and all torture, by Americans could end today. I’m being very specific, I think. If every single solitary person in the chain of command refused to break international law, waterboarding would stop….That’s very different from saying something like ‘If those damn macho redneck soldiers would stop breaking international law…..’

    I show you the barbaric culture of the Druids that condoned the burning alive of people as human sacrifices…

    Surely that culture cannot be equal to our own. It is an inferior culture, as were all the cultures that practiced (or still practice) human sacrifice.

    Yet our culture “sacrifices” people as well. How many innocent people have been executed in this country under the death penalty? They were “sacrificed” to sustain a perception of a safe and just society. How many innocent children in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., have been sacrificed for our country’s peace of mind? In fact, I bet we as a culture have “sacrificed” many more people than the druids, or any culture ever have.

    There other cultures that are still extant today that practice various forms of genital and breast mutilation to restrict their females.

    Our culture handed out blankets knowingly infected with smallpox to indians that they deemed in the way….

    Surely those cultures cannot be equal to our own, or superior. They are inferior.

    Seems to me that our culture can’t claim superiority on the basis of compassion…

    I can go on and on, and in many areas.

    So could I…

    Our culture, like all others, carries the guilt of having committed atrocities. No culture that I have ever heard of hasn’t.

    War exists because people believe that it is a cheap way of getting something they cannot through other means

    Yep…I agree. And that is why I am so adamantly, fundamentally, against it….

    If France or the other western powers had invaded Germany prior to hostilities, a lot less than 65 million people would have died. We can draw the same parallel with Afghanistan, with Iraq, and hopefully (I pray) with Iran.

    I disagree. It has been proven, over and over, that Iraq was no threat to our country, or really his, anymore. Did he commit atrocities? Absolutely. How many dictators in this world, right now, are doing worse than he ever dreamed? Yet, we have not invaded those countries. And Afghanistan? The same question. Do I think the Taliban are swell guys? Hell no. But please tell me how they threatened our country. How did they threaten you or me? They had absolutely no ties to 9/11. If there was any country most associated with 9/11, it is without a single doubt Saudi Arabia. We have yet to invade them. And Iran? The sabre rattling currently heard from Washington sounds so much like the lead up to the invasion of Iraq that one has to be skeptical.

    A terrorist is someone like Che Guevara, Yasir Arafat, Osama bin Laden, Khaled Mashaal, Ismail Haniya and the tens of millions of people who follow(ed) them.

    Yes, these are people who fit the definition of terrorist that I presented above. But so do members of the CIA, the NSA, the instructors at the SOA,…etc, etc, etc….

    That is why when I approach people who are protesting out involvement in World War IV, I always spit on the ground. In that way, I show my utter contempt for their opposition in this war. I respect their right to protest. They just have to deal with my little “counter-protest”.

    I must say I agree with your title of WW IV…and I respect, with every last ounce of me, your right to support it. I simply disagree with war on principle, and to get a little back on thread, with waterboarding (torture) specifically.

    Camping stove!

    HAHAHAHAHA

    And now I think this post officially helps me surpass Dr. Antineoconus for longest post ever….

    (But hey, at least it was coherent…)

  59. tatuaje

    And from a recent ( 2 minutes ago) AP article:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080717/ap_on_go_co/terror_interrogation;_ylt=ArsyvV.nYpffzYNjomnQq28Gw_IE

    Former Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday “it was not a hard decision” to withdraw Justice Department legal opinions that approved the use of harsh interrogation methods which critics say amount to torture.

    Ashcroft, testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee, said he did not necessarily disagree with the conclusions of the two memos that were written in 2002 and 2003 but later rescinded. But he said the legal reasoning behind both memos was flawed and needed to be corrected.

    Democrats peppered Ashcroft with questions about how often waterboarding was used by interrogators who were following the now-defunct legal opinions.

    Ashcroft said he was aware of three times that interrogators waterboarded terror suspects. (I think we can all agree that it happened more than the three times he knows of) He said he does not believe waterboarding, as it was then described by the CIA, amounted to torture.

    The Bush administration maintains waterboarding was legal when it was used by CIA interrogators in 2002 and 2003 on top al-Qaida detainees Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. CIA Director Michael Hayden has said waterboarding was used, in part, because of widespread belief among U.S. intelligence officials that more catastrophic attacks were imminent.

    Hayden banned waterboarding in CIA interrogations in 2006. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has refused to publicly discuss whether waterboarding is currently legal since it is no longer used by CIA interrogators.

    Even Ashcroft is starting to see the light….WOW!

    I love the part about how Mukasey refuses to even discuss the legality of waterboarding since, according to him, the CIA no longer uses the method. I’m guessing they simply watch while someone from Egypt does the actual torture and he doesn’t want to say that his surrogate torturers are breaking international law….

    And of course the fact that I posted earlier about how the US has prosecuted both foreigners and Americans for waterboarding….

  60. Cheshire

    “About the superior culture objection, I show you the barbaric culture of the Druids that condoned the burning alive of people as human sacrifices?

    Surely that culture cannot be equal to our own. It is an inferior culture, as were all the cultures that practiced (or still practice) human sacrifice.”

    Just to point out the flaw in this comparison:
    The celt sacrifices happened how many centuries ago? If I’m not mistaken, that was when the Roman empire was around, with it’s “feed them to the lions” routine and gladiator games. Fast forward to the Inquisition, where people were burned alive at the stake while others were thrown onto the fires by the religious authorities…at the time christian.
    Cross over the ocean with what were to become the colonists (this “great” country’s beginnings) and we find the witch trials: more burnings, “purges”, etc.

    Comparing this to today and using it as an argument for superiority is BS. That long ago, pretty much everyone did it. Now, not so much. Keep your comparisons on the same level.

    And yeah, I have to say that waterboarding is definately torture. Yeah, that video doesn’t even begin to depict what actually occurs. Showing it accurately would be…you got it! Torture! We get the “cliffnotes” version, the reporter and participants stay legal. Though…watching that gave me a few flashbacks I’d not care to remember in-depth, and I’m not talking about hallucinogens…wish I was.

  61. Ken Hanke

    I know who at least some of those people are… but what about your pic, Ken? … anyway, I am a long time advocate of changing this to a ‘real name’ board. It’s easy to spew out all sorts of trollish stuff if one hides behind a pseudonym.

    Just because you know who they are doesn’t really change the basic issue. Put it another way — can you tell me one reason why I should take any screen name more or less seriously than another? The real difference lies in whether or not you agree with them, I imagine.

    I happen to agree with you on the concept of the real-name board. I figure you ought to be sufficiently willing to put your own name to your words — especially if you’re going to post a lot. I know that Thunder Pig disagrees with that, but then I disagree with him on every point I can think of, so we’re probably even.

    As for putting my picture on here, why? It runs in the paper — twice — every week. I should think that’s a large enough dose for most people.

  62. tatuaje

    I figure you ought to be sufficiently willing to put your own name to your words—especially if you’re going to post a lot. I know that Thunder Pig disagrees with that, but then I disagree with him on every point I can think of, so we’re probably even.

    I have to say I disagree with that as well. My statements, and the facts, quotes, and logic that I use to back them up, speak for themselves. The name written on my birth certificate has absolutely nothing to do with it at all.

    Now, maybe if I was committing some kind of scam or fraud or if I was somehow using these forums to threaten or intimidate people, it could be justified. But that’s what the mods are for. Besides which, my name and email address are in the MX servers somewhere, so…. if someone does use these threads for nefarious purposes, it wouldn’t be too hard to track them down…

    Not to mention that I put forth some fairly controversial viewpoints and have had some thinly veiled threats lobbed my way. Why make it easy for some wingnut who takes offense at my pinko-commie stance to down a case of beer and come looking to adjust my attitude with a baseball bat?

    What’s funny is that most people in Asheville, and California and Arizona and Washington and New Orleans, know me as a variation of my screen name…if you asked them about me using my given name they would say, “Who?”

    In fact, a little investigative work in the archives would produce my given name. Like Thunder Pig has said, if it’s that important to know my name, it’s out there….

    Though…watching that gave me a few flashbacks I’d not care to remember in-depth, and I’m not talking about hallucinogens…wish I was.

    Damn, Cheshire…

  63. david

    “How do you fight terrorists?

    With heroes. Heroes in our armed forces, heroes of the coalition forces, heroes of the Iraqi Army, Heroes of the Northern Alliance, Heroes who volunteer to become policemen in Iraq, the Sons of Iraq, the people who brave death to vote in Iraq, the heroes who teach little girls in Afghanistan to read. The Iraqi who threw himself on a grenade to save the Americans who were training him how to fight terrorists. ”

    We totally need Rambo.

    And the Northern Alliance? Seriously? Drug-pushing warlords are heroes?

    Thunderpig, do you get all your worldview shaped by Old War Movies?

  64. david

    Torturing people is never helpful, unless the purpose is to create more terrorists. Changing the name of Torture does not make it any better.

  65. Ex-Pat

    Right on, David.

    …and since you brought it up. Since the US invaded their country, Afghanistan now commands 92% of all opium and heroin trade in the world, according to UN statistics. Before we invaded, the Taliban actually had eradicated opium production. Now it fuels their rebellion. Think about that the next time you read or hear about somebody overdosing in this country….Osama who?

    We might as well hope for Batman or Spider-Man.

  66. “Before we invaded, the Taliban actually had eradicated opium production.”

    Ex-Pat-As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of folks who think that is why we invaded Afghanistan in the first place. To get that opium back.

  67. who

    JDNC – just so you don’t feel alone – I agree (your post 13 to 14 posts ago). In my opinion this left right bickering shows the one-dimensional mindedness of both sides, and I realize that I just alienated myself with that comment. I am used to the alienation. A nuanced thinker I am, and I don’t sit in a comfortable couch of self righteous and indignant belief. I wish I could, it would be very comfortable and then I could find a group to belong to. I can’t help but seeing good and bad points on all sides. But one thing I am as guilty of of all the rest: I think I have an important opinion and I will staunchly defend my nebulosity.

  68. tatuaje

    Speaking of Rambo….and heroin….

    Lieutenant Colonel James ‘Bo’ Gritz is the most decorated Green Beret commander of the Vietnam Era. General William Westmoreland, in writing his memoirs, singled out Bo Gritz as the “American Soldier” for his exemplary courage in combat.

    His outstanding ingenuity in recovering a highly secret black-box the Vietcong had taken from a crashed U2 spy plane. The feature films Rambo, Uncommon Valor, and Missing in Action were based in part upon his military experiences.

    The following are excerpts from a speech that ‘Bo’ Gritz gave at the American Liberty Lunch Club around 1988 or so….

    ” What I want to tell you very quickly is something that I feel is more heinous than the Bataan death march. Certainly it is of more concern to you as Americans than the Watergate.

    What I’m talking about is something we found out in Burma (May 1987). We found it out from a man named Khun Sa. He is the recognized overlord of heroin in the world. Last year (1986) he sent 900 tons of opiates and heroin into the free world. This year it will be 1200 tons.

    On video tape he said to us something that was most astounding: that US government officials have been and are now his biggest customers, and have been for the last twenty years.”

    The general offered to stop the flow of opium and heroin into the free world. Here is a link to a transcript of the actual letter he sent to then vice president Bush:
    http://www.serendipity.li/cia/gritz1.htm

    He was told by White House officials, “Bo, there’s no one here that supports that.”

    ClA-supported Mujahedeen rebels [now, in 2008, part of the “Northern Alliance”] engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The Agency’s principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a leading heroin refiner. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border. The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies. In 1993, an official of the DEA called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world.

    So we know that the CIA has been involved with trafficking drugs, but we also know from Gary Webb , a reporter for the San Jose Mercury, that they also helped sell it in the ghettos of LA.

    Here’s a little bit from the wiki:

    Webb was best known for his 1996 “Dark Alliance” series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book. In the three-part series, Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had allegedly smuggled cocaine into the U.S. which was then distributed as crack cocaine into Los Angeles and funneled profits to the Contras. Webb also alleged that this influx of Nicaraguan supplied cocaine sparked and significantly fueled the widespread crack epidemic that swept through urban areas. According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by the Contra personnel and directly aided drug dealers to raise money for the Contras.

    Hmmm….do ya’ll think maybe, just maybe, it’s still going on?

  69. I see the Twoofers have joined the conversation.

    Did the X-Files Marathon in preparation for the summer addition to the franchise not hold your interest?

  70. david

    Thunderpig_

    Is that how you dismiss anything that is too hard to think about?

    The CIA/Heroin?Vietnam link is very, very real.

    Do you really think drugs come to this country from small-timers? Or that Heroin is grown in the Ghetto, perhaps?

  71. david

    Tat-

    You know Gary Webb died of multiple ‘self-inflicted’ shotgun wounds to the head a few years ago?

  72. tatuaje

    The CIA/Heroin?Vietnam link is very, very real.

    Yeah, Thunder Pig, I think that connection has been fairly well documented and proven as fact…

    tat-

    You know Gary Webb died of multiple ‘self-inflicted’ shotgun wounds to the head a few years ago?

    Yeah, it almost seems to me like a case of life imitating art imitating life….you know, a reporter has this massive scoop that could bring an intelligence agency to it’s knees, then all of a sudden he has a heart attack/car wreck/falls out of a building/scuba accident/….etc,etc,etc…. Used in all the spy/thriller movies…

    maybe the poor fellow was truly stressed over the whole period and decided to just end it all….but me, I can’t help but think of more nefarious scenarios…..

  73. William P Miller

    I think that instead of water boarding the terrorists who have been caught, we should have just given them a new suit, $5, and a plane ticket back home. And told them to have a nice day. Instead of trying to get information to stop another attack, we should just be nice to these people to show how nice we are. And then say, “please be nice and don’t bomb us any more”. That ought to do it, huh? -:)

  74. david

    tat-“maybe the poor fellow was truly stressed over the whole period and decided to just end it all….but me, I can’t help but think of more nefarious scenarios…..”

    Actually, he was unable to find work after the CIA blacklisted him. He became more and more depressed, unable to support his family, so he ‘allegedly’ killed himself. Directly or indirectly, either way, the CIA killed him.

    I recommend everyone read Dark Alliance. It is a very informative book.

    William, you live in a simplistic, fantasy world.

    Most of the people in Guantanamo are, according to the Military themselves, non-combatant. That is, people who were sold to the US for bounty. The term used at the prison is “Mickey Mouse” detainee. Look it up.
    I know it is difficult to understand, but in America, we have due process, “innocent til proven guilty”. Remember all of that? Just because someone looks different than you doesnt mean they are a terrorist. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you make such simplistic, baseless arguments with no rooting in truth or reality?

    I’m sure it is exciting for you, and others, to imagine that the Jack Bower scenario is effective, but the Military has always maintained that evidence obtained under “torture” is never very useful. In fact, all it does is encourage others to despise the US for using such tactics in the first place. You really cant destroy the village in order to save it. And “24” is a TeeVee show, not the real world.

  75. William P Miller

    Can’t we all just get along? All we have to do is treat the terrorist that hate us like we love them. like Jesus said. Where is Jimmah Cahtah when you need him? Just be nice to those who hate and try to kill us. Close Gitmo and let the murderers of innocents go! It’s just not nice to try to get intelligence about future attacks on innocent people.

  76. William P Miller

    david, constitutional rights apply to citizens of the US, not enemy combatants. I am personally thankful that President Bush has done such a good job off preventing another 9-11-01 occurrance.

  77. tatuaje

    William, you live in a simplistic, fantasy world.

    And the two posts above prove it…

    WPM, read David’s post above ( I almost said again, but you obviously didn’t read it a first time…) and pay special attention to what he says about “Mickey Mouse detainees”….And then go do a lil’ research on your own instead of just spouting from the gut….

    if you had any facts to back up your own silly arguments or to challenge someone else’s, someone just might take you seriously…

    ’till then, you’re just a little kid swingin’ at his big brother whilst he holds you at bay by the forehead…

  78. “Close Gitmo and let the murderers of innocents go!”

    McCain said he will close Gitmo “The first day I am President.”

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