Saturday, June 11, 2005

Answer to a reasonable conservative.

A Conservative in another forum wrote the following:

IT has always been my belief that the amount of proof from subjectives is justified not in the proof but by the person's beliefs. From the objective position proof has to be substantial enough to prove mens rea, the action in question actually happened, and that the action was illegal.

I'm going to use three cases of when a crime was committed by the president and analyze each to the best of my ability. I will use Nixon, Clinton, and Bush as they are seen as the "three liars" of American politics.

Richard Nixon platformed on a policy of honesty an openess. He had hundreds of "hippy protestors." When the Washington Post first broke the story, NO ONE believed it. First off the person confirming their information was a "shadow CIA informant." What the hell is that stuff, right? Imagine if I came out today with an article saying that an FBI member confirms that Elvis Pressley was a child molestor, would you believe it? Of course not, because it is so far from reality that it is almost impossible to believe. So Watergate comes out and near the end of Nixon's term a formal investigation is announced. To avoid impeachment he resigns and admits guilt. At that point only did everyone actually believe that Nixon did it.

In our second case we have Clinton. Clinton was a very liberal man. He played jazz, blues, and recognized by many as a "man of the people." As governor there were murmurs of him having sexual relations with other women. But his wife was actually very attractive woman. The list of people they named as involved, were not. It was so far from reality that only his political enemies pushed it. It wasn't until he was at the height of his power and nearing the end of his term did they push it again. They named out two women, Monika Lewinsky and Paula Jones. Neither of these women once again were very beautiful, and yet both of them made the claim. They proposed a lot of evidence that was shifty at best. One was a phonecall between Clinton and Lewinsky which was shown by a sound specialist to be a modified, as well showing how anyone can imprint the voice patterns of any phone call taken out of context on a tape. In a trial Lewinsky told everything, that was confirmed by many sources. But, just like Nixon what was said was only confirmable by very shifty sources. People only believed it when Clinton came out and said that he had an affair. Of course not everyone believed he actually had an affair as many will still say he was only having "oral sex" which isn't actually "sleeping with that woman."

Our third case is George W. Bush. Bush stated that he worked with the information that he had at the time and he could have never known the information was not good. A case has now been built to show opposite. A couple of men who were in that administration left it or were fired and came out a couple of months later with books explaining their experiences and building up a circumstantial unconfirmable case about Bush and the CIA. Many made claims that he baited the CIA to botch up the intelligence, nothing could back this up yet. The M16 reform could be the thing to bring him down though. Several incrimidating (of Tony Blaire) memos and notes have come present. Considering that both M16 and the CIA have been declared 'faulty and broken" though it is hard to even see it as confirmed evidence either (because both are known to be faulty and thus cannot truly be trusted).

My question to Republicans is, what measure will it take for you to believe that Bush did it?
To Democrats, is there anyone who is reliable enough anymore to actually confirm it?

MY ANSWER:

excellent! excellent! regards the question to democrats, the answer is yes, numerous people. These people all have excellent credentials and a lot of experience in the Pentagon or otherwise in the chain of intelligence. They were all in their time well respected and honored in their professions. Richard Clarke, for instance, was the daily presidential briefer for Ronald Reagan (notice Ronald Reagan is a republican), and has been an integral part of the intelligence branch under many presidents. 27 years, I think it was. That's just one example.

The problem is, that since they have come out with this information, their credibility has been attacked on, from an empirical standpoint, the very basis that they came out with this information. Perhaps this is largely a consequence of a psychological predisposition to disbelieve. Understandably so: why would someone want to believe that about someone who they trust and look up to? Esp. when it's construed as an attack on their own charachter, being, in a sense, "guilty by association": being of the same political party. And this is largely what seems to be the basis of the character attacks - that it is construed as partisan "sour grapes"; that it is construed as politically motivated.

This emotionally-inspired characterization is often defended by the fact that "democrats lost the election" - that the informations are motivated by a "sore loser" mentality - (which republicans seem to get enjoyment out it saying, for some reason, may i remind them that politics is not a game) - or that it is because people dont like his policies. All of these premises, however, are circumstantial, and therefore not logically valid. (Besides, personal attacks are not logically valid in the first place.)

So in conclusion there are many very credible, respectable, reliable people who have come out and exposed this - that is how we know as much as we do now about the Office of Special Plans (the answer to last post's logic puzzle, btw) and the like - and in addition, although they have not come in contact with eachother, their stories all match up. And the match up with things that are known now but were not know before, when they came out with their information.

The problem is not that there is by any measure a lack of reliable witnesses - for there is not - but, as was said, a problem of a predisposition to disbelieve.

After all, who would want to believe something like this? I certainly don't. But I don't let my feelings get in the way of objectivity.

(Oh, and btw, downing street memo, Awaken the Media, Big Brass Alliance.)

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