Thursday, May 22, 2008

pomes of buddy don: Our Country, Right or Wrong

Our Country, Right or Wrong

Why can’t these peace-niks see how well it works
To rough up someone who might know some thing*
That might help us to find the evil jerks
Who might attack us like a bee might sting?

Why do surrender monkeys** all insist
That harshly enhanced methods can’t succeed
In getting scum we’ve captured to assist
In telling us most everything we need?

Why do these agents of the FBI***
Claim to have witnessed some unlawful scenes
Or methods that they claim must go awry
As if the ends don’t justify the means?

Can’t they see our good nation, brave and strong,
Can’t be defined by actions, right or wrong?±

*Roots of US war prisoners' rights run deep
But George Washington and his compatriots took their founding principles quite seriously. On Aug. 11, 1775, Washington sent a blistering letter to a British counterpart, Thomas Gage. He complained about gravely wounded and untreated American soldiers being thrown into a jail with common criminals.

Eight days later, despite threatening to treat British soldiers with equal cruelty, Washington admitted that he could not and would not retaliate in kind, writing: "Not only your Officers, and Soldiers have been treated with a Tenderness due to Fellow Citizens, & Brethren; but even those execrable Parricides [traitors] whose Counsels & Aid have deluged their Country with Blood, have been protected from the Fury of a justly enraged People."

Imagine that; a government on the run fighting a desperate war against a hated enemy and treating captured prisoners with compassion and decency. No doubt many of the captured British troops had intelligence that might have been useful to the Revolutionary cause - still, decent treatment was the norm. In the current war on terror, that would be described as being "soft."

**McCain fights exception to torture ban; Ex-POW assails bid to exempt the CIA
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. ''No amendment at all would be better than that."

McCain went public with his concerns after published reports yesterday that Vice President Dick Cheney met with him to urge changes to his widely supported proposal to outlaw cruel and degrading treatment of detainees by any US official. Cheney suggested exempting CIA counter-terrorism agents working overseas, but McCain balked.

***Interrogation Tactics Were Challenged at White House
Five years ago, as troubling reports emerged about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a career lawyer at the Justice Department began a long and relatively lonely campaign to alert top Bush administration officials to a strategy he considered “wrongheaded.”

Bruce C. Swartz, a criminal division deputy in charge of international issues, repeatedly questioned the effectiveness of harsh interrogation tactics at White House meetings of a special group formed to decide detainee matters, with representatives present from the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA.

Swartz warned that the abuse of Guantanamo inmates would do “grave damage” to the country’s reputation and to its law enforcement record, according to an investigative audit released earlier this week by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Swartz was joined by a handful of other top Justice and FBI officials who said the abuse would almost certainly taint any legal proceedings against the detainees.

Now their predictions appear to be coming true. A top Pentagon official chose this month to drop charges against a detainee who was roughly interrogated at Guantanamo, and U.S. officials believe it may be difficult to charge him at all. Defense lawyers for a group of alleged Sept. 11 conspirators in U.S. custody have said they plan to raise concerns about harsh techniques used by the CIA and will seek to keep evidence derived from such tactics out of court.

±Matthew 7:15-20
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

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