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Irresponsible, My Ass (It's Like Darth Vader Calling the Emptiness of Space 'Black')

November 17, 2005

Another installment of headline poetry. [Previous editions here and here.]

Bush brands critics as irresponsible

Bush attacks “irresponsible” war flak
Bush calls war critics “irresponsible”
Bush calls critics of war “irresponsible”
Bush scolds war critics as “irresponsible”
Bush Calls Iraq War Detractors “Irresponsible”
Beleaguered Bush Calls War Critics “Irresponsible”
Bush rebukes critics of Iraq war as deeply irresponsible
Beleaguered Bush hits out at “irresponsible” Iraq war critics

Iraq intel critics irresponsible: Bush
Bush says Iraq intelligence critics irresponsible

Bush: Democrats “Irresponsible”
Bush backs Cheney: says Democratic questioning not patriotic but “irresponsible”

Bush: “Rewriting History Irresponsible”

You see that? The word is out. And that word is irresponsible. Don’t forget dishonest and reprehensible, too! (Something about the start of the war.)

Well, do you know what Your Montag thought was irresponsible back then? Back when all the intelligence gathering, saber rattling, and war mongering was going on? A full scale unilateral invasion of a sovereign country. (Or a bilateral invasion, or an invasion with a fake coalition of the willing, for that matter.) Your Montag blames the Democrats in congress every bit as much as the administration, if not moreso, for relinquishing their Constitutional war powers and the responsibility that goes with them.

And Your Montag figures, even if this recent push to investigate pre-war handling of intelligence is politically motivated, that this is the reasonable and responsible thing to do now. Those who showed their support for the war by abdicating their Constitutional war powers (I’m talking about you, congressfolk who voted to authorize OFL— of all people! —to use force against Iraq, even though you said it was only to be invoked as a last resort, you didn’t hold him to it) were irresponsible. What some are doing now, politically motivated or not, seems like taking the responsibility back to try and get a handle on this thing. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Know what Your Montag thinks is currently irresponsible? Allowing representatives of the US government (read: the US people) who wield coercive power in our name over other people, to engage in torture— No, wait, I mean “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, [and] as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.”

Let’s keep all that shit illegal.

Your Montag is with Philosoraptor commenter Matthew Christman when he says:

A few years ago Mark Bowden wrote a cover story about U.S. torture policy for the Atlantic Monthly. This was before Abu Ghraib. He interviewed American and Israeli security officials and talked about what was probably in store for the then-recently apprehended Khalid Sheik Mohammed. He spent some time talking about the “ticking time bomb” scenario, and how utterly rare it is. His conclusion, which I found made a lot of sense, is that, in extraordinary cases, torture might be necessary to save vast numbers of lives, but that we should NOT change our laws and policies to allow it. Even “necessary” torture should be illegal, so that those who commit it are forced to take responsibility for their actions: the idea being that, if it real WAS necessary, they’d be willing to do so. Creating a legal space for torture guarantees abuse, which we continue to see: torture for torture’s sake in American prisons both public and secret, on every continent. DOZENS of people killed during interrogation. A handicapped taxi driver in Afghanistan beaten to death over the course of weeks because his captors liked the sound he made when they hit him with a baseball bat. [Emphasis added.]

Damn, there’s that word “responsibility” again. Makes a lot of sense in this context, don’t it? Montag says: Suck it up, administration. Torture is not just morally wrong, it’s illegal. Don’t worry though, as long as you wield coercive power over people (captured combatants, cab drivers, etc.) the option to use torture will always be ‘on the table.’ (But you should realize we realize what ‘having all options on the table’ means to you.) Of course, you’re on your own when we hold you responsible for it and impeach your ass.*

*Assuming our constitution and democracy still function… Oh, yeah… Oops, my bad.

[Below the fold: Some gems from the Reuters article I linked above…]

Cheney joins the attack and picks up the “irresponsibity” talking point:

Cheney called Democrats “opportunists” who were peddling “cynical and pernicious falsehoods” to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

Apparently the Dems got feisty at that; and OFL had to defend the honor of his… er, Cheney.

[Continued from above.] Democrats cried foul but President George W. Bush, at a news conference in Kyongju, South Korea, defended Cheney. He said it was “patriotic as heck” to disagree with him but that Democrats were irresponsible for accusing him of misleading Americans about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

“What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions and playing politics. That’s exactly what is taking place in America,” he said.

Hmmm. Is that anything like using one’s position at podium-stops along the route of a four-country diplomatic tour through Asia to sustain a White House PR barrage? (Just asking.)

What next? Would Presidential counselor Dan Bartlett tip the White House’s hand on aforementioned PR strategy?

[Continued from above.] Presidential counselor Dan Bartlett said Bush would keep fighting on the issue. He told reporters with Bush in South Korea that the criticism had reached a critical mass and that it “requires a sustained response.”

Elementary! Good thing these guys won’t stoop to “playing politics” like those dirty Demicraps! Spineless terrorist-coddling revisionists that they are:

“The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone — but we’re not going to sit by and let them rewrite history,” said Cheney, a principal architect of the war and a focus of Democratic allegations the administration misrepresented intelligence on Iraq’s weapons program.

Cheney said the suggestion Bush or any member of the administration misled Americans before the war “is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.”

“Some of the most irresponsible comments have, of course, come from politicians who actually voted in favor of authorizing force against Saddam Hussein[.]”


Reuters: Cheney calls war critics ‘dishonest, reprehensible’

PS: I don’t really have the time right now because I want to write a post about a robotic cat for later, but it would be interesting to study what specific Democrats voted in favor of authorizing force against Saddam Hussein are actually saying nowadays. Is this just a generalized attack from the White House against specific allegations? Or is this in response to calls for an investigation into the pre-war handling of intelligence?

One Comment
  1. November 17, 2005 11:02 AM


    Don’t make me destroy you.

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