Right Wing Authoritarians [Torture is Good for You]

[Editors Note: I am not the staunchest Obama supporter, in fact I believe there are legitimate critiques of his policies — especially his (mostly wrong-headed conservative) economic policy decisions. However, much of the right-wing criticism of Obama is fueled by hatred and, yes, racism. I quantify that last assertion here, but today I find myself SMDH at the revolting scumbags on the right. I mean, they have no sense of fuckin decency, no fuckin shame at all. I believe these cretins would fuck their own mothers over without a second thought…]

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate Multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. p 53, The Strength to Love, 1963

First things first. It seems there’s a mini storm over the above quote by MLK. The quote, with the leading line, I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy… went viral immediately after the news of the murder of Osama Bin Laden was released. A rather irresponsible article penned by Megan McArdle at The Atlantic, noted that after having Googled said quote, she couldn’t find verification. Therefore, the reporter surmised, the quote isn’t accurate, and MLK never said it.

Actually, as I have correctly cited, the quote is a genuine MLK quote. What isn’t part of the quote, is the first line and here’s what happened. The sentiment was first posted as a Facebook status, and it read (verbatim):

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — mlk [emphasis added]

Note the placement of the quotation marks. As the status was repeated, the quotes were misplaced, giving the impression that the leading sentence — the sentence not part of the MLK quote — was attributed to MLK. This then led other reporters, bloggers, commenters to assert that MLK never said it. And that’s a false conclusion. But the larger point here is that journalists are doing a piss-poor job of research. Indeed, the research can be found in the comments section of The Atlantic article. Has this journalist ever heard of… books? Direct sources? *The article has been picked in places like the WashPo, The CS Monitor, and if you Google the first line, you’ll easily get 50-60k hits (the last time I looked).

This is bullshit, lazy, hack writing, plain and simple.

Now on to the important stuff…

I guess it was to be expected. No sooner than the news of OBL’s assassination was released, that the right wing cretins went into feces flingin’ mode, and started patting themselves in the back for the deed. What’s that? Yes, the Bush administration spent trillions, sent us to two unnecessary wars where about 50,000 of our men and women were killed or maimed, and spent almost a decade without even getting close to OBL, but Bush should be given the honors. Obama is just the lawn jockey. he can’t possibly be smart enough to capture/ kill OBL, right?

Except that it isn’t true. In fact, only six months after 9/11, The Village Idiot publicly admitted he was no longer concerned about OBL. Let’s take it to the videotape, Johnny:

Spin that bitches. More importantly, Bush shut down the CIA unit weighted with the responsibility of capturing Bin Laden. Guess who opened it up again? Yup… Obama.

As I understand it, Bush depended almost exclusively on the Pentagon more than the intelligence community, which is why we cannot credit him with this specific form of strategy. I think it’s a real stretch (or… bullshit!) for the right wing twats to try to include Bush in this. Obama issued the order and he took all the risks. If it hadn’t gone well, you can be sure these racist sons of bitches would’ve attempted to lynch him on the White House lawn. This wasn’t an on-going operation; the operation, in fact, had been abandoned and this team, which was working under Leon Panetta, and Obama had five meetings about this after August. Bush was not involved.

One more thing, the next time some inbred, right-wing, twat motherfucker © tells you, “The soldiers, and only the soldiers, should get credit because they were the ones that were on the ground fighting,” let them know that Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” debacle was a failure not because he didn’t fight, but because the mission was not accomplished. In this case, Obama’s mission was accomplished and as it was the Commander in Chief who ordered the hit and helmed the high-level meetings about it, he gets credit for it. Yes, the President was in charge of the plan and no, it doesn’t matter that they don’t think he was.

Presidents are not supposed to be involved in the fighting. Something the inbred right-wing twat motherfuckers © might want to brush up on their history to understand why. It has something to do with civilian leadership of the military. Civilian control of the military is the proper subordination of a professional military to the ends of policy as determined by civilian authority (the civilian authority being the U.S. President). The civilian authority (our President) issues policy statements that are then implemented by the military. In this instance, the President had five high-level meetings in which he directed the implementation of the strategy. The President doesn’t go into the field to fight. The “gun” does not command the country for obvious reasons. This is how your country operates. It is how it is intended to operate. I gather that the inbred right-wing twat motherfuckers © would like to change this, but thankfully for us all, they are not in charge.

But that’s not even what’s truly important here. What really gets to me, what uncovers the naked Right Wing Authoritarianism in its naked ugliness is that they are now trying to use Obama’s accomplishment as justification for torture. The morning after President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan, the inbred, right-wing, twat motherfuckers © started crowing that credit should be given to Bush for having the foresight and courage to torture the people who provided the intel that led the CIA to OBL’s McMansion in Islamabad.

The meme began circulating Monday based on one important piece of the larger puzzle: several years ago, intelligence agencies obtained the pseudonym of OBL’s favorite courier from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libi. Inbred, right-wing, twat motherfuckers © and like-minded activists — including notorious chickenhawks Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and others, jumped to a conclusion: U.S. officials gained the information via torture.

Except, for one minor detail: that’s not what happened.

None other than infirm incompetent, Donald Rumsfeld (of all people), disputed the talking point yesterday on the right wing propaganda site, Newsmax, noting that Bush-era torture policies weren’t responsible for obtaining the information.

The Associated Press thoroughly dismantled this lie, reporting, “Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation.” [emphasis added]

In this way, the strongest rationale for giving Bush any props for this falls apart like a house of cards or a Heritage Foundation economic theory.

Joan McCarter, Marcy Wheeler, and Brian Buetler have more on this, offering an even more detailed take down of the argument. For example, the case can be made that torture delayed procurement of important intel. What’s truly at stake here is not just about who should get credit (it’s Obama’s, for good or bad), but the spinning of one of the darkest moments of our history — a time in which elected officials brazenly trumpeted war crimes — as something noble or even effective. It wasn’t noble then and it still isn’t.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

* All the articles getting the MLK quote wrong did publish updates, but still. It’s unprofessional…