What Would You Do

 Gay Issues, Society  Comments Off on What Would You Do
May 252011
 
This entry is part 28 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

ABC News did one of their “What Would You Do” segments in a Texas diner. They had a lesbian couple with children (actors), and a gay couple with children go in, and a person playing a waitress who began to criticize the couples openly. I must admit, I was heartened by what transpired, and reminded of how important it is to speak out in face of bigotry and inequality. The Texan’s fared better than New Yorker’s.

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Of course, when the good kristians at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) saw it, they just couldn’t tolerate the fact that some people are actually opposed to discriminating against gay folks, so they had the following response:

Let’s note first of all that the behavior of the “waitress” in this setup up is outrageous.

The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC.

Be prepared for lot more prejudiced stereotyping of decent and honorable Americans down the road by powerful elites.

Maggie forgets that there is often a grain of truth in stereotypes.

Dec 112007
 

I sincerely hope that no one is falling for this “false flag” (I believe it’s called in intelligence parlance) of the CIA Agent suddenly coming forward to condemn waterboarding as torture, but then saying it saved thousand of lives when used to interrogate Abu Zubaydah. It is just too convenient that this “former” agent, John Kiriakou, suddenly gets permission to come forward and openly discuss this operation on the national news circuit. Does anyone still fall for this shit from this Administration?

Let’s play this all out. First off, Wikipedia defines “False Flag” as, “covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.” These sorts of operations are not unknown to the CIA, and are a standard part of operations within intelligence organizations.

Detainees and defense attorneys are not allowed to see any information related to interrogations, and according to the administration, US Courts can’t see information about interrogations and interrogation techniques even during these bogus detainee hearings at Guantanamo. Kiriakou said things on national TV that could not be discussed at one these detainee tribunals according to the Administration.

Now according to Kiriakou he was only at Zubaydah’s initial interrogation when captured, but the guy was captured while in the process of making a bomb, and had the plans for a school laid out on the same table. How convenient. He provides some detail of the operations that were uncovered during the Zubaydah interrogations, but admits he wasn’t there when Zubaydah caved after only about 35 seconds of being waterboarded…however, the guy couldn’t be broken any other way.

Kiriakou says that he didn’t know about the existence of the tapes until just the day before his appearance, yet he was able to get the appropriate clearances for these appearances from a gigantic bureaucracy in less than 24 hours. While this is the season of miracles, I’m not buying it.

 Mr. Kiriakou is “retired” from the CIA. He looks about 32, so I guess he went to work there at about age 10. Boy, they start them young. You can see part of his ABC interview at Crooks and Liars. Kiriakou is perfect for the job. He’s no longer with the agency…wasn’t there when the waterboarding was actually done…didn’t even take “the training,” but did submit to a little demonstration waterboarding.

The guy is handsome, well spoken, and well rehearsed. On a couple of the interviews, it even appears the questions are as rehearsed as the answers. He offers up the softest of descriptions of waterboarding (nothing like the the one offered by the Military Officer testifying under oath before Congress). Steve Benen at Carpet Bagger Report sums it up well:

As a matter of crass politics, Kiriakou’s assessment seems to offer a little something for everyone. For the right, Kiriakou is saying that torture produced intelligence that saved lives and thwarted possible attacks. For the left, Kiriakou is conceding that the Bush administration authorized and utilized torture (i.e., committed a felony), and he now believes the U.S. should stop using these “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

There is, however, one angle that warrants a closer look: whether torturing Zubaydah actually produced actionable intelligence. The answer is far from clear.

You see, it turns out that some time back it was reported that CIA and FBI agents had determined that Zubaydah, at most a low-level logistics guy arranging for some travel for families, and was most likely certifiably crazy. Ron Suskind reported some time back in the Washington Post:

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be. CIA and FBI analysts, poring over a diary he kept for more than a decade, found entries “in the voice of three people: Hani 1, Hani 2, and Hani 3″ – a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego. All three recorded in numbing detail “what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said.” Dan Coleman, then the FBI’s top al-Qaeda analyst, told a senior bureau official, “This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality.”

I am just not buying it. This is an attempt to lessen the impact of even more attention to the administration’s illegal activities, and to try to start the dialog as being something that was valuable at the time because it supposedly saved lives, but we shouldn’t be doing it now…so let’s just drop it, and all go back to our respective corners.

Kiriakou says he thinks there should be a national debate about torture. BULLSHIT. There should be no discussion about torture. What has become of the values of this Republic and we as a people when we have to have a debate about torture?

George Will: The Pundit Time Forgot

 Culture, Society  Comments Off on George Will: The Pundit Time Forgot
Dec 182006
 

It seems that on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos this Sunday, George Will went off on Time Magazine for naming the users of the Internet and the blogosphere as “The Person of The Year.” Will thinks it’s all just about narcissism, and writing diaries.

I’m with Will. A functioning and effective instrument of journalism has no place in a free and democratic society. That’s why it is imperative that both access to the Internet be rigidly controlled and that its content be scrupulously censored. We should be thrilled to delegate to trustworthy patriots like George Will the troublesome burden of keeping us informed. I’m only too happy to let towering paragons of intellectual gravitas like Mr. Will decide what we need – or don’t need – to know.

Seriously, for George Will to say that anyone else is narcissistic may be the most disingenuous comment ever made by a pundit. Will says, “So much of what is done on the web is people getting on there and writing their diaries as though everyone ought to care about every one’s inner turmoils.” So how is it I know about Will’s love of baseball, the Cub’s in particular, with the O’s a close second. Or that he has a child w/Down’s Syndrome? Why should anyone care when George Will waxes on about Tony LaRussa?

Remember all those times you talked back to your TV and no one could hear you? Well, now they can.  In Mr. Wills voice, we hear the plaintive whine of the Elite he has always served, worried that the common folk have finally found their voice, and are literally ‘speaking truth to power’. But not only speaking; recall that before the Iraq War, millions around the planet were coordinating anti-war protests courtesy of the same means you are using to read these words. The Powerful have always feared an information medium that they could not control…and so far, this is it. Watching stooges like these dismiss independent news, blogs, etc., provides that rare glimpse of a once elite group going through a controlled panic attack.   Continue reading »