John McCain: Bush should veto CIA fifth-degree bill: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted February 20, 2008 3:34 PM
The Swamp

by Mark Silva

Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war who suffered torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors, said today that President Bush should veto a bill that would prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrorgation techniques on prisoners.

McCain, an outspoken opponent of waterboarding, voted against the bill, which would limit the CIA to using only 19 interrogation techniques listed in the Army field manual. He maintains that waterboarding is already illegal, but that the CIA should not be precluded from using other legal measures in its interrogation of suspected terrorists.

"I knew I would be criticized for it," McCain said of his vote today, while campaigning in Ohio. "I think I can show my record is clear. I said there should be additional techniques allowed to other agencies of government as long as they were not" torture.

"I was on the record as saying that they could use additional techniques as long as they were not cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment," McCain said. "So the vote was in keeping with my clear record of saying that they could have additional techniques, but those techniques could not violate" international rules against torture.''

Bush has said he will veto the legislation, which bars the CIA from using waterboarding, sensory deprivation or other harsh coercive methods to break a prisoner who refuses to answer questions. Those practices were banned by the military in 2006. The vill cleared the House in December, and the Senate approved it last week.

One of the measure's supporters, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) maintains that if the president vetoes the measure "he will be voting in favor of waterboarding."

McCain said this about bills which he might oppose as president: If he is elected, he will veto any measure to which he objects, rather than attaching "signing statements'' which Bush has used to enable his administration to override some of the requirements of many bills which he has signed. "I think if you disagree with a law, you have a constitutional right to veto that, authority to veto that," McCain said today.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Comments

Spin it however he wants, his vote has the effect of allowing the CIA to continue to waterboard. He should be deeply ashamed.


"Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war who suffered torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors, said today that President Bush should veto a bill that would prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrorgation techniques on prisoners".


So much for John McCain/Bush being a man of his word.

He has locksteped with Prez Chimpy on everything except tax cuts for the rich guys and torture and now he has flip-flopped on those two.

McCain would be a thrid term of the Bush/Cheney crime family adminisration.


McCain's entirely right. To pretend that international espionage is not a cutthroat business that needs standards separate from what's allowable in the regular military, is really just childish immaturity.

Barring CIA from using techniques that go beyond the Army manual would essentially allow Al Qaeda, former KGB, Mossad and every other foreign intelligence group to have a leg up in information gathering over CIA.

This has nothing to do with POWs. It has to do with the normal practices of an intelligence agency. Al Qaeda operatives like KSM behead prisoners and release videos of it. Someone like him should not be able to scream that he's a POW when he wears the uniform of no country and is devoted to nothing other than Jihad.


Somehow his answer has morphed. His response today was not the response given when he cast his vote.


McCain's vast experience in D.C. has taught him how to weasel, dodge, parse and evade in convincing fashion. He's a shameless, pandering hack.

BTW, Johnnie:

I understand your son is now serving in the military. Will it be OK for another country to waterboard him?


John McCain is just a power hungry toolbag who would do anything to get Bush's support. He knows exactly what he's doing and couldn't care less about CIA torturing their prisoners.


What is the point of having a comments section if they are screened to be politically correct??!! This site is run by biased, pious, self-righteous bastards


Flip-flop.

Add this to the rest of the McCain legacy, like the Bush tax cuts, his views on abortion, gay rights, etc.

Barack will make mincemeat out of the old man in November.


So now he's the pro-torture candidate. Does that mean he thinks the torture he endured worked for the Viet Cong?


Deeply ashamed indeed...Michael. now we might be able to give the terrorist leaders a little more of what they deserve (3 cold meals, a roof over their head and a little bit of pain and suffering). Maybe you're kind TLC will mean they'll avoid you and your family next time they come into our country to commit mass murder.


I think this is an example of subtle issues that get twisted by politics. You can be in favor of additional techniques and opposed to torture. The question really is do you trust John McCain to draw the line. I do. I hope that Obama does not make this an issue. This will be a good test for Obama to see if he will play politics with McCain's position.


"MCCAIN SPEAKS"

HEY WHAT'S WITH ALL THE QUESTIONS. I'M NOT BARRACK OBAMA OR HILLARY CLINTON. MY PARTY IS IN THE DOG HOUSE AND BIG POPPY SAYS NO ONE SPEAKS OF "WATERBOARDING" UNTIL DICK CHENEY, DAVID ADDINGTON, AND FRED FIELDING HAVE LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE.

CHENEY'S LAW IS STILL IN EFFECT AND WE DON'T LIKE "DEFECTORS" FROM "SECRECY"

WATERBOARD, IS NOT LIKE "TORTURE" IT ISN'T TORTURE UNTIL WE LOSE THE WHITE HOUSE.

SO WHAT IF I'M FLIP FLOPPING. SO WHAT IF MY SON WAS TO BECOME CAPTIVE AND BE WATERBOARD. HE IS A MARINE AND MARINES DON'T CARE ABOUT WATERBOARDING OR TORTURE.

SO WHAT IF AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE STATUS "QUO" BIG POPPY WOULD TAKE AWAY MY ENDORSEMENT AND GIVE IT TO "HUCKLEBERRY HOUND" AND THEN WHAT. MY SHOOT STRAIGHT TRAIN WOULD COME TO A SCREACHING HAULT.

I WOULD HAVE TO STOP FLIP FLOPPING AND STAND UP TO MY VALUES AND THAT IS NOT ACCEPTIBLE UNDER "CHENEY LAW"

SO BACK OFF AMERICA, AND DEAL WITH THE "VETO" AND OR THE FILLIBUSTER.

HEY IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT, CALL DICK CHENEY OR CALL HARRY RIED AND TELL HIM TO USE THE "NUCLEAR OPTION" AND FILLIBUSTER DICK CHENEY AND GEORGE BUSH BACK TO READING PRESIDENTIAL BRIEFINGS THAT EFFECT THIS COUNTRY.

STOP, IT AMERICA, JUST STOP LOOKING FOR ANSWERS RELATING TO "GENEVA" OR "CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS"

STOP IT ALREADY!


get some backbone people...the next time terrorists strike the US or US interests you'll then want results & answers...if the other side knows we won't use waterboarding or other techniques it just makes them bolder & stronger...and besides no one is ever waterboarded for more than a minute or two and they always talk...I'm just sayin'


In 1947, the U.S. charged a Japanese officer with war crimes for waterboarding a U.S. civilian. The officer was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.


On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post ran a front-page photo of a U.S. soldier supervising the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier. The picture led to an Army investigation and, two months later, the court martial of the soldier.

So please explain, Senator McCain and all other Republicans. Was the US wrong to punish those who waterboard us, since it's not torture?

Was the US military wrong to punish that soldier, since it's not torture?

You can't have it both ways. If waterboarding is not turure, the US was wrong.

So, Senator McCain, demand the US Government apologize to Japan. Demand the US Government apologize to that soldier and his family.

I'm waiting, Senator. You can't have it both ways.


Your response, Michael, reflects a deeply naive view of how politics works. Bills contain good and bad elements and can have good and bad effects. Voting requires a senator to make a judgment call, and the Senator has justified his vote clearly and thoughtfully.

Senator McCain has a long record of opposing cruel and inhumane interrogation techniques. He already considers waterboarding to be illegal, and the practice (which is already rarely used) will be put to an end for good next January when he is sworn in as President.

Given his personal history, his voting record and his public statements on the matter, neither you nor the Democratic Party has any business lecturing John McCain about torture.


McCain is right on this issue.

National Security should be our primary objective when considering this issue. The Democrats once again show their weakness in protecting our country.

The Democrats wish to play presidential politics with this bill. Waterboarding is already illegal.

The Democrats are shameless. I will be very happy to vote for Sen. McCain for President in November 2008.


Cwazy Amare-wakins! Kim Jong out!


I guess we have no gripe when our brave soldiers are tortured by their captors. Way to support our troops...glad McCain wasn't voting when McCain was a POW (irony!).


This is so typical of the rightwing lunitic fringe.

John McCain/Bush says that torture didn't work on him in Nam, that he gave up no information and then he comes home, enters politics, sells his soul to the GOPer's and says that yes we in America should be able to torture because it works...

McCain is nothing more than a mouthbreathing extension of the Bush/Cheney crime family.


McCain fights exception to torture ban
Ex-POW assails bid to exempt the CIA
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | October 26, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Senator John McCain yesterday warned that a push by the White House to exempt overseas CIA agents from a proposed ban on mistreating prisoners in US custody would exacerbate the problem of detainee abuse by giving interrogators legal authority to torture suspected terrorists....''I don't see how you could possibly agree to legitimizing an agent of the government engaging in torture," said the Arizona Republican, who survived torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
The Boston Globe--2005

Hypocrite.


Oh, yes, what was Obama's vote on this bill? That's right, like all controversial bills Obama didn't even show up to vote on it. Hillary, too.


John E is obsessed with Bush!! Its almost like he has a secret crush on him!!! Get a life!!!


Wow..talk about flip-flopping to pander to the wacko right wing nuts! What's next, selling his soul to the agents of intolerance like the late Jerry Falwell? Oh, wait, he already did that. What about backpeddeling on immigration? Oh, that's right; he did that too.

The thing of it is, no matter what he does or says, the wing nuts will still hate him. They're not going to work or vote for him anyway, so the least he can do is be honest.

It seems like the the Straight talk express should change its name to the Pander Express. At least that would keep it from running off the the cliff...


McCaih is already speaking Like a president. {Spell that political whore. Tom S. from Madison, Wis.


If an individual(s) has information that could save dozens, hundreds or thousands of American lives, it should fall upon all these "anti -interrogation" liberals to explain to the families of the fallen that they could have been saved but more aggressive interrogation is not nice. Apparently, these liberals have chosen not to view the tapes where middle eastern terrorists saw off the heads of Americans with swords for effect. This is why the terrorists will always remain one step ahead of us. How quickly we forget 9/11.


"Barring CIA from using techniques that go beyond the Army manual would essentially allow Al Qaeda, former KGB, Mossad and every other foreign intelligence group to have a leg up in information gathering over CIA."

Jeff, I didn't know that you and Senator McCain were such big supporters of the KGB and it's tactics. I always thought they were the bad guys, but now you've set me straight that they are the models we should follow in the US. Maybe we could get some of those North Vietnamese guys who worked over McCain to come teach the CIA a thing or two. Heck, If McCain becomes President he can give them the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being such a great inspiration for us. After all, we wouldn't want the Vietnamese to have a leg up on us would we?


Oh, yes, what was Obama's vote on this bill? That's right, like all controversial bills Obama didn't even show up to vote on it. Hillary, too.

Posted by: Jeff | February 20, 2008 5:40 PM


Jeff,

It was nice of John McCain/Bush to show up for the torture vote, afterall, he missed 65% of the votes in the Senate last year while he was pretending to represent Arizona, this was second only to Tim Johnson who was recovering from brain surgery.

McCain explained this by saying that his vote didn't matter on the one's he missed anyway.

I beg to differ with McCain, the people of Arizona do care that he's not representing them in Congress and this was shown by his not even being able to get 50% of the vote in his home state this past Feb 5th.

The people who know McCain the best don't like him, that should tell you all you need to know about him.


This is why the terrorists will always remain one step ahead of us. How quickly we forget 9/11.

Posted by: Guy V | February 20, 2008 5:59 PM

No, that's why they will always remain many steps behind us. They're the bad guys, and the reason they are the bad guys is because of their actions. If we make them the arbiter of morality, we might as well just surrender now.


Here's some highlights from John McCain/Bush's speech last night:

"My friends, thanks. Don't listen to good, eloquent speeches. Listen to my speeches. And listen to me talk about how much experience I have. And look over your shoulder. See those brown people? Those terrorists? Venezuela? Yeah. My friends, that's why you have vote for me".

"My friends, the Bush years have been good to us and I will effectivly give you a third term of Bush/Cheney".


In other words, John McCain voted against waterboarding until he voted for it? Who does that sound like? John Kerry?


This is why the terrorists will always remain one step ahead of us. How quickly we forget 9/11.

Posted by: Guy V | February 20, 2008 5:59 PM


Are you a terrorist?

You see, that's the problem, so far your President hasn't even been able to find the man he said he wanted "dead or alive", also known as Osama bin Laden, and we're supposed to trust the government to decide who is and isn't a terrorist?

I thought the Republic Party was against big government?

I thought the Republic Party was supposed to be the big daddy Party who wasn't afraid of anyone or anything? Yet here we have the Wingnuts on this thread worrying about the "terrorist's" storming the shores of the east and west coasts of America and eating their kids.

What a bunch of crybaby wimps.


Guy V.'s comments fall under the:

faulty premise = invalid conclusion

equation. Real life is not like television. Torture in general, and waterboarding specifically, is an ineffectual information gathering technique. The fact that blood thirsty TV characters use it to such good effect is because it's essential to the plot, not that it's a valuable means of gathering up-to-the-minute intelligence.

It's so sad when the things people see on TV or in the movies become the prevailing reality for their lives. The closer Senator McCain's recollection of his own torture in Viet Nam was to his aging memory, the more he repudiated it as a policy and as a viable form of interrogation. As he gets further and further into his dotage, the easier it is becoming for him to change his many decade stance on the subject.

We should pity the fact that his memory has, in some way, allowed him to forgo his heroic stance in the light of such sadistic tendencies of this administration and its friends. Perhaps selective Alzheimers on the subject gives McCain a measure of peace with his past. Unfortunately it's not playing well with more than a hand full, and most of those would support the present administration no matter what, even if they dropped nuclear ordinance on Iran over a lie.

Rev. William Hayashi


Dear Red Meat Types:

You do not have a monopoly on wanting to avoid harm to Americans. That's not really an innovative or unique proposition. That you think so is emblematic of your ignorance.

The critical issue is whether torture ("enhanced interrogation") works. Experts in the field uniformly say it does not. People will make up stories in order to avoid being tortured.

You might just as well claim that people who oppose kicking dogs want all Americans to die. Each has the exact same intelligence-gathering value.

What a sad group of haters and cowards (same thugs who love the death penalty even though it's only proven benefit is retribution). Kill kill maim maim. Love the smell of napalm in the morning...


How come no one ever mentions John McCain and the Savings and Loan scandal he was involved with or the romantic involvement with a woman lobbyist? McCain talks about reform? Maybe he means himself?


Luke who talks about good guys bad guys sounds like cowboy's and indian's talk.
Politics is much more complicated then black and white.
And just because you criticise the government it doesn't make you less patriotic at all.
America's politics is juvenile compared to Europe and based on mass production of arms to bully the world with.
Will Obama be any different? Of course not as the US would collapse if it didn't sell arms that kill people.
Obama wont win anyway due to woman's votes electing Clinton (Hillary I mean!)


Lots of supporters of terrorists entering comments. I am sure the bomb throwers, be-headers are very compassionate to their prisoners. I do not care how they get information from a terrorist, bring back the rack.


The worst torture is this whole presidential election cycle and all of the campaigns & the parade of idiot candidates in it.



It really doesn't get much lower than this.

The man has no ethics.


It is a shame in this new millenium, that as members of the land of the free and the home of the brave, the strongest and greatest nation currently on the face of this earth, we have no political candidates running for President that the people feel they can get behind. Pathetic, but do you think the Colin Powells of this era really need what you are dishing out? If you look at any politician who has ascended past the level of probably the Mayor of Mayberry, you will most likely find something in their closet that someone won't like or think appropriate. Now ain't that a shame. Most of those who throw rocks do live in glass houses...beware the backwash.

Grow up...torture is in the mind of the receiver...when one is deprived of food, water, sleep, comfort, these alone are means of torture. And just because we are a sophisticated, genteel society, those who have taken our young men and women are not. If you want to play with the big boys you have to adopt the same standards. You don't see this sort of thing going on in Israel, the Massoud take care of business and are undeniably the best at what they do in the world. When is the last time you heard of an El Al flight being hijacked, much less flown into a major metropolitan area and crashed into a skyscraper?

Elected officials are just that....they are put into office by us...and conceivably, should answer to us, the American voter, but what do we do? We usually give them another term to think about it.

Maybe the people of this country will get their collective heads out of their asses before English is not the main language spoken in this great land, but rather replaced with something like Farsi


John McCain must be the most successful liar in the Nation's history. McCain is on record saying that water boarding is torture.
His vote only supports the charge that the Senator is basically dishonest and self-serving.
What has me wondering, is how long is it going to take before the media, old and new, begins to take a hard look at McCain's despicable performance on the Senate Committee on POW/MIA's. McCain's behavior during that disgraceful episode, is a true measure of the man's basic dishonesty.


* * * * *

Posted by: Micki | February 20, 2008 8:34 PM

Micki,

Please don't lecture us about politics, and don't give us that crap about how much better Europeans are than we are at it. They are not.

How many times in recent history have European governments fallen due to scandal? Tell us how “adult,” “mature” and non-“juvenile” it has been for Berlusconi and Prodi to play musical chairs with the Prime Minister’s job in Italy, each in turn facing a no-confidence vote and/or resigning over some scandal? Why is it that an Italian Political Science Professor said, that “What is visible is that government is always on the verge of collapse."

And that was only about Italy. What about France? Consider the fact that the French government actually capitulated to demonstrating students and striking workers in Paris, and reversed its decision to repeal a law protecting workers from being fired. How is it that being ruled by a mob, as France was at that point, better or less juvenile than politics in America?

And what is it with Europeans insisting on having their governments offer a nipple for them to suck on from cradle to grave? This is why countries like Italy and France engage in high deficit spending. I suggest, Micki, that your enthrallment with socialism is not only not-mature, it is downright infantile.

Don’t lecture us. You have no place to speak.


*****

Posted by: Erick | February 20, 2008 4:38 PM

*****

Posted by: Greg | February 20, 2008 5:05 PM

Folks,

Read the posts by Erick and Greg. They had the right answer. And, for many of the reasons they give, it appears that most of the rest of you are either incapable of comprehending anything except through a leftist lens, or you are simply brain dead in accusing McCain of flip-flopping and/or being in favor of torture.

A legislative bill can have good parts and bad parts all mixed together. If a legislator votes against it because of its bad parts, it doesn’t mean he or she is against the good parts. He or she could well vote against it because of its bad parts, notwithstanding the good stuff. It happens all the time. The resolution is not to condemn the legislator, but to change the bill to remove the offending parts. It is only in the left-blogosphere that a vote against a bill because of its bad content invariably turns into a vote against its good parts.

That is what happened here. John McCain voted against the bill NOT because it purported to outlaw water-boarding, but because it went much further and would have prohibited a number of legal, non-torturous interrogation techniques as well. According to McCain, water-boarding is already illegal because it is torture (which is a widely advocated viewpoint here on the Swamp), and because the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 already bans cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment for all detainees in U.S. custody, including CIA prisoners. Therefore, passage of the bill isn’t necessary to make water-boarding illegal.


"And what is it with Europeans insisting on having their governments offer a nipple for them to suck on from cradle to grave? This is why countries like Italy and France engage in high deficit spending."

Hmmmm, and in America we engage in high deficit spending to finance overseas conquest adventures. You know what- I think cradle to grave health care and education is more worthy than the Military Industrial Complex/ Empire. We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

As for your implicit "socialism never works" canard, I wonder what the Danes would say. They, after all, are the most content people in the world, while paying 50% of their income in taxes. In return, they get great infrastructure, health care, education, day care, etc. In case you were wondering, America ranks 23rd.

Further, in terms of all quantifiable measures, we are not Number 1 in almost any important quality of life category. We've got the world's biggest military, larger than all the rest combined, but somehow, and for some reason, that doesn't make us happy. Can't imagine why.

You want better infrastructure, health care, air quality, education, you'll have to look towards Europe, those backwards socialists, whose currency is trouncing ours and who pay, heaven forbid!!, 50% in taxes.

In light of the current economic situation, from where DO you get your smug sense of superiority Mr. W? Keep waving that big foam finger and shouting "We're Number 1" 'til you're blue in the face.


Is this a flip or a flop or a flop flip? McCain's doing what's necessary to stay in Bush's good graces until the election's over then he will not only tell the American people to go to hell, as he's thinking right now but he'll also tell the Bushes too to kiss his grits.


P.S. The lowest budget deficits of the major economies belong to the Canadians, who are by all objective measures markedly more socialist than us.


Jones:

First, I wasn’t waving a foam finger, or smugly trying to claim that the United States was the best or even better. I merely rejected this clown’s suggestion that, somehow, Europeans are better at politics than we are. If you noticed the examples I gave, I merely illustrated that they are just as bad as we are. I am sorry that either your left-wing lenses or your lack of discipline or education kept you from seeing this.

Second, with the level of spending in which this country engages, we would still be running yearly deficits even if we weren’t engaged in foreign wars. Consider that we haven’t yet spent a trillion dollars in Iraq, but yet Congress, with George W. Bush’s approval, has added nearly three (3) trillion dollars to the debt over the last seven (7) years. If you did your math, you would understand that this means we would have still added approximately two (2) trillion dollars to the debt from deficit spending even without that war. In which case, you are still suggesting that we spend money at the same deficit-spending rate by stating that we ought to merely shift the money from foreign wars to domestic expenditures.

Third, you have your own raft of canards, Monsieur, when it comes to your information about Denmark. About 40% of all Danes employed full time pay 63% in income tax. Lower income workers pay income tax as high as 50% as well. In addition, all Danes pay a 25% Value Added Tax on the sale of most goods and services, including groceries. That works out to far in excess of the 50% taxation rate you were quacking about.

I humbly submit that, once one takes that much economic power away from the people, they are no longer free. All public money loses its identity as the tax money from individuals, and benefits are then granted by the government from government funds. The adage, “He who pays the piper gets to call the tune” then comes into play. The more government funds people’s lives, the more government gets the power to tell people how they must live. At that point, loss of personal freedom is no longer economic. So, if Danes are “content” with these circumstances, as you claim, it is only because they have submitted to a slave mentality of a kind that I could not tolerate.

Fifth, where you and I disagree is not over the question of whether Socialism works. It can be made to work for a time. The Soviet Union made Marxist Socialism work for 70 years before it collapsed from its own inefficiency and the peoples’ ennui. Some European countries have made socialism work for a few decades as well.

Where we disagree is over the question of whether socialism is either moral or lawful. I contend that it would be neither moral nor lawful for the federal government to inflict upon us the kind of socialism that you desire. The United States Constitution does not give the federal government the power to run a socialist state. The constitutional powers currently misused by Congress in order to wield socialist powers (like the Commerce Clause has been) were never intended for that purpose. The purpose of the Commerce Clause was to regulate interstate and international business transactions, and not to micro-manage the lives of citizens. Similarly, the so-called “general welfare” clause was never intended to be a grant of power. It was intended to be a limitation upon the federal government’s taxation power. Such was the understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court on these issues all the way up until 1936. At that point, threatened with F.D.R.’s court packing, the Court reversed itself. Thus, it has only been in the interim, since the rise of the “New Deal” government paradigm to predominance, that Congress’ power has been viewed as plenary. To the extent the federal government has stolen the powers you seek it to have, without first resorting to the amendment process set out in Article V of the Constitution, it is illegitimate and acting without lawful authority.

It is, furthermore, immoral. A government ought not do, in the exercise of its powers, what a private citizen, in the exercise of his or her powers, cannot do. Private citizens can neither steal property nor enslave their fellow citizens without being shown into a jail cell. Therefore, it should not be the function of the federal government to steal from the populous on a grand scale, as you propose, for the benefit of other private individuals. Socialism, in the form of State run programs to help the less fortunate back to their feet, is the only kind of socialism that ought to be tolerated.

I guess it would come as no surprise to you that I have absolutely no respect for the positions you advocate. I consider them part and parcel of a cowardly, parasitic and enslaved mentality. Have a nice day.


P.S.

But the Canadians still run a budget deficit despite astronomical tax rates. That's irresponsible and shameless.


John McCain suffered unimaginable cruelty at the hands of an unscrupulous enemy for seven years. He's earned the right to vote his conscience on this issue with his own blood and long-term health. Only a very few people understand this issue from the deeply personal perspective he does. Only those who have similar experiences fall into the same league, or speak with the same credibility.


"It is, furthermore, immoral. A government ought not do, in the exercise of its powers, what a private citizen, in the exercise of his or her powers, cannot do. Private citizens can neither steal property nor enslave their fellow citizens without being shown into a jail cell."

Wow, John W doesn't believe in either the criminal justice sytem or taxes. He's an anarchist!


"Wow, John W doesn't believe in either the criminal justice sytem or taxes. He's an anarchist!"

Posted by: Anarchy Now! | February 21, 2008 10:37 PM

That's funny, but you don’t win any prizes.

A private person has the right, within limits, to seek justice, to defend himself or herself and his/her property, to exact restitution, and to arrest someone who has committed a public wrong. Before we had governments, everyone had the right to seek restitution or revenge anyway they saw fit. We turned over this function to government, however, because we weren’t thrilled by the results of private justice. So, in the larger sense, the government is doing for us exactly what we could do for ourselves, only in a less immediate and more moderated fashion.

In the same vein, a private person has the right to acquire that which is promised as compensation for one's completed work. By analogy, taxes are perfectly legitimate as a means to compensate government workers for their labor and to pay them for the cost of necessary outlays on our behalf. By establishing a government to do work for us, we consent to pay the government for its work through taxes.

But the analogy stops when the government spends more money than it has. A private citizen who does so soon finds himself/herself in jail for fraud and theft. The analogy also fails when government begins appropriating mass quantities of money from the citizenry just so they can spend it on someone else – and often without any regard to whether the recipient is needy or worthy, and without regard for any costs incurred on behalf of the taxpayer. Pseudo-liberals call this wealth redistribution. I call it theft.


To: Anarchy Now!

P.S.

The correct wording should have been:

A government ought not do, in the exercise of its powers, what a private citizen, in the exercise of his or her powers cannot do without committing a crime.

This is a paraphrase and condensation of a statement by Frederic Bastiat to the same effect, to wit:

"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic."

Bastiat is the one who said, “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

I hope you can see now that, with this correction, you can be assured that I do not oppose the criminal justice system or taxation.


I BELIEVE:

1> We were lied to about 9/11
2> Bush and Cheney are the real terrorists
3> We are living under a form of Fascism
4> Waterboarding is another distraction from the real issues (WHAT ARE WE DOING IN IRAQ??? WHERE ARE THOSE WMD'S????)


McCain should be ashamed.

If we want the renditions and torture to stop.

If we want to regain our standing within the international community.

We MUST keep Bush from using the veto on the Intelligence Authorization Act this week.

See http://blog.psaonline.org/2008/03/03/under-one-flag-one-manual-on-interrogation for more on this.


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