May 14th 2009 Thursday
Hour One: Has Dick Cheney won?
Hour Two: Should the photos be released or not?
Hour Three: "Torture...prosecute or pardon?" Thom speaks with constitutional law expert, Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general under Reagan www.thelichfieldgroup.com
Advertiser Success Story: Natren Probiotics www.natren.com 1-866-462-8736
You invited your new "live" listeners from Anchorage to participate in the "live" chat room and you told them that they would have to register which you explained is a way of keeping trolls out.
I'm fine with that, but why is it necessary for people to register and log-in to merely read the Message Boards? This is the only "progressive" talker's site that requires people to log-in (which requires registration) to read. I believe that this deters participation on the message boards.
Scenario 1: Someone wants to read the message boards. When they figure out how to get there they discover that they have to log-in to access the boards. To log-in, they have to register which requires giving personal information (email address). It’s not inconceivable that they decide it’s not worth their privacy to merely read the boards. Therefore, they never become participants.
Scenario 2) Someone wants to read the message boards and clicks the proper links and is able to read the discussions. They see a discussion that interests them and decide they want to participate. They register, join the discussion, contribute great ideas that inspire others and America finally fulfills its potential.
Thom, I would think you're the one who calls the shots here. I would think that you're the decider on this issue.
Question 1: Which is the better scenario?
Question 2: Thom, why do you hate America?
Hey, B-tRoll -
Thom HATES America??!!! Nice try, dude. I guess, however, that your post puts the concept that registration keeps the trolls out in a poor light.
If you listen to Thom's show AT ALL, then you've heard his arguement re:card check and the Employee Free Choice Act, but I'll take the trouble to restare it here - IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN A PUBLIC, DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION, YOU MUST STATE YOUR INTENTION TO DO SO, PUBLICLY. You wanna vote? You go to a public building and register. You want to have a union in your work place? Sign a card that says so. You want to participate in the discussions in this forum? Tell the moderators who you are.
On the other hand, if you don't want anyone here to know anything about you, you are welcome to keep your opinions to yourself.
I see the conservatives still trying to learn how to use a computer are here. I believe President Obama is fearing for his life here or at least being told what to do by the military industrial complex. we must keep visualizing that candle of hope and continue to demand a free and open society. G-d bless the ACLU- send them some money.
Here is my diagnostic to the right. If the right wingers support not showing the pictures, then this destroys your argument that being big bad butch torturers will protect us. The military does not support torture for this reason being they have their own best interests in mind.
It is so fundamental, you hurt someone, they hurt you back, then their relatives hurt your relatives and wa la- you have perpetual war. Jesus was the bigger man and taught us to turn the other cheek in love, knowing this would end the ways of war.
Torture is immoral and should be illegal, whether it works or not.
If I were ever in the extremely unlikely "ticking time bomb" scenario like in the tv show "24", I would probably torture someone for information but I would then expect to go to jail for it. I would never expect that behavior to be socially acceptable or legal.
Our country engaged in torture and now we know about it. We must demand that the torturers be brought to justice. Not only those who ordered it but those who actually did it. Because we know it was done, failure to prosecute those
responsible makes us accomplices after the fact. We can not even
claim, as the Germans did, that we did not know. We do know! Crimes
were committed in our name. Crimes against Humanity. I am sickened
that anyone can defend what was done. If there are any moral or
ethical absolutes, surely one of them is the requirement that people
(or animals for that matter) under our control, unable to defend
themselves, must not be mistreated.
After World War II we declared to the world that torture was so
abhorrent, so far outside the bounds of acceptable human behavior that
it's perpetrators needed to be prosecuted and, if found guilty,
executed. And we did so. Even though, as far as I know, there was no
specific law making it illegal.
Thom, Last week you read my comment on air, and said that I was the winner. What did I win?
Tzedik. Tzedik. Tzedik . . . Justice. Justice. Justice you shall seek.
“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Torture is America’s newest ugly child. Arthur Miller, in After the Fall, describes the situation exactly. We must face brutal horror, examine it, kiss it full upon the mouth and own that it is us . . . before we can get through this.
Anything else lacks humanity and violates humanity beyond its core.
Tom is speak from another age when he gives samples of Japan and Lt Calley. In this new time youth have been exposed to horrors on TV and internet, so showing executions will not get the response he expects.
And, as too many have forgotten; Obama said on more than one occasion that he cannot do what needs to be done without our help (every one of us). If we sit on our hands and do not call, protest, write and fax our representatives in DC then we will not get the results that Obama told that we can get. So, we does our campaign to stop the madness.
I wrote this message to Barack Obama through the ACLU website.
Showing these photos might or might not inflame the Islamic world,
depending on the way it is portrayed. If we show how much we deplore
this kind of thing the rest of the world, which already knows what
has happened and has taken steps to bring the architects of this
new holocaust to justice.
No single man can change the laws to protect himself from committing a crime. We cannot stand by and allow committing murder to become ok by anyone.
FOR FAR TOO LONG WE LIBERALS HAVE FORGIVEN OTHERS FOR THEIR BAD DEEDS!
We should not only investigate crimes, but find out what kind of sick deseased mind could think up such sadistic acts.
FLASHBACK July 29, 2008 ..... Pelosi Claims No Bush Crime, No Cause for Impeachment
Could somebody please post the website that has the pictures that Thom has been talking about today?
I think that Obama and all Americans should revisit the story of Emitt Till.
Photos matter, and the lame excuse Obama gives is just that. Inflaming hatred for America?
I think that happens more when we use drones to bomb babies than when we prosecute fellow americans for war crimes.
I think it speaks to the ethnocentric ism that dominates our country, that the President doesnt think Afghanis or Muslims are capable of understanding the difference between an endorsement of torture(i.e not prosecuting criminals) and accountability for said criminals.
Wont it look worse when it becomes glaringly apparent to the ppl we are supposed to fear, that they are held to a different standard than that which we hold ourselves too??
I think it does far more to "inflame: hatred of America by not prosecuting .
Maybe I am Crazy......
“The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers”-Carl Gustav Jung
. . . And the winner this years in the category of Conspiracy to Cover-up War Crimes . . . Mr. Barack Obama , President of the United States of America.
This is a big win should come as little surprise to his adoring public in the light of Obama’s lame attempt, last year, at supporting the destruction of the Bill of Rights by fleeing Washington, D.C. for the final FISA vote. Here to accept the trophy on President Obama’s behalf today is Porter Goss . . .
i am so saddened and now i am getting angry that evil is beginning to win. i thought good had won once we put Obama in office. it is time to STAND UP!!
Proof that racists tend to be incredibly stupid! The front page of today's Eugene Register-Guard has an article about two parents who got into a racially charged altercation at their son's high school over a perceived wrong. If that wasn't stupid enough, while in jail they called their minor children at home with instructions for the care and feeding of their indoor marijuana growing operation! Seems like a topic for the show! Are racists inherently stupid?
If President Obama thinks that public exposure is unwarranted . . . President Obama should send the pictures to Spain as they has jurisdiction over War Crimes and Torture . . .
Read Ursula LeGuin’s ‘Those Who Walk Away from Omelas’ . . . All the beauty in the Omniverse is for not if it is built up the suffering of one individual. We are a nation of laws . . . And laws are for mankind.
You can trace every social problem in this country down to poor education. We are a dumb nation as a whole. Its easier to control people if they are ignorant, America is the garden of Eden for our Corp. Fascist, that really rule this country.
Time to throw the gloves off, and fight for all the things our forefathers thought were worth dieing for.
My My, did you hear the fear in that last caller's voice pleading with us like an abused wife fearing her oppressor. Release the torture pictures and lets get some sunlight on the matter. Reckoning Day is here folks. Do you want hell or the Golden Age of Peace we could have- but we won't have it with little chickens like that calling in desperation to hide the bruises and the scars. Bra rack! Brack!
Best argument I have heard on the matter is what we began with as opening comments. The rest of the world needs to know we are working thru this, just like any re taking an exam or a class or re building their character. We must show due diligence.
I have always suspected that impeachment was off the table due to the number of Democratic as well as Republican members of congress that would be implicated. Now, because it never happened we are spending much time and energy chasing down the ghosts of the Bush administration instead of focusing on the economy, health care and the environment.
Why isn't Eric Holder demanding the resignations of these left over Repuke judges? These positions are appointed positions and they must be replaced immediately in order to restore the Judicial system. We need to keep calling Eric Holder to tell him quit dragging his feet on this issue. We also need to tell him to throw out the Don Siegelman case too.
Precedent ----- like corporations are people!
Martin Luther King said, it is always the right time to do the right thing.
If you allow these crimes to go unpunished, you are now a criminal as well.
Support the American Civil Liberties Union.
Precedent as a time bomb is correct. More then that is the lack of response can cause great harm. Just as the original legislation DID NOT find corporations to be people, the lie of the reference led to corporations getting all kinds of rights that have caused people to suffer.
We have treaties that give corporations rights OVER our country! This is not something that should be accepted but is and the lack of congress to redress means that we are left being liable to corporate policy.
If we do not get Pres Obama to rescind rendition, spying on Americans, and other abuses of the Bush dictatorship (he ran the 3 branches - oversight denied) then we will lose those protections and rights too.
It only makes sense that Pres. Obama treads a thin line with the power structure to accomplish his goals. His wife and children are vulnerable, and may hang in the balance of what he does even if his life isn't snatched away as was Kennedy's. Isn't it strange that Obama's grandmother died just before he won? The "timing" was interesting, like a warning. I thought he was unusually somber for his acceptance speech with pain and anger just under the surface. I had the uncanny feeling that he knew her quick departure was a "warning" to him that he isn't free to do what he wants. Obama has to play "chess", and he is counting on the determination and the spirit of the american people to push real change forward.
The republican party needs a new name like "Republican Mafia". Rush and Cheney are like a "Boss" and a "Godfather", dangerously connected to bring people down. We should create images of them as Mafia, and see how this affects the Evangelicals! It would be great if they brought themselves down in the end!
I am unable to find any reference to the torture pictures Thom mentioned-there is nothing at the Sydney Morning Herald online, nor any reference to them on google. Does anyone know how to find these pictures?
Apparently, Thom didn’t know that you had to register to merely READ the message boards on his site. He thought anyone could read it, which by the way, is how it was up until a few months ago. It changed shortly after Thom changed syndicators and got a new website. In fact, it wasn’t like that when the new site started. And it isn’t the case on Ed Schultz’ site, Mike Malloy’s site and Randi Rhodes old site. She doesn’t have a fully functioning site at this time.
Now that Thom knows, he said he’s going to have it changed.
By the way, the “why do you hate America” question was a joke. I actually feel that Thom tends to overlook many of the faults of this country.
If you reread my post, you’ll see that my point was that some people might be interested in reading the message board and be put off by the necessity to register to merely read them. If they have the opportunity to read them without registering, they might decide to register to add their thoughts. If they’re put off before even reading the boards, their participation is lost.
You question whether I listen to the show at all. I’ve been listening since Thom got this slot after Al Franken left to run for the Senate. I used to send Thom emails, but I stopped because Thom has asked us to post on the board because he gets over 500 emails a day.
And for your information, Thom has given me an on air “tip of the hat” at least twice this year.
In fact, Shawn recently wrote me because she selected me as “member of the day” back in January for one of my posts. I think it was the one about Bush requiring journalists at his final presidential press conference to sign a statement promising to abandon the policy of “Shoes first, ask questions later” before they could come in.
Shawn reads this board, and to show there are no hard feelings, I hereby authorize her to send that book to mstaggerlee if you write to her. It wasn’t something I was interested in, although I don’t remember what it is.
By the way, I don’t agree with the comparisons you gave in your post. You were talking about public participation; I was talking about access to information. I’ll also note that you referred to participation in a “public, democratic institution” and say that if you want to do that, you have to state your intention to do so publicly.
This website is owned and run by one or more corporations and Thom has said that corporations are dictatorships, not democracies. In addition, when you register for this site, that information isn’t public. It’s for their internal purposes only.
A few last points:
I did a little experiment and you might want to try it too. Go to Google and enter either Ed Schultz or Mike Malloy. Then click on the link to the show website. Then look for “Message Board” near the top of the page. You’ll go right to the message boards and you don’t have to log in. It took me about 20 seconds. There’s no link on the homepage of Thom’s site to go to the message boards. I don’t know if Mike actually did it, but after Nova M folded, Mike said he was going to have the same people who built Thom’s site build a site for him.
Your B tRoll joke was O.K. In fact I wrote the following to a rather annoying participant on the message boards.
“I’ve read many of your posts here and there was something familiar about them. So I have a question to ask.
Are you my long lost cousin T Roll?”
If you want you can go to the message board click on the “General” link and scroll down about 5 threads to “Thom’s Message Board goes the way of the GOP”. You’ll find my post is around the 7th reply.
Finally, you told me that if I didn’t want anyone to know anything about me I was welcome to keep my opinions to myself.
Well, Thom’s company obviously knows something about me, since I have to be registered to post on this board. I stated as much the last time I posted about this issue on this blocks some time ago. My point wasn’t about me. I was pointing out that some people might not want to give out personal info merely to read the message board. Now that Thom knows about the issue, he agrees that access to those boards shouldn’t require registration, as Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy and Ed Schutlz apparently do.
And I hope you really don’t think that people shouldn’t criticize Thom, his show or his website on his website. I criticize him on this blog all the time. I also post what I hope is helpful information and insights. I will continue to do both. That’s just how I Roll.
In fact, I will soon post another message on this board about confusing information on the contact page that Thom might not be aware of and that could cause listeners a problem.
P.S.: Don’t forget to email Shawn to claim the book. You can reach her through the Contact link.
AZAFVET, here are the links:
BTW, physically we see changes in Obama with his graying hair. Mentally, I would think all this is taking its toll. Maybe it's wearing him down. (Or not...) But when you stop to think that Bush was on vacation about a third of his time in office, maybe Obama could use some high-quality down time (quality, NOT quantity!) Just a thought.
Memo to Lunarelle and AZAFVET -
PLEASE pay attention - What we have been discussing all day is the fact that the administration is hesitant to RELEASE these pictures. They are, at present, UNAVAILABLE to the general public ... AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!!
you can find the pics,( or at least you could three hours ago) at
Earlier this week the Social Security Trust Fund was discussed. Although it is clear that the Trust Fund is insolvent, Social Security should not be privatized.
Part of the reason why it seems that Treasuries held by the Social Security Trust Fund have value is that normally when Treasuries are held they have value to whoever holds them even if the Treasury has spent the proceeds from issuing them. However, when the Treasury holds Treasuries it is holding its own debt. In order to spend the value of the Treasuries to pay Social Security recipients, it must sell its own debt which is borrowing. Because of this, the only way in which it could have avoided needing to borrow in order to spend the value of the Treasuries in the Trust Fund would be to have not already spent the proceeds from the Treasuries.
If the Trust Fund were to withdraw Treasuries from the account, it would have to sell them for cash to give to Social Security recipients. When it is the Fed that sells Treasuries, it is not borrowing. Instead it is sterilization since the Treasury does not get additional funds to spend. However if the Treasury were to sell previously issued Treasuries, it would be the same as if they were issuing new Treasuries since they would be removing the ability to spend from the rest of the economy to transfer to Social Security recipients. This is the same as what would need to be done if there were no savings from previous years in the Trust Fund. It is different than if the Treasury issued the Treasuries and they were then bought and resold later since in such a case the reselling would be offset by the buying. If the Treasuries in the Trust Fund were resold, it would be using one Treasury to borrow twice since they would never have been bought.
In 2018 when the Social Security Trust Fund will need to borrow it will be in the same situation as if someone were spending more in a year than he was earning that year and needed to borrow because of this. However, he would only need to borrow if he didn’t have savings from previous years, which indicates that the Trust Fund really doesn’t have savings from previous years. The only way in which it can be said that the Trust Fund has savings from previous years is in the same way that someone could say that he had a savings account if it was a savings account where if he wanted to withdraw $100.00 the bank would say that he had to pay them $100.00. Without any savings, he would have to borrow the $100.00 to give to the bank to get his $100.00. He certainly wouldn’t be able to use such savings account as collateral for a loan!
If government borrowing is increased to replace the increased amount of government borrowing that goes to Social Security, it will harm the economy by increasing interest rates. To the extent that the additional borrowing causes the dollar to fall, interest rates will rise even more. In addition, as the employed percent of the population becomes smaller, GDP will decline in proportion to spending. This will cause the dollar to fall even more. As inflation increases because of these factors, Social Security obligations will increase to the extent that they are indexed to inflation.
The lack of funding of Social Security will become more apparent in 2011 when baby boomers start to retire. Since the government has depended on having more paid into the Trust Fund each year than is paid out and is using the net inflow of funds for financing spending, even though there will still be a surplus until 2018 the government will have to increase borrowing before then to maintain the same level of spending.
Reaching peak oil will make the situation even worse. As oil is depleted, there will be decreasing real wealth each year as production costs increase and there is more pressure to share the limited remaining oil with the rest of the world. Everyone will have to settle for a smaller slice of a smaller economic pie. However, we have an obligation to pay the debt to those who paid Social Security taxes with their fair percent of the smaller economic pie and to not try to take away through privatization what is owed to them to give a larger share of the shrinking economic pie to the fat cats on Wall Street.
Hey Thom! I can't understand why you can think that Nancy Pelosi and President Obama might be being "blackmailed" by the CIA (I think it has alot of merit) and completely dismiss the concept that the CIA and others cooked up 9/11. If nothing else the evidence that the "government" lied about 9/11 is overwhelming.
I can't speak for Thom, but I can say what I understand about his feelings about 911 from what I've heard him say on the topic.
I think you're wrong in saying that Thom completely dismisses the possibility of government involvement in the 911 attacks. In fact, I recently heard him say that he thinks there should be a better investigation than what came out of the 911 Commission.
I want to point out that Thom isn't against conspiracy theories. He has coauthored books in which they propose their own theories on the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. So, he isn't someone who instinctively dismisses such theories.
If it came up today, I must have missed it, but I've noticed that if a caller raises a 911 conspiracy theory to Thom (or other hosts) and he doesn't respond in a way that believers want, the believers tend to assume he's dismissing the theory outright.
There are many reasons that Thom responds to a particular theory at a particular time. Here are just a few examples, in no particular order:
1) Thom is working against the clock and may not have time to go into it in depth.
2) Thom usually is dealing with a particular topic at a particular time and may want to keep on topic. Now it's true that he often lets callers get into other topics, but that's at his discretion. It is his show and we have to go with how he flows. We can make criticisms and suggestions, but he's the decider. I have criticized Thom for the focus of his show, for his repeated choice of conservative guests to spar with and for topics and kinds of guests he doesn't have.
3) 911 happened almost 8 years ago. Can you imagine how many times 911 conspiracy theories have been brought up by callers. He can only deal with it so many times, and for the most part, Thom and all talkers deal with fairly current stories. I think that if there was some major new breakthrough Thom would deal with it.
Like I said, I think there are topics and guest Thom should deal with and doesn't. All I can do is raise the issue from time to time and I do.
Don't think that Thom completely dismisses the possibility of government involvement in 911. He's far more open to it than I am.
Barack Obama did not run on a mandate of hunting down and punishing the torturers of the Bush administration, and I am tired of hearing him compared to the former president or accused of covering up something. People only cover up crimes they themselves have committed. Thom's trying to figure out if he is playing chess or checkers is absurd. A lot of other liberals are hot on this conspiratorial trail that simply doesn't exist. I think liberals are transferring anger and blame to our new president because they were helpless against Bush and his gang of thugs.
Everyone who actually thinks that President Obama has something up his sleeve with his opinion on the torture photos is living in a paranoid world inside their heads. The President is simply putting the needs of the American people first. It is all well and good for Thom Hartmann to have compassion for those killed and displaced in the Iraqi war, but he is not the president and has the luxury to focus on whatever issue fits his personal sense of politics. If the president pushes torture to the front of the line on his list of priorities we will hear a fury from the electorate that will make the handful of rabid liberals who want the torture issue front and center look like the selfish idiots they are. What? Don't we suffer? Or is the suffering in our country considered trite compared to others?
Let the ACLU, Jonathan Turley, Keith Olbermann and Thom Hartmann beat the drum for justice, just stop insinuating that our president is complicit. More than rude it is just plain stupid and naive.
Grow up, everybody. We just dodged a bullet. Stop for a minute and think what would have happened to the issue of torture if McCain had been president. We Americans can be just so damned ungrateful sometimes.
Lets say the courts, including the Supreme Court, agree with the Obama position that releasing the torture photos would create a more dangerous situation for our troops, and maybe some civilians, who are already in harms way. And they decide this regardless of the legal merits of the case, could you say that the judge, or judges, made the decision based on EMPATHY?
How poorly educated are we really? Everyday the point is proven, many of the callers to the show sound like imbeciles! No offence, we need everyone to be involved. But is there any doubt about how rediculously inane we have become as a nation. WE NEED EDUCATION REFORM!
In anticipation for yet another discussion on the fall of the moral standards of the U.S. government, I thought I'd post this "food for thought." I've been reading through the writings of Cuba's national hero, José Martí. In my opinion, the things he was saying about the government of colonial Spain ring poignant with our U.S. government. Here are a few of my favorite quotes he had for Spain that I think we can use for the U.S.
Quotes from José Martí (1853-1895)
“When countries go astray and from cowardice or indifference commit or excuse grave errors, when the last vestige of energy disappears, when the last – or perhaps the first – expression of political will remains awkwardly silent, then countries weep long, pay for their crimes, and perish, mocked, humiliated, and torn to shreds, as they themselves once mocked and humiliated and tore to shreds.
No idea can ever justify an orgy of blood.
No idea can ever excuse crime, and barbaric refinement in crime.”
“They begged yesterday and are still begging today for greater freedom for themselves, and on the very same day they applaud an unconditional war to crush another’s petition for freedom.
They did wrong.
Spain (the United States) cannot be free while it is stained with blood…”
“And as Cuba (the U.S. middle class) was benevolently restoring your strength, you put your arm under hers and reached for her heart, and ripped it out and tore open the arteries of morality and science.
And when she begged some miserable alms from you as a reward for her hardships, you stretched out your hand and showed her the shapeless mass of her trampled heart and laughed and threw it in her face…
And she felt the blood rise to her throat, and it choked her and rose to her brain and needed to burst forth, and concentrated in the strength it found in her breast, and made her whole body boil with the heat provoked by mockery and outrage. And it burst forth in the end. It burst forth because you yourselves caused it to, because your cruelty made the opening of her veins necessary, because you had crushed her heart many times and she did not want you to crush it again.
And if this was what you wanted, then why do you find it strange?
And if it is a matter of honor for you to continue writing your colonial history on pages such as these, why do you not temper – with justice, even – your supreme effort to affix the tattered remains of your conquistador’s cloak to Cuba forever?…”