Is the Repug Torture House Of Cards “Fallin Down”?

M_Fallin_92fallin1Yesterday here at The Hill, Repug Congressional rep Mary Fallin told us the following…

The American Civil Liberties Union is outraged that President Obama has violated one of his campaign assurances to the left by declining to release photographs that purport to show terrorist detainees being abused. The planned release of the photographs was the result of an ACLU court action, and it is the ACLU’s clear position that the need to expose past wrongdoing entirely trumps any potential harm that such exposure might cause.

That is nonsense.

No one is condoning prisoner abuse. In fact, the Pentagon is taking appropriate steps to punish the very small number of troops who might have participated in such misconduct and to ensure no further instances occur. We can pursue justice, however, without releasing images that will surely be used as a weapon against the United States.

In response, allow me once more to link to Keith Olbermann’s interview with former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who, for a time, was commander of three large U.S.-and-British-led prisons in Iraq, as well as eight battalions and 3,400 soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve. She makes it clear even to individuals such as Rep. Fallin that the supposed “very small number of troops” engaged in criminal actions received their orders directly from the top of what passed for the Bushco chain of command (and by the way, this is a follow-up to yesterday’s post here).

And I took a closer look at Rep. Fallin as a result of her remarks, and though she’s pretty much emblematic of what passes for a Repug these days, there are still some interesting highlights:

  • This tells us that she aided and abetted the “teabaggers,” along with many others of her party.
  • This tells us that she went nuts over the DHS report on extremist groups from Secretary Janet Napolitano (hitting a little too “close to home,” I guess), without noting that the report included left wing extremist groups also.
  • This tells us that Fallin responded to the notion of the dollar being replaced as the major reserve currency in the world by supporting a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment that would disallow a foreign currency replacing the dollar as legal tender in the USA (hat tip to the blog “Kids Prefer Cheese”); even though the “global currency” rumor is admittedly silly (as was Fallin’s response), there are countries, most notably China, who are looking to valuate against a “basket” of currencies as opposed to the dollar, as Nouriel Roubini noted in the New York Times on Wednesday.
  • This tells us that Fallin was one of the House reps who changed her vote on the Wall Street bailout from “no” to “yes.”
  • This contains more about her voting record, noting that, among other things, she voted against the “cramdown” legislation to help people restructure their mortgages, the “Pay for Performance Act” in the matter of executive compensation, the stimulus (of course), SCHIP, the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act, relief for the Alternative Minimum Tax, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act, extension of unemployment insurance, the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, and on and on and on.
  • I realize that all of this is pretty typical of a Repug, but Fallin does stand out in one way that many of them don’t.

    And that is over this from October 2006, in which Fallin “…kissed and had inappropriate contact with (a) state employee,” an Oklahoma State Trooper who eventually resigned (Some funny business from the “Family Values” Party? OMIGOD!). However, Fallin ended up winning election to Congress afterwards, and after a stint as lieutenant governor, is now a candidate in next year’s gubernatorial election.

    Oh, and one more thing: in her “Hill” column, Fallin notes the 1949 quote from former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson about the Constitution becoming a “suicide pact” in Jackson’s dissent concerning a free-speech case. As noted here, though, Judge Harold Baer added the following to that phrase, in a ruling against a New York ordinance banning the wearing of masks in public…

    “[T]he rational and measured exercise of jurisprudence must be zealously sustained even in time of war, including the war on terrorism.”

    Judge Baer, by the way, was, in essence, ruling in favor of the KKK’s right to demonstrate. And if the odious activities of that group are still permitted as long as they only intend to march and do no other harm (even though their very existence poses a threat of violence), then I would say that anyone opposing the release of the latest round of torture photos (claiming that violence would also ensue against our military or foreign service personnel) is standing on what is, at best, shaky legal ground.

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