tactic

Home » tactic

Okay, I’m just gonna have to go all Doctor on you now – health care reform

I posted this article about three years ago in the heat of the health care reform debate. I thought that I would post it again. On the Last Word, they talked about how we got here.

This is what I wrote a couple of years ago (psst… we need a single-payer system):

I’ve talked about health care reform over and over again (I don’t see how Joan does it every day without going insane). I’ve talked about healthcare from an emotional standpoint and from an American legislative standpoint. I’ve talked about all the benefits of health care reform. Well, I’d like to take a different tactic. I would like to review the medical literature. I’ve picked several studies which I will describe over the next several days. The one thing that all of these studies have in common is that they point out that health insurance is a predictor of outcome. On Wednesday or Thursday, I’m going to review an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association which clearly states that having a unified health program has survival benefits. (We don’t have a coordinated, organized healthcare system in the United States.)

As a trauma surgeon, I don’t like to talk “shop” with people who are not in the medical profession. As soon as you start mentioning cytokines and mitochondria DNA, most people’s eyes glaze over. But, with watered-down legislation creeping through the Senate at a glacial pace, I thought it was important for me to go over some of this literature. The literature makes approximately the same point that Keith Olbermann made about a month go when he talked about having health insurance being life-and-death. (more…)

By |2013-08-20T21:10:50-04:00August 20th, 2013|Congress, Healthcare, Party Politics|13 Comments

Lions, Tigers and Benghazi, Oh My

The evolution of this Benghazi story has been pretty remarkable. From the very beginning of the story, I commented on several things. First of all, I said it was an incredible tragedy. Secondly, I wasn’t entirely clear on why our ambassador was in a place that was deemed so hostile. Thirdly, I commented that it didn’t make much sense that an obscure video would have set off this kind of violence.

Since very early in this story, Republicans have held up Benghazi as an example of Democratic weakness. Democrats just cannot keep this country safe. As a matter fact, Democrats do not understand terrorism and they never have. For two and a half months, we’ve heard this almost every day. The fact that the president has taken out top terrorist leaders means nothing. The fact that the president put the resources and his personal reputation/presidency on the line in order to take out Osama bin Laden doesn’t count. Instead, Republicans have decided to draw a line in the sand (pun intended) in Benghazi. (more…)

By |2012-11-29T22:27:12-04:00November 29th, 2012|Foreign Affairs, Party Politics|Comments Off on Lions, Tigers and Benghazi, Oh My

Cheney and the torture memo

Now, this is getting very interesting. Back in December then-Vice President Dick Cheney went on ABC News and told them that he and others approved waterboarding. He thought that the tactic was effective. He wouldn’t change a thing.

Watch the Video:

When we read the Bradybury memo, it is clear that waterboarding was not effective.

EmptyWheel has more:

I’ve put this detail in a series of posts, but it really deserves a full post. According to the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.

On page 37 of the OLC memo, in a passage discussing the differences between SERE techniques and the torture used with detainees, the memo explains:

The CIA used the waterboard “at least 83 times during August 2002” in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.

Note, the information comes from the CIA IG report which, in the case of Abu Zubaydah, is based on having viewed the torture tapes as well as other materials. So this is presumably a number that was once backed up by video evidence.

The same OLC memo passage explains how the CIA might manage to waterboard these men so many times in one month each (though even with these chilling numbers, the CIA’s math doesn’t add up).

…where authorized, it may be used for two “sessions” per day of up to two hours. During a session, water may be applied up to six times for ten seconds or longer (but never more than 40 seconds). In a 24-hour period, a detainee may be subjected to up to twelve minutes of water appliaction. See id. at 42.  Additionally, the waterboard may be used on as many as five days during a 30-day approval period.

So: two two-hour sessions a day, with six applications of the waterboard each = 12 applications in a day. Though to get up to the permitted 12 minutes of waterboarding in a day (with each use of the waterboard limited to 40 seconds), you’d need 18 applications in a day.  Assuming you use the larger 18 applications in one 24-hour period, and do 18 applications on five days within a month, you’ve waterboarded 90 times–still just half of what they did to KSM.

The CIA wants you to believe waterboarding is effective. Yet somehow, it took them 183 applications of the waterboard in a one month period to get what they claimed was cooperation out of KSM.

That doesn’t sound very effective to me. (more… )

FireDogLake is helping with a petition to ask Attorney General Eric Holder to assign a special prosecutor.

By |2009-04-20T19:42:11-04:00April 20th, 2009|Bush Administration, Domestic Issues, Obama administration, Torture|Comments Off on Cheney and the torture memo
Go to Top