The Failure to Stand Up to Evil Leads to Insanity, Poverty and the Loss of All Our Rights

George Washington's picture

Preface: I am using the word
"evil" in its secular sense in this essay, as in a horrible, destructive
act ... religion is beyond the scope of this essay.

When someone fails to stand up to a heinous act, that leads to a whole chain of events.

It Enables More Destructive Acts

Initially, by failing to stand up to the bad act, we are enabling the person who committed it to do bigger and worse things in the future.

Army psychiatrist and Christian philosopher M. Scott Peck wrote extensively on evil in People of the Lie
(since Peck was a psychiatrist and an empirical researcher, his
investigation of the dynamics of those who commit heinous acts and the
subsequent attempts to cover them up is very interesting, even for
atheists who will disregard all religious overtones). As Peck wrote:

is necessary that we first draw the distinction between evil and
ordinary sin. It is not their sins per se that characterize evil
people...The central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.

And a longer passage:

lie only when we are attempting to cover up something we know to be
illicit. Some rudimentary form of conscience must precede the act of
lying. There is no need to hide unless we first feel that something
needs to be hidden. We come now to a sort of paradox. Evil people feel
themselves to be perfect. At the same time, however, they have an
unacknowledged sense of their own evil nature. Indeed, it is this very
sense from which they are frantically trying to flee. The essential
component of evil is not the absence of a sense of sin or imperfection
but the unwillingness to tolerate that sense. At once and the same time,
the evil are aware of their evil and desperately trying to avoid the
awareness. Rather than blissfully lacking a sense of morality like the
psychopath, they are continually engaged in sweeping the evidence of
their evil under the rug of their own consciousness (or attempting to
redefine their evil as good). The
problem is not a defect of conscience, but the effort to deny the
conscience its due. We become evil by attempting to hide from ourselves.
The wickedness of the evil is not committed directly, but indirectly as
a part of this cover-up process.
Evil originates not in the
absence of guilt but in the effort to escape it. Since they will do
almost anything to avoid the particular pain that comes from
self-examination, under ordinary circumstances, the evil are the last
people who would ever come to psychotherapy. The evil hate the light –
the light of goodness that shows them up, the light of scrutiny that
exposes them, the light of the truth that penetrates their deception. P

So when people fail to stand up to the heinous acts of a bad person, they are empowering that person's cover up.

It Destroys Our Ability to Think Rationally

Moreover, failure to stand up to the bad act requires people to rationalize their failure to act, which in turn ends up literally warping their thinking process.

As I've repeatedly pointed out, people will go to extreme lengths to rationalize their failure to recognize bad actions by those in power:

from four major research institutions investigated why so many
Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it
became obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

The researchers found, as described in an article in the journal Sociological Inquiry (and re-printed by Newsweek):

  • Many Americans felt an urgent need to seek justification for a war already in progress
  • Rather
    than search rationally for information that either confirms or
    disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information
    that confirms what they already believe.
  • "For the most part people completely ignore contrary information."
  • "The study demonstrates voters' ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information"
  • People
    get deeply attached to their beliefs, and form emotional attachments
    that get wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality,
    irrespective of the facts of the matter.
  • "We
    refer to this as 'inferred justification, because for these voters,
    the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search
    for a justification for that war.
  • "People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war"
  • "They
    wanted to believe in the link [between 9/11 and Iraq] because it
    helped them make sense of a current reality. So voters' ability to
    develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information, whether
    we think that is good or bad for democratic practice, does at least
    demonstrate an impressive form of creativity.

An article
... in Alternet discussing the Sociological Inquiry article helps us
to understand that the key to people's active participation in
searching for excuses for actions by the big boys is fear:

were presented during one-on-one interviews with a newspaper clip of
this Bush quote: "This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks
were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda."


The Sept. 11 Commission, too, found no such link, the subjects were told.


I bet they say that the commission didn't have any proof of it," one
subject responded, "but I guess we still can have our opinions and
feel that way even though they say that."


Reasoned another: "Saddam, I can't judge if he did what he's being accused of, but if Bush thinks he did it, then he did it."


Others declined to engage the information at all. Most
curious to the researchers were the respondents who reasoned that
Saddam must have been connected to Sept. 11, because why else would the
Bush Administration have gone to war in Iraq?


The desire to believe this was more powerful, according to the researchers, than any active campaign to plant the idea.


Such a campaign did exist in the run-up to the war...


He won't credit [politicians spouting misinformation] alone for the phenomenon, though.


kind of puts the idea out there, but what people then do with the
idea ... " he said. "Our argument is that people aren't just empty
vessels. You don't just sort of open up their brains and dump false
information in and they regurgitate it. They're actually active
processing cognitive agents"...


The alternate explanation raises queasy questions for the rest of society.


think we'd all like to believe that when people come across
disconfirming evidence, what they tend to do is to update their
said Andrew Perrin, an associate professor at UNC and another author of the study...


implications for how democracy works are quite profound, there's no
question in my mind about that," Perrin said. "What it means is that we
have to think about the emotional states in which citizens find
themselves that then lead them to reason and deliberate in particular


Evidence suggests people are more likely to pay attention to facts within certain emotional states and social situations. Some may never change their minds. For others, policy-makers could better identify those states, for example minimizing the fear that often clouds a person's ability to assess facts ...

The Alternet article links to a must-read interview with psychology professor Sheldon Solomon, who explains:

large body of evidence shows that momentarily [raising fear of
death], typically by asking people to think about themselves dying,
intensifies people's strivings to protect and bolster aspects of their
worldviews, and to bolster their self-esteem. The most common finding
is that [fear of death] increases positive reactions to those who
share cherished aspects of one's cultural worldview, and negative
reactions toward those who violate cherished cultural values or are
merely different.




Investors - as with politicians or
Americans in general - believe that "when [they] come across
disconfirming evidence . . . . they tend to ... update their
opinions", but in reality, they cling to the beliefs they formed
during certain heightened emotional states, such as fear.

once people form a belief, it can be almost impossible to get them to
change their beliefs ... even if confronted with contradictory

As NPR noted last July:

research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds
when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to
their beliefs.



A new body of research out of the
University of Michigan suggests ... that we base our opinions on
beliefs and when presented with contradictory facts, we adhere to our
original belief even more strongly.

phenomenon is called backfire, and it plays an especially important
role in how we shape and solidify our beliefs on immigration, the
president's place of birth, welfare and other highly partisan issues.




threatening to us to admit that things we believe are wrong. And all
of us, liberals and conservatives, you know, have some beliefs that
aren't true, and when we find that out, you know, it's threatening to
our beliefs and ourselves.




This isn't a question
of education, necessarily, or sophistication. It's really about, it's
really about preserving that belief that we initially held.

Torture as a Quintessential Evil of the Last Decade

A good example of this dynamic is with torture.

were first told by our government that we were not torturing anyone.
Then, the government admitted it did a little waterboarding, but said
that's not torture, and that it was necessary to prevent more Al Qaeda

The truth, however, is that top experts in interrogation say that:

  • Torture has been used throughout history - not to gain information - but as a form of intimidation, to terrorize people into obedience. In other words, at its core, torture is a form of terrorism.

More importantly, the specific type of torture which was used the the U.S. in Iraq and Guantanamo was tailor-made to extract false confessions.

As I previously pointed out:

Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used torture techniques aimed at extracting false confessions.

McClatchy subsequently filled in some of the details:

senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation
issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq


For most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld,
especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida
and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had
told them were there."


It was during this period that CIA
interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees
repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid
Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released
Justice Department document...


When people kept coming up empty,
they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he
continued."Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA .
. . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that
pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam . . .


former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army
investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties
between al Qaida and Iraq.


"While we were there a large part of
the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida
and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al
Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The
more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . .
. there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might
produce more immediate results."


I think it's obvious that the
administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link
(between al Qaida and Iraq)," [Senator] Levin said in a conference call
with reporters. "They made out links where they didn't exist."


recalled Cheney's assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer
had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, in the Czech
Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.


The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.


other words, top Bush administration officials not only knowingly lied
about a non-existent connection between Al Qaida and Iraq, but they
pushed and insisted that interrogators use special torture methods aimed
at extracting false confessions to attempt to create such a false
linkage. See also this and this.

Paul Krugman eloquently summarized the truth about the type of torture used:

say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a
pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So
it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.

There’s a word for this: it’s evil.

Indeed, one of the two senior instructors from the Air Force team
which taught U.S. servicemen how to resist torture by foreign
governments when used to extract false confessions has blown the whistle
on the true purpose behind the U.S. torture program.

As Truth Out reported yesterday:

Jessen's notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns, a "master" SERE instructor and decorated veteran who has previously held high-ranking positions within the Air Force Headquarters Staff and Department of Defense (DoD).


and his boss, Roger Aldrich, the head of the Air Force Intelligence's
Special Survial Training Program (SSTP), based out of Fairchild Air
Force Base in Spokane, Washington, hired Jessen in May 1989. Kearns,
who was head of operations at SSTP and trained thousands of service
members, said Jessen was brought into the program due to an increase in
the number of new SERE courses being taught and "the fact that it
required psychological expertise on hand in a full-time basis."


then the chief of Psychology Service at the US Air Force Survival
School, immediately started to work directly with Kearns on "a new
course for special mission units (SMUs), which had as its goal
individual resistance to terrorist exploitation."


course, known as SV-91, was developed for the Survival Evasion
Resistance Escape (SERE) branch of the US Air Force Intelligence
Agency, which acted as the Executive Agent Action Office for the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. Jessen's notes formed the basis for one part of SV-91,
"Psychological Aspects of Detention."




was one of only two officers within DoD qualified to teach all three
SERE-related courses within SSTP on a worldwide basis, according to a
copy of a 1989 letter written Aldrich, who nominated him officer of the year.




Jessen notes clearly state the totality of what was being
reverse-engineered - not just 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' but
an entire program of exploitation of prisoners using torture as a
central pillar," he said. "What I think is important to note, as an
ex-SERE Resistance to Interrogation instructor, is the focus of Jessen's
instruction. It is exploitation, not specifically interrogation. And
this is not a picayune issue, because if one were to 'reverse-engineer' a
course on resistance to exploitation then what one would get is a plan
to exploit prisoners, not interrogate them. The CIA/DoD
torture program appears to have the same goals as the terrorist
organizations or enemy governments for which SV-91 and other SERE
courses were created to defend against: the full exploitation of the
prisoner in his intelligence, propaganda,
or other needs held by the detaining power, such as the recruitment of
informers and double agents. Those aspects of the US detainee program
have not generally been discussed as part of the torture story in the
American press."




Jessen wrote that
cooperation is the "end goal" of the detainer, who wants the detainee
"to see that [the detainer] has 'total' control of you because you are
completely dependent on him, and thus you must comply with his wishes.
Therefore, it is absolutely inevitable that you must cooperate with him
in some way (propaganda, special favors, confession, etc.)."




said, based on what he has read in declassified government documents
and news reports about the role SERE played in the Bush
administration's torture program, Jessen clearly "reverse-engineered" his lesson plan and used resistance methods to abuse "war on terror" detainees.

So we have the two main Air Force insiders concerning
the genesis of the torture program confirming - with original notes -
that the whole purpose of the torture program was to extract false

They Got the False Confessions They Wanted

And false confessions were, in fact, extracted:

The Miami Herald ran a story entitled "Alleged 9/11 mastermind: `I make up stories'", noting:

Accused al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed complained that interrogators tortured lies out of him...


''I make up stories,'' Mohammed said ...


In broken English, he described an interrogation in which he was asked the location of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.


''Where is he? I don't know,'' Mohammed said. 'Then he torture me.
Then I said, 'Yes, he is in this area or this is al Qaeda which I don't
know him.' I said no, they torture me.''

This is not new. It has already been documented that Mohammed confessed to crimes which he could not have committed, and that he said that he gave the interrogators a lot of false information - telling them what he thought they wanted to hear - in an attempt to stop the torture.


Indeed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Red Cross:

the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false
information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished
to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told the
interrogators that their methods were stupid and counterproductive. I'm
sure that the false information I was forced to invent in order to
make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot of their time and led to
several false red-alerts being placed in the U.S.

And see this Washington Post report.


Dick Cheney claimed that waterboarding Khalid Shaikh Mohammed stopped a terror attack on L.A., but as the Chicago Tribune notes:

Bush administration claimed that the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed helped foil a planned 2002 attack on Los Angeles --
forgetting that he wasn't captured until 2003.

(see this confirmation from the BBC: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ... was captured in Pakistan in 2003").

And as I pointed out last year:

[A]ccording to NBC news:

  • Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
  • At
    least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11
    Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information
    as a way to stop being "tortured."
  • One of the Commission's main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves


Remember, as discussed above, the torture techniques used by the Bush administration to try to link Iraq and 9/11 were specifically geared towards creating false confessions (they were techniques created by the communists to be used in show trials).




The above-linked NBC news report quotes a couple of legal experts to this effect:

Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says he is
"shocked" that the Commission never asked about extreme interrogation

"If you’re sitting at the 9/11 Commission, with all the
high-powered lawyers on the Commission and on the staff, first you ask
what happened rather than guess," said Ratner, whose center represents
detainees at Guantanamo. "Most people look at the 9/11 Commission
Report as a trusted historical document. If their conclusions were supported by information gained from torture, therefore their conclusions are suspect."...

Greenberg, director of the Center for Law and Security at New York
University’s School of Law, put it this way: "[I]t should have relied on
sources not tainted. It calls into question how we were willing to use
these interrogations to construct the narrative."

I also pointed out:

The official 9/11 Commission Report states:

5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al Qaeda
members. A number of these "detainees" have firsthand knowledge of the
9/11 plot. Assessing the truth of statements by these witnesses-sworn
enemies of the United States-is challenging. Our access to them has been
limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications
received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place.
We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no
control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest
would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so
that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify
ambiguities in the reporting.

In other words, the 9/11
Commissioners were not allowed to speak with the detainees, or even
their interrogators. Instead, they got their information third-hand.


Commission didn't really trust the interrogation testimony. For
example, one of the primary architects of the 9/11 Commission Report,
Ernest May, said in May 2005:

We never had full confidence in the interrogation reports as historical sources.

As I noted last May:

Newsweek is running an essay
by [New York Times investigative reporter] Philip Shenon saying [that
the 9/11 Commission Report was unreliable because most of the
information was based on the statements of tortured detainees]:

commission appears to have ignored obvious clues throughout 2003 and
2004 that its account of the 9/11 plot and Al Qaeda's history relied
heavily on information obtained from detainees who had been subjected to
torture, or something not far from it.


The panel
raised no public protest over the CIA's interrogation methods, even
though news reports at the time suggested how brutal those methods were.
In fact, the commission demanded that the CIA carry out new rounds of
interrogations in 2004 to get answers to its questions.


has troubling implications for the credibility of the commission's
final report. In intelligence circles, testimony obtained through
torture is typically discredited; research shows that people will say
anything under threat of intense physical pain


yet it is a distinct possibility that Al Qaeda suspects who were the
exclusive source of information for long passages of the commission's
report may have been subjected to "enhanced" interrogation techniques,
or at least threatened with them, because of the 9/11 Commission....


from CIA interrogations of two of the three—KSM and Abu Zubaydah—is
cited throughout two key chapters of the panel's report focusing on the
planning and execution of the attacks and on the history of Al Qaeda


in the panel's report indicate when information was obtained from
detainees interrogated by the CIA. An analysis by NBC News found that
more than a quarter of the report's footnotes—441 of some 1,700—referred
to detainees who were subjected to the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation
program, including the trio who were waterboarded.


members note that they repeatedly pressed the Bush White House and CIA
for direct access to the detainees, but the administration refused. So
the commission forwarded questions to the CIA, whose interrogators
posed them on the panel's behalf.


The commission's
report gave no hint that harsh interrogation methods were used in
gathering information, stating that the panel had "no control" over how
the CIA did its job; the authors also said they had attempted to
corroborate the information "with documents and statements of others."


how could the commission corroborate information known only to a
handful of people in a shadowy terrorist network, most of whom were
either dead or still at large?


Former senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a
Democrat on the commission, told me last year he had long feared that
the investigation depended too heavily on the accounts of Al Qaeda
detainees who were physically coerced into talking
. ...


Kerrey said it might take "a permanent 9/11 commission" to end the remaining mysteries of September 11.

This essay will not go too far down the rabbit hole of 9/11.

point is that the government used a specific set of torture techniques
created to extract false confessions which would support a rationale for
the Iraq war and which would allow a superficial reading of September
11th itself.

If we fail to stand up to this act of evil - the use
of torture to obtain false confessions - we are not only complicit, but
we will also eventually drive ourselves crazy in trying to rationalize
what was done in our name.

It Disempowers Us and Leads to the Loss of All of Our Rights

As Yves Smith writes today about the Truth Out article:

revelation raises troubling questions about how programs like this
relate to the coarsening of American society. Some readers will not
doubt argue that trying to connect the dots between programs designed
for use in combat settings and broad social trends is overreaching. Yet
look at the themes Jessen stresses: control, dependency, compliance
and cooperation. To use one pet example, why are people so apathetic in
the wake of widespread abuses by banks, first the extortions that took
place during the bailouts, and now the continued flouting of the law
in mortgage servicing and foreclosures?


Although there was no
single architect like Jessen for the various elements of our current
economic paradigm, they do seem to work to weaken, and perhaps in some
cases, to break the will of ordinary citizens to stand up to their
tormentors large and small. A policy preference for higher levels of
unemployment (to keep inflation down and workers in their place) have
reduced many if not most individuals’ sense of control of their own
destiny and increased their sense of dependence. When job tenures are
short and replacement work at the same level of pay can be hard to get,
that alone produces a good deal of the sough-after state, compliance.


to that an information apparatus which allows employers to see minor
transgressions like late payment and misdemeanors such as getting
arrested at protests, and you have effective mechanisms for social
control. And there are those who look at the abuse of Bradley Manning,
which would have seemed inconceivable fifteen years ago, and wonder who
else might be deemed to be enough of a threat to merit similar


In other words, the failure to
stand up to a heinous act not only destroys our ability to think, but
also makes it less likely we will stand up to future bad acts ... thus
disempowering us.

That is the road to poverty, and a complete loss of all of our rights ...

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Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

What is it called when someone adopts an irrational opinion than seeks affirmation of said opinion from other like minded individuals?

Is that looking glass self , self fulfilling prophecy, blatant closed or small mindedness or something else entirely?

have a hard time keeping all of the sociologist mumbo jumbo straight.


Meanwhile the greatest source of human oppression and wrtchedness is wholeheartedly endorsed by folks like you,

go figure.


"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression. "


From Jefferson that well known neo con.

 Up to you Saddam would still be killing people and oppressing the crap out of the Iraqi population-we get it already.

Maybe could highlight the 19UN resolutions across four different US administrations the guy was violating along with the economic sanctions being completely subverted by the French and the corrupt food for oil program? Can follow that up with tracing the WMDS the US sold the guy and maybe add in how many Kurds he killed with the means,

can conclude with some theory how he, his sons and their oil money would never, ever be part of state sponsored terrorism,

the outcome obvoiously being they would eventually just abdicate power the oppulent palaces and melt into the sand.

curbyourrisk's picture

But who will lead us?????????

MSimon's picture

I favored the War In Iraq because I hoped it would destabilize the Middle East. I may have gotten my wish.


Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy.

Azannoth's picture

I favoured the war in Iraq(only 1 stepping stone) because it will bring the total collapse of the system a few decades earlier

My 1st reaction to 9/11 was laughter, the moths have hit the fire I thought

blindman's picture

Fed Stress Test a Farce



Economics professor and former bank regulator William Black thinks some institutions are insolvent now, like Bank of America.  He wants B of A taken to receivership.  B of A just announced 2 weeks ago that half of its 13.9 million mortgages are “bad.”  Black also says the FASB rules are a “farce.” Late last year, he co-wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Huffington Post that said, This accounting scam produces enormous fictional “income” and “capital” at the banks. The fictional income produces real bonuses to the CEOs that make them even wealthier. The fictional bank capital allows the regulators to evade their statutory duties under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) law to close the insolvent and failing banks. . . . We have made the CEOs of the largest financial firms — typically already among the 500 wealthiest Americans — even wealthier. We have rewarded fraud, incompetence, and venality by our most powerful elites.”  (Click here to read the complete Huffington Post article.)

When I was listening to the Fed stress test coverage last Friday, I didn’t hear a single person bring up the enormous “mark to market” issue.   One commentator opined that the Fed did not release the names or outline the problems at the weakest banks in their latest stress test.  He also said it was probably so the banks could not “game the system.” I say the system is already “gamed,” and the mainstream media and, apparently, the Federal Reserve are simply ignoring this glaring fact.  Don’t think you will be hearing much about this story in the future.  The day after the Fed stress test results were released, the U.S. shot 112 Tomahawk missiles into Libya and started a third war.  That knocked discussion on this story right out of the news, but that was probably just a coincidence."


and this...*****

abu grum.

remember that?

JW n FL's picture

Plainly.. I am Pro Torture.. for people who prey on children.. terrorists.. things like that.. but not for info.. for fun. thats where I draw the line.


the end of pulp fiction works for me, sorry all.. mess with my Country Men / Women and / or Kids and fuckum.


Mis-Treat whomever wanted to kill women and children in this Country so to Cause Terror.. fuckum.


I just dont have any feelings for them.


Now for Bradley Manning.. You do NOT Jail someone for telling the truth.. secrets? bullshit, make a mistake.. fess up and fix it best you can.. but you should be a man about it.. all this spooky shit, spin and or pys ops against "We the People" or the elected idiots even???? fuckum.. more torture for those scumbags who are not honorable who choose to take advantage of "We the Peoples" Trust..

onlooker's picture

George, we are in trying times and everyone is stressed. However, some have stood up, some are standing up, and some will stand up. The will to resist, fight, think, be free and keep on keeping on, is not gone. And it is not gonna make us insane.  

Relax a little. You cant change it overnight, your thoughts are read and respected—most of the time. There is perception and absolute. Unfortunately they have to co-exist. Keep up the good work and stay away from insanity.

George Washington's picture


Thanks for the words of wisdom ...

In the resolution of the irresolvable paradox lies the truth ...

PulauHantu29's picture

Looks to me like people are too self interested to join together to fight corruption. It is the,"all about me" generation.

connda's picture

I'm wondering if it's more cultural than generational.  Apathy seems to cut across the board age-wise.  My friends are apathetic, their kids are apathetic, and their kid's kids are too dumbed down to know any better.  I don't think it's going to change until people have difficulty feeding themselves imho. 

Yen Cross's picture

Anda little Jet lag

orangedrinkandchips's picture

Good shit George! Good shit.

Funny, torture is a lot like sex in a specific way. They both have a limit. Death and buck nakedness.

First, check out the stoooopid chic mags at the Try-N-Save, not only do they have clothes that only cover up their privates but they put up propaganda shit like ORGASM! or SEX! or FREE MONEY! shit that grabs your attention. All well and good but once that whore is naked, it's all over. And jeez, those funbags sure look a lot like my old lady's funbags but smaller! It's all the same yet they have to tread that fine line between naked (0) and getting my attention.


Same with torture, thank god. Not as easy as I make it out but just easier to check out. You beat someone so hard to get answers you kill them, game over. Im sure these guys (as bad as they are, we make them out to look like Muther Teresa n shit!) would prefer to be killed over making up lies.

The whole thing centers around caring. HOWARD ROARK is my man. He is the man. He is the main character of Ayn's The Fountainhead. Unbelievable novel. Roark was the most powerful because he didnt care about jack shit. It is so worth the cost to buy a used version.

I did love the first part of the interesting and so true. You can just feel it.


King of the hill....everything you need to know you learned by 5! You know it's wrong to kick Al in the teeth at recess but I will do anything possible to stay on top.


Mega Death's Symphony of Destruction says it all....just listen.

grunk's picture

Is evil objective or subjective?

If it is objective, why worry about the motive behind doing evil? Evil is evil, irrespective of motive.

If evil is subjective, you'll never reconcile it. One man's evil is another man's opportunity/alternative/option, etc.

Focus on peoples' response to "evil". Why do they respond to/against it or do not respond to/against it. Mostly, because they have been co-opted in some way. Like Rolfe in "The Sound of Music".

I'm afraid we are all hypocrites.

The silent population has something to gain by staying silent or something to lose by speaking out.   

TBT or not TBT's picture

Currently, evil is injective.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Currently, evil is injective.

SuperRay's picture

missed the moron who said that. if you identify yourself as right, or left, or conservative, or progressive, you're missing the point.  Walk through that door, dude, on the other side is freedom to think for yourself.


Pseudo Anonym's picture

why else would the Bush Administration have gone to war in Iraq?

because it was in Israel's interest, Israel organized the 9/11 to frame muslims and then Israel ordered Ameereka to bring democracy to Irag? Isn't that what it was?  That's what I want to know.

TBT or not TBT's picture

More pertinently, Saddam Hussein himself ran on oil revenues.   All those arms purchases, the osirak reactor way back when, and on and on, all paid for by oil revenues.    I mean, obviously the populations of these countries would have maximum 5 percent of their current population level without the oil under them.     So yeah, the whole fucking thing from beginning to end is 95 percent about oil.   Duh.   So what?     Canada is also at least somewhat about oil, but it isnt making a lot of trouble, so we're not have a war about it.

nmewn's picture

"and others say that the Iraq war was really about oil."

If so...why don't we own it all now at below market prices?

Your premise is conquest...we are the victors aren't we...where is it? The oil is going to other countries/ the argument/position is a fail.

falak pema's picture

You miss the bigger picture. It was protecting Saudi oil from renegade Saddam. That's the plum in the oil patch. That Iraq now sells its oil to all at market prices doesn't hurt the US corporates. They are the America the plutocracy in power in Washington defends, always has been thus. So this oil patch strategy is NOT about selling CHEAP oil to US population. It's about CONTROL of oil patch, all of it, by west and then big profits for US corporates. That is the reality today as before. Sharing with local potentates is OK if they are part of US team. That's part of NWO. A large part of US war effort was paid off by pumping Iraqi oil FREE to US interests as retribution. That phase ended with creation of surrogate Iraq govt. Capito?

nmewn's picture

"Sharing with local potentates is OK if they are part of US team. That's part of NWO. A large part of US war effort was paid off by pumping Iraqi oil FREE to US interests as retribution.That phase ended with creation of surrogate Iraq govt. Capito?"

China signed a three billion dollar deal back in 08...China is not on the "US team" or part of any NWO outside of their own national interests.

I'm gonna need some hard core data for the "free retribution oil" given out to our friends to, somehow, pay us off for war costs...because that my friend, didn't happen...and I'm callin ya on that one...unless your implying that China is one of our "interests" ;-)

Pseudo Anonym's picture

the Iraq war was really about oil.

and now I know.  thanks.

GW, who organized the 9/11?  Have you looked into Dimitri Khalezov's story? i.e. (26/26)

and here's a quick summary of the 26 part video:

connda's picture

I wrote an essay in college in the '70s based on the "obedience" experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram.  The concept that people could be blindly obedient fascinated me in a "Wow! That's hard to believe" sort of way. I found it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that most average people could be verbally coerced to engage in really "evil" acts by an "authority figure".  I couldn't figure out why these people wouldn't or couldn't question authority and simply refuse.

Then in 1986, a friend and I were staying in a high-rise hotel in Manila a couple of years after Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated.  At that time, there were a huge number of Aquino supporters (EDSA) peacefully protesting against the Marcos regime.  I remember looking out the window of our hotel and seeing military landing craft crossing Manila Bay and wondering if the US Navy was having some sort of combined exercise with The Philippines.  Later that day the "Talking Head with a Lot of Hair" showed up on ABC's Nightline and started spewing this line of bullshit about how there were massive protests in Manila that required military intervention.  I remember looking at my friend with sort of a wide-eyed amazement.  "Dude!  Did you just hear what I heard?"  The report of that specific event was totally sensationalized.  The demonstrations consisted of well-mannered, friendly, yellow-clad, Aquino supporters peacefully demonstrating in central Manila.  But the "Talking Head with a Lot of Hair"  was making it sound like there were some sort of major uprising or riots throughout the streets of Manila.  Yes!  There were large "localized" demonstrations, and yes, it retrospect, it could have gotten really ugly had the military decided to start shooting their fellow countrymen, but all around Manila it was essentially business as usual.  That was a defining moment for me.  It was the day that I literally "Dropped Out of the Matrix".  That was my first glimpse at how the Main Stream Media distorts reality.  I was there, I saw it, and what I saw was different than what was being reported by the "Talking Head with a Lot of Hair".  Since then I look at all news and commentary with a questioning attitude, regardless of its source.  And I try to gather as many different viewpoint as possible before I form my own opinions.  I also find that I'm willing to change my opinions if I'm able to substantiate facts to the contrary of my present views.  So my views tend to change over time with the quality of information that I get.  But, yeah!  The majority of people I know will hold an opinion come hell or high water (no nuclear melt-down or tsunami pun intended), even in the face of proven facts that counter their opinions.  And, boy, can they get upset!  And most of the people I know form their opinions based on the watered-down pabulum that is fed the general public by the MSM and other conventional media channels.  Go figure.  So yeah, there aren't many of us who are fully awake, and I'm pretty sure that is how the global elites want it.  Actually, I'm pretty amazed at the scope and the effectiveness of their con job.  They do a pretty good job of keeping the masses asleep.  Well, until they start fucking with the masses ability to meet their most basic needs like food and shelter.  Then you start seeing The Philippines 1986 redux -- now in Egypt, the Middle East, Europe, and perhaps coming to a country or city near you too!  I'm sure the White Shoe Boyz are thinking, "Screw the masses -- let them eat iPod."  And history repeats itself...

Ted Celeste's picture

Maraming salamat po, for sharing your story.  Consider yourself fortunate for seeing how things really go down long ago.


Regarding GW's article, is the "insanity", "poverty", and "loss of rights" that exists (and grows) today caused by some sick fucks (i.e., "the elites") doing their thing, the "sheeple" who support this system, or by people on ZH and elsewhere who know what's going down but do nothing?

GW is doing his part to make the world a better place.  But we all can do our part to right what we see as wrong in the world.

connda's picture

Personally I try to bring the most obvious stupidity to my friend's attention.  Unfortunately, most are still too busy distracting themselves with day-to-day pettiness.  I guess when they finally figure out the government is lying to them, inflation is 8 - 10% and growing, unemployment is really 25%+, they too are looking at a pink slip coming down the pike, a loaf of bread now costs $8, and it costs $100 to fill the tank of their Honda which they still own $25K on -- maybe that will shake them out of their stupor and into the realization that the world ain't sunshine and roses!  I think Gerald Celente has it right.  If we can get 20% of the population to wake the hell up, we might have a chance to get our country back on track again.  We can hope.

Ted Celeste's picture

+1.  Keep it up, connda.  It may be hard to wake people up but don't get discouraged.  There are a lot of good people out there who Get It, even if you don't know them personally.

connda's picture

BTW, mabuting makilala ka din Ted.  Boy, it's been a bunch of years since I said anything in Tagalog ;)  Nice to meet a like mind.

JohnG's picture

Didn't read the article...or the comments.....But,

Is evil for me to make as much fiat  as I can, and of something bad happens make fiat on that too?

It's always about the money.  At least for me.

Evil that I am :/

PeterSchump's picture

I made it this far:


"Paul Krugman eloquently summarized the truth..............."


and then I had to vomit.


George Washington's picture

He might e totally wrong about Keyenisan economics and alot of other things. But he's right on this.

Torture Is Not a Partisan Issue . . . George Washington - Who Was Neither a Democrat or Republican - Forbid All Torture Retired Navy rear admiral and former judge advocate general Admiral John Hutson also said of the Bush torture program:

“Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that’s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.”

Zer0head's picture

torture and empathy are mutually exclusive

empathy and psychosis likewise

CEOs, politicians and many in positions of power are psychotic or at the very least exhibit traits consistent with a sociopathic disorder. 

Hare has nailed it and to that end non-psychos exist on borrowed time.

falak pema's picture

So do you with your apparent paranoia about "Mubarica", caliphatic vision of surrogate son of Carlyle's bosses, as the recalcitrant, defiant bastard deviant to their oil patch hegemony schemes ...and his twin-tower mayhem co-opted by the CIA/Pentagon to feed its 'patriotic act' scam subsequently at home. It all started through ZIA ul Huq, Pak president, hit man for CIA since 'Black September' uprising days in Jordan, where he led the PAki legion protecting King Hussein in his war against Arafat and the Palestinians in 1970. Subsequently made president by the army, surrogates to US presence in PAkistan, he was missioned by Bill Casey, CIA boss, who told him what to do to create an anti soviet front of muslim fundamentalists against soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 : The origins of the Taliban Frankenstein Monster, pure CIA/ISI collaboration. Ben Laden, the deviant renegade in 2001 was pure "Geronimo" play for continual presence of US troops in Saudi since 1991.There is now a self perpetrating hate thread fed by continual US aggression in Iraq/Afghan. So the USA continues to feed this perversion by its unwarranted acts. It inevitably comes around. Stop the source, you'll stop the boomerang effect. Simple as that. 'Cos this fundamentalist insanity hurts even more the local populace. As its totalitarian. Now the new generation of young muslims are no longer scared of fundamentalist/despotic fear in their own back can see it every day! Brave new world comes to ME.

Former Sheeple's picture


Let's end rendition, water-boarding & close down GITMO - thus preserving the rights of KSM - from now on we'll just shoot 'em where we find them - problem solved!

What did we do right after 911? Who should we have gone after?

I'm not a fan of Bush or the Kenyan/keynesian, but I am in favor of an eye for an eye, and suggest we use Dennis Miller's "spork"

George Washington's picture

Gee, that's really tough ... NOT.

What we should have done is used tried-and-true interrogation techniques recommended by the top experts in interrogation.  Techniques designed to LEARN THE TRUTH.

Top WWII interrogators used them to get info from Nazi a-holes.

There is a SCIENCE to interrogation when you want to learn who is guilty. We didn't use that kind.

There is also a SCIENCE of using torture to obtain false confessions.  THAT IS THE TYPE that we used in the last decade.

Since you didn't read the links in the post, I'll spoon feed you:

Apologists for torture say that it was a "necessarily evil" to stop future terror attacks.

However, the top interrogation experts all say torture that doesn't work:

  • Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1 says:
    "Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."
  • A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks, says:
    “The administration’s claims of having ‘saved thousands of Americans’ can be dismissed out of hand because credible evidence has never been offered — not even an authoritative leak of any major terrorist operation interdicted based on information gathered from these interrogations in the past seven years. … It is irresponsible for any administration not to tell a credible story that would convince critics at home and abroad that this torture has served some useful purpose.

    This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture doesn’t work — it doesn’t — but also because they know that torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.”

  • The FBI interrogators who actually interviewed some of the 9/11 suspects say torture didn't work
  • A former US Air Force interrogator said that information obtained from torture is unreliable, and that torture just creates more terrorists
  • A former high-level CIA officer states:
Many governments that have routinely tortured to obtain information have abandoned the practice when they discovered that other approaches actually worked better for extracting information. Israel prohibited torturing Palestinian terrorist suspects in 1999. Even the German Gestapo stopped torturing French resistance captives when it determined that treating prisoners well actually produced more and better intelligence.

Still don't believe it? These people also say torture doesn't produce usable intelligence:

  • Former high-level CIA official Bob Baer said "And torture -- I just don't think it really works ... you don't get the truth. What happens when you torture people is, they figure out what you want to hear and they tell you."
  • Rear Admiral (ret.) John Hutson, former Judge Advocate General for the Navy, said "Another objection is that torture doesn't work. All the literature and experts say that if we really want usable information, we should go exactly the opposite way and try to gain the trust and confidence of the prisoners."
  • Michael Scheuer, formerly a senior CIA official in the Counter-Terrorism Center, said "I personally think that any information gotten through extreme methods of torture would probably be pretty useless because it would be someone telling you what you wanted to hear."
  • Dan Coleman, one of the FBI agents assigned to the 9/11 suspects held at Guantanamo said "Brutalization doesn't work. We know that. "

Many other professional interrogators say the same thing (see this, this, and this).

In fact, one of the top interrogators in Iraq got information from a high-level Al Qaeda suspect not through torture, but by giving him cookies.

And top American World War 2 interrogators got more information using chess or Ping-Pong instead of torture than those who use torture are getting today.

And the head of Britain's wartime interrogation center in London said:

“Violence is taboo. Not only does it produce answers to please, but it lowers the standard of information.”

Indeed, one of the top military interrogators said that torture does not work, that it has resulted in hundreds or thousands of deaths of U.S. soldiers, and that torture by Americans of innocent Iraqis is the main reason that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the first place (in fact, the experts agree that torture reduces national security).

And - according to the experts - torture is unnecessary even to prevent "ticking time bombs" from exploding (see this, this and this). Indeed, a top expert says that torture would fail in a real 'ticking time-bomb' situation

Unlawful Justice's picture

The interrogator~ The story of Hanns Joachim Scharff.  Master interrogator of the Luftwaffe by Raymond F Toliver.  Would give an excellent account of getting to the truth.  No torture involved.

Former Sheeple's picture


I have read many of your posts, and agree that there is evil in the world, and that we should not torture. However, I've read KSM was actually the one who sawed of Daniel Pearls head - so I'm "OK" with killing him. If you want to have a trial first, that's fine, but the Geneva convention doesn't apply out of uniform, from what I'veread (but you may research that piece extensively), so correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want injustice - but I'm "ok" with ultimate justice - when justified!

George Washington's picture

You are confusing apples and organges. If KSM killed Pearl, then I couldn't care less if KSM is executed.

BUT by torturing him using torture techniques EXPLICITY CREATED to create false confessions, you have forever lost the ability to find out what KSM really know about 9/11, what role he played, and the full universe of people responsible.

Get it?

nmewn's picture

Rising to the bait once more...

It was, in fact, KSM who sawed off Danny Pearls head (I've already given you the evidence)...not because he was a reporter or an American or a spy...but because he was a Jew. He was not being "tortured" when he admitted to the killing again to the FBI (several times) over coffee and donuts....unless you're saying elevated sugar & caffeine is "torture".

Why is it that you have not written a piece on Barry's Executive Order to close gitmo?'s a recruiting tool for terrorists ya know...what terrorist wouldn't want to leave their current hell hole for it, cool sea breezes, three squares, volleyball, a nice unobstructed easterly view five times a day ;-)

Why is it that you have not written a piece on Barry's drone strikes on a country we are not at war with, a Muslim country?

Why is it you have not written the obvious piece on Barry obligating our troops to another war (and the UN) against another Muslim country without Congressional approval and then jumping on a plane to vacation in Brazil?...Petrobas (a state owned oil "company")?...Soros?...the present President?...recent Interior Dept. OK for >>>floating<<< oil storage tanks owned by Brazil off our shore?

Why is it you have not written a piece on Barry pledging El Salvador 200 million dollars when we don't even have a budget for this year or last? How was this appropriated? The 111th. Congress did not pass a budget last year so where did this money come from? If it's a CR it's nothing new is it?...just camera stuff, right? the point was...?

Why is it you have not written a piece on Barry's exploding the deficit and debt when he campaigned against the last president & Congress (apparently) for doing the same thing?

You voted for the hopey changey sophistry of a "yes we can" cartoon character (Bob the Builder) didn't you?'s OK, your among friends can admit it...LOL.

Ted Celeste's picture


I think you are intelligent and legit.  The stuff you just posted that I can verify is true, and I'll be happy to say that everything you just said is true.

My question to you is: what's your point?

(And for what it's worth, I think GW's premise that we should ask more questions about 9/11 is hopelessly naive.  That said, you are on the wrong side of 9/11 so I'm not even going to go there.)

Once again, what's your point?

Ted Celeste's picture

An hour wait is long enough, no?  Off to bed now.  Best of luck to everyone, including you, nmewn.  We are all in this together.

This "fourth turning" is gonna be a bitch for us all, especially the old folks.


nmewn's picture

First, I am happy to confirm that I am quite "legit" ;-)

I live on the east coast, hold a daytime job, usually 5-6hrs. of sleep is enough for that is why I'm not on your timeline.

My point is...GW should concentrate on present issues, not on the past. Am I OK with another 911 investigation, yes. Do I believe it will find that the government hijacked planes and rammed them into mostly civilian targets, no. Was misleading testimony given, yes. Why? To cover up gross government incompetence in allowing these (the hijackers) to be here and live among us in the first place.

It is becoming increasingly obvious (even to the tatooed, nose pierced, droopy panted I-phoners) that this administration is completely clueless...on large issues and small. He makes a Latin American trip and does not go to Columbia or Panama as that trade treaty languishes before the legislative chamber? This would have been the perfect opportunity to use the bully pulpit to get something tangible done...leaving aside comitting our troops to war and then going AWOL.

Barry has appointed no one into his cabinet that has any "real" business experience (Immelt is not a cabinet member...his company could not sustain it's present market cap without taxpayer subsidy and I think we can agree Daley would be considered a banker, not a business man).

So what are we left with as far as competent advisers to this young man who, he himself, has never balanced a business ledger so therefore would not have any idea of the fertile ground required for private business formation to provide jobs and a tax base? A bunch of wackademics who sniff the op-ed pages & negative weighted poll winds in search of a whiff of political direction.

Many warned of exactly this when he was put forward to run.

Now I will turn my wrath on the socialist statist republicans on the other side of the aisle...Grassley, Lugar, Sessions, Boehner et al.

Your party will implode (just as the democrats are doing now) unless you repeal this gift to the insurance companies called ObamaCare and other subsidies to any business (this will go hand in hand with removing the shackles on business brought about by over regulation that makes the subsidy necessary in the first place)...ethanol jumps to mind...reform the tax code to where all pay taxes (no more gimmicky tax credits)...and begin to bring our troops home by closing bases in Europe...and most importantly end the Fed...just ending the Fed alone would make all the other fall into place as then we (the taxpayer) would be on the hook for your decisions and you, yourselves know that would be the end or the beginning of your careers...any intelligent person knows why 200k was put forward as being "rich" assholes have bankrupted the Treasury and had to reach further down into the seed corn.

This seed corn (belonging to all political persuasions) is what will pull us out and it is guarded jealously. A portion of this seed corn is not monetary in is a sense of right & wrong...of good & evil as GW is getting to.

It's time to man up boys & girls.

Off to work...


TBT or not TBT's picture

All fine, except the part about KSM ever having been tortured, beyond the waterboarding I mean, and the implication that KSM didn't provide rafts of valuable and correct actionable info as a result.   He did.   So this is fever swamp stuff, and it is going on a decade old now.   So, yawn.   

Former Sheeple's picture


Yes, I get your point clear as day now, and would agree with your last post completely!


Kina's picture

Dick Cheney given his own country would become Pol Pot.

robobbob's picture

Torture is not what America is supposed to stand for.    check

Americans too misinformed, distracted, diverted, apathetic to do anything    check

Close minded people block factual arguments check

Typical GW attack on anyone on the right   check

I'm sorry. I don't think this article really contributed any new insight. And it started out so promisingly.

George Washington's picture

"Typical GW attack on anyone on the right" .

Nope, true conservatives are against torture.  It is only the Neocons and Neolibers that are for it.

For example, retired Navy rear admiral and former judge advocate general Admiral John Hutson also said of the Bush torture program:

“Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that’s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.”

robobbob's picture

I agree with you on that. It is shameful in the face of our Constitution. Contrary to popular opinion, stressful interrogation techniques require highly skilled and disciplined personnel to carry out effectively. Which is not how its usually done. Therefore its a grave error to enshrine such practices in law. If a rogue operator wants to pull a Jack Bauer, then its on their shoulders to face the legal consequences. You have to do what you have to do, but attempting to make it SOP was a grave mistake that has damaged US credibility, lowered deterance by revealing the entire process, and has acted to incite the opposition and assist in recruiting. A huge mistake as a policy.

My complaint is that the article went off on a tangent from the implied title and worked to continue the misleading and increasingly less relevant  left/right control system.

The enemies the world faces are the big government statists and collectivists. The officially designated left/right divide doesn't matter much at this point since they operate on both sides.

Stuck on Zero's picture

In the middle ages there arose knighthoods to battle the evils of the kings, lords, and barons.  The knights and their chivalrous acts stood between evil and the people.  Might we be developing new knighthoods?  I reference the "Anonymous" hackers who vow to take down Bernanke ( and the kidnappers of Mexico who target the super-wealthy.  Both are called criminals, and gangs of terrorists by their respective corrupt governments. 

As a new nobility takes over world governance might we see the return of the Knights of Malta?