Posted by: shannynmoore | April 20, 2009

Fear and Loathing of Change

I was woken by a phone call on the morning of September 11th, 2001. It was an unbearable day. I cried my eyes out while I watched the nightmare unfold on television. I felt disconnected walking outside, knowing the horror and wondering how my pop was doing on his moose hunt. He wouldn’t know of the attacks for two weeks. It didn’t matter. Just because he was in the wilds of Alaska, didn’t make the horror less real.

Sitting with Christy Harvey of the Center for American Politics, drinking wine and reading torture memos Friday night, I had the same thought. Where was I? What was I doing when a man was water boarded six times a day for a month-183 times in 30 days; drowned and resuscitated? Scraping ice off my car windows? Making dinner? Laughing? It doesn’t matter. Just because I was unaware of the torture didn’t make the horror less real.

I’m not a lawyer. I can’t see a law school from my house. But I know the dark, twisted, sick, fetish language in the torture memos is not what America stands for.

But apparently it’s what America will sit for.

The treatment of “terrorists” is touchy. I wondered if Timothy McVeigh had been water boarded or sleep deprived for 11 days. Had he been placed in a kennel with stinging bugs? He was a terrorist who hurt America. Were there more of him? Oh, that’s right, he was American, so he was protected. Was it just a wacked reaction to Waco? McVeigh once told a reporter, “it’s 168 to 1”, making a macabre reference to his personal score card.
Timothy McVeigh 168 victims
The US Government 001 victims

A torture memo gave kudos to interrogators for using “potable saline” instead of fresh water for their sessions; the saline reduced the odds of subsequent pneumonia. It reminded me of the resuscitation of death row inmates after they’ve attempted suicide, or the sanitary alcohol swabbed on Timothy McVeigh’s arm before his lethal injection.

As Americans, we put McVeigh on trial, proved his guilt, and put him to death; we didn’t kill and resurrect him 183 times in a month.

The Rule of Law isn’t just for the accused, it defines who we are.

Timothy McVeigh was an example of our response to the crime of terror.

I’ve read Justice Robert H. Jackson’s opening and closing statements of the Nuremberg Trials. His representation of the United States and the World against the Nazis was unwavering. “Civilization can afford no compromise with the social forces which would gain renewed strength if we deal ambiguously or indecisively with the men in whom those forces now precariously survive.”

The excuse of “following orders” was inexcusable. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse for breaking it. Tell the state patrol officer, the next time you’re pulled over for speeding, that you didn’t know the speed limit. See how far that gets you.

My pop gave a sermon when I was twelve. He said the difference between grace and mercy was simple; grace is when you get something good you don’t deserve; mercy is when you weren’t given something bad that you did deserve. I’m not suggesting that we have “Grace and Mercy Camps” for terrorists. It’s not about THEM, it’s about who WE are; what we will do and what we won’t.

Who we are is defined by how we treat those under our charge.

Torture was done in our name. Authorized by Americans. Executed by contractors. All under the protection of the American flag. The same flag I pledge allegiance to.

The flag isn’t a lapel pin made in China. The flag is not something you frost on the top of a birthday cake. The pathetic manipulation of a piece of cloth has distracted, quite intentionally, what it is truly symbolic of: The Constitution.

Thomas Paine said, “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Torture hasn’t saved Americans, it has killed us. We have spent millions of dollars chasing false confessions. We have given up part of our soul in compromising our Constitution.

Mr. President, I want my flag back. Prosecute war criminals.


  1. Well said, Shannyn, and I share your sentiments. I am so ashamed that this has been allowed to happen over and over again, and that there are still those who defend it.

  2. Go to Progressive Alaska to sign Marcy Wheeler’s petition to Eric Holder to hold people accountable.

  3. Thank you Shannyn.

    What happened to “Nobody is above the law”. I am sure our President has his reasons, and maybe some he can’t explain, but this is just plain WRONG!

  4. Beautifully put Shannyn. Thanks

  5. Right on, Shannyn. After watching Countdown and Rachel tonight, I’m more hopeful than I was this weekend that it’s all going to unravel for the torturers and the b*stards who made it ‘legal’. It’s not Obama’s decision. It’s in Holder’s hands.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so close to everything I feel: A low and twisting ache in my soul.

    It isn’t right. This isn’t who we are. This isn’t what we’re supposed to stand for. This is what we stand up AGAINST.

    Who is proteted by not prosecuting those who ordered torture? And more importantly, who remains protected when we cannot protect the integrity of that which has made us a nation to envy?

    We’ve watched proud service men with distinguished careers and awards for following and executing orders come home to court marshalls. Their reputations, gone. Their benefits, gone. Their valor, gone. All because they carried out the bidding of pompous and irredeemable men sitting comfortably in the lap of liberty those same soldiers and many others have offered them.

    We’ve prosecuted soldiers for carrying out orders. But we haven’t the stomach for prosecuting those who gave them. I haven’t the words for that low, twisting in my soul. So thank you, Shannyn. For giving words to that which leaves us all speechless.

  7. Thank you Shannyn,

    Well stated. We have to clean our own house, so we can regain the respect of the world, including ourselves. Without pursuing justice we prove we are no longer a nation of laws. Not only that, we prove we have a two tiered legal system–one for the rich, government agents, and government contractors, and another for the rest of us.

    One of these sadist is now a sitting federal judge no less. We already imprison more of our citizens than any other country in the world.

    There is no understanding how we can prosecute and imprison tens of thousands of our citizens merely for possessing a little pot, yet there is resistance to prosecuting those who torture.

    I can’t excuse those who were “just following orders” either. I’m sure they were informed of their obligations under the Geneva Convention, and as a government agent swore an oath to protect the Constitution.

    I’m about ready to turn my flag upside-down again until this is reversed. We can’t move forward until we cleanse this festering wound.

  8. Shannyn, I am horrified and disgusted by the torture committed by my country. Weren’t we supposed to be standing on a higher plane of respect for all? How can we trust that our future rights will be protected if justice is not carried out now.

    I can’t find the words to properly thank you for powerfully expressing the horror of torture and the necessity for upholding our laws and preserving the Constitution. Please know how much I appreciate this post. Any chance we’ll see it on the Huff Post front page.

    **********NOTE FROM SHANNY******************

  9. Then I find this… Unreal!

    Torture case lawyers may face jail for letter

    Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer (SanFrancisco)

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who accused a Bay Area company of flying him to foreign torture chambers for the CIA is at the center of a bizarre new case, in which his lawyers face possible jail sentences for writing a letter that asked President Obama to disclose how brutally he was treated.

    The government says the letter falsely accused a Pentagon review team of censoring details of the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed from a document the attorneys wanted to send to Obama. The lawyers stand by their accusations but have been summoned to Washington, D.C., by a federal judge for a hearing next month on whether they should be held in contempt of court, punishable by up to six months in jail…

  10. Thank you Shannyn. “It’s not about THEM, it’s about who WE are; what we will do and what we won’t.” Amen. Phil, I went to your blog and signed the petition. Thanks for hosting it.

  11. Thanks Shannyn, you put into words exactly how I feel. I am a registered Republican, but I voted for Obama without hesitation. In my opinion it was the best choice for the country. I still feel that way, but I have to say that I’m sad and disappointed that he doesn’t feel the need to hold those who did these things accountable. Most particularly those that ordered and sanctioned these crimes. I also signed the petition and hope for justice.

  12. Blessed be, Shannyn, for your strong words and the strong heart behind them. We have to keep pushing for accountability! “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.” I’m so discouraged by the apathy and resignation from folks about these criminal acts; your post strengthens me and I so appreciate it.

  13. Shannyn,

    Great job as always.. my thoughts are this, I think our President has a plan as always and we just are not let in. I think he is trying to get us and the Congress to act. This is his way of getting the people to get angry enough to write to their Congresspersons and get them to do something. Congress has been content to sit back and let him, as President do everything…Well it is time for them to get off their duffs and do their damn job.. I have been trying to get people to write to their Representatives and Senators to do just that.

    Pres. Obama can’t do it all.. All the time Bush was still in office the Democrats used the excuse they didn’t have the numbers to impeach, to over ride his vetoes, to stop him from doing anything he wanted. Well NOW they have the numbers to do what needs to be done to change what Bush did while he was in office… So why are they not doing something about it??

    What the hell are they waiting for?? Someone (Pres. Obama) to take them by the hand and lead them to each thing Bush did and tell them it needs to be fixed.. Give Me A Break… Just Fix It Dammit…

    Congress Needs To Do Their Job!!!

  14. My sister and I got into an argument over torture during the election. First she tried to say it was legal (as if that made it okay). Then, when I showed her the relevant legislation, she said, “I don’t care. I don’t care if some innocent kid is tortured to death in Iraq, as long as we’re safe.” I’m still horrified that someone so closely related to me could be so lacking in moral or ethical standards. And be so afraid.

    The Republicans, of course, are screaming that the release of the memos has made us more unsafe, and a lot of idiots believe them. They’ve obviously had their heads in the sand because the rest of the world–especially the Arab/Moslem world–has always known about this (and more that we’re still not hearing about). We might be able to lie to ourselves and scrub up our self image, but unless we actually do something about it, the rest of the world will ALWAYS see us as tainted by this. Somehow we were given a pass on slavery and the genocide of the American Indians. But that was in the past. This will now define us.

  15. I wonder if Obama is playing this smart. Let the American people lead the charge to investigate. This way Fox and affiliates will have a harder time pinning the motivation for the investigations on the administration when he can simply refer to the overwhelming numbers of Americans who have demanded accountability in his weekly address. Maybe too he is trying to keep a lid on the right wing freakosphere by not having his administration solely push for the investagations. There are also democratic congress members who may have approved of the torture to consider as well…

    But, it is our duty as patriotic constitutionalists, and for what is morally right, to push for these investigations. Maybe Obama, the constitutional professor, is just waiting for the numbers to respond?

    Obama saying that the individuals in the CIA who committed the acts of torture will not be prosecuted may be a good tactical decision too. Maybe even an act of self preservation? I agree, start at the top: Jay Bybee, Alberto Gonzo, John Woo, Cheney. Some of the underlings who committed these acts of torture may have sincerely felt they were doing their duty to county, however misguided. I am not hell bent on seeing these people prosecuted, just let go and restricted from any government positions for the remainder of their lives.

  16. I wish I could write this well! great blog thanks.

  17. Shannyn…excellent post. The world is watching, waiting to see how this will all play out. I dont understand what Pres. Obama is doing right now…and I dont want to criticize him…but I am pleased that Holder is examining the issue.

    I am Canadian…but I know that Americans are much better than this. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

  18. It is frightening to me that the tidbits of truth are coming out and that people are intensely angry that we KNOW now. This just shows how duped and deluded people became under the former administration. “We do not torture”. That is a baldfaced LIE, GW.

    I suspect that there is FAR more to this than we are hearing. I suspect that the orders came from the very top, and that would entail another whole can of worms for our President to have to juggle. The matter will be settled, as nobody in their right mind would ever again hold torture up as a standard for American values, and excuse it as something that “works”. I call BS on that line when people use it.

    The full impact of this has not yet sunk in to me, or the entire world, I suspect. We, as a country, should be looked up to and emulated for our human rights policies. And now look at what has happened, under the republican banner of “safety”. The fear mongers won that battle. Now my President Obama needs to win the war. The one against ignorance.

    *jumps off soapbox*

  19. We have become who we despise. We are torturers. We hold people without trial or charges. Therefore we have lost the right to complain when others do it to us. If Iran waterboards a journalist because they suspect she is a spy, what right do we have to complain? What right do we have to demand justice in the world? We are animals.

  20. Exquisite, Shannyn. Thanks from an old Vietnam combat vet who became active in the anti-war movement in the early 70s.
    **********NOTE FROM SHANNYN**********
    Thank you for your post and your service. I watched The Deer Hunter earlier today. Just had it on…and kept wondering where John McCain is these days. How could we turn our own men and women into the monsters who tortured Americans? We are better than that…we have to be. In the face of the memos released this week, we have to prosecute to show the world we won’t stand for it.

  21. WOW, I see your point now. We should be more civil like the Terrorist. We should just ask them to tell us everything they know and if they say ‘no’ we should say ‘ok, thanks anyway’. Oh no, that is not what the civil terrorist do, they chop off their heads, just for fun. Yep, that is what we should do, just be plain ole civil and cut their heads off. Forget about saving AMERICAN lives, lets just be passive and give everything away to the terrorist. What else could we possibly do?

    We need to give up helping the rest of the world and just give everything away. England would be speaking German if it were not for us. Most of Europe would be too, if not for us. I suppose we were wrong for dropping the Adam Bomb on Japan – saving millions and millions of AMERICAN lives and ending the terrible WAR. But yet, somehow we are the bad people here. Unreal folks. We should be ashamed of BO the way he knocked this great Country of ours. Look at the poor girl over there in Iran. They convicted her with nothing, why? Because we have become appeasers. They know that we will do nothing to help that girl.

    I, as an AMERICAN, don’t really care about anyone else but AMERICAN’s. I will help anyone; as a person and a believer in God do not want anyone to be hurt, but they can not and must not hurt AMERICAN’S or AMERICA.

    We are the best Country that every developed on this earth and we must not lose it, as I am afraid we are.

    We should not be ashamed to do what we need to do to defend this Country. There is a Torture is beheading someone, hanging them for
    There is a BIG BIG difference between torturing someone for the fun of it, or for the sport of it and trying to get information from someone to save your Countries citizens. If you can see that, then there is something wrong with you.

    Enjoy the day my friend, for someone that you hate and would put in jail has defended this country to give you that right!!

    Think about it.

    **********NOTE FROM SHANNYN**********

  22. Shannyn,

    Then it must not have been torture that we did to get the information from the terrorist – there is no need for this discussion then. Thank you for clearing that up!! I doubt that any of the other readers will see it that way. There was more information obtained through the ‘non-torture’ procedures than all the info that all the agencies obtained combined. That saved many lives. So, I agree with you, that since we rec’d more information that saved AMERICAN lives using the apparent non-torture procedures that we should keep using them and keep getting information that will continue to save AMERICAN lives.

    Thanks for having a voice of reason.

  23. My head is spinning from the Adam Bomb… ???

  24. Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  25. What a moving defense of the Constitution! You are a superb writer.

    I posted the link to my Facebook page, but I hope you will consider posting the article on Huffington Post so it will be more widely read.

    **********NOTE FROM SHANNY**********
    Thanks for reading!

  26. Baja,
    yep, that is what happens when you type to fast. Of course it should be Atom and NOT Adam. LOL And of Course some people on this page are quick to point out something that is non-relative to anything and pick on that. LOL, sad really, but somehow makes me laugh.

  27. Just a general comment.

    As I read through these posting, I see a lot of American bashing, which I don’t like but accept because it is the right of All Americans to do so. This right is protected by the very people that some on this posting are trying to condemn. Again, that is ok, not fair, but ok. It is their right.

    What I also see is that most here appear to look down on the USA because of the things they feel are ‘torture’ and how the USA has lost the respect of the rest of the world. It appears that they truly believe that. And that is ok.

    How is it that when we were apparently the worse people in the UNIVERSE, in WWII – for dropping the Atom (spelled it correctly this time, lol), bomb, I suppose invading Germany and killing millions of innocent people, the USA was the most respect and loved country in the world? Then the USA, being the horrible and brutal Country we are with loads of arrogant people like myself, we rebuilt Japan and Germany and others to be pretty great nations. How dare we, the country of arrogance, the country that is terrorizing children and women in the dark of the night, being cruel to people who would hurt us, how dare we do something so cruel as to rebuild the very countries that we killed so many innocent lives. How dare we? Because we are the ‘good’ guys.

    We are not perfect, but we do try to help people. We do not kill people for sport. We do not take joy in the act of WAR.

    I just don’t understand the apparent ‘hate’ that I see for this Great, wonderful and helpful Country in some of these posting.

  28. Craig – just because we were nice once, 60 years ago doesn’t give us a license to kill.

    Let me propose a little scenario. Suppose in 1952, the English and French decided that they didn’t like Eisenhower so they used their clandestine forces to convince the military to take over the country and appoint a dictator. And suppose that dictator brutally ruled over that country until we finally got him out of power in 1980. And suppose that the result was that we didn;t really have a democracy to this date but had a country ruled by baptist ministers who executed people who didn’t follow their rules. How would you feel about England and France? Now replace England and France with the USA and us with Iran and you have reality. You can do the same in about a half dozen Latin American countries (without the religion part) as well. So do you still think we are a Great, wonderful and helpful country? Do you think the tens of thousands of Chilean families who lost loved ones think we are Great, wonderful and helpful? Do you think the hundreds of thousands of families in Iran who lost loved ones or were forced to flee their homes because of us think we are Great, wonderful and helpful?

    You are living in a dream world if you think the US is Great, wonderful and helpful. Since WWII we have done whatever is in the best interest of the US (rebuilding western Europe was done to stop the Soviets, not because we are Great, wonderful and helpful). We are not the “good guys” and have never been. Ask the Cherokee Indians if we are the good guys.

  29. Tom, so you think the USA was nice only once?
    ??? And suppose the frog had wings, it wouldn’t hit its A.. when it jumped.

    I live in the real world – and I do believe that the US is Great, wonderful and Helpful. It is you that is living in a dream world if you think we are not. My suggestion to you is if you do not like this Great, Wonderful and Helpful Country – go to the countries you believe to be ‘friendly’ – go to Russia, go to Iran, go to anywhere you believe to be better.

    The USA are the good guys, always have, always will be (I hope). As I said we are not perfect, but we do try.

    And you take the belief that a Country doing what is in its best interest is bad? That is just strange. My guess is if you speak out against Iran or Russia in those countries that you apparently rather live, but for some reason do not move, the gov’t would do something civil like cut your head off. But since that is what you appear to prefer, I hope that you go there.

    Really Tom, you apparently feel and believe that the USA is just a horrible place to be in or even associated with, why is it you stay here? Just interested to know why.

  30. Craig – try not to be stupid. I did not say that the Soviet Union or Iran are better than the US. But the US is not this wonderful country that you seem to think we are.

    Doing what is best for us at the cost of other countries is evil. Making sure that democracy fails in Central America so that American businesses can keep their banana plantations is EVIL.

    When I was young, I thought the US could change. When I protested against our treatment of Vietnam, and then Chile, and then Angola, and then Nicaragua, and so on, I really thought this country might not always be the evil country that we have been. Seriously, how many Americans either know or care about what we did to Iran? How many Americans are happy to talk about dropping the BOMB on Iran? Want to know why Iran wants the bomb? Just look at the way we have treated them and their neighbors.

  31. Tom,

    I am not stupid, please don’t you be. I did not say that you said that they were better. I pointed those countries out because they are opposite what we are and since, to you, we are not the ‘good guys’ they MUST be. logic.

    You know, I believe we may be in somewhat of agreement – this County may not be the wonderful County I seem to think it is – It is probably a LOT, LOT better. (Although, I doubt you believe that the USA is better than any other Country in the world)

    Whoa, when did we not want democracy to be successful?

    Do you even know what the difference is between a Republic and a Democracy? I doubt that you do. We are NOT a democracy, but a Republic.

    I make you this offer, I will raise the funds to move you to the ‘friendly’ country you want, where they do civil things like cut your head off for sport. OK?

    I know why Iran wants the bomb – they want to threaten and kill anyone they do not like – basically for fun. THEY are evil, not us. We don’t go around saying that we want a whole race of people of this earth. We don’t deny that Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

    This country has changed since the 60’s. Not all for the better either.

    Actually, that offer applies to anyone that really hates this Country. I will start a web page and collect funds to have you moved. You must give you your citizenship to this (what you call) arrogant, selfish, no good, good for nothing country that you apparently hate so much. Deal?

    And Tom, you never did answer why you want to stay in this country that you apparently hate. Please answer that question. Thank you.

  32. Oh, most people who apparently do not like this country and spout off about how much they dislike it, and can do so because of the very people they dislike protect this country, stay here, even if they say they will leave. Take Barbara Streisand – she stated if Bush won the White House she would leave the country – Many people are still waiting for her to leave.

    And before someone starts to pick out the following: “We don’t go around saying that we want a whole race of people of this earth.” That was to be a whole race of people off this earth. I, like AMERICA, am not perfect, but I try. Sometimes I fail, most of the times I do not. But if you pick on me for only my failures, like most people here pick on the USA, I become a not so nice person. Perhaps that is what is happening to the USA. After all, most of the people that voted for BO are receiving some time of welfare, and those people are not dumb or stupid, why should they give up a free ride by voting for someone that would take that away and make them work and achieve something? Just look at Calif. They are going under because of the money they are demanded to pay. Then they raise taxes to pay for it and then the business people leave. They are finding out that you can'[t really tax the people who are receiving the free money and still have money to spend on them – they will run out of money. Oops, that is what is happening now. Duh!!

    That was off the subject. Someti.mes I just get going. Sorry

  33. “After all, most of the people that voted for BO are receiving some time of welfare, and those people are not dumb or stupid, why should they give up a free ride by voting for someone that would take that away and make them work and achieve something?”

    Do you realize that states like NY and CA receive less from the federal government that they give? Do you realize that states that voted for Bush like every state in the south, get more in federal benefits than they pay in taxes? The “free ride” is coming from the GOP, not from the Democrats, and the “free ride” is going to those people in the south who are draining the resources of the rest of the country. CA and NY each get 79 cents back for every dollar in taxes sent to Washington. Other than Texas, there isn’t a single southern state that doesn’t get more from the federal government than they pay in taxes. So who is getting the “free ride”?

  34. But to get back to the topic at hand… how anyone can think that a country that supports torturing a man 183 times in one month is “wonderful” is delusional.

  35. And Craig… do you know what a Republic is? It is any sovereign country that is not a monarchy. The Soviet Union was made up of republics. Saying we are a republic is not informative. The US is a democracy. It is a representative democracy. Or more fully… a liberal, constitutional, representative democracy.

  36. Tom,

    You still have not answered the question – Why do you stay in a Country that you apparently hate? Please answer that.

    Yes, I do know what a Republic is, and yes, you are wrong again – let me cut and past something for you: a “Republic. That form of government in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whome those powers are specially delegated. [NOTE: The word “people” may be either plural or singular. In a republic the group only has advisory powers; the sovereign individual is free to reject the majority group-think. USA/exception: if 100% of a jury convicts, then the individual loses sovereignty and is subject to group-think as in a democracy.]”

    A “Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. [NOTE: In a pure democracy, 51% beats 49%. In other words, the minority has no rights. The minority only has those privileges granted by the dictatorship of the majority.]

    As you can see, the USA stands as Republic – we care about the minority. And that is the difference.

    So, you are wrong again, and just why will you not answer the question – why stay here when you apparently just do not like this Great Nation? I am even willing to PAY for your move. Please answer the question, please!!!

  37. Tom,

    Delusional to defend and protect the country they love? Not to do so is…. well…. not delusional, but treasonous. Even the the NAZI’s were wrong, in my opinion, but they were for their country. The believed and fought for their county.

    They were wrong, not because we won, fighting and winning or losing has no barring on if something is wrong or right, but because it was just ‘wrong’ to do what they were doing. Well, I believe that and I believe that most others are glad that the Nazi’s were defeated.

  38. Cutting and pasting from Conservapedia will not impress most people. And next time, at least try to find a source that knows how to spell “whom”. But your source is wrong. It is true that the US is not a pure democracy but we are a democracy.

    The reason I stay here is simple… my voice can change things. The US needs to change because it is the largest and most powerful nation on the Earth and can do the most evil. 2,500 Americans died in the WTC attack. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis died in our invasion of Iraq.

  39. Keep reading Craig. We are not hear to “pick on” or “hate” America! That is what the other side is saying to cloud the issues. We are here on Shannyn’s blog because we love America, our constitution, and care for the well being of all Americans!

    What we don’t like and seek to bring out into the light is the people who abuse their power, are patently dishonest and make others suffer because of it.

    If you honestly weigh the arguments presented here, without preconceived notions created by those who mean to detract from the reality of the situation, you will see that our intentions are good.


  40. Tom,

    At least you answered the question. I hope you voice does change things – for the good, not toward socialism and destruction that our Fathers fought to preserve. Most in this GREAT, WONDERFUL AND HELPFUL Country do not want to change to what other countries want us to change into – they are only looking to bring the USA down, which they believe will bring their Country up. Our President is bring enough ‘change’, and it will take time to figure out if it is correct or not. At the moment is it not looking to good. This is another thing that Democrats are good at – not giving anyone that opposes them a chance – they certainly did not give Bush a chance, they dogged him with everything they had. Don’t get me wrong, ole Bush was not the best President of all time, and certainly not a the smartest financially, but he did keep this country safe. If you look at history, when the Dem’s took over a little more than 2 years ago, about 6 months later, things started to fall apart and then about a year after that, things really started to dissolve. And yet people voted them in again – just unbelievable.

    You make me smile – stating that “Cutting and pasting from Conservapedia”. See, most people here don’t consider what is the truth or not the truth, just where it comes from. Most appear to dwell on the things that really do not matter – like spelling. The definition is correct, you just apparently do not agree with it, so there MUST be something incorrect about it or it is from a “Conservapedia” web site. Just for you info – the URL is: If you can support your definition, please do so. I can not locate anything that supports it.

    And the definition is correct. BTW – have you heard of the Pledge of Allegiance? – part of it states: “….and to the Republic for which it stands,….”. Those are great words – they have meanings. Meanings, part of which are stated above.

    We are a REPUBLIC, we are GREAT, we are WONDERFUL, and we are HELPFUL.

    The number was closer to 3000 Americans that died on 9/11. Those people were innocent – innocent AMERICAN lives. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis died in our invasion of Iraq? Not at our hands. And if they did, we did not knowingly do so – unlike thousands of he terrorist that planned and executed the death of AMERICAN lives. The terrorist hide behind children, women, schools, Church’s – they just don’t care who gets killed. Let’s go back to the late 90’s and 2000. Our Present at the time ‘knew’ that IRAQ had weapons of mass destruction – yet he did nothing about it. We won’t go into they why someone will not fight, but knowing that he ‘knew’ they had it is good for now. Others around the world also ‘knew’ that Iraq had WMD’s. The UN was not going to do anything about it, so after the UN warned them, what 17 times, we, the USA stood up to them. We still have not found all the WMD’s, it appears that most were moved out; however, that does not mean that we will not locate them later. After all, I believe it took us what, 20 years or so to locate a Russian MIG that was hiding there.

    WE ARE A GREAT NATION, if you don’t like it, please let me pay for your move to a more ‘friendly’ country that will chop your head off for the sport of it!!

  41. “WE ARE A GREAT NATION, if you don’t like it, please let me pay for your move to a more ‘friendly’ country that will chop your head off for the sport of it!!”

    At least you are honest enough to admit that you want to murder anyone who disagrees with you.

  42. Baja,

    People who abuse their power should be brought to task. However, it should be everyone – both sides. Both sides do it, I’ve said that for the longest time.

    Not everyone here is an apparent AMERICAN hater. Some just want to find out what happened. And that is great. You had pointed out something about fox. I know this will be a sore subject, but they at least give both sides. NBC and CNN appear to provide only ‘their’ side. No wonder – NBC is owned by GE, and the CEO was selected to be on one of the President’s advisory boards. Why? well, NBC helped BO get elected. The pay back was for the CEO to be selected for the the advisory board. I’m not saying that is bad or good, because I believe that both sides do it.

    What about Barney Frank – and his fudge-packing buddy there at Fanny Mae or wherever, where did he go – to help us get out of the mess we are in!!

    You have the CEO of a company that was run into the ground and the CEO or boss man from Fanny Mae that ran that company into the ground trying to get us out of the mess we are in. Doesn’t make that much sense to me. But they are pay backs, and I understand that is how Politics work.

    All I ask is if you go after one you should go after all of them – on both sides. That is why I do not like either side – they all appear to be the same to me, the definition of a politician, to me, is someone that cheats and lies legally. There are not very many good ones and wish we could through them all out and start over, but we can’t.

    I am not a republican – my republican friends say that I am the biggest liberal they know. I am not a democrat – my democrat friends say that I am the biggest conservative they know. I feel good about that, because that probably means that I am somewhere in the middle, which is fine with me. I am an AMERICAN first. I believe that if you work hard and earn money, you should keep it. No one should force you to do anything with it. I also believe that no one should be stopped by anyone else for almost any reason from succeeding in whatever path they choose to follow. In fact, I believe that they should be helped to succeed, for that benefits everyone. Unlike some on this blog, I still believe that the USA is the GREATEST, most WONDERFUL and most HELPFUL Country on this earth.

    God Bless America!!!

  43. Tom, Tom, Tom,

    My friend, you are wrong again. I do not want to murder or kill anyone, I do not believe in that, at least not as a sport. You, like some people, mostly liberals, have taken the quote out of context – put correctly, you would have stated that I don’t mind sending people to the countries they believe to be ‘friendly’ where they just happen to think that beheading someone for the sport is kind of fun. There is a BIG, BIG, BIG difference between what you stated and what I actually stated.

    And yes, I am very honest. That gets me into a LOT of trouble sometimes. Why? because people have a tendency to take things out of context and put a lot of spin to things and try to distort the truth. That is human nature when people only think of themselves.

    I take it that you have checked out the URL that I provided and since you did not mention it, that you must agree that it is not a conservative site (or whatever you called it). I say that only because you did not mention it. My true guess is that you never even looked at the site and just was not bothered. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    And I still LOVE this GREAT, WONDERFUL, and very HELPFUL Country.

    God Bless America!!

  44. Tom,

    I have not heard from you in awhile, I suppose you are still trying to locate something to support your definition of a Republic.

    Ok, when you find it my friend, please let me know.

    Have a great day in this beautiful world that God gave us and the USA protects.

    God Bless America!!

  45. Craig – some of us work for a living. I have no idea who owns the 1215 site but it is a copy of what is on Conservapedia. The fact that you found a website with a definition you like means nothing. Go to Wikipedia and you will find my definition. Or, go to a law library and do some research.

    As I tried to tell you earlier, A Republic has a very vague definition. Rome described itself as a Republic even though very few people had the right to vote. Yes, we are a Republic but, as I said, so was the Soviet Union. The US is more accurately described as a constitutional democracy, especially since the 17th amendment allowed direct election of Senators.

    Meanwhile, I think Shannyn would appreciate us not polluting her site with such an inane argument so you may consider this finished.

  46. Tom,
    You are correct – Shannyn probably would not like it.

    The fact that you found a website with a definition you like means nothing either. I have gone to a law library and the definition of a Republic is as I stated. I suppose it depends on where you go. If it funny that you dismiss anything that does not fit your definition.

    And yes, this is finished. People who are so closed minded that they can only see one side and does not even want to hear anything different than what they want to hear just does not make sense for me to carry on.

    Just like when the Bush Administration left – with class, and when the Clinton Administration left – stealing and destroying things as they left – just shows the difference with certain people.

    Glad we could have this discussion. Sorry you do not see the wisdom that is out there, just in a different place than you look.

    I do hope that you locate and go to the ‘friendly’ places you deem to be so much better than the USA. Also keep working – someone has to pay those taxes that will be raised to pay for the debt we are now getting into. Unfortunately, I will also have to pay those increased taxes and my children will and my grandchildren and their children and their grandchildren – if we are not overpowered by the ‘friendly’ Countries that you so much admire.

    Have a great day.

    And I still believe that the USA is GREAT, WONDERFUL and a very HELPFUL nation. I only wish all AMERICANS believed this and acted like they believed it. (p.s. – the offer still stands)

    Have a great day.

    Shannyn – thank you too!!

  47. On a beautiful late summer morning in Central New Jersey, at 8:40 am, I was walking my kids to school when my 2 1/2 year old son fell off the sidewalk and cut his head open. So we turned around, and with him in my arms, pushing the baby in the stroller, and my 5 year old in toe, I dropped off my second grader with a neighbor who could take her to school, and went back home. After giving my son an ice pack to put on his head, I loaded my kids into the minivan, and we drove off to the doctor. NPR is always on in my car, and with my son crying in the back seat and my baby demanding to nurse, the BBC World News made no sense at all. Someone said something like: “Oh my god, another plane just flew into the second tower…” and I simply had no idea what they were talking about. It was September 11, 2001. The doctor was just minutes away, so it was not until I walked into the waiting room and saw the TV that I realized what had happened.

    My husband commuted everyday with the train to Newark where he worked at Rutgers University. On Tuesdays, he taught from 8:00 to 10:00 am. I remember sitting in the waiting room in shock, waiting for the doctor to arrive, nursing the baby, and comforting my son. I remember how odd it felt that my husband was probably in class talking about plants, not knowing of the horrors that were taking place just miles away. A third high jacked plane was still missing, what if it crashed in Newark? What if they bombed the train station, like they do in Europe? What if they closed the railroads and he could not come home? What if some of the people who died were from our hometown? In fact, when my husband came out of the classroom at 10:00, one of his colleagues grabbed him and filled him in on what had happened as they watched the second tower burn and collapse from his office window.

    Our physician was a kind, gentle, dedicated family doctor. He was Egyptian American, having moved to the US with his parents as a six year old boy. He was a devout Muslim. He examined Felix and decided to stitch up the cut. We talked about the terrorist attacks, and were both convinced Al Qaeda must be behind them. Although I suspected he was rather conservative, I said to him: “What is that idiot Bush going to do now?” He smiled reassuringly and said: “Don’t worry; he will know how to handle it, Insha’ Allah.” But in the years that followed, my doctor and I, along with the rest of humanity, got to witness how easily the democratically elected government of the richest nation on Earth opted to forfeit reason and fall into a vicious cycle of disastrous fear and ideology induced decisions, where various ancient forms of flag-clad state sponsored violence were seen as the only answers to national security challenges, and where a handshake and a smile are considered dangerous and demeaning.

    As if the illegal invasion of Iraq under false pretenses and the collapse of the economy was not enough, the release of the torture memos has confirmed I was right to worry about what our government was going to do following the horrendous 9/11 attacks. But as much as I distrusted the Bush Administration at the time, I could never have imagined how far from Democracy Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld would drag us all.

  48. Yep. What can one say to that?

    I was in the Pentagon that day, and if that plane had been about 50 feet higher, I would not be here. (I know must here probably wish it was). I too am disgusted with the response to the 9/11 attacks. We have now got to almost strip going to get on to a plane. Our lives have been turned upside down. I don’t like it. The sad part about all this is that we are truly no safer today than we were when Clinton reduced our protection, just more inconvenienced. If someone wants to blow up a plane, they can. Just a little harder I suppose.
    Bush, used the information that Ole Clinton stated, the CIA, other countries, etc. and when the wild man in Iraq, who killed many of hundreds of thousands of his OWN countrymen, defied the UN again, for what, the 17th time, Bush and the American people had enough. I do wish he had just gone in there and bombed it rather than listen to some in Congress and put our men in harms way, but he gave in and did a compromise. Then we could do what we did in Europe and Japan – help them rebuild – only the arrogant, mean USA would do that – I do not recall and of the ‘friendly’ nations that kill people for sport help out other nations.

    We did not win WWII by appeasement. We had to drop the Atom Bomb to end the killing on both sides, but we did save millions of American lives, and that is whom I care about. The Other countries do what they have to do to protect themselves, whatever it takes. We have to do the same.

    On 9/12 our Congress did what? Sing on the steps I believe. yep, that helped us a lot.

    Oh well. Good luck all.

  49. I am with Craig here. A sovereign nation owes its first and highest duty to its citizens; it’s next highest duty to citizens of other nations; its next highest duty even to citizens of warring nations attacking us, as we have agreed to honor certain minimum standards for these countries and their uniformed soldiers if they are Geneva signatories; but we owe nothing to terrorists, who abide by adn recognize no law, who kill for perverse pleasure, and who have forfeited their right be treated as well as a mongrel dog, much less a human being….

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