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Author Topic: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush  (Read 4501 times)

Pat

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2022, 11:57:15 AM »
I think that's probably true. I don't think doubling down on stupid makes one a war criminal.
Then what does?

We have an entire governmental structure that's almost completely protected by qualified and similar immunities. Nobody's ever held accountable, except occasionally a few low-level scapegoats. And you're saying when something truly horrible happens, it's not their fault.

People with the authority to kill other people need to be held to a higher standard, not to a standard so low it makes a dent in the floor.

There are a couple of things that can and should be done to fix this.

1. Term limits for every elected office. Every office. I'd prefer officeholder by random lottery, but that's a bridge too far.
1a. No revolving door of government, lobbying, and associated industry.
1b. No PACs, no donations by any organization. Individual donations only and only up to $1,000.
2. Mandatory shuffling of job assignments for career civil servants (i.e. you don't get to be the Chief Drone Bean Counter for Division A of Department 57 of Branch Zulu of the Federal Carbonpaper Quality Assurance Agency for the next 30 years, you have to move amongst federal agencies every couple of years since a financial analyst (in this example) should be competent to be one in any federal agency).
3. No qualified immunity. None. Not for law enforcement, not for politicians, not for judges.
4. Require law enforcement to have the same degree of training and licensure as lawyers, doctors, and engineers.
5. Tactical units for law enforcement *must* have actual combat experience or have been in a combat arms branch (infantry, MP, pararescue, etc.) No more fat cops involved in cosplay who are afraid of getting shot.
6. Prosecutors shall not be elected and using it as a stepping stone to a judgeship or higher elected office.
6a. They need to prosecute according to the law, not what they think they can convict on, not should they be allowed to plea bargain solely to obtain a "win.'
7. We're need to forcefully reject any and all attempts to move society to the left.  Wanna smoke dope while having buttsex with three partners who dress up as they opposite sex? Do it on your own time, but you won't be allowed to promote it publicly in any way, shape, or form where you have undue influence over children or the public at large. This would secondarily eliminate the grifting involving Marxist organizations owned and operated by the family members of politicians being hired to do this by those same politicians.
There are some good ideas in there, but a lot of ideas I'm skeptical about. Term limits, for example. I'm all for them in theory, but they don't seem to make much practical difference.

I do think the qualified/etc. immunies need to be killed dead. This includes criminal immunities, but also civil. Citizens need to be able to sue their government for redress, when the government harms them. This is a fundamental right, which should never be abridged.

I do think a lifetime ban on working in the industry you regulated is a good idea.

But I think a ban on PACs and very low limits on individual contributions is a terrible idea. Most politicians already have to spend ridiculous amounts of time raising money, and the parties are the gatekeepers, meaning we end up with elected officials who are first and foremost professional fund raisers not whatever skill or talents we want in that position, and who are completely beholden to their party because the party controls whether they can get re-elected. In practice, the few true outsider politicians who ever manage to get elected tend to be rich, because self-funding your campaign is one of the few ways to get around these restrictions. The other is to be an internet celebrity, like AOC or Marjorie Taylor Greene, who both successfully raise lots of money from tons of tiny donors. But that's a tiny percentage, and most of their donors aren't in their districts, anyway, so it raises questions about whether they really represent the people they're supposed to represent.

I'm not sure shuffling people around the bureaucracy would make much difference. I think say a 10 year cap on government employment -- of any kind, over your entire life -- might help. If you can't make government your career, that destroys a lot of the worst incentives, as well as preventing things like the last 2-1/2 years of people, who never even had a job in the private sector, telling us how they're going to fix the economy and help businesses.

Getting rid of SWAT is probably a better idea than further militarizing them.

Not sure how to fix prosecutors, but plea bargaining needs to be completely re-thought. It's basically just become a way to punish people without any real due process. And forcing them to prosecute for all violations of the law isn't practical, because everyone breaks dozens of laws every day. The basic problem is there are too many laws and too many regulations that function as laws. The solution to this morass was to give prosecutorial discretion to the prosecutors, but that basically just means they can punish anyone they want at any time for any reason, which gives them tremendous leverage in things like plea bargains. This is very similar to the much broader problem of regulatory discretion, which gives regulators vast and unaccountable soft power over industries (social media's compliance with censorship and spying on citizens are just two examples). This allows the government to effectively control the private sector (this idea from the left that we've been living in a laissez faire paradise is absolutely ridiculous), and to demand favors, which is the root of corruption and cronyism. This whole area is a Gordian knot that probably just needs to be cut out entirely and replaced with a new system.

Mistwell

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2022, 01:23:02 AM »

Whatever you need to tell yourself, dude. You're probably the first guy I've run into trying to defend Bush. Mistakes were made like Obama made mistakes droning multiple wedding parties and US civilians.

Yes, I feel pretty confident it was a mistake when President Obama's administration drone bombed the wedding, and not some nefarious secret plot.

I always think it's weird when people think the Government doesn't make mistakes. We could only wish for the level of competency some folks around here seem to think they possess in nefarious pots and secret conspiracies and multi-stage plans and sometime multi-year plans. all involving Government employees in key positions to enact parts of the plan.

I work with governments. When they make a mistake, it isn't simple. It's incompetence, laziness, and apathy.

Yes, and? I'd say it's fair to describe both the WMD in Iraq and the Wedding Party Drone attack as incompetence and possibly laziness and apathy.

My point being that when government makes mistakes, it's never innocent and simple.  Government is full of sociopaths supported by legions of the lazy and incompetent. When a mistake happens it usually involves "leaders" doubling down on their stupid rather than acknowledging the mistake and fixing it.

I think that's probably true. I don't think doubling down on stupid makes one a war criminal.
Then what does?

We have an entire governmental structure that's almost completely protected by qualified and similar immunities. Nobody's ever held accountable, except occasionally a few low-level scapegoats. And you're saying when something truly horrible happens, it's not their fault.

People with the authority to kill other people need to be held to a higher standard, not to a standard so low it makes a dent in the floor.

It's the intent to do wrong. As in REALLY wrong. That's a basic criminal requirement between lower offenses and high offenses. Mistakes, even stubborn and stupid ones, are not war crimes. I am not saying it's "not their fault." If you make a mistake and bad things happen it IS your fault. But being your fault isn't the same as being a war criminal.

Chris24601

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2022, 09:56:05 AM »
One partial solution on the prosecutor side would be to not make their promotion through the bureaucracy contingent upon their conviction rate.

Right now advancing in that office doesn’t care about justice, just how many prosecutions result in sentences. There’s an actual incentive for prosecutors to squelch exculpatory evidence and continue prosecuting those they know to be innocent because dropping the charges counts as a loss and hurts the prosecutor’s career.

That is absolutely a bass-ackward approach to getting anything close to justice. Convict the innocent or be punished is a sure fire ticket to a system that simply doesn’t work.

Maybe if “charges dropped due to exculpatory evidence” were also counted a win for purposes of promotion we might have prosecutors act more rationally as achieving justice not just a conviction would then benefit them.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2022, 12:08:17 PM »
One partial solution on the prosecutor side would be to not make their promotion through the bureaucracy contingent upon their conviction rate.

Right now advancing in that office doesn’t care about justice, just how many prosecutions result in sentences. There’s an actual incentive for prosecutors to squelch exculpatory evidence and continue prosecuting those they know to be innocent because dropping the charges counts as a loss and hurts the prosecutor’s career.

That is absolutely a bass-ackward approach to getting anything close to justice. Convict the innocent or be punished is a sure fire ticket to a system that simply doesn’t work.

Maybe if “charges dropped due to exculpatory evidence” were also counted a win for purposes of promotion we might have prosecutors act more rationally as achieving justice not just a conviction would then benefit them.

And "charges dropped due to politics, or external pressures" should get you fired on the spot.
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Ghostmaker

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2022, 12:10:41 PM »
One partial solution on the prosecutor side would be to not make their promotion through the bureaucracy contingent upon their conviction rate.

Right now advancing in that office doesn’t care about justice, just how many prosecutions result in sentences. There’s an actual incentive for prosecutors to squelch exculpatory evidence and continue prosecuting those they know to be innocent because dropping the charges counts as a loss and hurts the prosecutor’s career.

That is absolutely a bass-ackward approach to getting anything close to justice. Convict the innocent or be punished is a sure fire ticket to a system that simply doesn’t work.

Maybe if “charges dropped due to exculpatory evidence” were also counted a win for purposes of promotion we might have prosecutors act more rationally as achieving justice not just a conviction would then benefit them.

And "charges dropped due to politics, or external pressures" should get you fired on the spot.
How about 'charges pressed due to same'?

Pat

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2022, 01:53:26 PM »
It's the intent to do wrong. As in REALLY wrong. That's a basic criminal requirement between lower offenses and high offenses. Mistakes, even stubborn and stupid ones, are not war crimes. I am not saying it's "not their fault." If you make a mistake and bad things happen it IS your fault. But being your fault isn't the same as being a war criminal.
I hate that for the same reason I hate the idea of hate crimes. I believe in judging people on their actions, not on mind reading.

oggsmash

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2022, 05:02:58 PM »
  I guess the big way to avoid being a war criminal is just be such a huge fuck up you never get assigned "intent".   I guess when that dumbass in the big house now tries to ban the 2nd amendment and literally starts a civil war we can all just laugh and say that is just uncle joe being joe.

Shasarak

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2022, 06:15:12 PM »
  I guess the big way to avoid being a war criminal is just be such a huge fuck up you never get assigned "intent".   I guess when that dumbass in the big house now tries to ban the 2nd amendment and literally starts a civil war we can all just laugh and say that is just uncle joe being joe.

The best way is to be the "Winner"

Winners never commit the war crime of being the Loser.
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oggsmash

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2022, 06:18:29 PM »
  I guess the big way to avoid being a war criminal is just be such a huge fuck up you never get assigned "intent".   I guess when that dumbass in the big house now tries to ban the 2nd amendment and literally starts a civil war we can all just laugh and say that is just uncle joe being joe.

The best way is to be the "Winner"

Winners never commit the war crime of being the Loser.

  Yeah I said that earlier, But you are right the biggest war crime is "Losing". 

Wrath of God

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2022, 04:24:16 AM »
Quote
Welcome to the origins of Medieval feudalism. The central Roman government could no longer protect its population so the population made pacts with those capable of doing so. They would give resources to the “Werd” (common root of both Lord and Guard) and in return they would protect that community from bandits and other plunderers.

Over time it picked up less desirable cruft… going from best man for the job to hereditary by primogeniture… going from a mutual pact between parties (i.e. the non-warriors producing food and equipment were just as important as the warriors who protected them in terms of keeping things functioning) to one of rulers and subjects… from King as “head of a kin group” to King as distant unrelated ruler… etc.

That cruft was what out ancestors in the United States eventually rebelled against and tried to establish something closer to those older mutual bonds… only now those have cruft on them too that we’ll probably need a new compact of mutual bonds to actually restore and, over the course of a few more centuries will accrue cruft of its own.

I'd say it's overly optimistic vision. For most part it was a) Roman government making deals with various mostly Germanic but also Iranic tribes to serve as mercenaries, auxillary forces, which as decadence devoured Rome more and more, took more and more major role in region. And those groups were never that much interested in consensual relations - besides most of societies in Europe were stratified into farmers and warriors at least since Bronze Age and Indoeuropeans taking over Europe (where they become jarls of new Europe, while descendants of Neolithic Farmers become their thralls), b) later Franks, Saxons, Goths - while forging new kingdom they really did not asked farmers for anything. There was just political void after Rome and they stormed it.
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Mistwell

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2022, 04:21:53 PM »
  I guess the big way to avoid being a war criminal is just be such a huge fuck up you never get assigned "intent".   I guess when that dumbass in the big house now tries to ban the 2nd amendment and literally starts a civil war we can all just laugh and say that is just uncle joe being joe.

EVERYONE was making the same fuckup though, in numerous different Governments across the world. Saddam himself also believed it. You act like Bush believing Iraq had WMD was some singular belief. It wasn't. Everyone was making the same mistake he was making. Often BECAUSE Iraq apparently did think they had them too, and the intel is mostly based on what the other nation is internally saying.

oggsmash

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2022, 09:26:36 PM »
  That's bullshit.  The USA knew damn well he did not have nukes, and they knew damn well that was what they implied by saying WMDs.   The USA told everyone else what to believe and since the war machine was cranked to 11 and lots of people saw zero need to use any critical thinking and just kill someone after a group of dudes on a terror watch list getting flying lessons managed to pull the hijack of the century and kill thousands, the people wanted blood.  I do not think anyone believed that intel.  They knew someone had to pay, and Saddam had the really bad fortune of being on the list, and being a shitload easier to get to than Osama was. 

3catcircus

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2022, 09:57:27 AM »
  That's bullshit.  The USA knew damn well he did not have nukes, and they knew damn well that was what they implied by saying WMDs.   The USA told everyone else what to believe and since the war machine was cranked to 11 and lots of people saw zero need to use any critical thinking and just kill someone after a group of dudes on a terror watch list getting flying lessons managed to pull the hijack of the century and kill thousands, the people wanted blood.  I do not think anyone believed that intel.  They knew someone had to pay, and Saddam had the really bad fortune of being on the list, and being a shitload easier to get to than Osama was.

And this is the problem with letting three letter agencies decide foreign policy. The US buddies up with whoever will do their bidding and then turn on them the moment it is convenient, all while virtue-signalling the American way of truth and righteousness.  We've still not learnt the lessons of Smedley Butler.

What unarguably happens is that contradictory or exculpatory information gets suppressed (never makes it into the PDB) or is discounted as being unvetted. For instance, we *knew* that the Soviets were terrified of AA83 being real yet we only de-escalated the exercise at the last minute due to the actions of one air force officer, all while the Intel boys are more worried about ousting some 3rd world tinpot at the behest of some US multinational whose board members are related to some senator.

We enable them to engage in behavior that is unethical, immoral, and unlawful and they use the shield of security classification to keep secret information that is not of military value against an adversary; rather, info that is politically embarrassing for politicians or would be devastating if the public learned that they were breaking the law - and it has been going on since at least 1946.

Battlemaster

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2022, 08:56:27 AM »
First time I ever rooted for ISIS, TBH.

Why does ISIS care about Dubya now? Something doesn't smell right.

Is it a play get the US involved again in the endless Middle East wars?

Dubya was the best thing that ever happened to Iraqi nutjobs. Saddam would have never allowed ISIS to fart wrong, let alone take his cities.

I think it's just that they never forgive and never forget.  These people are still bent out of shape about the Reconquista, remember.  I agree that they should be grateful to Bush really, but they don't see it that way.

Yes, I'm sure they are grateful for War Criminal Bush turning Iraq into a radioactive wasteland where children are still being born with birth defects today.

🖕 ISIS.

Asides from that I agree with you.  Bush lied to invade Iraq to steal it's oil and give it to American oil oligarchs. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were murdered by the US military in one of the largest armed robberies in the 20th century. If Iraqis went after the shrub I'd wish them well,  but fuck ISIS.
Fuck the fascist right and the fascist left.

SHARK

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Re: Assassination Plot on President W. Bush
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2022, 05:21:26 PM »
Greetings!

Term Limits *seem* like they would be a solution--but that feeling just doesn't line up with the realities of how political dynamics work. On one hand, it does provide some mitigation for bad politicians or do nothing leaders--but it also hamstrings actually good political leaders, because of how the time is spent, negotiating, getting to know people, how group A or group B works, and so on. It takes a term just to get plugged in. Then you spend the next term fighting to make stuff happen, and then there's the door.

Thus, in the end, a system is strengthened where most of the politicians are either terrible or at best, well-intentioned, but still largely ineffective.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
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