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Monday, June 02, 2014

OTP - June 2014: Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

Bitter Mouse Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:48 AM | 4613 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics, stupid ideas

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   701. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4719781)
Well, you and Ray can get together for coffee sometime and write up whole list of things that are unconstitutional and mail it to the SCOTUS.


So you agree with Dred Scott or can the Supreme Court never get it wrong?

They certainly got abortion wrong. My personal preferences aside - and I have no problem at all with abortion - the Court fashioned a right for pregnant women out of whole cloth.
   702. zenbitz Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4719786)
I am pretty sure that the POTUS is no different from any other position of authority, in that, you do what you think is right, as long as you can get away with it.
Anything you get away with is de facto legal.


Exercising the powers and responsibilities, and only those powers and responsibilities, granted by the Constitution.


OK well sure. But the Constitutional Law is complex and ambiguous (especially at the edges). It is *CERTAINLY* not the President's job to interpret the Constitution, that obviously is not going to get you the checks and balances you are seeking.

The issue here is that one cannot judge the POTUS *intent*. He says (not literally): I want to do X. Obviously, if X is something like 'ban all weapons nationwide' then that is not a good faith effort to follow the Constitution. If he says "I need to bomb this dude in Qatar. He's a US citizen but an enemy combatant". I don't know about you, by my Constituition is somewhat mum on the specific case of US citizen-Enemy Combatants out of uniform in an undeclared "war".

Sam is 100% correct here in that the constitutionality of something is moot unless it's actually ruled on by a Court. But that doesn't bug me t'all. Droning people is reprehensible whether or not it's constituational.

Presidents do bad things. They do many things that I do not agree with, and many things I would not do in their position. If I am lucky, not EVERYTHING the POTUS does not falls in this category. The constitutionality of it all is just a mechanism for Congress or lawsuit to check the power of the office.
   703. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4719787)
It's what all liberals believe or pretend is the case. And it's sort of shameful. They condition vulnerable and impressionable people into thinking that government is "looking out for them." By the time the cold, hard reality hits that government is doing no such thing, these people have found themselves at the bottom of the barrel, struggling to survive without the tools to do so, and looking up at the world.


My point is not about what I (or other liberals) believe, it is what pretty much all the presidents seem to believe. They all talk and act like they have a huge responsibility towards the nation and its people above and beyond what SBB seems to be suggesting. Maybe each and every President is wrong in this, but they all act that way. It is fairly human.

Which is why, whine all you want, if Presidential overreach is a problem (and it seems most of us agree it is, to one degree or another) only Congress or the Judiciary can step in and do something about it. And Congress has the most power of the three branches and could (if it "wanted to") do something about it.
   704. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4719790)
It's what all liberals believe or pretend is the case. And it's sort of shameful. They condition vulnerable and impressionable people into thinking that government is "looking out for them."

Well, when you get your way and Sam Walton's family is running national defense and infrastructure, we'll see what that looks like.
   705. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4719792)
My point is not about what I (or other liberals) believe, it is what pretty much all the presidents seem to believe.


Of course. All presidents are power hungry. That's why they're president.

   706. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4719795)
Yes, Lassus, I saw your post on the previous page. But thanks for re-posting it (?).

   707. zenbitz Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4719797)
So you agree with Dred Scott or can the Supreme Court never get it wrong?


This actually just proves the point. Of course they can be wrong. They can also change their mind, or a new Court can change it. So, if you think Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly, you should sue. Ditto drone strikes or ACA or AUMF. But until you win, these ruling stand. Just like any other law or legal decision.

In the 90s and early 2000s biotech companies filed patents or essentially any DNA sequence they could demonstrate some function or correlation for that no one else had patented yet. They they had some kind of gentlemens' agreement to honor each others' patents. But these are all more or less invalid and none of them have stood up to challenge (although it took until 2013 for a challenge to reach the Supreme Court - Myriad Genetics BRCA1/2 patents).

Were those patents valid before 2013? Are the ones that have not been challenged valid now?
   708. bunyon Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4719801)
It isn't Mouse that flew off the rails, it's the nation. For better or worse (I think worse, you seem to agree), that is how the job is seen today. And, with good reason. Any little thing that happens is chalked up to the president's good or bad column. I think it's completely plausible that we should credit W with restraint; it's easy to imagine a more violent and reactionary response to 9/11 and the people probably would have gone along with it. Pretty much, we all lost our heads. Not many have regained their composure even today.

But isn't the problem that we're living in an age where fact, fiction and the realm of the uncertain all can land in a president's lap on a moment's notice? And if a president---with all the sources of information at his hand, along with teams of "experts" to condense that information and shape it into a coherent pattern----often has a difficult task in determining what the "right" course is to take in the face of all these conflicting facts, then how in the hell are "the people", themselves conflicted with far less reliable sources of information ranging from Noam Chomsky to Fox News, ever going to do a better job? That's asking a lot of a nation where half its people might think that Hitler started the first World War and that Superman ended the second one.

We all tend to think at certain times that the information we can digest from of our own self-selected sources gives us the wisdom to "know" what "has" to be done. People like Ray and SugarBear are only the most extreme examples of this particular form of conceit, but it's a trap that's easy for anyone to fall into if we block out any consideration of countering facts or interpretations. The problem on the executive level comes when the president surrounds himself with yes-men who are afraid to emphasize any facts that might give pause to his own particular worldview.


If the "people" aren't up to governing or can't be bothered, then Bear is right and we're buggered.
   709. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4719803)
1. We can't be in a state of war. Power always gravitates to the executive in war.


A rather important point. If Obama could somehow magically trump the nation and declare the "war on terror" over when we close out the Afghan theater in 2016 - and he's made some overture towards that end in his recent West Point speech - he would do more to reel in executive authority than any otehr possible policy. If he stops using drones, but leaves the "WOT" going, next president is free and clear to drone, or torture, or whatever again. If he declares the war over, then the premise of every expansive authority is itself gone.
   710. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4719804)
If the "people" aren't up to governing or can't be bothered, then Bear is right and we're buggered.


Government of the people, by the people, and for the people does have a weakness if the people are flawed. It is not clear to me why we should think people are more flawed today than they were yesterday though (Onions on belts and kids on lawns notwithstanding).
   711. Ron J2 Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4719807)
#697 Interesting to contrast Madison during the War of 1812 with ... well pretty much any other president.
   712. rr Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4719810)
I neither need nor want the President to feel "responsible" for my life.


You're conflating different things by using the word "life." The Pres (whoever it is) is not "responsible" for whether you get tenure and whether you go in to the doctor's office regularly, and s/he's not "responsible" for whether some guy out there in NC sticks a gun in your face and takes your credit cards. But he is, on some level,"responsible" for whether a terrorist successfully attacks LA or NY or DC or Chicago or your town, thus killing people, including maybe you, in the process.

When Obama won the first time, I reminded a few of my numerous liberal acquaintances and friends that

a) If another 9/11 type thing, even a smaller one, happened during Obama's first term, it would be very different politically/emotionally etc. than it was under Bush, for many obvious reasons.
b) While Obama is a very different kind of guy than Bush is, he would be sitting atop the exact same bureaucratic-military-industrial information complex that Bush was, in the exact same position, getting information from many of the exact same sources. So I cautioned them against assuming that Obama would run foreign policy/intelligence like Gandhi, Jr., and therefore have not been at all surprised by the drones, the NSA etc. In one of the Caro books on LBJ, Caro quoted a guy named Tommy Corcoran, who was a lefty political operative/advisor for FDR, and then played various roles in DC after that. Corcoran said, "Government isn't just the top guy. It's the top 240 or so guys." Today, given how the Federal Government has grown and changes in society, that number is probably more like "4000" now and you would say "men and women." But the truth in it is the same.

I saw an interview with Obama after the Snowden story broke, and Obama said simply that the #1 job of the POTUS is to "keep the American people safe." You can say that's bullshit if you want, or that he has overstepped, or that we should change the laws, or that the system is broken, or that certain principles currently being ignored are more important than that and if adherence to those principles increases the risk of successful terrorist attacks, so be it. I wouldn't necessarily disagree. But everybody, ultimately, will draw a line somewhere, as we all know.

And on some level, from his POV, Obama's right in saying that. This is also why while I think that most of the sneering meta-criticism of liberals from the usual crew of quirky righties here is self-aggrandizing, ignorant horseshit, one thing that they are right to call some lefties out on is the demonizing of W when it comes to foreign policy. It is fine to say that Iraq was a massive f-up, etc, but I never assumed that W was driven entirely by pure, unprincipled power-drunkenness, anymore than Obama is.
   713. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4719812)
If the "people" aren't up to governing or can't be bothered, then Bear is right and we're buggered.

Correct. The "people" are just as corrupt as their leaders. They want short-term gratification and free stuff.
   714. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4719814)
So you agree with Dred Scott or can the Supreme Court never get it wrong?


Dred Scott was morally horrific (when viewed through modern eyes.) Before they overturned that ruling, Dred Scott was constitutional. This isn't that hard of a concept. I have personal disagreement with any number of SCOTUS decisions. I've noted many of them here. What I don't do is run around pretending that my opinion trumps the law itself. I find the idea that corporations are "people" to be ludicrous on its face. It's a level of abject stupidity that begs the question of evolutionary progress itself. But it's constitutional law, because the SCOTUS said so.

I think Bush v. Gore was a travesty of obvious political appointment by conservative justices, not rational legal reasoning. But George W. Bush was, in point of fact, POTUS for 8 years.
   715. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4719815)

They certainly got abortion wrong. My personal preferences aside - and I have no problem at all with abortion - the Court fashioned a right for pregnant women out of whole cloth.


Why Roe v. Wade was correctly decided: Part I, Part II, Part III.
   716. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4719819)
It's what all liberals believe or pretend is the case. And it's sort of shameful.


I remember all of those liberals rallying around W. Bush telling us that we had to go fight the great Muslim menace to shut up and get in line with "our CiC."
   717. bunyon Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4719820)
If the "people" aren't up to governing or can't be bothered, then Bear is right and we're buggered.



Government of the people, by the people, and for the people does have a weakness if the people are flawed. It is not clear to me why we should think people are more flawed today than they were yesterday though (Onions on belts and kids on lawns notwithstanding).


I think people today probably aren't a lot worse and, in many ways, are better than people used to be. However, people are much, much less engaged with politics. We may talk more about it and it's in our faces a lot more but people used to be more involved in the process. By people I mean men, obviously. Used to be most working men were in some sort of group that touched on politics in some way. With a smaller population, more people had contact with representatives in both state and national offices. Again, I think things cycle and it won't surprise me to see it swing back. But, if it doesn't, government of the people, etc. is in deep trouble.
   718. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4719824)
I find the idea that corporations are "people" to be ludicrous on its face. It's a level of abject stupidity that begs the question of evolutionary progress itself. But it's constitutional law, because the SCOTUS said so.

I think Bush v. Gore was a travesty of obvious political appointment by conservative justices, not rational legal reasoning. But George W. Bush was, in point of fact, POTUS for 8 years.


x1000. Adults, serious people acknowledge reality.
   719. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4719827)
I think people today probably aren't a lot worse and, in many ways, are better than people used to be. However, people are much, much less engaged with politics. We may talk more about it and it's in our faces a lot more but people used to be more involved in the process. By people I mean men, obviously. Used to be most working men were in some sort of group that touched on politics in some way. With a smaller population, more people had contact with representatives in both state and national offices. Again, I think things cycle and it won't surprise me to see it swing back. But, if it doesn't, government of the people, etc. is in deep trouble.

I think you touch on a good point about connectedness. People today are more kind/less selfish towards "the other"; i.e. less racism, nationalism, regionalism, etc.

But, we are far more atomized as individuals. People are less connected to their families; fewer people live near their relatives, fewer children live with both parents and/or near grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins etc. People are less connected to their communities; fewer people belong to voluntary orgs., clubs, churches, lodges, etc. Heck, people even spend less time socializing in bars and pubs (which used to be ubiquitous for men after work) and more time alone with our electronics.
   720. The Good Face Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4719828)
I saw an interview with Obama after the Snowden story broke, and Obama said simply that the #1 job of the POTUS is to "keep the American people safe." You can say that's bullshit if you want, or that he has overstepped, or that we should change the laws, or that the system is broken, or that certain principles currently being ignored are more important than that and if adherence to those principles increases the risk of successful terrorist attacks, so be it. I wouldn't necessarily disagree. But everybody, ultimately, will draw a line somewhere, as we all know.


Historically speaking, that's the #1 job of GOVERNMENT. Unless you subscribe to the "l'etat c'est moi" school of political thought (and I think quite a few lefties here do, at least when it comes to their team in charge), there's a difference between the President and the Government.
   721. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4719830)
Historically speaking, that's the #1 job of GOVERNMENT. Unless you subscribe to the "l'etat c'est moi" school of political thought (and I think quite a few lefties here do, at least when it comes to their team in charge), there's a difference between the President and the Government.


The President's job is to execute the will of the GOVERNMENT. He's the Executive. There is little to no evidence that his execution of the drone program has in any way contradicted the will of the GOVERNMENT, excepting the lone voice of Rand Paul standing sadly in the corner with no friends.
   722. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4719831)
This isn't that hard of a concept. I have personal disagreement with any number of SCOTUS decisions. I've noted many of them here. What I don't do is run around pretending that my opinion trumps the law itself


Trumps? I haven't held a press conference demanding that all machinery currently in motion per the ACA be halted immediately since I believe the ACA is unconstitutional. I merely know that I am correct while the USSC was wrong. And I am. And they were.


   723. Mefisto Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4719835)
Interesting to contrast Madison during the War of 1812 with ... well pretty much any other president.


Madison believed more in republican government than probably any other President.

Before they overturned that ruling, Dred Scott was constitutional.


Part of Dred Scott still stands: the Missouri Compromise is still unconstitutional. Not that anybody cares any more.

   724. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4719836)
We're approaching 13 years of two administrations leveraging the AUMF to grant the authority I say it does, and not a peep from Congress or the judicial.

And that's empirically wrong. The Supremes have struck down Administration interpreations at least once, in the GITMO tribunals case. They probably also did in Boumedienne.

I think you'd more likely to find the wind-pisser by looking in the mirror.
   725. The Good Face Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4719838)
The President's job is to execute the will of the GOVERNMENT. He's the Executive. There is little to no evidence that his execution of the drone program has in any way contradicted the will of the GOVERNMENT, excepting the lone voice of Rand Paul standing sadly in the corner with no friends.


You are conflating the executive function with the government. The will of the executive is not the will of the government in the US; one might speculate as to the reasons you and others here are confusing them (but only when your guy is in office!).
   726. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4719841)
The will of the executive is not the will of the government in the US


Oh, do tell us Mr. The Good Face, where rests the true secret will of the government?
   727. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4719842)
The will of the executive is not the will of the government in the US


Once again it doesn't matter what you or I think, clearly the presidents think (or at least act as if they think) that way.

Other than the occasional partisan sniping (yes both sides do it) this isn't really a partisan issue, it is a systemic one.
   728. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4719844)
If he declares the war over, then the premise of every expansive authority is itself gone.

How, if the AUMF is still good law and is as expansive as you suggest?
   729. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4719845)
The AUMF is an authorization to use military force in the "war on terror."
   730. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4719846)
The President's job is to execute the will of the GOVERNMENT.

Unless that will conflicts with the Constitution and other supreme laws.

   731. The Good Face Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4719847)
The will of the executive is not the will of the government in the US

Oh, do tell us Mr. The Good Face, where rests the true secret will of the government?


Good lord, did you not pay attention to those Schoolhouse Rock cartoons when you were a small child? Was there no Civics class offered at the swamp hovel you did your book learnins in? This is really basic and remedial stuff. The will of the government is not, "Whatever the #### the President wants to do." If you want to stand up and make that argument, by all means do so; I've long suspected that anybody who spends so much time railing about "fascists" must harbor some... tendencies in that direction.
   732. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4719850)
Good lord, did you not pay attention to those Schoolhouse Rock cartoons when you were a small child? Was there no Civics class offered at the swamp hovel you did your book learnins in? This is really basic and remedial stuff. The will of the government is not, "Whatever the #### the President wants to do."


No, the will of the government is the legal execution of the laws of the legislature, barring review by the judicial, as interpreted by the executive. As for fascism, you're the guy wearing the "neo-reactionary" jackboots, Twiddles. (Anyone who claims to not have some basic fascistic instincts is a liar; fascism is inherent in the ego.)
   733. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4719851)
Interesting to contrast Madison during the War of 1812 with ... well pretty much any other president.


Being a Curious Mouse (handle change?) I went and read about the War of 1812. This amused me:
During the 19th century the popular image of the war in the United States was of an American victory, and in Canada, of a Canadian victory. Each young country saw its self-perceived victory as an important foundation of its growing nationhood. The British, on the other hand, who had been preoccupied by Napoleon's challenge in Europe, paid little attention to what was to them a peripheral and secondary dispute, a distraction from the principal task at hand.
   734. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4719852)
nless that will conflicts with the Constitution and other supreme laws.


Which shall be known only by the utterances of Lord SugarBear Blanks, Arbiter of All Supreme Laws On The Internet.
   735. bunyon Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4719853)
If he declares the war over, then the premise of every expansive authority is itself gone.

How, if the AUMF is still good law and is as expansive as you suggest?


This is a good question. How have declared wars ended? Did ratification of the treaty signed on the Missouri negate the declaration of war from 1941? Or does Congress have to do something else, explicit, to officially end a declared war?

If so, I'd think they'd have to do something to cancel AUMF. I would guess that would be hard to get through Congress, even if the president were willing to sign off on it, which I'm not sure he would. Obama could say, "the war on terror is over" and the Republicans would pretty much just use it as proof he's a muslim terrorist.
   736. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4719854)
The AUMF is an authorization to use military force in the "war on terror."

You do know that the AUMF has actual words, right? And that those words aren't as you say.

It's an authorization to use military force against people, organizations, etc. involved with the 9/11 attacks. It isn't a free-floating writ to do anything you want to prevent "terror," or in prosecution of the "war on terror."

Moreover, the AUMF does not trump or supersede other laws or, obviously, the constitution.

When the Bush administration said the AUMF gave them the authority to set up the GITMO military tribunals as they saw fit, the Supreme Court said no it didn't. (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld). There's legal authority in this area, notwithstanding your assertions. The Supreme Court has already said no to the maximalist reading you're offering up.
   737. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4719855)
I've long suspected that anybody who spends so much time railing about "fascists" must harbor some... tendencies in that direction.

I KNEW you were a Stonecutter Cathedral-ite!
   738. The Good Face Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4719857)
No, the will of the government is the legal execution of the laws of the legislature, barring review by the judicial, as interpreted by the executive.


Better. And that helps explain why you're wrong, as per 736. I'm glad we've reached an enlightened point in the conversation where you're willing to concede that the role of the executive is not, in fact, to "Fuck shit up and do whatever the hell he wants, bitches!"

As for fascism, you're the guy wearing the "neo-reactionary" jackboots, Twiddles.


Your ignorance is showing; neo-reaction has little use for the nationalist populism that's involved with most fascist movements.
   739. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4719860)
You do know that the AUMF has actual words, right?


Way to shatter my deeply cherished belief that it actually consisted of interpretive dancing.
   740. Lassus Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4719862)
I guess this is trolling, but I have wondered lately what Ray thinks of the Bechdel test.
   741. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4719863)
When the Bush administration said the AUMF gave them the authority to set up the GITMO military tribunals as they saw fit, the Supreme Court said no it didn't. (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld). There's legal authority in this area, notwithstanding your assertions. The Supreme Court has already said no to the maximalist reading you're offering up.


The SCOTUS has said no to one single tactic. They've been silent otherwise. If you think drone war is unconstitutional, sue the state.
   742. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4719866)
Was there no Civics class offered at the swamp hovel you did your book learnins in?


This has come up before; in my school, civics was reserved for the, for lack of a better description, perceived non-college-bound kids. I think they took it for a semester instead of history.

Why that was, I have no idea. But it definitely was the case.
   743. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4719867)
Your ignorance is showing; neo-reaction has little use for the nationalist populism that's involved with most fascist movements.


Most modern fascists(*) eschew truth in advertising their own beliefs.

(*)i.e. the right wing version of "modern liberals" natch.
   744. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4719869)
Another indication that it's not just Republicans - Bergdahl Case Shakes Democrats Confidence In Adinistration:
President Obama’s handling of the Bergdahl prisoner exchange has renewed frustration among congressional Democrats about the administration’s relations with its allies on Capitol Hill, and prompted criticism that the White House failed to prepare the lawmakers for the politically explosive case.

While Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Intelligence Committee, went public with her dissatisfaction at not being notified in advance about the exchange, other lawmakers and officials said privately that Democrats felt exposed by their lack of knowledge about the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture and the backgrounds of the five Taliban officials traded for his freedom.

The chain of events, coming after days of contending with a searing scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs and coupled with some Democratic unrest over new proposed rules on power plant emissions, has some Democrats questioning the effectiveness of the administration’s team and its ability to help them get on the offensive with a midterm election just months away. “We have to quit putting out fires,” said one Democratic senator, who asked not to be named in talking candidly about internal party views of the White House.
. . .
Despite the president’s service in the Senate, the relationship between the Obama White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill has been troubled in recent years as lawmakers complained that administration paid scant attention to the political needs of Democratic members and didn’t reach out to them enough. White House allies have suggested that lawmakers are too needy and that stroking congressional egos in either party is no guarantee of legislative progress.

There are two aspects to the Bergdahl case: (1) the trade itself; and (2) how the Obama Administration rolled it out. The trade for the Taliban Top 5 is a tough call, and there are reports that under Leon Panetta the Defense Department opposed the deal because it would be like trading Bergdahl for "5 4-Star Generals".

Even though the trade might have been somewhat controversial, I don't think it would have been politically damaging had the Obama Administration not completely bungled the the second aspect - the announcement and initial defense of the deal. The Administration completely ignored the circumstances of Bergdahl's abandoning his unit, apparently thinking it wouldn't come up and/or didn't matter. The perception that the Administration wasn't being straight with the American people was further reinforced when Obama's National Security Director when on TV to [falsely] claim that Bergdahl had "served with honor and distinction" and had "been captured on the battlefield". That's a major unforced error that put Congressional Democrats out on a limb. No wonder they are unhappy.

   745. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4719873)
There are two aspects to the Bergdahl case: (1) the trade itself; and (2) how the Obama Administration rolled it out.


The first is policy, the second politics, and a particularly uninteresting (to me) brand of PR driven here-today-gone-tomorrow politics that seldom lasts past the next poll.

My prediction is by July no one will care about this story, especially since it is Congress mostly whining, and Congress is less popular than STDs. However, for the moment it is a Obama black eye, so enjoy it YC.
   746. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4719877)
The first is policy, the second politics, and a particularly uninteresting (to me) brand of PR driven here-today-gone-tomorrow politics that seldom lasts past the next poll.

Since "the second" involves being straight with the American people, it's a pretty important part of politics. Even if the Unsweetened Rodent doesn't care & thinks it doesn't matter (what a surprise!), it appears that Congressional Democrats disagree.
   747. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4719883)
Since "the second" involves being straight with the American people, it's a pretty important part of politics.


I disagree with your characterization. The PR problem they have is because (as has been said up thread multiple times) they had a Rose Garden Ceremony where they talked up the release (the horror) and they hurt Congresses feelings (double horror). Basically you are trying to make more of this (both the "scandal" and my comment) than exists.

It is a nice moment for the anti-Obama crowd. It is not more than that.
   748. The Good Face Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4719887)
Most modern fascists(*) eschew truth in advertising their own beliefs.


Yes, you got me. I'm soft-pedaling my beliefs. The guy who thinks mass participatory democracy sucks, advocates a soft eugenics program, and wants to return to an explicit patriarchy is trying to trick people with a soft-sell.
   749. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4719889)

Since "the second" involves being straight with the American people, it's a pretty important part of politics.


Not really; a year ago the same people complaining about the exchange today were condemning Obama for dragging his feet while an American soldier was still in captivity.
   750. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4719890)
Even if the Unsweetened Rodent doesn't care & thinks it doesn't matter (what a surprise!)


And for the record I did not say it doesn't matter. I said it is uninteresting to me and will be irrlevent by July. here are many thigns that matter that qualify under that statement, and this is one of them.
   751. Mefisto Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4719891)
The most revealing aspect of the Bergdahl situation is the appalling moral bankruptcy of the Republicans. So many of them demanded that Obama get him out, or first praised him for doing so, then turned on Obama once he did. That's despicable behavior. It's even worse, though: if you see someone drowning, you don't demand proof that they didn't do something stupid to get into that situation. No, you rescue them and sort the rest out later.

That's putting aside the fact that we don't even have all the facts yet.
   752. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4719895)
The first is policy, the second politics, and a particularly uninteresting (to me) brand of PR driven here-today-gone-tomorrow politics that seldom lasts past the next poll.

My prediction is by July no one will care about this story, especially since it is Congress mostly whining, and Congress is less popular than STDs. However, for the moment it is a Obama black eye, so enjoy it YC.

Hand-wave, hand-wave, hand-wave, with a large dose of dishonesty mixed in.

***
The most revealing aspect of the Bergdahl situation is the appalling moral bankruptcy of the Republicans. So many of them demanded that Obama get him out, or first praised him for doing so, then turned on Obama once he did. That's despicable behavior. It's even worse, though: if you see someone drowning, you don't demand proof that they didn't do something stupid to get into that situation. No, you rescue them and sort the rest out later.

Analogy fail.
   753. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4719898)
No, you rescue them and sort the rest out later.


Correct. get the POW home and then figure it out.

Analogy fail.


Incorrect.
   754. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4719900)
Once again, the taliban guys we released are also prisoners of war. Unless you think we should emulate Stalin and keep them long after the war has ended, we were going to release them in the next couple years anyway.
   755. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4719902)
Correct. get the POW home and then figure it out.

Bergdahl was never listed as a POW.

Incorrect.

Nope. Analogizing this to tossing a rope to a drowning person is sheer idiocy. Obama did way more than that, and then, in an act of utter buffoonery, held a Rose Garden ceremony to trumpet it. Somewhere, Yosemite Sam is laughing loudly.

***
Once again, the taliban guys we released are also prisoners of war. Unless you think we should emulate Stalin and keep them long after the war has ended, we were going to release them in the next couple years anyway.

Pure — and likely erroneous — speculation.
   756. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4719904)
then, in an act of utter buffoonery, held a Rose Garden ceremony to trumpet it


Like I said people are emotional about the PR part of it, which is interesting to some, but not me.
   757. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4719905)
Like I said people are emotional about the PR part of it, which is interesting to some, but not me.

None of it is interesting to you, which is the problem. There's nothing you can't hand-wave away if done by "Team Blue."

Predictably, the Taliban is already talking about kidnapping people as a result of Obama's latest boondoggle:

Asked whether the Taliban would be inspired by the exchange to kidnap others, a commander laughed. “Definitely."

... but let me guess — you're not interested in that, either.
   758. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4719915)
A true patriot would apparently prefer the Taliban shoot surrendering Americans rather than take them prisoner.
   759. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4719920)
more gotcha journalism from redstate:
COOPER: Would you oppose the idea of some form of negotiations or prisoner exchange? I know back in 2012 you called the idea of even negotiating with the Taliban bizarre, highly questionable.
McCAIN: Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man.
I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details. [...]
COOPER: So if there was some — the possibility of some sort of exchange, that’s something you would support?
McCAIN: I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.

   760. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4719924)
also, this is probably worthy of some consideration. each person can decide for themselves how much or how little it's worth considering, but it should at least be mentioned.
   761. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4719927)
The guy who thinks mass participatory democracy sucks, advocates a soft eugenics program, and wants to return to an explicit patriarchy is trying to trick people with a soft-sell.


No, he just has a difficult time admitting even to himself that he's a fascist. All of those things listed above, of course, are fascistic.
   762. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4719928)
So many of them demanded that Obama get him out, or first praised him for doing so, then turned on Obama once he did. That's despicable behavior.

Many people, apparently including some in Congress from both parties, were unaware of the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's abandoning his unit until reports surfaced of soldiers in his unit disputing the Obama Administration's characterization of Bergdahl serving "with honor and distinction". Nothing wrong with revising your opinion when presented with additional information, as appears to be the case here.
   763. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4719930)
None of it is interesting to you, which is the problem. There's nothing you can't hand-wave away if done by "Team Blue."


The JoeK accusing someone else of "team" partisanship is hilarious.
   764. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4719932)
Many people, apparently including some in Congress from both parties, were unaware of the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's abandoning his unit until reports surfaced of soldiers in his unit disputing the Obama Administration's characterization of Bergdahl serving "with honor and distinction". Nothing wrong with revising your opinion when presented with additional information, as appears to be the case here.


That is to say, nothing wrong with playing politics with POWs as long as it benefits Team Red.
   765. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4719933)
more gotcha journalism from redstate:
COOPER: Would you oppose the idea of some form of negotiations or prisoner exchange? I know back in 2012 you called the idea of even negotiating with the Taliban bizarre, highly questionable.
McCAIN: Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man.
I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details. [...]
COOPER: So if there was some — the possibility of some sort of exchange, that’s something you would support?
McCAIN: I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.

LOL. McCain said he was against exchanging "hardcore Taliban leaders," and Obama exchanged ... hardcore Taliban leaders. This is only a "gotcha" in liberals' delusions.
   766. Mefisto Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4719934)
Many people, apparently including some in Congress from both parties, were unaware of the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's abandoning his unit until reports surfaced of soldiers in his unit disputing the Obama Administration's characterization of Bergdahl serving "with honor and distinction". Nothing wrong with revising your opinion when presented with additional information, as appears to be the case here.


The Rolling Stone article on Bergdahl came out on June 7, 2012.
   767. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4719936)
The Rolling Stone article on Bergdahl came out on June 7, 2012.

And yet Obama held a Rose Garden ceremony to trumpet Bergdahl's release. Strange, that.
   768. Mefisto Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4719938)
I should reiterate that the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture continue to be irrelevant. For one thing, we bring him back and deal with that among ourselves (like the drowning person). For another, those circumstances, whatever they may be, have nothing to do with the hypocrisy of those who first demanded we retrieve him and now criticize Obama for having done so.
   769. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4719940)
I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details.


The details in question is whether or not John McCain's support would be politically easy for John McCain, or if it would require John McCain to take a stand that wasn't politically easy for John McCain. Further details regarding whether or not John McCain could be a petty, whiny, sore lose with regard to another pol who had the audacity to beat him in an election would obviously have to be considered as well.
   770. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4719941)
I should reiterate that the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture continue to be irrelevant. For one thing, we bring him back and deal with that among ourselves (like the drowning person). For another, those circumstances, whatever they may be, have nothing to do with the hypocrisy of those who first demanded we retrieve him and now criticize Obama for having done so.

Nonsense, from start to finish. Negotiating with the Taliban did nothing but invite future hostage-taking; Bergdahl wasn't remotely analogous to a drowning person; and it's absurd to expect members of Congress to have been better-informed than the Obama White House, especially given the mendacity with which the White House appears to have been acting.
   771. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4719942)
LOL. McCain said he was against exchanging "hardcore Taliban leaders," and Obama exchanged ... hardcore Taliban leaders. This is only a "gotcha" in liberals' delusions.
i have better things to do than argue semantics with a hack lawyer. the quote says what it says and it stands on its own.



   772. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4719943)
I should reiterate that the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture continue to be irrelevant.

It is relevant both to how much you're willing to trade to get him back (clearly you owe more, and should be willing to give more for a Medal of Honor winner than a deserter) and whether or not you celebrate his return, or downplay it.
   773. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4719944)
Since "the second" involves being straight with the American people, it's a pretty important part of politics.


Well, as you and Malkin are brave enough to point out, Obama is as much a "deserter" as Bergdahl, so we can't assume a Muslim sympathizer like him would be straight with Real Americans Who Love Jesus.
   774. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4719945)
Many people, apparently including some in Congress from both parties, were unaware of the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's abandoning his unit until reports surfaced of soldiers in his unit disputing the Obama Administration's characterization of Bergdahl serving "with honor and distinction". Nothing wrong with revising your opinion when presented with additional information, as appears to be the case here.

That is to say, nothing wrong with playing politics with POWs as long as it benefits Team Red.

Some Congressional Democrats have also revised their opinions after more Bergdahl information came out - where they really trying to "benefit Team Red". Don't think so.
   775. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4719946)
It is relevant both to how much you're willing to trade to get him back (clearly you owe more, and should be willing to give more for a Medal of Honor winner than a deserter)


Did you send them both into a war zone? Then you bring them both home.
   776. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4719947)
Some Congressional Democrats have also revised their opinions after more Bergdahl information came out - where they really trying to "benefit Team Red".


No, they're just being spineless congressional worms in an election season, as they are want to do. The only thing they're not doing is "trying to benefit Team Red." They, obviously, are simply playing politics to try and benefit team "them." You and JoeK, on the other hand, are doing nothing but playing politics to benefit Team Red.
   777. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4719948)
i have better things to do than argue semantics with a hack lawyer. the quote says what it says and it stands on its own.

I'm not a lawyer, and, yes, the quote does stand on its own — in direct opposition to the point you were trying to make. A person with third-grade reading skills would have recognized that before posting it.

***
You and JoeK, on the other hand, are doing nothing but playing politics to benefit Team Red.

Says one of the most partisan hacks on the internet, who insists he's a down-the-middle special flower. Ha ha.
   778. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4719949)
Well, as you and Malkin are brave enough to point out, Obama is as much a "deserter" as Bergdahl, so we can't assume a Muslim sympathizer like him would be straight with Real Americans Who Love Jesus.

Sam isn't accurately describing anyone's position. Nothing new about that.
   779. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4719950)
Pure — and likely erroneous — speculation.


So can we say that JoeK is arguing here that the US should not release prisoners of the Afghan war after we end that war. Is JoeK arguing here that the US should hold POWs of that war indefinitely, regardless of our state of engagement in that theater? If so, can we officially start calling him Uncle JoeK?
   780. The Good Face Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4719951)
No, he just has a difficult time admitting even to himself that he's a fascist. All of those things listed above, of course, are fascistic.


I enjoy it when people live up to stereotypes. Those are all just things you and liberals disagree with, which, as the old joke goes, is the surest way of detecting fascism. And all this from the guy who quite literally claimed in this thread that the executive embodies the will of the government, and is thus justified in anything he does. Who says irony is dead?

Anyway, I'll take the subject change as an admission that even you realized your claim in 743 was idiotic.
   781. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4719953)
Sam isn't accurately describing anyone's position. Nothing new about that.


You have no interest in anything other than inflating Team Red talking points. We all know this. You know this. If arguing the exact opposite on any issue were to become the official GOP talking point of choice tonight, you'd be arguing that non-stop and cherry picking any links you could to support that talking point tomorrow. You do not care about bringing home American soldiers. You care about using the fate of American soldiers to puff up your partisan political allies. Soldiers are nothing but stick figures for you to spin a Team Red narrative out of.
   782. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4719954)
None of it is interesting to you, which is the problem.


I have been very clear about what interests me, and PR is not one of them. The policy of it does interest me, and I am in favor of "bringing the boys back home" as a policy. I am also against Gitmo in its current incarnation, as a matter of policy.

The separation of powers, between Congress and the President I also find interesting, and have my feelings known on that issue.

The Rose Garden "buffoonery" doesn't. Nothing personal Joe, I just find it boring and basically inconsequential. By July no one will care about the Rose Garden ceremony (hard core GOP types, who for example still care about Benghazi! excepted, of course).
   783. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4719955)
And all this from the guy who quite literally claimed in this thread that the executive embodies the will of the government, and is thus justified in anything he does.


The executive is the will of the government. It could hardly be otherwise.

I never said a word about justifying any particular action. But then again we know you have difficulty with plain English, Lancelot.
   784. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4719956)
The Rose Garden "buffoonery" doesn't


They think they've found their "Mission Accomplished" analog. They're going to run with it nonstop for a while. I guess it moves them past the Benghazi nonsense, so there's that.
   785. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4719960)
Well, as you and Malkin are brave enough to point out, Obama is as much a "deserter" as Bergdahl, so we can't assume a Muslim sympathizer like him would be straight with Real Americans Who Love Jesus.

Sam isn't accurately describing anyone's position. Nothing new about that.

You have no interest in anything other than inflating Team Red talking points. We all know this. You know this. If arguing the exact opposite on any issue were to become the official GOP talking point of choice tonight, you'd be arguing that non-stop and cherry picking any links you could to support that talking point tomorrow. You do not care about bringing home American soldiers. You care about using the fate of American soldiers to puff up your partisan political allies. Soldiers are nothing but stick figures for you to spin a Team Red narrative out of.

Interesting that Sam cites my support for the GOP as justification for his distorting my position. Pretty revealing, no?
   786. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4719961)
Interesting that Sam cites my support for the GOP as justification for his distorting my position.


I'm not distorting your position. I'm simply removing the spin of it.
   787. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4719962)
I'm not a lawyer, and, yes, the quote does stand on its own — in direct opposition to the point you were trying to make. A person with third-grade reading skills would have recognized that before posting it.

COOPER: Would you oppose the idea of some form of negotiations or prisoner exchange? I know back in 2012 you called the idea of even negotiating with the Taliban bizarre, highly questionable.
McCAIN: Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man.
I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details. [...]
COOPER: So if there was some — the possibility of some sort of exchange, that’s something you would support?
McCAIN: I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.



   788. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4719963)
I have been very clear about what interests me, and PR is not one of them. The policy of it does interest me, and I am in favor of "bringing the boys back home" as a policy. I am also against Gitmo in its current incarnation, as a matter of policy.

The separation of powers, between Congress and the President I also find interesting, and have my feelings known on that issue.

The Rose Garden "buffoonery" doesn't. Nothing personal Joe, I just find it boring and basically inconsequential. By July no one will care about the Rose Garden ceremony (hard core GOP types, who for example still care about Benghazi! excepted, of course).

Entirely non-responsive to my claim that you're not interested in the Taliban being incentivized to take hostages.

***
So can we say that JoeK is arguing here that the US should not release prisoners of the Afghan war after we end that war. Is JoeK arguing here that the US should hold POWs of that war indefinitely, regardless of our state of engagement in that theater? If so, can we officially start calling him Uncle JoeK?

Hey, look, Sammy's throwing around military terms again. That's always fun.

Anyway, no, I don't believe the U.S. should be releasing people wanted for war crimes.

***

Re: #787, McCain plainly says he opposed trading "hardcore Taliban leaders," but that he would "be inclined to support" some other prisoner swap, "depending on a lot of the details." Where, in there, do you believe McCain performed a flip-flop in support of trading "hardcore Taliban leaders"?
   789. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4719964)

Anyway, no, I don't believe the U.S. should be releasing people wanted for war crimes.


Interesting that they're wanted for war crimes yet haven't been put on trial yet.
   790. zenbitz Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4719967)
It is relevant both to how much you're willing to trade to get him back (clearly you owe more, and should be willing to give more for a Medal of Honor winner than a deserter)


I am not sure you can make a value statement like this when there is exactly one POW we are trying to get back. This is why Israel traded 500:1 or whatever. We traded <100% of our prisoners for 100% of theirs. There aren't any MoH winners to get back, are there?


Negotiating with the Taliban did nothing but invite future hostage-taking


On whose part? Ours I assume - since we will want some trade bait if we have any more deserters. As Slivers said -- you would rather the Taliban take no prisoners?
   791. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4719969)
Anyway, no, I don't believe the U.S. should be releasing people wanted for war crimes.
isn't george dubya wanted for war crimes?
   792. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4719970)
It is relevant both to how much you're willing to trade to get him back (clearly you owe more, and should be willing to give more for a Medal of Honor winner than a deserter)


Has this ever been US policy? I know that you generally exchange prisoners for counterparts of equal rank. But I've never known the US (or any nation, in fact) to try to calculate the 'virtuousness' of prisoners prior to exchanging them.
   793. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4719971)
I should reiterate that the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture continue to be irrelevant.

Not at all. If he willingly joined the Taliban, and that's how he was "captured," his desertion becomes treason.

From all indications, he flipped and aided the enemy.
   794. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4719973)


On whose part? Ours I assume - since we will want some trade bait if we have any more deserters. As Slivers said -- you would rather the Taliban take no prisoners?


Moreover, it's very strange to suggest the Taliban could be taking dozens of Americans captive but haven't done so up until now -- only one American POW in the last 12 years -- perhaps because of the hitherto famous American disregard for the welfare of their POWs.


From all indications, he flipped and aided the enemy.


There is absolutely no indication of that.
   795. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4719975)
Interesting that they're wanted for war crimes yet haven't been put on trial yet.

Not really, given that the White House and DOJ are apparently occupied by people who believe Miranda applies on the battlefield.

Moreover, it's very strange to suggest the Taliban could be taking dozens of Americans captive but haven't done so up until now -- only one American POW in the last 12 years -- perhaps because of the hitherto famous American disregard for the welfare of their POWs.

Huh? Until last week, the U.S. wasn't known to entertain such trades.
   796. Shredder Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4719977)
LOL. McCain said he was against exchanging "hardcore Taliban leaders," and Obama exchanged ... hardcore Taliban leaders. This is only a "gotcha" in liberals' delusions.
It would make more sense to hear the interview in context, but there is a key difference between "release" and "exchange". McCain opposed releasing them as "a confidence building measure", but said he would support exchanging them. McCain fairly clearly delineates a distinction between the two. I'm not sure what it says about Joek that he can't tell the difference. You'd think someone who made a living in baseball would understand the difference between releasing someone and trading them. LOL indeed.
   797. steagles Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4719978)
Re: #787, McCain plainly says he opposed trading "hardcore Taliban leaders," but that he would "be inclined to support" some other prisoner swap, "depending on a lot of the details." Where, in there, do you believe McCain performed a flip-flop in support of trading "hardcore Taliban leaders"?
what does the phrase "confidence-building measure" mean to you? i'll use in an excerpt and bold it for you:

COOPER: Would you oppose the idea of some form of negotiations or prisoner exchange? I know back in 2012 you called the idea of even negotiating with the Taliban bizarre, highly questionable.
McCAIN: Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hard-core, particularly five really hard-core Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man.
I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details. [...]
COOPER: So if there was some — the possibility of some sort of exchange, that’s something you would support?
McCAIN: I would support. Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home, and if exchange was one of them, I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.


so, what does "confidence-building measure" mean, and what does it refer to? everyone with a third grade education should be able to figure it out.
   798. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 05, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4719980)
If he willingly joined the Taliban, and that's how he was "captured," his desertion becomes treason.


Yes, and if he grew wings and flew to space, it became an X-Men spinoff. Any more fantasy elements we need to work into this thing?
   799. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: June 05, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4719981)
Speaking of Wars, the 70 year anniversary of D-Day is tomorrow. Does anyone have a good documentary that they can recommend about it? Also I was having a discussion with my friend about WW2 and he doesnt think that had the landing failed and the war dragged on that we would have used the A-Bomb on Berlin. I think we would have. Any thoughts?
   800. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 05, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4719982)
.
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