. . . claim good intentions or ignorance or that the line between the acceptable and unacceptable is just blurry enough (or characterized as such) sufficiently to gain admission of otherwise inadmissible alleged evidence. The inevitable outcome of such relaxation of standards is less vigilance on the part of investigators and interrogators to avoid doing those things which are inhumane, opening the door to abuses including of the innocent. There is a line across which one should never go even in dealing with the wholly guilty.
Now, there are those who claim that certain specific sections of the international law do not preclude the use of information extracted via torture. However, the statements in those bodies of law concerning the broad scope of those bodies clearly prohibit torture. The spirit of the law and the letter of the law that necessarily follows from the spirit are to eliminate torture. One cannot use the proceeds of torture as grounds for engaging in the evil of warfare without, thereby, abetting torture. This assumes that the torturers know the information is acted upon in that manner. False confessions, of course, especially extracted from the innocent is central to this consideration.
Jesus was wholly innocent. However, his torturers would have loved for him to have broken down and renounced God.
Regardless of whether torture is reliable or unreliable, torture is evil. Satan is the one who orders his devils to torture.
Of course, the US is not the only wealthy nation to use rendition. France used the tactic against Carlos the Jackal in 1994. Sweden, according to its own internal investigations, was instrumental in rendering Ahmad Agiza and Muhammad al Zahry to Egypt in 2002. Other incidences will surface.
The CIA and other US covert operatives and private contractors, take people where the laws are lax or where secret instillations will go undetected. Prisoners denied due process of law with no probable cause, are tortured there— clearly illegal in so-called more civilized societies. One example of such torture involves the repeated near drowning of victims called waterboarding.
Actually, one need only use one's imagination of medieval torture upgraded with high-tech to realize the levels to which operatives acting in the name of the American people have been torturing people for decades around the planet. It is US government sponsored sadism. Does this make you proud to be an American, or is it shameful?
Now, George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney fought against the movement in the US Senate to prohibit torture methods. Bush threatened to veto the anti-torture legislation. What has the US mentality devolved into that presidents and vice presidents don't even need to conceal their agreement with torture? We are not advocating concealment mind you, but Cheney's open advocacy for torture speaks volumes about the general level of duplicity on the part of the conservative American public. This is why the US Empire will fall and fall hard.
Cheney has stated openly that the US has not, and does not, torture people. However, he was lobbying the US Congress not to place anti-torture restrictions upon the CIA. Now, how can those two positions be reconciled? Anyone in his right mind who claims to be against torture would not lobby against anti-torture laws. His denial is not plausible.
Cheney's lawyers would argue over the definition of torture. At what point did the Roman soldiers cross the line and begin torturing Jesus? To hear some conservative lawyers speak, if the Romans had taken Jesus down from the cross before spearing him in the side and before he died, it would not have been torture.
The torture actually began before they ever laid a hand on him. It began when his words of truth were rejected. The injustice of it all (the worldly way) and what Jesus had to do about it was enough to cause Jesus to sweat blood after all. That anguish was the result of his emotional torture by the self-centered: The conservatives of his day.
Conservative lawyers, such as John Yoo who authored much of the Bush-43 administration's policy claiming that torture is legal, don't understand Jesus's position at all. To hear John Yoo talk, even spearing Jesus and even letting him die would not necessarily be considered illegal under today's US laws. Yoo's position centers around the state and authority of caesar. Yoo is a great advocate of the Unitary Executive Doctrine and unlimited presidential authority for the sake of the Empire. He argues for the imperial presidency, unlimited presidential powers during war, and the permanent war on terrorism to be defined as anything the president claims to be anti-American whether foreign or domestic.
According to the Pharisees claims made to the imperial authority of Rome, Jesus was a dangerous extremist. He was anti-Roman. The Pharisees demanded that Jesus be executed for preaching sedition. It was for the sake of national security they claimed. What evil, twisted reasoning, the same used today by the neocon scribes (lawyers)! Caesar's representative acceded to the Pharisees for the sake of restoring mundanely perceived order.
We must deal with the so-called tough questions so we may rightfully divide the truth from falsehood concerning where subversion, sedition, and treason lie versus persecution, protest, and dissent. Do real Christians seek to subvert the US Constitution? The question arises. Are real Christian means for change unconstitutional? Is it unconstitutional not to vote? Those advocating mandatory voting don't find much support. Is advocating non-capitalism unconstitutional? The US Constitution could fall into that interpretation. Such is the nature of following leaders and the power of leaders backed by a large enough, compliant mass.
Jesus certainly was tried for subversion, sedition, and treason and was certainly persecuted and murdered for protesting and dissenting. Can it happen again under the US Constitution? It already does on a certain level, and yes, it could get worse and will. Are real Christians for the status quo? They absolutely are not. Real Christians won't be for the status quo until unselfishness is the status quo. Are real Christians against what is best for the state and government, etc., per se? As has been made amply clear elsewhere in this work, the best government and what is best for the state is the main focus of real Christianity. We seek the best and perfect status. We find it in giving and sharing in nonviolence and all the rest of the good exemplified by Jesus Christ.
Real Christianity must break through into the consciousness of the masses and it will. Capitalist cultural dominance will end. Love will no longer be relegated to the back for false pragmatism. Real pragmatism will come to the fore.
John Yoo's interpretation of US law would give the president the right simply to make Jesus disappear without a trace. Frankly, John Yoo has made himself the devil's real advocate. He is a committed opponent of the message of Jesus.
He has lots of company. His visibility has slipped since the president began taking so much heat over the insane doctrines Yoo put forth.
This points out the inherent division that is not possible to bridge. As the differences in theology become clearer and clearer, the separation will be forced to occur. The artificial experiment that is in the end coerced at its heart cannot endure. The only system that will survive indefinitely is the cooperative system, the unity, based upon the real love that can only develop in the entire world through the acceptance of Jesus Christ. His teachings are the only teachings that in total are sufficient. No American founding father or any other person is an adequate substitute.
Those who subscribe to the Unitary Executive Doctrine usually also subscribe to the notion that the executive does not have to accede to judicial interpretation of the laws. One could certainly see that one coming when the US Constitution did not make it clear and the judiciary simply asserted the right and the other branches really only deferred.
This Unitary Executive Doctrine has been spearheaded by the ultra-conservative Federalist Society. Their general collective philosophy dislikes sharing all things in common as the inheritance of all from God. They are against the perfection that is giving all and cooperating rather than competing. They hold to their negative direction, because in a giving, sharing, and cooperating world, they could not become, or remain, rich relative to, and at the expense of, their brethren. They wish to interpret things now to allow the president to have increased power to the extent that all of what are called independent, regulatory agencies of the government would be brought under an extremely powerful office of the president to run in ways that will severely reduce or completely eliminate real Christian actions and give capitalist actions free rein.
That society and all of the current conservative-Republican ascendancy comes in large measure as a result of the shame of the Republicans over Richard Nixon. They do not want to admit to the shamefulness of their positions. They want vengeance against the populism that brought Nixon down. They want to take over that populism. They want to redefine the elite as the professors who study the history of the privileged upper class and spoke out against it. They want to redefine the elite as the journalists on the beat who investigate and report on the corruption at the heart of that privileged elite. Therefore, the current batch of conservatives have received huge funding by the privileged elite to undertake that redefinition process to dupe the other classes into supporting the ever widening gap in wealth distribution, which is continuing.
The conservatives worked the public relations and image building side of the Ronald Reagan administration to overcome the Nixon scandals. The image work of Michael Deaver and others fooled the willing people who will continue to reap the reward of abettors to evil. The George W. Bush handlers have just continued the process with ever increasing vengeance.
Hence we see the same positions Nixon held being deliberately put to the fore: National security as a cover; executive privilege; limited or no congressional oversight, unilateral choices concerning what laws to enforce (Nixon just didn't spend the money; George W. Bush issues his signing statements that he won't enforce certain sections of the law); warrantless wiretappings and other illegal activities; etc. In their delusional state, since they cannot see for the blood in their eyes, the conservatives mean to win a longstanding victory on all fronts this time rather than back down.
The Joe Pyne style
Rather than humbling themselves and repenting forever, they have their backs up. That is why the Joe Pyne style has become so popular rather then having outgrown it.
Joe Pyne was a radio talk show host and later national TV talk show host starting in the mid 1960's. Much of the harsh, obnoxious radio and TV talk traces back to the Joe Pyne Show. Joe deliberately insulted people to increase ratings. This, of course, is much of what is going on with the current batch of conservative talk shows. Many so-called liberals have taken the bait so that a few seconds of yelling back and forth drive the ratings. The level of contrivance though is completely transparent now on both sides. It is politics as entertainment, just as with so much in religion as entertainment: Excessive and ostentatious.
They got their backs up and bought and took over radio and TV. They got their backs up and subverted religion getting so-called Christians on school boards and then moving them up into higher and higher positions. They also got their backs up by moving into the legal world in a concerted manner. That's the Federalist Society. That society is the conservatives plan to take over everything that has to do with law. They are doing that for the sake of money. They are doing that for the sake of big business, neoconservative, capitalist interests over everything else.
They talk against what they call "judicial activism" when in practice it turns out that in the end their concern is with judges who interpret the rights of people in ways that don't put the rich and powerful first always. Their efforts, the Republican conservative lawyers, have rolled back justice for the poor and oppressed across-the-board. They are anti-cooperation where the poor would be able to get and share. They are pro-competition where those who are already spiritually fat get fatter off those who are already thin.
Very telling is their utter anti-environmentalism. The Federalist Society has produced a slew of lawyers who just don't give a damn so long as there is money to be made polluting the earth. "Destroy them which destroy the earth." (Revelation 11:18). They are kidding themselves if they don't read that and believe it. It's going to happen.
It doesn't matter how big your megachurch is or how many books you've written and sold or how big your TV viewership is or how much access you've had to the White House and the conservative-Republican administration, if you are not working to stop destroying the earth including with pollution from fossil-fuel burning, you are part of the problem and will be yourself destroyed.
Even Pat Robertson seems to have finally opened up his eyes and ears and mouth on this subject. He's actually said the right thing to his TV audience telling them that we need to doing something about global warming caused by human fuel burning. Better late than never is right. If he would follow through and be consistent across-the-board, he'd be our brother in the spirit. We would know him, and he would know us. Will he turn from the conservative, antichrist agenda?
The same people who pay for the conservative, antichrist, so-called think tanks also fund the antichrist Federalist Society. This should come as no surprise. The mammon worshippers, the religion of capitalism, buy souls. The hearts and minds of the willing are for sale to the highest bidder. The young Republican lawyers of the me-generation wanted the conservative-Republican, anti-giving, anti-sharing system back on top and they wanted to be on top of that system for their own private, special advantage and privilege and the rest be damned. It's what their fathers taught them. They'll get theirs while they can. Those to follow can worry about it: The negative consequences of the conservative's selfishness. This is the devil in a hurry to get his, because he knows his time is short.
What the conservative Republicans don't want to care about is that Richard Nixon's dirty tricks caught up with him. He too believed in the imperial presidency. He said, "When the President does it that means that it's not illegal." This is John Yoo's position. This is also the position of the current US attorney general, Alberto R. Gonzales. It is the position of many of the members of the Federalist Society.
In his testimony to the US Senate, February 6, 2006, attorney general Gonzales said that Senate Joint Resolution 23, which is the "Authorization for Use of Military Force" against those responsible for the 9-11 attacks, is not a "war declaration." Shortly thereafter in the same testimony, the attorney general refers to "his [the president's] inherent authority as commander and chief in a time of war." That last quote is in reference to Article II of the US Constitution. There is obviously confusion concerning connotations of the term "war" and context being discussed. A number of times in his testimony, he told members of the Senate committee that the "tough questions" they were posing need not be asked or answered since there are ways of interpreting the powers of the president to avoid those tough questions. This is revealing.
The attorney general does not want to be pinned down. If things are left sufficiently vague or if the convoluted interpretation advocated by the attorney general is accepted by the US Congress, the president will be more easily able to operate as if he or she has full faith and trust, which he or she inherently never has with the current system, as evidenced by the wishful scheme of checks and balances designed into the US Constitution by the founding fathers.
Even though that Constitution clearly implies a lack of full trust and even though there is a clear history in the US of presidents using information gathered under the pretence of legality referred to as executive power and privilege, the US attorney general on behalf of the president and administration is asking the people simply to trust the administration that it is not, nor would it, use secret information obtained "against political enemies." The people are being asked to allow the president to operate without oversight. This is the same office of the presidency in which has resided every president who has concealed the truth as evidenced by among other things the Pentagon Papers, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the secret bombing of Cambodia, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Iraq War, all the other anti-democratic covert and overt actions of the US beginning with the colonial-period abuses of the indigenous population of North America and the importation of African slaves and the bond servitude of others, and all the dirty tricks against political enemies pulled by various presidents and their staffs and advisors.
Do you trust the likes of Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Donald Rumsfeld, and Karl Rove and others of the so-called noble lie not to use warrantless spying to gain information to use against political enemies? Do you trust them even with warrants?
The knowingly unrepentant, dirty-trick artists, so-called noble liars, cannot be trusted with souls. We don't trust or follow them. Nor do we fail to speak against their false path. Nor will we fail to work the right path.
The people are being asked to accept that the US Congress has the power of the purse and that, that is sufficient. However, we have seen that presidents spend money and withhold spending in ways not consistent with the earmarks in the approved budget. We have seen the president's recent change in the use of signing statements as a means of further eroding the power of congressional oversight.
In addition to those confusions, we hear the attorney general asserting that he is not using a view of the ultimate unconstitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as a fallback position if his argument fails that the Authorization for Use of Military Force can be properly held as granting the president authorization to not be constrained by the FISA. Of course, this is one of those so-called tough questions the attorney general seeks to push off on future decision makers.
Regardless of the attorney generals statements suggesting the contrary, he is hedging his bets. The entire administration is a constant gambit for creating an imperial presidency that the conservative Republicans can use against their enemies, political and otherwise. We have tens of millions of conservatives who either do not know the history sufficient to mistrust all such power or are hell bent to get their piece of the pie. Little do they know that the pie will completely disappear if they get their way. That too is obvious from history.
Education fails collective memory
This whole debate should show people a number of things. First, education is severely lacking concerning historical abuses right up to the present. Now we have George W. Bush calling anew for an emphasis on math and science education at the expense of history and other areas where the collective memory of governmental and military abuses and lies are stored. Second, news media fail miserably to put things into historical context of abuses and why most of the founding fathers didn't trust anyone including each other. That is not to say that the heart is incapable of becoming purely trustworthy. In fact, the very reason the founding fathers could not trust each other is precisely because their hearts were insufficiently motivated. They identified the shortcomings of the king, but they laid the foundation for a different heavy yoke that America has consequently made the poor of America and the rest of the world carry.
The real problem is that people are avoiding the tough questions. They avoided them when Jesus walked the earth too. They avoided them before that and have ever since, right up to the time this work is being written. Many people will continue to do that right up to the end of the world.
Side stepping is not inherently evil in every instance. Jesus ducked or dodged questions, but the context is central to understanding the acceptability of such actions and the connotation of those terms, the refinement of the concepts. Jesus didn't answer those who would not answer. They were the ones dodging the tough questions. Jesus wasn't.
They weren't looking for truth.
We don't see the attorney general in give-and-take to get to the truth. He is glad for that situation since he can work the angles for cover so that the truth will not come out. There is the difference. Jesus would have engaged endlessly in fruitful give-and-take where fruitful is defined divinely (as righteousness) and not merely mundanely, which until conflation will continually stop short of the ultimate conclusion in all discussions and actions.
This raises the point that these debates about the so-called finer points of the mundane law are only as useful as they point to the absence of coming to ultimate conclusions. In the US, James B. Comey refused to recertify the National Security Agency warrantless domestic/international spying program. In the UK, Peter Goldsmith (commonly known as lord Goldsmith) warned the UK government and Tony Blair that the invasion of Iraq was likely illegal under both British and international law. These facts that there were various lawyers high up in the governments in the US and UK and elsewhere who clearly stated their concerns that the course of events advocated by the war-minded were going beyond the mundane law is as good as it points to hypocrisy on the parts of the advocates on both sides of that debate. It is only as good as it begs the question of ultimate conclusion.
Remember, logic is inherently circular. Consistency is the heart of logic. Hypocrisy is illogic, unintelligence, error, falsehood, not good, etc. This is what Jesus came to show those of ...continues... Click next page number below.