Most of my regular readers know that my decision to vote for Obama for President was a very hard decision. In Oklahoma we only had 3 choices — Obama, McCain or leaving it blank (we get no third party or write-in choices), so I was left with only two possible choices, Obama and NOTA (none of the above).

Despite my indecisiveness, I swung to Obama after he made clear statements about his intent to close down GITMO and because I hoped he would at least listen to the other side. I still though was very fearful that he being elected would placate the peace movement and that he would in fact do even worse things than Bush did because he felt the need to prove how much of tough Prez he was (think LBJ in Vietnam or Clinton in Serbia).

So have my fears come true? Thus far, sadly yes.

Obama has chosen to keep the same man at the top of the DOD (Gates). He is rapidly expanding the war in Afghanistan. And now he is backtracking on plans to end the war in Iraq on even the pathetically slow timetable he committed to.

And now to top it all of, we get this news…

MSNBC: CIA employees won’t be tried for waterboarding — Holder gives first definitive assurance officials are legally in the clear

… The Obama administration last month released nine legal memos related to the interrogation program, and probably will release more as the lawsuit proceeds. But the four released Thursday represent the fullest accounting by the government of the methods authorized and used, and is the complete list, the officials said.

There is very little redaction, or blacking out, of detail in the memos, the officials said.

The methods include keeping detainees naked for long periods, keeping them in a painful standing position for long periods, and depriving them of solid food. Other tactics included using a plastic neck collar to slam detainees into walls, keeping the detainee’s cell cold for long periods, and beating and kicking the detainee. Sleep-deprivation, prolonged shackling, and threats to a detainee’s family were also used.

President Obama and AG Holder are in my opinion now complicit in these crimes. Their argument that the CIA agents were relying on legal advice is a crock of ****. I’m sure Nazi lawyers said the holocaust was “legal” too.

If the CIA agents and other responsible for torture are not prosecuted, then the message is sent to the whole world that torture is ok. And if torture is ok, then God help us all. What kind of monsters have we become?


  1. Brandon Carey


    I understand your great disappointment with the expansion of the war in Afganistan and the somewhat slow withdrawal from Iraq. Also, I definitely share your desire for a society free of violence. I do have one question for you, though. Isn’t it unfortunately practical to undertake certain coordinated defense efforts to keep one’s citizens safe (and I am not talking about unjust wars such as Iraq, if you can really call any war just)? This is, after all, a group who tells the world that they are planning attacks against western democracies. Your thoughts?

  2. Hi Brandon,

    I’m so glad to see you on here. I really enjoyed our conversations back in L-School and look forward to some new ones here.

    You raise a difficult question, but I would say that maybe it asks the question from the wrong place. I think the old say is true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    I think much of the violence against the US and other western democracies has it’s roots in our own policies, namely our blind support for Israel, our economic policies, and our (and really Europe more than us) abuse of the Middle East for geopolitical advantage.

    So, I would rather address the problems on that level, at least in the beginning. What that might look like is hard to say — foreign aid targeted in such a way to impact the lives of the poor of the region (such as microlending), reducing our consumption of petroleum in the US, and certainly taking backing away from blind support to Israel.

    From there, from a purely pragmatic stance, certainly the preparation of defensive measures is smart. (from a place of faith, I would see things differently —- but I’m going to stay in the pragmatic realm for this part of the discussion) But defense is different than offense. Pulling our troops out of the Middle East and redeploying them stateside would make us safer than engaging in offensive wars.

    Anyway those are my initial thoughts.

  3. This is cool, this blog post got quoted in Third Estate Sunday review…

  4. Brandon Carey


    I do agree with your point about our flawed Middle East policies. It is true that we have created some of the problem by insisting that our military bases exist on what many Muslims consider holy ground, and for our support for Isreal even under the most ridiculous circumstances. Finally, our hypocritical reliance (because of oil) on and tolerance of certain Middle Eastern regimes with deplorable human rights records does not help.

    Unfortunately, that is where we find ourselves and the baseline from which we must begin the discussion. I am unconvinced that pulling all military troops and machinery stateside would truly make us safer, but I am definitely open to being persuaded. Also, as a matter of faith I am quite sympathetic to the notion that even the smallest bit of violence is too much violence, but I also am aware of the many military campaigns Moses himself led, at the command of God, while in pursuit of the Promised Land.

    I say all of that to make the point that we are where we are, and must take certain steps (for the safety of our country) before we can even attempt to do a 180 on our policies. I believe, with a heavy and conflicted heart, that one of those steps is disabling the most imminently dangerous terrorist cells. Now what form that effort should take is up for debate, and I am not promoting a certain strategy at this point of the discussion. I must say, this is the first time I have ever been on this side of the argument. It is not a fun place to be!

  5. This is a hoot — I was quoted in a web-editorial cartoon!

  6. MJM

    You regret voting for him because he’s “expanding” the war? thats it??? how about all the money he’s been spending, all the pork barrel BS bills that are being passed? how about the ever increasing number of softy, politically correct libs who would rather us shake hands with the enemy than eliminate them!! he is clearly a 1 term prez.

  7. MJM,

    The war is not the only reason I’m upset with Obama (his backtracking on LGBT rights and his failure to rapidly close GITMO come to mind as well), but as for his “shaking hands” with the enemy, instead of “eliminating them” . . . seriously, what blog do you think you ar reading?

    I don’t believe in killing one’s enemies because I think Jesus’ ways is better – we are call to love our enemies.

    I think Obama is right to try to engage in deeper levels of diplomacy, in fact if I have something to criticize him for it is for not going far enough in pursuing nonviolent solutions to our problems.

  8. Bill

    You really are an idiot.

  9. Chuck

    You have a right to your opinion, but you obviously didn’t have any family killed on 9/11, or when the trade center was bombed. Maybe you can explain the “love our enemies” comment to the woman who is now left alone to raise her 3 children because her husband was going to work that day…

    You learn very quickly as a child, that when someone punches you in the nose, asking them politely to stop and offering them your friendship is going to do nothing but enable them to punch you in the nose again. I am not an advocate for violence or war, but I am a realist. This enemy is barbaric and is not interested in diplomacy.

  10. “Loving your enemies” is one the teachings of Jesus. I realize it isn’t “realistic” but it is for me a matter of faith, which transcends mere logic.

    Also, some family members of the terrorism victims also agree with me. Bud Welch is one example. His daughter was killed in the OKC bombing, but he now is an outspoken opponent of the death penalty. You can read his story at:

  11. Interesting that you chose a victim of domestic terrorism to illustrate the example of “loving your enemies”. Have you found any examples of victim’s families forgiving the Islamic terrorists responsible for 9-11?

    I do admire your faith, I really do. And I admire Bud Welch. I pray I am never so tested.

  12. I hope I’m never tested in that way either. I don’t know if I would pass.

    But there are people who have learned to forgive, though it did take some time.

    One example I found online was of Cheryl McGuiness, the widow of the co-pilot of one of the hijacked planes…

  13. The best example of forgiveness I can think of though is the Amish. That wasn’t foreign terrorism, but it was pretty foreign to them. Yet, their community actually insisted that the donations to help them also go to the family of the perpetrator. That’s an example for us all.

  14. Obama is only disappointing you because of Afghanistan and Iraq? The only thing wrong with the water boarding is that it ended up on the news. There was a day when things of this nature would have never seen the light of day, and we were all a lot safer then. I have no pity on the thugs that desire to kill us all because of our religious beliefs or our prosperity as a democratic society. But since the US government ran media causes you to feel this way, I understand your feelings (remember, every day the White House holds a meeting with the top brass of all of the major news affiliates, telling them what news to report and how to report it, it’s a well documented fact.)

    Obama said he would not put lobbyists into his administration, that was a lie, and you can fact check that for yourself. Additionally, he has lost more jobs and ran the national debt up farther than every before in history. The only people who voted for Obama are the ones that failed to look deeply enough into his background. Watching only CNN will never give you the whole story. Obama is a Marxist and he will not be satisfied until all of our salaries are capped and we are all on government-supplied health care.

    I would also like to say that I’m tired of being called a racist because I do not agree with Obama’s plans for this country. He absolutely hates America and he is fully intent on destroying it. I’m opposed to that, and race has nothing to do with it.

    Have you ever visited Canada? I have. For six hours I watched a public debate on television there about their health care system. A Canadian politician slammed their health care for a solid hour, telling the story of how his mother died waiting to get onto the waiting list for an operation to remover a tumor. She died after waiting for two years, without ever being added to the waiting list for the operation. Yeah, that’s what I want, to die waiting to wait. When you are all waiting in line for aspirin that costs the government fifty bucks a tablet you will still be preaching about how great of a president Obama was.

    Obama is a total nut job, he belongs in Kenya with his brother in that hut we are always hearing about. Unfortunately, we have three plus more years of this clown.

    Say, ever wonder why the government would want to take over health care? If you put a dollar into a government program, how much of that dollar actually makes it to the intended program? Now, what happens to the rest of that dollar? The government only institutes such programs so that they can take more of your money from you, they don’t give a squat about helping you or anyone else. Why else would the president push so hard for a program that the majority of the country does not want?

    Do not worry though, your hands are clean. Even if no one voted for Obama he was still going to be president. Acorn would have made sure of that. Did you know that Acorn is currently under investigation in twelve states for voter fraud? Obama loves Acorn, and Acorn loves Obama. Barney Frank loves Acorn too. I wonder why? Why would Barney Frank want to give so many tax dollars to an entity that readily, and indeed publicly, engages in voter fraud?

    Why does the facts about Acorn not deter more voters? Because people like you do not check facts BEFOR going to vote. They can do whatever they want because people like you choose to remain ignorant. Water boarding was just something that was put out there to distract you, and it worked. Go Obama.

  15. Moderation? More like deletion. Get your head out of your back side and realize what is really going on in the world. You can take it on your chin all day if you like, but I refuse. In the name of God I will stand up for Christianity.

  16. Martoli,

    I’ll respond briefly….

    Waterboarding and torture are war crimes. Those who allowed these crimes should be in prison. The US made it clear in the Nuremburg Nazi war trials that certain things are always wrong.

    And Jesus made it very, very clear. No one who supports is following the way of Jesus.

    On Canada, I have been there for several weeks. I liked it a lot. It’s not perfect (mostly because it is a capitalist society, like the US is), but they are much more humane than we are in the US. And every Canadian I spoke to says that they think their health care system is pretty decent.

    Lastly, I do check the facts before I vote.

    I’m frankly taking your comments more seriously than is merited, but I hope you at least will take some time to think about my points.

  17. Martoli,

    How can you say you are going to “stand up for Christianity” when you are directly defying the way of Christ. Jesus was a pacifist plain and simple.

    If you don’t like that, then find another religion. But please don’t defame Jesus by using his name to justify war crimes.

  18. Also Obama is not a Marxist. I am a marxist and I can tell you that Obama isn’t one. He is a capitalist just like Bush.

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