Sunday, February 21

Colin Powel: We are not "Less Safe" Under President Obama

Today on Face the Nation, Colin Powell blows a truck sized hole in the Primary Republican Meme Against President Obama being "weak" on Terrorism.

The Relevant portion of the discussion starts at 10 Minutes into the video.

"The point is made, 'We don't waterboard anymore or use extreme interrogation techniques.' Most of those extreme interrogation techniques and waterboarding were done away with in the Bush administration," Powell said. "They've been made officially done away with in this current administration."

"The Transportation Security Administration created by George Bush is still in action working in our airports; they take care of me every day that I go to an airport," Powell told moderator Bob Schieffer.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was also created under President Bush, "and it is still under President Obama working hard," he said. "Our counterterrorism authorities and forces are hard at work. Our law enforcement officials are hard at work. We have gone after the enemy in Afghanistan with 50,000 more troops, more predators are striking al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in Pakistan. We have continued the policies that President Bush put in place with respect to Iraq.

"The bottom line answer is the nation is still at risk. Terrorists are out there. They're trying to get through. But to suggest that somehow we have become much less safer because of the actions of the administration, I don't think that's borne out by the facts," Powell said.

The facts are the Powell is absolutely correct, most of the so-called "Enhanced Interrogation" Techniques that Dick Cheney continues to call for were Ended by the Bush Administration in 2005 after the CIA Inspector Generals Report found that they were both Illegal and Ineffective.

The real trouble began on May 7, 2004, the day the C.I.A. inspector general, John L. Helgerson, completed a devastating report. In thousands of pages, it challenged the legality of some interrogation methods, found that interrogators were exceeding the rules imposed by the Justice Department and questioned the effectiveness of the entire program.

The Torture Authorizing OLC memos by Yoo and Bybee were all recinded by 2005 - under Bush. The program was scrapped. (Although it should e noted that some elements of it were eventually revived by Bush in 2007, use of water-boarding and nudity remained off the table)

Powell goes on to note that in 8 years have only been THREE successful prosecutions under the Military Commissions system setup by Bush, two of those men, including Salin Hamdan whose Supreme Court Case effectively gutted the Commissions System and established that the Geneva Conventions Do Apply to Detainees, have already been released for time served. People in the Military Commissions still get Layers, like Hamdan's Attorney Commander Swift.

Even Military Judges have found cases untenable because the detainee Mohammad Al=Qhatani was Tortured

The idea that the only way to keep America Safe is to continue the Criminal Conspiracy of Torture that was headed and Championed by Dick Cheney - is patently ridiculous. This isn't a matter of "differences" unless you idea of a difference is a War Criminal vs NOT a War Criminal.

It's clear that Powell is still a Republican as he attempts to blame the Gridlock in Washington on the "failure to Compromise" on both sides of the aisle, as if the Democrats haven't already Compromised on Single Payer, Medicare for All and the Public Option. He suggests we should follow the example of the founding fathers on the Constitution, while ignoring that their failure to address and resolve the issue of Slavery rather than Kick the Can down the Road with clauses that prevented Congress from outlawing the importation of slaves until 1808 and ratified it's practice with the Fugitive Slave Clause led directly to the Heinous Dred Scott decision and the Civil War.

Every other Country that had Slavery ended the practice without bloodshed.

Other than that - he's pretty much on the money.


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