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May 1, 2004

Coalition of the, oh, never mind. I got your moral hazard right here. [12:41 AM]
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Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Coalition of the, oh, never mind.:

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 01:15 AM:

When this story hits Al-Jazeera . . . well, I don't think Macedonia will need to *fake* terrorist attacks in the future.

Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 02:47 AM:

Oh. My. God.

Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 07:17 AM:

I am horrified that it happened. I am impressed and amazed that it's been made public, and apparently without retaliation.

David Moles ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 10:26 AM:

Wow. That's world-class, that is.

So — was the US fooled?

Simon ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 01:26 PM:

Stefan, did you notice, further down in the article, that there was a retaliation? On the Macedonian consulate in Pakistan: three people tied up and killed, and the building bombed, in that order.

Nicholas Whyte ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 04:41 PM:


No, the US wasn't fooled and indeed the embassy in Macedonia made it quite clear at the time that they did not believe there was any specific security threat (this at a time when the US embassy in nearby Bosnia was being closed quite frequently because of such threats).


The December 2002 incident in which the Macedonian consulate in Pakistan was destroyed appears to have been completely unconnected. The three people who died in the December incident were all Pakistanis, only one was employed in the consulate, and it appears to have been an escalated domestic dispute.

This didn't prevent wild rumours from appearing in the Macedonian press to the effect that Al-Qaeda had left graffiti on the walls of the burnt-out building claiming responsibility. It would have been the first time they ever overtly admitted being behind an attack, and it seems unlikely that they would start with this one.

Simon ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2004, 08:59 PM:

"It would have been the first time they ever overtly admitted being behind an attack"

Al-Qaeda never admitted being behind 9/11? I must have missed something somewhere. I thought one of Osama's video/audio tapes claimed credit.

"escalated domestic dispute"

And they bombed the building? Some escalation. Still, if you want to kill people at your enemy's embassy, you'll take whoever you can get.

bryan ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2004, 11:43 AM:

'Al-Qaeda never admitted being behind 9/11? I must have missed something somewhere. I thought one of Osama's video/audio tapes claimed credit.

perhaps overtly in this context should have been admitted before identified by investigation.

Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2004, 12:46 PM:

I hardly know what to say about the other recent story with photos of US troops/reservists/contractors abusing Iraqi prisoners of war, but one question leapt out.

A higher officer was quoted as saying that the people who were doing it "hadn't been trained in the Geneva Convention". Surely, surely all soldiers & personnel likely to be in combat would need to know at the least what the convention is in respect of themselves as POWs?

Maybe I should check with the military experts. They might still be near the LiveJournal warblog thread over in Making Light, but anyone with experience is welcome to enlighten us.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2004, 02:03 PM:

I can say for U.S troops.

The Big Four.

Name, rank, service number and date of birth.

Those are all one is required to give to obtain all the privileges one may be entitled to as a POW.

One rights, as a POW are never to be limited, even if one answers none of those questions (one then gets treated as any other enlisted prisoner).

I've been away from the world the past two days, and so have not yet seen any details on contractors as interrogators/questioners (I got a phone call from my father asking if I'd heard of it, and my opinions... the thought of untrained/civilian trained interrogators left me gob-smacked).

Comments later, after I get some details.

Further, I can say MPs, interrogators, counter-intelligece agents and officers (regardless of branch) all get training in the Geneva Conventions, albiet limited to those conventions we signed.

I did a bit of commentary on them back in August, I think, here and there in the Blogosphere.



Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2004, 09:07 PM:

the thought of untrained/civilian trained interrogators left me gob-smacked

Untrained is absurd, but the CIA is classed as civilian.

Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 12:47 AM:

Nah, Steve Stirling heard the prisoners had been bootlegging his books and for once got his wish.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 02:32 AM:

The reports I'm seeing are of contractors (remember them, the subject of much heat, little light and very mixed opinion) who are supervising the interrogations, as well as some reports of them managing the care of prisoners.

In the past 11 years I've seen a lot of people who have, shall we say odd, ideas about what makes for useful interrogation methods.

I've also spent no small part of those 11 years (where have they gone?) teaching interrogation.

In the past two-years I've also seen a lot of that being tossed away.

My personal philosophy (backed by years of experience, and tradition) is that torture (and my definitions of torture are far broader than most, but then I suppose I am more aware of it, intimate with it; if you will, than most) does't work. I also think the torturer is affected more than the tortured.

In support of the latter contention I offer the photos in the reports on the prison in Iraq. Those guys are said to be smiling, as they display people being mocked and shamed. I suspect that, had they been asked before they left about such things, they'd have been apalled. Now...

To make a basic interrogator takes almost four months (it used to be less, but they have added a bunch of secondary things to the instruction). When I went through the course it was nine weeks, five of those spent, "in the booth," trying (and usually failing) to perform a successful interrogation.

Teaching it helped, but I don't think I was really up to speed for about a year after I left the school.

Think about that. Four hours a day, for five weeks, in the booth, and another four-six hours of classes and dissection. Then there are the study halls, and the conversations with instructors.

I doubt the contractors get that much training. The CIA, well they have different problems, and interrogation isn't high on the list of thigs they do (they tend to call on the Army, and use guys who've been to the Strategic Debriefing course). They are more prone to the, "field expedient" method of, "quick and dirty," information extraction. They tend to operate on the, "ticking bomb," idea.

Which leads to bad information on the scale we're looking at.

One of the mroe troubling things is the report that one of the people who got this ball of wax going was from Gitmo. What I've heard from there (and from Afghanistan) worries me. Lots of stuff which is borderline (or past) is being done there, and lots of people who are not specifically trained in interrogation (counter-intelligence agents, in particular) are being tasked to the job.

They think the borderline stuff works better (because it's faster, and time is not my friend) and is takes less effort.

They are wrong (IMO) and it is a slow cancer, becuase they are getting various forms of positive reinforcement.

As for the contractors... the most worrisome thing I've seen is the comments that they contracts they have exempt them from the Army/DoD's jurisdiction, as well as the local law. The only recourse the U.S. has (it is, actually, an obligation) is to take advantage of being th detaining power, and legally responsible for the health and welfare of the prisoners/people, in our control, and charge them with breaking the Geneva Conventions, which are (insofar as we've signed them) the law of the land.

If we wanted to do it right, we'd turn them over to the Hague, but I ain't holding my breath.


Nicholas Whyte ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 03:38 AM:

Al-Qaeda never admitted being behind 9/11? I must have missed something somewhere. I thought one of Osama's video/audio tapes claimed credit.

Well, according to this CNN article from November 2001 there were at that point no publicly released videos which did so (though the British were claiming they had unreleased evidence). If you look at the text of the tapes that have been transcribed I don't see any explicit admission that he was behind it.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that Bin Ladern is innocent, I'm saying that he is a liar, and if he couldn't tell the truth about killing 3000 people in DC and New York it seems very odd that he would start telling the truth about killing three people in Karachi.

"escalated domestic dispute" - And they bombed the building? Some escalation. Still, if you want to kill people at your enemy's embassy, you'll take whoever you can get.

It seems that my information was out of date; and the latest from the Pakistani authorities is that it was in fact a "terrorist cell". Though of course one must bear in mind that the Pakistanis are as eager to talk up their part in the "war on terrorism" as was the previous Macedonian government. And it can often suit one lot of militants to claim that they are in fact a different group.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 07:17 AM:

Just a bit of whining/bitching.

I was reading Billmon http://billmon.org/archives/001442.html#more and was saddened (but, alas, not really surprised) at the nature of the comments on interrogators and interrogations.

It was however a bit of a start to have someone call me, just by virtue of being what I am, a foul and evil person.

Mind you, it wasn't me, personally, he was vilifying, it was just a group I happen to belong too. It's been awhile since that happened.

I almost feel spit on.

Maybe I'm just being too sensitive.


bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 09:24 AM:

Well, part of the problem is all the people, civilian and military, who keep saying "That doesn't happen here, we don't do that, we're Americans, so obviously it must be slander" and have been with regard to everything from the Louima case to My Lai to College of the Americas.

Then there's the opposite pole, which says, "Of course it happens, every idiot knows that that's what happens in war/jail, it was just the same in GWI and Vietnam and Korea and WWII - and so what?"
Often followed by a quote from General Sherman, who did such a great job of unifying the country and leaving a workable peace and healed nation behind. (I am more than half-Confederate, but I am also descended from Underground Railroaders. I am impartially furious in re the (US) Civil War.)

Sometimes it turns out that the people saying the first class of remarks actually knew the second was true. Parallel situation, Archdioceses of Boston and NY.

And then some of us have personal, familial knowledge about US atrocities and denials and apathy in regard to getting justice for them. My biological male parent was one of those in Vietnam who should have been prosecuted, and wasn't. Souveniers, including photos - and he wasn't mister nice guy to my mother either. Uniforms don't confer sanctity, though H'wood would like us to think so.

Again, referring to the pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church, it isn't unreasonable for people to now become totally skeptical of all claims that "that isn't really us, we're not all like that."

I have a very hard time going to any church any more, because I almost can't stop myself from shouting at every priest - some of them I've known since I was a kid, and respected - "What did you know, and when? You were in the Chancery, and yet you made sermons saying we need to forgive and forget, and it wasn't more than a few, but you worked in HQ - WTF?!?!?"

IOW, how can I trust you now in anything you say? How can I trust any of you?, when there were slang terms in the diocese ten, twenty years ago (as I heard from an ex-seminarian) for the shuffling process, booting people upstairs or transferring them - they called it 'playing checkers.'

For some people, too, who are either much younger or more naive than the rest of us, this is hitting much harder because they really did believe that "we" weren't "like them," those Others who do commit crimes and don't believe in libertynjusticeforall, *or* admitted that "Yes, we used to do all those things back in the Bad Old Days, the 1920s and 1930s and the 1950s - but we've outgrown all that."

There is no outrage like that of a betrayed loyal believer, and this is what you're seeing. The hottest outrage I've been reading has been from other soldiers.

And I'm afraid that at this point the burden of credibility is on the brass, secular and clerical alike, because if there's one thing that we should remember from the example of Lt. Calley, it's that there's often much more fire than smoke.

Which makes sense, because the military is no more than the sword in the hand of the wielder, which is us. And civilians are extremely callous about torture and prison abuse, even in principle. I don't buy that those kids were shining innocents who would never have thought it before they went in country - I went to high school, where I was sexually harassed and menaced in many ways, by "nice" white boys from "nice" middle-class families. In my college Ethics class, at a totally mainstream Christian college full of mostly Catholic, mostly upper-middle-class white kids, out of 30+ students, when the hypothetical case of torturing a suspect to obtain information about a placed bomb came up - no one else besides yours truly even thought there might be a problem with using torture, ever.
(Not even based on the pragmatic ones, laid out by Aristotle in his Be Your Own Lawyer! guide, written when court-ordered torture of suspects was SOP and open, where he points out that if the evidence for torture is against you, all you have to do is point out that it's notoriously unreliable...)

That was over ten years ago. From conversations and readings, I don't see any reason to think that Middle America is any more caring about the lives of people in jails, particularly foreigners in jails. They're The Enemy, and you can do whatever is 'necessary' to them. This is showing up all over usenet, with threads defending and minimizing it, or justifying it based on the assassination of the contractors in Falluja, with a signal disregard for chronology (and for the past year's worth of events in Falluja, including the apparent presence of people "rebuked" for Abu Ghraib supervising at the jail in Falluja, where they got the intelligence that there were so few rebels and they were all foreign fighters from Iran...)

So there are probably, I'm afraid, even more people who not only would *not* criticize your occupation automatically, but who are praising Sgt. Frederick as a hero out there, and even more still who simply won't care no matter how bad it is. I am the *only person* in my office who follows the war, and politics, as opposed to American Idol and The Apprentice and Survivor. I am considered very strange there...

bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 09:38 AM:

Plus, TK, remember that for all these guys' claims that they weren't taught about the Geneva Conventions (and aren't other servicemen and women sneering at that absurdity--!) and the contrast between the bragging letters home that Fredrick wrote versus his mealy-mouthed claims of ignorant innocence (and did any see that Karpinski *really said*, quote, "I knew nothing"--!) the thing about people like Frederick is that in civilian life, he's a corrections officer. This *is* his job, and that of a number of other people in his unit.

So questions ought to be raised about how many people die in *our* jails and what goes on there, and why there are prison riots, really.

Since I don't think the Geneva Conventions apply to common criminals in this country either...

Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 02:54 PM:

"if there's one thing that we should remember from the example of Lt. Calley, it's that there's often much more fire than smoke."

I'd suggest that we also remember there was a man who grounded his helicopter and directed his door gunners to fire on Calley's troops as appropriate.

Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 06:58 PM:

Clark: Yes, but it was one man. As opposed to -- how many hundreds who took part, or pretended not to see, or covered up afterwards? It takes a particular and unfortunately rare kind of heroism to defy the norms of everyone around you. When a culture goes bad, the sad thing is that a lot of people will just go along, into ever worse behavior.

You cannot rely on heroes; it is a fact of human nature that if you want to keep atrocities from happening, you need a system with rules and procedures that will reinforce the better norm and provide strong disincentives for deviation.

Or... in another context:

Accountability. Without it, there is no democracy.

bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2004, 09:30 PM:

Yeah, one man, like Ms. Li says, AND the perps hardly did any time at all,* and a certain PR officer name of Powell asserted that there was no torture going on in Nam, no massacres, and the civilians were all happy and smiling to be rescued by the Good Guys, and that would have been the official history until who knows when -

-unless a certain conscientious investigative reporter name of Sy Hersh hadn't rooted out the story and been called a traitor and threatened for besmirching the fair name of thisgreatnation some two score years ago...

What's that line from Pratchett - goes something like, sometimes History doesn't repeat itself, sometimes it picks up a big stick and starts screaming why don't you ever listen...?

*adding insult to insult to insult to injury:
My Lai Lawsuit Dismissal Upheld

Apparently there *is* a statute of limitations on murder, at least if your skin color is (ahem) "not the same as ours..." [sic]

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2004, 03:12 AM:


In some ways you're preaching to the choir.

I know what I know (and not all of it is pretty, but then again, the line of work I'm in isn't pretty, and Geneva and Hague are attempts to make the inhumanity of war less so. They sort of work, but only when all the parties agree to the rules).

If you think you are sick at heart, and stomach, get in line. I'm probably less tolerant of the things we're seeing alleged here than you are, because it gores my ox (more than one, but that's neither here nor there).

I've got Joe Ryan's journal right here (and that he had it pulled speaks more to me than all the rest). It angers me, with a cold white fury. Funny... 11 years ago I discovered I was now capable (truly, not merely intellectually) of killing someone, five years ago I discovered I could want to kill someone... last year I discovered I could probably do it without any real feelings of guilt. The last was almost as shocking as the second.

Given the right context, killing would be no real difficulty. And that is why torture is so dangerous; it becomes trivial, which debases the torturer.

I know what motivated the people who gave the orders. I know that Gitmo and Baghram are rotting out the Corps I been working in for the last decade. I worry that the comfort of distance and the rhetoric of the valuelessness of the people we call our enemies (remember the debate about Bush's turns of phrase).

I've seen what Karnpinski said, and one of the things she said was that she should have made the effort to find out, that she shouldn't have let the staff of that section keep her out. She gets points for that.

I also find it telling (though whether for good or ill) that the accused are all MPs, and Intel Branched officers; there are no actual interrogators in that company.

I'd like to think that means the things reported (and I do believe they took place) weren't done by my fellows, that they committed sins of omission, rather than crimes of commission, but I doubt it.

I know too much to really believe that.

I do know that three of the active-duty guys I was over there with were charged with crimes, six months ago. I also know that an ongoing investigation is looking at dear friends of mine.

The last is hard. I hope they investigation really clears him, that what I've been told is false. If it isn't, well I want him to be court-martialed and, at the very least given a dishonorable discharge.

I'd like to think (hell, I have to) that presented with this sort of thing I brave the heat and report it, but one never knows. Things aren't so clear in a combat zone, or they are clear, so clear that one casts civilised behaviour by the boards, because the cause is that just.

It's a dilemma. I think I have to stay in, because to quit would be to stand aside, as a good man, and do nothing.

What I'd like to see is the officers getting the same court-martial the enlisted are getting.

As for the "contractors", well there is recourse, but I doubt anyone will have the balls to do it.

The Conventions we signed are law of the land, equal to the Constitution, and as such it they can be enforced (in fact they are worded so they must be) anywhere. Given that we are the occupying power we are obliged to see to it the rights, and customs, of the occupied are not trampled.

That means we can charge the contractors here.

Or, what I'd rather see is that they be turned over to the Hague, and a full investigation of all of the circumstances in Iraq be conducted.

But that ain't'a gonna happen.


bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2004, 07:06 AM:

I expect you feel like the priests I know who really didn't know, and then tried to take action - like Rev. Tom Doyle, whom the Church has retaliated against for blowing the whistle, frex, most recently by getting him kicked out of his base chaplain's job.

(Believe me, I do know personally what it's like to have stuff happen "on your watch" that you couldn't have known about and stopped, but feel guilty for anyway. And wanting to kill, slowly and horribly, the perpetrator as a result of it. I think, if you *were* guilty, TK, you wouldn't have brought your job up. There is a certain obliviousness in the oafish assumption that everyone out there will automatically share his views & attitudes, in Ryan's posting of his diary, with all his little jokes about needing better cleaners to get the stains out.)

The reason I have *no* respect for Karpinski is that she only made public contrition once she was caught. She chose to not know. She reminds me of the local nun who worked in the Chancery Office, and who said after the DA's report was released - "I kept telling Monsignor and the Bishop that they shouldn't keep covering this up, for years and years I warned them that this wasn't right."

And yet it never occurred to her to pick up the phone and dial 911! I think that nun is as guilty as, or more so, than any of the molestors. And the bits about Karpinski helping to keep the Red Cross out, and not letting journalists see the prisoners...no, she doesn't deserve any moral credit for expressing guilt *after* being caught.

The real problem is we have a nation raised on this attitude for generations. All Tom Clancy's novels are filled with celebrations of this kind of stuff, as long as it's us doing it to pirates, murderers, rapists, Commies, etc. They did it first, after all. And if they didn't, if it's a mistaken identity - well, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs killing people.

I remember how, starting back in the mid-80s (that is, long after the Hostage Crisis had faded from popular consciousness) all kinds of media - frex, GI Joe cartoons - were full of Evil Arabs as the bad guys who were to be mown down without remorse by superiour weaponry, and who were all uniformly sadistic and stupid. It reminded me of the cartoonlike Oriental villains of films in the 1930s, at the the time, and I wondered why they were focussing on them, when the Communists were supposed to be the real danger, we were supposed to be on the side of the mujahadeen against the Soviets. Now, knowing that there were Schlieffen-style plans for a mideast war decades ago, I feel that I was very naive not to have realized that this was in fact a pump-priming similar to that of the characterization of the Yellow Peril of earlier generations.

And I am completely certain that will be no real reprisals either, which is why I am so furious about the apologists for it who, like the guy in the letters column in NYT this morning, say, "Yes, but you see this all *proves* we're better than them, because we investigated and admitted it and we're going to put these people breaking rocks for the rest of their lives."

No admission that *none* of this would have been known if there hadn't been major, major whistlblowing. No admission that, well, Lt. Calley *didn't* end up breaking rocks for the rest of his life, and we don't even have a good track record of apologizing and disciplining those who gun down our own allies in friendly fire incidents.

One thing I am waiting for the press and the public (particularly those who think that it is treason because they *will cause* harm to our cause) to put together is that the damage was done *before* the pictures were released. And I'm not just talking about inspiring people to go and set off bombs and shoot coalition troops in personal revenge.

I'm talking about the intel side.

Ryan brags about how they were getting all this good info, about how all the resistance fighters were foreigners, and how there was no local support in Falluja for them.

What do you want to bet that there are a lot of Marine officers who would like to get Ryan and his friends, who sent them into Falluja with that info, and beat the tar out of them?

They've already killed our soldiers, by the hundreds, with their interrogations.

Who wants to bet that it was someone of high rank in the Pentagon who handed that report personally to Hersh - maybe one of Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski's former colleagues?

I have heard it said, in all the bewilderment about what is happening around Falluja, (ie, We're giving in instead of nuking it, WTF?) that this is a mutiny of the field officers against the rear eschelon, that the Marine commander made all the decisions on his own to set up local authorities and negotiate a peace, and that it is a deliberate slap in the face to Myers and all the upper brass.

I think this is true. I think what we have here is a realization that they've been had, and a reluctance to play "Light Brigade" or Gallipoli. That this is a case of diplomacy being made by the soldiers that is actually *good* and which happens because field officers who care about their men are pragmatists and not able to be deceived by Beltway propaganda that they are facing ragtag unsupported foreigners.

I think they've made a thousand General Butlers.

And I don't think they're going to be able to bottle this genie up, after the war, either. Because nowdays, you don't need a printing press, or much money, all you need is access to a computer and a phone line to tell it like it is.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2004, 07:35 AM:


I undertand both the reasons so many see it as widespread rot, and why I don't.

I like to think I have a decent judgement of people, esp. as I have helped to train between 5-10 percent of the present interogators in the Army (all of them in the RC), so I feel the sting in a very personal way.

I also know that I, and some of my fellows have decided to fail people, out of the course, because we felt they didn't have the moral fiber to treat prisoners properly. That's not as hard as it seems, because the requirements to pass the course are strict, and the slightest tightening of the standards is usually enough to fail them. Judgement calls, but the sense of responsibilty, because of the risk of things like this, makes it almost religious in nature.

And you're right. The smugness of Ryan, and the errors in methodology that come with the use of physical pain, and psychic shock as motivation are almost certain to lead to the wishes, dreams and predjudices of the interrogator being confirmed.

From my experience, and from what my fellows told me, the number of foriegners is small. The driving force for most of the insurgents is a sense of betrayed nationalism.

Ryan's comments seem to belie that, but the situation makes me question everything he got. I am certain there are some Marine intel guys who'd love to do a little wall-to-wall counseling, in accord with FM 2x4.

I also know that the use of counter-intel types in interrogation is a bad idea. They aren't really trained for it, and there is an institutional belief on their part that we're just overtrained specialists, who aren't really needed.

I could go on. The squabbles, and turf battles (COLs looking for an OER bullet, CPTs hoping for a gong) the petty bullshit from the schoolhouse, the difficulty of getting schools approved, even when the demand is high, and the students available.

And all of it meaningless in the public eye. Condemned, one and all because of the bad actors, or worse yet, forgiven by apologists who think the end justifies the means, because we are, RIGHT. Feh.

I guess I need sleep, with which to knit the ravell'd sleave of care, or at least some time away from talking about it. A chance to digest.

Because I've been going too and fro in the net, and trying to plead a case, and it's hard slogging, even here, where I am known.


bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2004, 08:13 AM:

Terry, I was raised to say, "It's only a few, they've been taken care of, it doesn't mean that the Church is corrupt or the values She teaches are false," and I was raised a very conservative Catholic on most "social issues."

I know where you're coming from, believe me.

When the hierarchy started playing the Stupidity Defense, *that* was what made me a convert to sexual liberalism in re homosexuality, priestly celibacy, and extramarital sex. Because the whole authority of the Church on those matters was based on "We have Moral Authority from God, and centuries of Deep Human Wisdom and Insight Into The Soul."

So if you say that, you can't say "We didn't realize it would damage kids, or that these people would repeat-offend" - particularly when you're moving the repeat offenders around so they won't get caught.

I now only stand with the Church on the wrongness of abortion - but I think that the answer to abortion is *more* sex ed, *more* feminism, *more* liberalism, and contraception. And as part of the "seamless garment" ethic of social justice, like Bernardin.

This puts me in a very lonely position. I know only three people in the world like me. And I get mocked all the time by people who don't think that such as I exist, that it's possible to be a prolife liberal feminist, on both sides of the aisle.

I'm very glad my grandfather - who always taught that honesty and integrity were crucial not as being "nice" but for practical reasons as well - isn't alive to see the abuse in the Air Force Academy, and the coverups by commanders, because it would have broken his heart.

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