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Unity08: Unity is More Important Than Torture or the Rule of Law

This morning, Unity08 staff made the following blog post to, as they put it, “Stoke the Fire”:

More reasons why we need to join together to reunite our country:…

Here We Go Again: “Just when you thought someone might be confirmed in Washington without a partisan fight, Senate Democrats are suggesting they may not approve Michael Mukasey as Attorney General after all,” Wall Street Journal laments.

Unity08 considers the failure of everybody in the Senate to just go ahead and confirm Michael Mukasey to be a reason “why we need to join together to reunite our country.” “Here We Go Again,” Unity08 writes in disdain of senatorial dissent.

I don’t like to post over at Unity08 because they tend to delete dissenting posts to create the illusion of Unity. But the idea that Unity08 would rather our politicians just agree rather than have disagreements about crucially important matters was just too galling. I couldn’t let that go, so I wrote the and submitted the following comment:

Well, Unity08, sometimes there are substantive reasons not to just agree and go along with something.

Let’s take the case of Michael Mukasey. 18 U.S.C. 2340 specifically defines as torture a government interrogation technique that creates the threat of imminent death. I encourage readers to Google “18 U.S.C. 2340″ and read the text of the law for themselves. But Michael Mukasey has refused multiple times to define waterboarding, a procedure designed to create threat of imminent death, as torture. Given that Michael Mukasey has been nominated to take the position of America’s top law enforcement official, this is a problem.

Michael Mukasey has also indicated in testimony before the Senate that the President of the United States may break the law if he feels it necessary to protect national security interests. Putting the president above the law is a problem for someone who wants to be America’s top law enforcement official.

Torture and the rule of law are significant substantive issues. Does Unity08 really believe that it is better for everybody to just agree when there are large actual substantive disagreements having to do with substantively important matters? The inclusion of the blurb on Mukasey, accompanied by the dismissive line, “Here We Go Again,” indicates that this may be so. That’s disturbing to me, and I hope it’s disturbing to others.

Besides, Unity08 is simply getting its facts wrong in the matter. The dispute regarding Mukasey is not strictly partisan. Charles Schumer, a Senate Democrat, introduced Mukasey and has been a major backer of him. John McCain, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham and Arlen Specter have come out with strong public criticisms of Michael Mukasey and have indicated they may vote against his confirmation. They are all Republicans.

I sincerely hope you make a correction to this factually inaccurate and morally chilling blog post.

========
Jim Cook
Irregular Times

http://irregulartimes.com

When I submitted the comment for posting, the comment failed to appear. Multiple attempts to post this message across the span of six hours have continued to fail. Is this another in a long line of Unity08 technology failures, or have I lost posting privileges like Dave Farrar did, in contravention of Unity08 rules which stipulate that Unity08 members are entitled to full participation?

5 comments to Unity08: Unity is More Important Than Torture or the Rule of Law

  • Joseph

    First, let me point out that “Unity08 considers the failure of everybody in the Senate to just go ahead and confirm Michael Mukasey to be a reason…” is extremely inaccurate. Unity08, unless the leadership of Unity08 ends up rigging it/ruining it, is controlled by the people voting. I’ve signed up with Unity08, and I don’t necessarily consider the Mukasey nomination an example of something that is inherently partisan. Sure, members of the staff may have stated it, but in the end that doesn’t even matter since people will vote their issues and/or candidates next year sometime. The leadership of Unity08, if Unity08 works as advertised, is totally irrelevent to the process.

    Now, lets see if there’s any basis for “Unity is more important than torture and the rule of law”. You state that “the idea that Unity08 would rather our politicians just agree rather than have disagreements about crucially important matters was just too galling”, and you state that it’s a “morally chilling” blog post. Now, unless I’m following the story of his nomination correctly, all Mukasey is doing is NOT saying that he’s opposed to Waterboarding before he actually gets into the job and sees the exact procedure being used and whether or not the current policies are illegal or not. So, in essence, you’re saying:

    1. Mukasey not saying waterboarding is torture=Mukasey thinks torture is fine, Mukasey thinks the President is above the rule of law=Crucial Issue and Morally Chilling

    If that’s valid, let me do some!

    -Jim not saying that some people should have children=Jim thinks it’s fine if no people have children, Jim thinks the extinction of the human race is a good thing=Crucial Issue and Morally Chilling

    And how about a very applicable one, that’s JUST AS VALID (in reality invalid) just like the one you’re supporting:

    -Mukasey not saying waterboarding is torture=Mukasey thinks torture is not fine, Mukasey does not think the President is above the rule of law

    But now that we’ve covered the INVALID scenarios (including yours), why don’t we go with one that would be rational to most people.

    -Mukasey not saying waterboarding is torture=Mukasey either has no opinion or not enough information yet to determine whether or not he thinks the government is breaking the law.

    Wow! That one actually works, since it doesn’t ascribe motivations to a person without any information. Sure, he might believe that waterboarding is fine, but that’s why Congress/the Senate have the power to impeach government officials. If he gets into office and supports it, you impeach him. You don’t assume that “lack of statement”=worst case scenario. Sort of like what the articles against Unity08 on here do. Because Unity08′s leaders won’t state that they will refuse to work with Presidential campaigns later, then they are clearly planning to rig the Unity08 nomination and it’s all a cover.

  • Jim

    Unity08 is not currently controlled by the “people voting.” Members have no control at this point, not even over their own posts. Currently, Unity08 is a website wholly controlled by its corporate board.

    Your analogy is fucked up. If you really want to have a conversation, figure it out and tell me why.

  • Joseph

    Thank you for proving my point. Unity08 is not currently controlled by the people voting. Unity08, however, will be doing nothing to significantly effect the outcome of the election until the people voting actually are in control. So attacking what Unity08′s staff says is totally irrelevent unless they start making statements that indicate an intent to ignore the people voting. Sort of like the DNC is going to do with Florida.

    And obviously a number of my analogies are fucked up, which is the point of them. To point out how your arguments are as equally fucked up. You can’t ascribe intent to Mukasey’s silence any more than I can.

  • Jim

    And I’m a fruit roll-up.

  • Anonymous

    I find it very curious that Unity08 staff is making partisan statements about issues as trivial (from the standpoint of a third party, at least) as a presidential nominee. They certainly seem to be taking the side of a small group of Republicans close to the president–a president that is experiencing an all-time low in popular opinion and that is far to the right of even his own party. Why would Unity08 decide to weigh in on something that is unlikely to be an issue in the next presidential election? Are they really “centrist”–or as non-partisan as they say they are?

    Joseph, how could Mukasey still be confused about what waterboarding is after umpteen dozen legislators provided him with the information? Your response does not take into consideration the contents of the letters exchanged between the legislators and himself.

    Perhaps Unity08 does not consider torture and rule of law to be “crucial” issues.

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