Monday, May 04, 2009

Dodd and Swan Appalled

Those who are used to seeing Tom Swan – current director of Connecticut’s Citizen Action Group and past director of Ned Lamont’s failed senatorial campaign against current U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman – in his appalled mode will not be surprised to learn that he was “appalled” at the suggestion, according to a piece in the New Haven Independent, “that he and other progressives present were being used to rescue a senator [U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd] who got too cozy with financial barons and predators.”

Dodd has been traveling about the state visiting liberal watering holes, with an obliging train of progressives in tow, in an attempt some would consider desperate to shore up his tattered reputation.

Lately, Dodd has suggested that those in the Bush administration who had facilitated the water boarding of Kalid Sheik Mohammed should be tried in court, as were Nazi war criminals prosecuted in Nuremburg by his father.

A short video clip shown on MyLeftNutmeg, a left wing blog, shows Dodd holding forth on what has become his favorite topic: Let’s Nuremburgize "the war on terror," an expression that has been rejected by the Obama administration in favor of the less descriptive "overseas contingency operation."

The war on terror is over; the “overseas contingency operation,” a more Orwellian and less descriptive phrase, has begun.

Kalid Sheik Mohammed was the master-mind of the 9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center Towers in New York. He also has boasted that he had personally hacked off the head of Daniel Pearl, a New York Times reporter who, unfortunately, was not given the amenities that Dodd feels should be showered upon the sheik in an attempt to demonstrate to that portion of the world where overseas contingency operations may be necessary that we are a nation of laws, not men.

Most experts on torture, not excepting Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, would agree that the sheik is a torturer. Pelosi has had a devil of a time convincing non-credulous reporters that she was not briefed on water boarding.

But it is safe to speculate that people like Swan, whose sensibilities are easily rubbed raw, would consider the sheik’s beheading of Pearl and his facilitation of the deaths of upwards of a thousand Americans in the World Trade Center bombing -- actually there were two bombings, the first occurring during President Bill Clinton’s enlightened administration -- appalling.

There are some on the right side of the constitution who quibble over the question whether water boarding is torture; the sheik was dunked, so to speak, numerous times before he coughed up information that some in the Bush administration considered “actionable,” with consequences to his health less serious than those endured by Pearl, among others. Actionable information is data extracted by intelligence gatherers (torturers?) that may be used to avert future unpleasant episodes like the World Trade Center bombing, the attack on the Pentagon and the foiled attack on the U.S. Congress, where Sen. Dodd and other future prosecutors of Bush administrative officials ply their trade.

My own rule in these cases is to conform my judgment whenever possible, except in matters of faith and doctrine, to the atheist writer Christopher Hitchens, who had himself water boarded and pronounced that the practice was torture.

The immediate problem the Obama administration and Sen. Dodd face is what to do with the prisoners at the soon to be closed Gitmo facility in Cuba? Apparently, no one yet has suggested they be moved to one or another of the unoccupied properties the Dodds own in Washington D.C., Hamden Connecticut and Connemara, in County Galway, Ireland. What to do with future prisoners taken in the Democrat’s new war in Afghanistan also may prove troubling; former President Clinton liked to rendition his overseas “contingency people” in places like Egypt, where the contingents were, shall we say, “interrogated.”

Putting all these quibbles aside, it may be important to point out that the U.S. Congress and the White House are now owned by Democrats. Presumably, they will do with both, as well as the country and the wider world, whatever they like.

One can only hope that Swan, the proprietor on MyLeftNutmeg and other delicate liberals like Dodd will not be appalled at the consequences.

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