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Charles Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps, now retired, co-authored a scathing attack on former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Sept. 11 Miami Herald. Krulak is the son of the late Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, former Marine Lt. General and director of editorial and news policy at Copley Newspapers when it owned the Union and Tribune. Wrote Charles Krulak and another former military commander, " "We have seen how ill-conceived policies that ignored military law on the treatment of enemy prisoners hindered our ability to defeat al Qaeda. We have seen American troops die at the hands of foreign fighters recruited with stories about tortured Muslim detainees at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. And yet Cheney and others who orchestrated America's disastrous trip to 'the dark side' continue to assert -- against all evidence -- that torture 'worked.'" Krulak and his co-author lamented Cheney's recent interview on Fox News Sunday, in which he "applauded 'enhanced interrogation techniques' that we used to call 'war crimes.'"

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Comments

Visduh Sept. 14, 2009 @ 8:33 a.m.

This is surprising indeed. One needs to recognize that Charles Krulak rose to a higher rank (four star) than his father (three stars.) Former commandants of the Marine Corps generally don't go soft on enemies of the US, so there is another explanation.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was a feeling that was totally understandable. That was that if they were capable of an attack like that, what else could they do that was exponentially worse? I still question Bush's decision to go to war without a declaration of war. Having one would have made the legal basis for much of what happened quite different. But I do not hold it against Cheney or others that they were very concerned about subsequent attacks, and were determined to do whatever was necessary to prevent them. And if that meant that they had to get very rough with captured terrorists or their fellow-travelers, so be it.

But that was then, and a clearer and more sober assessment of the situation later on could have resulted in a change of tactics. Krulak gets my attention, and I have to heed his words. It also seems sad that Cheney is the lightning rod for all the anger directed at the missteps of the Bush administration. He certainly set a tone, but he didn't invent all these things on his own. He had plenty of support from others. And, at least he is consistent. He refuses to back down from his stance that our intelligence gathering did prevent further attacks.

We can only hope that Cheney isn't right when he says that the investigation of the CIA and closure of Gitmo along with less aggressive tactics will result in another attack. If he's right, Krulak will look foolish.

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Don Bauder Sept. 14, 2009 @ 12:37 p.m.

Response to post #1: You can bet that if there is another al Qaeda attack, it will be blamed on those who believe in military law and challenged Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, along with the journalists who exposed the abuses. I believe Krulak is right; by violating international codes of war, we were putting our own soldiers at risk. Best, Don Bauder

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DavidPatrone Sept. 15, 2009 @ 12:59 a.m.

As a former Marine, General Krulak's Statements surprise me. I will always assert that interrogating terrorists to get information to maintain the safety of our military AND civilians in this country and abroad should not be hampered by politically correct intentions. Our CIA and our Military should be feared by our enemies. When it comes to saving the lives of our people, no methods should be spared.

I heard an interesting argument yesterday:

If Obama's Daughters were kidnapped and we had reason to believe that one of these detainees had knowledge of their whereabouts, do you honestly believe that we wouldn't exhaust every method to ascertain that information?

I believe that we would and I also believe that any citizens of this country (especially when the threat is against large numbers of people) deserve the same.

I disagree with the idea that al Qaeda is being emboldened by reports of our "mistreating of Muslims" If you think for a moment that members of al Qaeda don't respect brutal tactics you are disconnected to reality.

What has empowered al Qaeda is the knowledge that their actions and complaints create a rift in our own country between people who live in a fantasy world of Utopian ideals and people who understand the reality of war. Anyone who has even read the first chapter of any military tactics manual understands this. al Qaeda will continue to disrupt the country by trying to divide us. The only rule of law they respect is brutality and totality of focus on their objective.

You cannot negotiate with religious fundamentalist radicals and that includes the treatment of their prisoners. They only see compassion as weak and knowing how Americans react they play the "fairness" card as though it were any other weapon. They want to continue this rift pitting one side of America against the other. You are foolish to take the bait. General Krulak surprises me with this but at the same time, it makes me wonder what he knows that we do not.

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Duhbya Sept. 15, 2009 @ 6:51 a.m.

Let's see: I guess the following officers never "read the first chapter of any military tactics manual": Brigadier General David M. Brahms (Ret. USMC) Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA) Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote (Ret. USA) Lieutenant General Robert Gard (Ret. USA) Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn (Ret. USN) Rear Admiral Don Guter (Ret. USN) General Joseph Hoar (Ret. USMC) Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN) Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Ret. USA) General Merrill McPeak (Ret. USAF) Major General Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF Nat. Guard) General John Shalikashvili (Ret. USA) Along with Gen. Krulak and many other vets, including John McCain and Colin Powell, these officers are on record voicing their opposition to the abandonment of the Geneva Conventions.

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Don Bauder Sept. 15, 2009 @ 7:42 a.m.

Response to post #3: I'm not sure that the uniform code of military justice can be considered "political correctness." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 15, 2009 @ 7:46 a.m.

Response to post #4: That is an impressive list. In my mind, following our own code of military justice and the Geneva Conventions is essential for the strongest military power in the world, and also critical in protecting our own troops from torture. Best, Don Bauder

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WhatGoesAround Sept. 15, 2009 @ 9:31 a.m.

"What has empowered al Qaeda is the knowledge that their actions and complaints create a rift in our own country between people who live in a fantasy world of Utopian ideals and people who understand the reality of war."


Comment on post #3 --

It may be more accurate to say " . . . people who live in a fantasy world of war and people who understand the reality of Utopian ideals."

Does might make right? I don't think so.

In the end, I believe we will see that Ms._Clara_Barton_was_right.

Don, thanks for initiating this blog discussion.

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Don Bauder Sept. 15, 2009 @ 12:02 p.m.

Response to post #7: One thing that interests me about this subject is that it is Cheney who is out in front defending the former administration. Has anybody heard from George W. Bush, who was nominally, at least, the nation's chief executive? It's true that Cheney really ran things, but you would think Bush would come out of his -- er, uh -- foxhole. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 15, 2009 @ 4:42 p.m.

Cheney is a Chicken Hawk clown-nothing more. He is the big bad brave guy ONLY when his butt is NOT on the line.

David Patrone writes this perposterous passage;

"If Obama's Daughters were kidnapped and we had reason to believe that one of these detainees had knowledge of their whereabouts, do you honestly believe that we wouldn't exhaust every method to ascertain that information?"

Hey David, I hate to break the news to you-but this has NOTHIHG to do with water boarding the enemy. Nothing. But is it nice to have a bait and switch in your coment to confuse everyone. And don't take my lowly word for it-ask a real POW Hero-John McCain.

Jesse Ventura made his view very clear (and as a former Navy Seal, someone's word that carries weight) on the Larry King show a few months back when he said;

"Give me a water board and one hour with Dick Cheney and I will have Cheney confessing to the Tate/LaBianca murders".

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Don Bauder Sept. 15, 2009 @ 5:54 p.m.

Response to post #9: Cheney was a master at getting draft deferments. He didn't have to go AWOL like George W. Bush, because he never served. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Sept. 15, 2009 @ 9:26 p.m.

You are foolish to take the bait. General Krulak surprises me with this but at the same time, it makes me wonder what he knows that we do not.

Krulak does not have a lot of credibility with me. He used his former position with the military to line his pockets and become rich. He is a retired exeuctive with MBNA (largest issuer of credit cards to the subprime market), and he has a seat on the Conoco board. Perhaps he has an axe to grind. Maybe Cheney forced him out of the Corps, or would not appoint him Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

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Don Bauder Sept. 16, 2009 @ 6:23 a.m.

Response to post #11: One factor: Krulak was co-author of the article, not sole author. The other author was Joseph P. Hoar, commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Sept. 16, 2009 @ 7:36 p.m.

Hoar's no better that Krulak, maybe worse. He's lining his pockets with arab oil money. He has no credibility. He's no different than Cheney. They are both of the same ilk.

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Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2009 @ 10:38 a.m.

Response to post #13: This is what happens to former generals and admirals. They get rich upon retiring -- some as media commentators. They are still entitled to their opinions on military and diplomatic policy. Best, Don Bauder

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