Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In the wake of the wiretapping revelations, Dubya's crew has repeatedly stated that they are acting within the law, and respect the rule of law. Their view on the rule of law was formulated, in some measure, by John Yoo, who explains it as follows:

CASSEL: If the president deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?

YOO: No treaty.

CASSEL: Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo...

YOO: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

Their new Supreme Court nominee also states that the President is bound to uphold the rule of law. How comforting.

Monday, January 09, 2006

At TPM Cafe, Larry Johnson relays a CIA buddy's estimate of the kill ratio. Not only is the metric a flashback to Vietnam, but the number is as well: 160 dead "insurgents" for each American.

From there, a commenter starts with 2400 or so Americans dead, figures the insurgents are principally combat-age Sunni males, and does the math:

Estimate losses at 2400, American and Coalition, excluding Iraqi police and army of course.

This gives us roughly 380,000. ...


We've killed somewhere between 33 and 22% of the combat age and capable male population of the Sunni ethnic community.

The commenter then goes on to estimate what non-combatant casualties must be like if we're killing this many combatants. But, I think he's giving the U.S. military too much credit. It seems far more likely that the U.S. military is counting dead women, children, the aged and infirm in its count of dead "insurgents".

Well, either that, or they're just plain lying. And for the United States government to be lying, not only to the public but to itself, would be by far the best possible thing...