Hoekstra: Stark Reality Will Cause Obama to Reconsider Gitmo and Enhanced Interrogation

Dandelion Salad

Sent to DS by the author, thanks, Cheryl.

by Cheryl Biren-Wright
crossposted at opednews.com and http://cherylbirenwright.wordpress.com
Dec. 12, 2008

This week, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence participated in a global conference call sponsored by The Israel Project.

Rep. Hoekstra, sizing up President-elect Obama’s security team, remarked “[They] are clearly starting to recognize that reality has a way of pushing out campaign rhetoric.”

He went on to suggest that Obama, who ran on a platform of change, may come to the sober conclusion that the controversial intelligence programs born of the Bush administration are best kept in place.

Hoekstra conceded that on day one President Obama could decide to “stop the terrorist surveillance program, he can stop the financial tracking program, he can close Gitmo, he can stop our enhanced, our enhanced interrogation methods.”

“I really believe,” Hoekstra predicted, “that if he goes through that process and contemplates those decisions, he is going to reach the stark reality that ‘wow, these things actually work, they actually have enabled President Bush to keep America safe. That’s now my responsibility and I better be very, very careful because…I better be careful before I decide to terminate any of these programs because on noon of January 20, it’s now my responsibility and the track record is that the programs that have been in place whether rightly or wrongly have kept America’s homeland safe for seven and a half years and that’s now the track record that I have to match because there is no way you can beat zero tolerance.’ ”

Additionally, CongressDaily’s Chris Strohm reported on Wednesday that Intelligence chair, Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) “recommended to Obama’s transition team that some parts of the CIA’s controversial alternative interrogation program should be allowed to continue.”

Reyes reportedly said “We don’t want to be known for torturing people. At the same time we don’t want to limit our ability to get information that’s vital and critical to our national security,” he added. “That’s where the new administration is going to have to decide what those parameters are, what those limitations are.”

It is worth remembering that an administration that unilaterally bypassed established laws first introduced us to “enhanced” or “alternative” interrogation methods – formerly known as torture. It appears we can now expect that every four years the world will sit in anxious anticipation while the new administration “decides” the méthodes du jour.

Remarkably, Reyes’ and Hoekstra’s remarks coincide with the release of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s “Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody.”

The report issued jointly by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) determined that “The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of ‘a few bad apples’ acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.”

Upon being reappointed as ranking member of the Intelligence committee this week, Pete Hoekstra issued a statement stressing “Just as we did for the Bush administration, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee will conduct aggressive oversight of the Obama administration’s intelligence efforts and encourage our Democratic colleagues to do the same.”

This begs the question just who will conduct aggressive oversight of them?


For more on this subject see Ray McGovern’s recent article, Will Obama Buy Torture-Lite?

Writer/Photographer. Special interests in media reform, restoring/protecting the constitution, support for returning veterans, ending the Iraq occupation and improving relations with Iran. In the meantime, will settle for a vanilla latte and a keyboard while exposing those who promote ideologies like the Bush Doctrine that subvert our constitution, encourage terrorism and are morally and ethically corrupt. Writer and managing editor for OpEdNews.com. Contact info: cheryl[at]opednews.com cherylbirenwright.wordpress.com


The Daily Show: Matthew Alexander – How to Interrogate without torture

Mosaic News – 12/9/08: World News from the Middle East

Torturing Democracy

Ray McGovern: Will Afghanistan be Obama’s Vietnam?

Torture on Dandelion Salad


Total Defeat for U.S. in Iraq By Patrick Cockburn

Dandelion Salad

By Patrick Cockburn
December 11, 2008 “Counterpunch

It’s All Spelled Out in Unpublicized Agreement

On November 27 the Iraqi parliament voted by a large majority in favor of  a security agreement with the US under which the 150,000 American  troops in Iraq will withdraw from cities, towns and villages by  June 30,  2009 and from all of Iraq by  December 31, 2011. The Iraqi government will take over military responsibility for the Green Zone in Baghdad, the heart  of American power in Iraq, in a few weeks time. Private security companies  will lose their legal immunity. US military operations and the arrest of Iraqis  will only be carried out with Iraqi consent. There will be no US military  bases left behind when the last US troops leave in three years time and  the US military is banned in the interim from carrying out attacks on other  countries from Iraq.

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Illinois Citizens Deserve Corrupt Government by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
December 12, 2008

The current Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, recently charged with crimes by the federal government, just follows in the footsteps of previous convicted Illinois governors and a huge number of other Illinois officials convicted of crimes.  What is remarkable is that in the 2008 election Illinois voters had the opportunity to recognize that they needed to use their constitutional convention opportunity to reform state government.  They voted not to use it.

Which raises the question: How stupid or brainwashed are most Illinois citizens?

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Mosaic News – 12/11/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

“India has given Pakiatan list of 40 terrorists,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“New Fighting Erupts in Mogadishu,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Press freedom increasingly under threat in France,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Israelis Demonstrate to Free Shalit,” IBA TV, Israel
“The Jerusalem settlement train,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Gaza Runs Out of Cooking Gas,” Al Aqsa, Gaza
“Study shows Gulf Syndrome real,” New TV, Lebanon
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

2008 Holiday Reading List by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Dec. 11, 2008

It’s time for that Holiday reading period and here are some deserving but little publicized recommendations:

1. Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Spectre of Inverted Totalitarianism by Sheldon S. Wolin (Princeton Univ. Press, 2008). Princeton Professor emeritus Wolin examines how the pathology of concentrated corporate power and its control of government is shattering our democratic institutions and traditions. Brings the abstractions down to the hard earth of reality.

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Time to Redefine the Economic Paradigm by Andrew Hughes

Dandelion Salad

by Andrew Hughes
Global Research, December 11, 2008

The World Bank today released it’s long awaited forecast for the World economic future. “The financial crisis is likely to result in the most serious recession since the Great Depression,” said Justin Lin, it’s Chief economist. The global economy is captured in a downward spiral as never witnessed before. Whereas before, economies were more localized and had more immunity to outside forces, now Globalization has ensured that one big failure in the machine can create a systemic event that brings down all the component parts. The inevitable failure of a few major banks has demonstrated just how much havoc can be wreaked from Alaska to Beijing.

Emerging markets, dependent on mature market consumption, are teetering on the edge of Bankruptcy as Private capital inflow has been drying up and is forecast to reduce by half next year. The volume of world trade is set to decrease by 2.1%, the biggest drop for 33 years. Oil exporting countries from Venezuela to Russia are seeing revenue crash as demand across the world decreases. Poor countries, on the other hand, have experienced a decrease in the cost of living as food and oil prices drop. In an unforeseen twist of fate, Globalisation has enriched poorer countries and impoverished richer ones.

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End of the World as We Know It

Dandelion Salad

By Tony Davenport
October 14, 2008

[Editors Note: This article was originally published on page 16 of the S. African Sunday Independent on October 12, 2008]

It is not as bad as you might imagine – it’s worse, and before you bury your heads in the sands of collective denial, please consider how it is coming about. The truth will set you free, but first it will probably make you ill.

We have had it too easy with cheap energy for a century and the cheap part is going to disappear. Quickly. Energy is the ubiquitous part of everything we consume, and liquid fuel is getting scarce.

The easy part is to understand how we got to where we are. The difficult part is predicting how we can possibly manage to make our way out of this one. It will draw on our deepest resolve and wisdom, and probably require a “Copernican” shift in our thinking (Copernicus was the first astronomer to prove scientifically that the sun rather than the Earth was at the centre of our cosmic system).

We seem to have scientific prowess, but there’s no time for self-congratulation. This time the solutions are the cause of a much bigger problem. Our current pursuit of growth and the elevation of human material wants above all else are the raison d’être of the problem. We promote consumption and ignore efficiency. We live as though there is no tomorrow, and the way we are going there probably won’t be.


via End of the World as We Know It « Health After Oil


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