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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "Bush Trashes Constitution, Few Notice" -- should we impeach? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: "Bush Trashes Constitution, Few Notice" -- should we impeach?
Irregardless
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The source cited in the article is Doug Thompson of 'Capitol Hill Blue', who in turn mentions three conveniently unnamed sources. Thompson has previously been caught fabricating alleged sources out of whole cloth (try Googling "Terrence Wilkinson" + Capitol).
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WntrMute
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm not sure that lying about a casus belli and -- presumably -- deliberately subverting the U.S. Constitution is really "put into perspective" by comparing it to lying about oral sex.

Oh yeah, the new and improved, "Bush Lied" meme. I just love how before the invasion of Iraq the hue and cry was that Rumsfeldt had SUPPLIED the WMD to Saddam. But then when the WMD somehow disappeared suddenly there weren't ever any wMD's there in the first place, and Bush had made it all up. How he had managed to convince the entire Clinton administration that Saddam's WMD programs were flourishing in 1998 and 1999 must truly be worthy of Machievelli's Prince.

Or the Democrats are must making things up as they go along, with no reference to anything they had said even within the past 24 hours. Today we need to withdraw. Tomorrow, we just need a different plan. The next day, that different plan is exactly the same as the current plan, only somehow in some completely unexplained details it is entirely different. In one moment, we have too many troops in Iraq, it creates and atmosphere of an occupation. In the next moment we don't have enough troops in Afghanistan -- I can only suppose they don't realize they're being occupied, or something.

Did Bush act on bad intelligence? Probably.
Did he act on intelligence his biases prefered in lieu of better intelligence that did not match what he wrongly figured was the case? More probably.
Did Bush make up the entire thing and knowingly lie to the American Congress and people? Not a chance. Because we would have FOUND WMD's in Iraq. If he knew there weren't any there, he would have known to sneak some in so they could be planted, wouldn't he?

So ditch the "Bush Lied" mantra of the radical left. Anyone with half a brain can see that it is stupid.

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Nikisknight
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quote:
I'm not sure that lying about a casus belli and -- presumably -- deliberately subverting the U.S. Constitution is really "put into perspective" by comparing it to lying about oral sex.
That's a meaningless slogan. Nobody really thinks Pres. Bush lied about Iraqi information--since there was no one at the time who disagreed with the gist of it. Not the former pres or VP, Senators, foreign intel, next-of-kin of gassed Kurds, probably Sadam himself. One shouldn't use the word lied when one means "made a tough decision based on patchy and incomplete inteligence and then made the best case for it which later turned out to be wrong."

People don't call defense attorneys liars when they defend people widely believed to be guilty by trying to make a definitive case based on the facts availible.

As for the P. Act-- I can't admit to ever having read it. I've yet to hear of abuses of it, and the parts that are usually objected to are laughable. My civil liberties are being violated because some FBI agent knows I checked out memory of Earth? Why, we've become just like the enemy, haven't we?

As for the original article... riiiiiiight... [Wall Bash]

Edit--was there a page two? sorry! [Angst]

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blacwolve
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Dagonee- Thanks! I just wanted a general idea. I mean I'll read with interest if you supply more, but it's not really the legal details I'm interested in, it's the political ones.

I wrote a paper this semester about democracy promotion post- 9/11 and one of the things I touched on was anti-terrorist legislation. I thought the topic was really interesting, and being the dork that I am have continued to accumulate information and opinions on it.

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Bob_Scopatz
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WntrMute and Nikisknight...

I think you both missed what Tom was actually saying there.

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Telperion the Silver
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A Mormon for President would be fun. [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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Bob - it's okay. They couldn't see the forest for all the jerking knees. [Smile]
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Bob_Scopatz
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And barking up them.
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Juxtapose
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Ooookay, where to start...

quote:
I just love how before the invasion of Iraq the hue and cry was that Rumsfeldt had SUPPLIED the WMD to Saddam. But then when the WMD somehow disappeared suddenly there weren't ever any wMD's there in the first place, and Bush had made it all up.
I understand your confusion here, Wntr. The US DID supply Iraq with chemical and biological weapon precursors, and ways to deploy them. I've also heard that US companies aided in building sites to make the weapons, AND that Rumsfeld met with Saddam to assure him of US help, but I can't find any good documentation at the moment, so I'll leave those as iffy. If someone knows of any good evidence, I'd like to see it though. There's a great Wikipedia article that touches on this here:
Wikipedia Article - Hajaba Poison Gas Attack

The article references a senate report commonly known as The Riegle Report, published in 1994, the text of which can be found here:
The Riegle Report

This brings me to the second part of your statement, the part about the missing WMDs. In Chapter 1, Part 1 of the Riegle Report, there is a section titled "Destruction of Iraq's Chemicals and Chemical Weapons by the United Nations." This just some of the documentation of how Iraq's WMD programs were crippled. I'll leave you to find more on your own if you like.

Next:
quote:
Nobody really thinks Pres. Bush lied about Iraqi information--since there was no one at the time who disagreed with the gist of it. Not the former pres or VP, Senators, foreign intel, next-of-kin of gassed Kurds, probably Sadam himself. One shouldn't use the word lied when one means "made a tough decision based on patchy and incomplete inteligence and then made the best case for it which later turned out to be wrong."
I DO believe Bush lied us...err sorry, led us into Iraq. And by "lied," I mean he deliberately misled the country. Actually, the thing is, I agree with every part of your definition, too, except one. And that's the part where you say he "made a tough decision..." The reason I say he lied is that I believe Bush decided long before he saw the any evidence or intelligence of any kind that he wanted to invade Iraq.

quote:
From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”

As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.

"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’" says O’Neill. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”

That quote is from a CBS news article about a book by Ron Suskind Titled The Price of Loyalty. The focus of the book is Bush's former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neil, and well, there you go. The full article can be found here:

CBS News - Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?

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tern
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quote:
I say he lied is that I believe Bush decided long before he saw the any evidence or intelligence of any kind that he wanted to invade Iraq.
Operative word - believe. That's not proof. It's a possibility, and one even I won't rule out and good grief am I getting sucked into this pointless Bush Lied No He Didn't argument again?
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Bob_Scopatz
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<insert giant slurping noise here>

Belief can be pretty powerful stuff. In some ways it is harder to fight than proof is. And hence, the futility of this direction of discussion.

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tern
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[Smile]

I'm like a moth to a flame. And when I'm not getting burned, I burn myself. Ack!

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Juxtapose
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Well, that's why i linked that article as evidence for my claim.

Richard Clarke wrote similar things in his book, Against All Enemies.

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DarkKnight
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I thought the original Patriot Act had a time limit? Like a year or two or something like that? Then it had to be voted on again to keep it enacted? I could be wrong about that though. I suppose I should go look it up. I think for legislation like the Patriot Act we should set a time limit, one year or two years, possibly 3 but not more than that and then it should have to be voted on again to keep it enacted.
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Juxtapose
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I see my terminology is causing problems here. I used the word believe because I'm making a case about a motivation, which can be an exceedingly difficult thing to conclusively prove. By using the word believe I was trying to show that I recognized the lack of conclusive proof but fuond the evidence to be in favour of my claim. I certainly didn't intend to use it in any kind of faith-based way.
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Bob_Scopatz
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Jux...the problem with ONeill as a source is that the Administration can paint him as a renegade who left the reservation and had to be slapped down. He then became bitter and is now lashing out.

It's still not proof.

DK: Different provisions in PA have different sunset dates. A bunch of them expire on Dec 31st. What's going on at the moment is a rush to get the whole law re-enacted with or without tweaking. I think that Congress is about to give itself a few more months to think things over, by extending the sunset dates as an interim measure (just for about 3 months) under a continuing resolution.

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Juxtapose
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Most of the Patriot Act expires on Dec. 31st this year.
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Juxtapose
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Yes, this administration is very good at slapping down the renegades. But when you have multiple "disgruntled ex-employees" all saying things along the same lines (O'neil, Clarke, Shinseki, Bremer, for example), then I become a little more then suspicious.

And, I admit, it's not proof. But it is pretty damning.

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WntrMute
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Juxtapose, if what you are saying was that Bush was predisposed towards believing intelligence that supported his intentions, I even said as much in my post. If you are saying that he completely and knowingly said things he knew to be complete fabrications, then that is where we disagree, because he would have been prepared to continue the deception. I think the administration was caught flat-footed when the things they thought were true ended up not being true.

Anyways, I now think that there could have been no success in Afghanistan if there were not a more ideologically important target for the jihadis to fight for that was not as naturally condusive towards guerrila warfare as Afghanistan is. Where are the Belgian 'reverts' to Islam blowing themselves up, Kabul or Baghdad? I don't think this was a planned strategy, but nonetheless I think that it is the effective strategic outcome.

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Nikisknight
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I really didn't realize my last post sounded like barking. [Frown]
I fear this may be seen as such as well...

To be honest, you may have a point about WMD intl being given much more weight than it merited, and as well about Bush already having made up his mind. I'm sure he now regrets his initial emphatic words.

Thing is, I'm not overly upset about it, because I strongly believe in all the other reasons for the invasion that could be (and have been) made. There were no nukes. Shrug. I'm still happy we went in. It's ugly now, but the end is in sight and it's no uglier than mass graves, rape rooms, I'm sure everyone has heard the litiny. Our planes were often being shot at to enforce a no-flyzone. why were our planes there? To prevent Iraqi gunships from firing on his own people when they revolted.
Sadam also gave 25,000$ to families of suicide bombers. We saw on 9-11 how terrorism once restricted to "just the jews" could come around and smack the rest of the world in the face.

No men are angels, certainly not our president who makes mistakes. Stretching the truth (in this case, omiting reasons why some doubt your genuinely held conclusion) should not be employed. But I'll save my outrage for the real evil.

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blacwolve
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I think Bush decided to go into Iraq with the best of intentions, because he thought that the authoritarian political systems in the middle east were a primary cause of terrorism and he further believed that Iraq was the best place to begin (to topple a domino if you will) moving the whole region towards democracy.

The problem is that that's not a a soundbite. It's not an idea that can be sold, there are too many abstract connections in it. And so the Bush Admin came up with another reason that they could sell to the American people to justify going into Iraq- WMD. It was a bad choice, because it turned out there were no weapons of mass destruction, and now Bush is facing the fire because of it. But it isn't a new strategy. There's a fundamental difference between being a good politician and being good at governing. And sometimes a good governor is going to have to be less than honest politically in order to govern well. I don't think it's something one should be particularly surprised or upset about.

That said, I don't think Bush is a good governor. I think his reasons for going into Iraq, while understandable and sympathetic, suffered from an excess of idealism. I don't think there's any way we can win in Iraq, nor am I particularly confident that if we did, it would see a decrease of terrorism in the region. I also don't think that other Middle Eastern countries are going to see the example of Iraq and fall all over themselves trying to emulate. Furthermore, I don't think Bush has a very good plan to convert Iraq to democracy when he began the war, and I don't think he realized how long it would take, and how it wouldn't be a short, wildly successful mission.

So, to sum up, I don't think we should judge President Bush on the whole WMD thing. I think we should judge him on his true intentions of spreading democracy in the Middle East, which, unfortuantly for him, is an area in which he also fails.

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Bean Counter
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To say that as Iraqi's line up to vote is so stupid and blind that I do not have to say any more about the rest of the recent Democratic reforms in the region, I am surprised your brain can keep your lungs working.

BC

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blacwolve
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Which part is stupid?

That I don't think we've produced a democratic system in Iraq (you do realize there's a lot more to democracy to voting, right?)

That I don't think a democratic system in Iraq will create a domino effect eventually turning the Middle East into a haven of democracy (Because all of those Middle Eastern countries are just lining up to be invaded next, right?)

Or that I don't think an advent of democracy in Iraq is what's needed to end terrorism?

If it makes you feel any better, all of the democrats in this thread are going to be just as pissed at me as you are.

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Papa Janitor
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BC, personal attacks are not acceptable. Knock it off.
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JTruant711
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Harsh.
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JTruant711
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Who wants a cigarette?
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Rakeesh
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blackwolve,

You stated that very well. I believe what you've said about Bush's intentions and reasoning for going to war. I might place his belief in WMD a little differently on a scale of priorities-I still think he really did believe they were there, otherwise why the hell not cook up something else?

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Dagonee
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PJ, can you weigh in on the title as well while you're in this thread? Thanks.
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blacwolve
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
blackwolve,

You stated that very well. I believe what you've said about Bush's intentions and reasoning for going to war. I might place his belief in WMD a little differently on a scale of priorities-I still think he really did believe they were there, otherwise why the hell not cook up something else?

I think it's likely he did think there were WMD, we knew during the Gulf War that Saddam had them, and there wasn't any evidence that he got rid of them. I think that's probably why Bush choose them, because they seemed like a safe bet.
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smitty
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blacwolve, I didn't think what you wrote was worthy of contempt - your reasoning seems sound, even if I don't agree with the results. BC, that was pretty uncalled for.
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David Bowles
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Rakeesh, I agree. And I think their NOT being there sent him through a loop: he was just not prepared for that possibility. Much of his public relations faux-pas since then derive from this.
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blacwolve
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*nods* I hadn't thought of that, but it does make a lot of sense and explain much of what's happened since.
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Rakeesh
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I agree with that. I still think it was a mistake, however, to do as I think he did-manipulate and exaggerate and lie about certain things. It would take much, much more to come out for me to think he was lying all those times he said he was sure. But he lied-or those in his employ, which amounts to the same thing-about degrees of certainty and factuality.
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Papa Janitor
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<Edited thread title.>
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Dagonee
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Thanks, Papa!
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smitty
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Oooh! Maybe there were WMD's there, but since he was being accused of planting them, he didn't tell anyone!
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Lisa
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Thanks, Papa.
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Beren One Hand
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quote:
If he knew there weren't any there, he would have known to sneak some in so they could be planted, wouldn't he?
I nominate this for post of the year.
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JTruant711
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That good, huh?
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Juxtapose
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quote:
we knew during the Gulf War that Saddam had them, and there wasn't any evidence that he got rid of them
Know how a lot of US troops were affected by chemical weapons during the Gulf War? The fallout from us blowing the crap out of Saddam's production facilities.
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blacwolve
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
quote:
we knew during the Gulf War that Saddam had them, and there wasn't any evidence that he got rid of them
Know how a lot of US troops were affected by chemical weapons during the Gulf War? The fallout from us blowing the crap out of Saddam's production facilities.
I'm not quite sure how that's relevant?
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WntrMute
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quote:
Originally posted by blacwolve:
That I don't think a democratic system in Iraq will create a domino effect eventually turning the Middle East into a haven of democracy (Because all of those Middle Eastern countries are just lining up to be invaded next, right?)

I don't think any Middle Eastern country will become a true open society until the thing that OSC repeatedly points out in the Shadow series is fixed within mainstream Islam:
the punishment of apostasy.

That having been said, I think that a more democratic Middle East can be better for us than the kleptocracies that are in place now. The obvious concern, especially in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, would be that they would become Iranian-style theocracies.
However, the current theocracy (or mullahcracy) is in a slow self-destruct. The question is how far that destruction will range. With nukes, it will be very dangerous, and the current EU/UN policy of handwringing and mealy-mouthed worry is not at all productive.

Changes in Lebanon and Libya, however, are (in my opinion at least) directly linked to what we have done in Iraq.

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Juxtapose
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Sorry I wasn't clear, Blacwolve. It's relevant because that's how a large part of his weapons capabilities were destroyed. The rest atrophied over the years until they were at the point where we went in and found...nothing. I suppose you could argue that it's not him getting rid of him so much as US getting rid of them, but for the purposes of the point I was making, they come down to the same thing.
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Bob_Scopatz
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Afghanistan is currently considering executing a man who writes editorials in favor of women's rights. His crime is that doing so is in violation of religious law, but it is the state that will be carrying out the execution if that is the decision of the courts. So far, he's just in jail for writing the editorials.

I'm not really sure how we count Afghanistan as a success if that is the status of their legal system.

And if we are duplicating that success in Iraq, I'm not really sure what we are accomplishing for the long run. Replacing Saddam with codified religious law is not going to be in our best interest in Iraq...if that's how this plays out.

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