Donald Trump is unfit to govern because he enthusiastically supports torture

June 30, 2016

Donald Trump reacted to the suicide bombings at the airport in Istanbul by claiming that we need to torture our enemies. MSNBC reports,

Trump seemed particularly annoyed that the United States feels the need to act lawfully. “We have laws; they don’t have laws,” the GOP candidate said last night in Ohio, adding, “Their laws say you can do anything you want and the more vicious you are the better.”

From there, Trump transitioned to emphasizing his support for barbarism. “You have to fight fire with fire,” he declared. “We have to be so strong. We have to fight so viciously. And violently because we’re dealing with violent people viciously.”

Trump added, “Can you imagine [ISIS members] sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire.”

I could not care less whether members of ISIS think we are weak and stupid. Their opinions are irrelevant. We will win the war against ISIS on the battlefield with superior military forces, tactics and weapons. We will win the hearts and minds of the people by fighting honorably and respecting the rule of law.

Torture, which includes waterboarding, is prohibited by international law. When used during witness interrogations, it does not reliably produce the truth. Instead, it produces confirmation of the interrogator’s suspicions. Used otherwise, it’s a manifestation of a psychosexual disturbance that will produce incalculable suffering, multigenerational hate, desire for revenge and war everlasting.

Donald Trump is unfit to govern because he does not understand the consequences of using torture. He is a one-trick pony who only thinks in terms of being meaner and nastier than his opponents. The world is not a junior high school playground and he needs professional help.


Profiling Muslims is a bad idea and it’s unconstitutional

June 21, 2016

In his OpEd yesterday in the Washington Post titled, Trump’s special version of Jim Crow — for Muslims, Eugene Robinson wrote,

On Sunday, “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson reminded Trump that last year he had raised the idea of “profiling” for Muslims and asked him to elaborate. Trump’s response: “Well, I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country. Other countries do it,” he said, naming Israel, and “we have to start using common sense.”

Reuters reported late last week,

Muslim-Americans have repeatedly informed authorities of fellow Muslims they fear might be turning to extremism, law enforcement officials say, contrary to a claim by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this week.

“They don’t report them,” Trump said in a CNN interview on Monday, in the wake of the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub of 49 people by an American Muslim who claimed allegiance to Islamic State. “For some reason, the Muslim community does not report people like this.”

But FBI director James Comey said, “They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim.

“It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks,” Comey said at a press conference following the Orlando shootings.

In addition profiling Muslims is a violation of the reasonable-suspicion-based-on-articulable-objective-facts test of the 4th Amendment. It also violates the Freedom of Religion Clause of the First amendment.

Donald Trump and his supporters like to base their arguments on “common sense.”

Hogwash. If we relied on “common sense,” for example, we would still believe that the Earth is the center of the universe with the Sun, the planets and the stars revolving around it. We also would believe in magic, the supernatural and witches who consorted with the Devil. In Europe from approximately 1480 to 1650, the Inquisition murdered approximately, 80,000 to 100,000 mostly poor and elderly women for practicing witchcraft. After obtaining confessions through the use of torture, they burned them at the stake.

Since the Age of Enlightenment, we’ve been relying on evidence-based reasoning to question common-sense assumptions about reality. In the name of “common sense,” Trump and his merry band of idiots want to turn back time and recreate the witch craze. He has already promised to use torture to extract confessions. How many Muslims is he going to detain, torture and kill before we the people have to end the slaughter?

Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews less than a century ago.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Will Trump exterminate them?

We need to make sure he loses the election.


Senate investigation of CIA’s use of torture provokes constitutional crisis

March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good evening:

Senator Diane Feinstein (D) Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee excoriated the CIA earlier today for withholding information from her committee and spying on its investigation into allegations that CIA officials tortured suspected terrorists after 9/11 in violation of federal laws.

Her committee is responsible for monitoring the government’s intelligence community, including the CIA. In turn it’s required to keep the committee informed about its activities. To that end the CIA supplied senate staff investigators with 6.2 million documents loaded onto several computers at a secure site off CIA property.

Based on a review of those records, the committee produced a 6,300 page report, which has not been declassified.

Senator Feinstein said today that the committee investigators discovered that the CIA leadership seriously misled the committee about its activities. Instead, the interrogators used brutal methods, including waterboarding, that constitute torture and they lied about it afterward while falsely claimed that their brutal methods produced useful intelligence.

She said that, although the CIA disputed some of the findings in the committee report, the CIA Inspector General conducted his own review and reached similar conclusions.

Drafts of that internal review were included in the documents provided to the committee alerting them to its existence.

How that happened is unknown, but committee staff subsequently noticed that those drafts mysteriously disappeared from the database and that led to Senator Feinstein’s accusation today that the CIA was spying on the committee’s investigation.

Meanwhile, general counsel for the CIA has accused senate staffers of hacking into agency computers and stealing classified documents.

Senator Feinstein has asked the Justice Department to conduct a criminal investigation of the CIA and she also has asked President Obama to declassify and publish her committee’s report as well as the inspector general’s report “to ensure that an un-american, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.”

Sources:

The New York Times Editorial Board’s OpEd, The CIA Torture Cover-up

Corn, D., The Senate-CIA Blowup Threatens a Constitutional Crisis (Mother Jones Magazine)

The Washington Post, Intrigue at the top: CIA, Senate feud goes public

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This is our 929th post and donations are lagging. We work hard to keep you informed by filling in the blanks between the lines. After 30 years in the trenches, I am familiar with all of the rules and strategies prosecutors and defense counsel utilize. Experience counts and most of my predictions have been accurate.

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Fred


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