Honestly, I don’t know what to make of Sarah Palin any more, except I continue to be glad she never actually came within a heartbeat of the presidency. But maybe one of you can explain the whole “eh, I don’t wanna be governor any more” thing to me. Because, really. Got me, man. Anyone from the Whatever:Alaska contingent want to clue me in, here?

169 Comments on “Bwuh?”

  1. She’s planning for 2012, and stepping out of the arena for the time being so she doesn’t keep showing up in the spotlight in the meantime. She needs a lot of time to study up on the issues, but she does have a base of support for the 2012 primaries.

    Either that or she is sick of having herself and her family turned into a media punching bag. I think she’d make a bad candidate and I will not vote for her in the primaries, but the way she is treated by the media is classless to the point of outright disgraceful.

  2. I’m told by some Republican friends that she was tired of the hateful and spiteful attacks against her family.

    But I don’t buy it: a governor and former VP candidate doesn’t give up because people are mean (though some of the things about her kids and such have been way past any sense of civility).

    I suspect some legal trouble we haven’t heard yet.

  3. “[T]he way she is treated by the media is classless to the point of outright disgraceful.”

    Last I checked, nobody in the media has ever accused her of palling around with terrorists or not being loyal to her country. I think she gets the level of respect she actually deserves.

  4. @1 – please. Her term naturally would have ended in late 2011, perfect timing for a run at the Presidency. People run for office while holding another one all the time. She just did as did McCain, Obama and Biden. By quitting now she opens herself up to the “she couldn’t even finish one term?” charge (since she was elected in 2006).

    Given all the crap coming out about her recently, my take is that she was somewhat forced out to avoid worse charges. There are a lot of indications that she has abused her position and I wonder if this shaded over into something that would have been investigated as a criminal offence.

  5. Gotta agree with rick on the politics of the situation, she’d be much better off staying governor if she wants to run in 2012 (having said that, she has proven really adept at making very BAD political decisions). I’d add one thing to what rick said though: she might just be following the money, as she can make much more as a full-time right wing blowhard than she can doing it only part-time as governor.

  6. @3 – She’s going to start flaying off the skins of her enemies* with her mind now? Great.

    (* Not counting moose and other quadrapeds.)

  7. “the way she is treated by the media is classless to the point of outright disgraceful.”

    No sympathy. If she and her family would quit doing things to attract the media’s attention, they’d be fine. Instead, she signs her emails as if she were God, she alienates her grandchild’s father and his family to the point they go sobbing to the media about how horrible the Palins are, she says dumb things in public where she knows goodness well she’ll be recorded, etc. etc. She loves the media, she loves every single “classless” second and we all know it. I think she just finally got clued in to the fact she’s doing it wrong, is all. Bless her heart.

  8. She’s just showing what a nutbag she really is. I mean really “I can’t get my agenda (read “my way”) anymore so I’m going to take my toys and go home”. Thank heavens this lunatic didn’t wind up as Veep. And I agree…as the man used to say “But wait-there’s more!”. The next shoe to drop is gonna be a biggie.

  9. My first thought on hearing it was “2012 presidential run for 3 & 1/2 years.” But I think every point that’s been raised here is potentially valid. We’ll have to see what she does next.

    She disappears forever: She’s sick of the spotlight. I highly doubt this; she hasn’t shut her moosetrap since the election ended. More likely, the skeletons in her closet are about to walk the earth as Palin-eating zombies, especially if there’s some lawyer-upping involved on her part.

    If she disappears for a while and then comes back, it’s to try to become less obviously uninformed, possibly to actually read some of those “all of them” newspapers and magazines. And then:

    Does the lecture circuit: Fundraising. White House, here she comes! In her mind, anyway.

    Does the Sunday AM TV circuit: Wants to fill the vacuum left when Ann Coulter finally seemed too insane for general consumption. Unfortunately, she herself is a vacuum.

    Does mainstream TV: Welcome the next Paula Abdul!

  10. Having lived in Alaska when she won the governorship, my guess is she is either going to take a punditship on Fox, ABC or whatever and continue to travel around the country, drumming up support for the 2012 primaries. Plus I bet she is just sick and tired of the bullshit from the local and national media, along with the petty and partisan complaints the local Dems are filing (something like they have filed almost 1 per day,trying desperately to make anything stick). I don’t quite know how she is going to make the punditship and running for the primaries work, I don’t think people will take her seriously unless she has the governorship to demonstrate executive capability, but it should be interesting.

  11. but the way she is treated by the media is classless to the point of outright disgraceful.

    Hilary Clinton. End of argument.

    No, she’s not suited for national office. But I wouldn’t be surprised if she was named the next head of the RNC, replacing Michael Steele. THAT’S a job she could handle and be quite good at.

  12. Hilary Clinton. End of argument.

    Yeah, I’m with you … until we have a discussion on the atrocious treatment of Hilary Clinton in the media during the primaries and election, Palin has zero ability to claim anything in that direction at all.

  13. (And let’s not forget that anybody who whiffed (absolutely WHIFFED) on the softball questions from Katie Couric has no reason to complain, either)

  14. Andrew Halcro, a political rival, had this to say:

    The bottom line is that there has to be something major that forced Palin to bail out with sixteen months left in her term.

    Something so big and so damaging that she feared dealing with it in the public arena.

  15. It’s about money, of that I feel confident. The woman runs on fame-seeking and avarice.

  16. @20 Rob in Denver: The only thing I could think of is if she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar when she was negotiating the new oil and gas deal; however given that she won office by pointing out Frank was a crook and a sleazeball and the fact that Uncle Ted had his cojones roasted over the fire over his shady gift acceptance practices before getting himself unconvicted of a felony due to prosecutorial misconduct, I highly doubt she would forget something like this this early in her term. She may come off as ditzy but she has the political brains not to do something like that. Besides, Halcro is a whiny brat who is pissed that his one good chance at the governorship was blow out of the water by her.

  17. My first thought was that she’s got a book deal. If she resigns she’ll be able to keep all the profits from that.

  18. Having watched the statement (at least the part of it from CNN embedded here), “Bwuh?” seems pretty appropriate. It made absolutely no sense to me; this was Couric-interview-level Palin.

    Nothing about this makes sense.

  19. I agree with Chris – she’s going to show up on Fox news in the near future (probably also has, or will soon have a book deal). I can’t believe that the GOP would let her get within 100 miles of the ticket in 2012.

  20. Anyone else register the level of “coded language” in this speech? All the description of the sports team/point guard, the aside to “real climate change” (as opposed to the non-real climate change, by implication), “no more politics as usual”, “I’m taking my fight for politics in another direction,” “we are not retreating, we are advancing in another direction”–What do those statements really mean? All coded language which is intentionally unclear on what she really means. I’m sure everyone has their opinion on what these mean, but my point is simple–The speech was a hodgepodge of coded language which she simply *does not come out and say forthrightly say what she thinks*.

    Also, let us not overlook the supreme arrogance of refusing any questions after this announcement. She is still a public official, after all.

  21. If Palin can’t stand up to the press, how’s she going to handle things when Putin rears his head? Because, say what you want about the press, Putin has nukes.

  22. While I also think she is ducking from some nasty revelations, did you notice that this was timed to make the pre-holiday, friday news dump? Also hoping perhaps to get buried in the MJ hysteria as well.

  23. #16 gwangung: Seriously? Palin take Steele’s place as head of the RNC? Something she’d be “good at”? Given the way she went back and forth a few weeks back about attending/not attending the GOP fundraiser that Newt Gingrich was eventually featured at, probably because SHE wasn’t the featured speaker/center of attention, I think a lot of GOP’ers wouldn’t want her to have anything to do with the day-to-day running of the party, not that she’d do a much worse job than Steele’s been doing.

  24. Fear not. Caribou Barbie will be stepping up the comedy tour.

    Lawrence Block predicts she’ll host her own show on Fox News.

  25. She is having David Letterman’s love child. ’nuff said.

    If she is running, there goes the 2 party system. 3 parties for the future. Democrats running everything, middle of the road Replicans trying to borrow some democrats, and hardcore conservative republicans out to dig there head deeper in the sand to avoid the truth.

  26. In my never humble opinion, this is what we in Fandom Wank call a “Flounce”.

    That’s where the Big Name Whatever gets upset at getting made fun of and proceeds to announce that, by Gawd, they’re tired of it and they’re leaving.



    It generally takes months. And most often ends with BNW sticking around after all.

  27. With some people apparently seriously suggesting that Limbaugh run in 2012, I would’nt be a bit surprised if she doesn’t think that she can make something similar out of a media career. Added bonus–in a TV show, maybe she can get someone to script her some decent lines, and bury her previously-established speech faux pas’. If she plays off her looks, and can make herself sound good on camera with someone else’s words in her mouth, I’ll bet she’d be able to pick up that part of the Republican Party that have shied off from her. By the time they found out that she hadn’t changed for the better, it’d be too late.

  28. I think she’d make a bad candidate and I will not vote for her in the primaries, but the way she is treated by the media is classless to the point of outright disgraceful.

    She wasn’t treated nearly as harshly as here circus sideshow of a political career warranted.

  29. Well, here’s the thing: During the fall 2008 campaign — for example, in the Charles Gibson ABC interview — she would make assertions that amounted to “Yes, of course I’m ready to be president if I assume the vice-presidency and the need arises” — yet she can’t even finish a single term as governor of Alaska??

    (By the way, her term, if she finished it, would end in December 2010, not “late 2011” as asserted @6 above.)

  30. @3, 10: Only here would a conversation about the governor of Alaska wind up with two references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Good form.

    Anyway, I read (sorry, no link) that “GOP sources” are saying she’s done for reals, out of politics for good. If that’s the case there HAS to be another shoe and a big holiday weekend when the whole population is either drunk, stuffed full of BBQ or both seems as good a time as any.

  31. If she appeared to be flaky before (and she did), this really cements that image. Can’t imagine she could be a viable candidate for anything in the future…I’m not sure why anyone, even her biggest Christian right supporters, would want to vote for a quitter.

    I did have one thought…maybe she’s going to go off and become a televangelist.

    And as far as her treatment by the media…she’s the one who put her family in focus during the recent presidential campaign, basically making them “fair game”. And she’s the one who was going around accusing people of “palling around with terrorists”. After throwing around irresponsible accusations like that, how does she expect that anyone would treat her, or that she deserves to be treated, gently?

  32. Now she can do whatever she wants.

    Seriously. Her base will still support her. She could finger-bang Osama bin Laden on a burning American flag and her base would find a way to rationalize it as “genuine.” So she can still probably get a nomination for something.

    If she wants to do nothing active, she can still enjoy being a martyr — St. Sarah, martyred by the Evil Liberal Media, a fondly remembered symbol of the GOP narrative, a shining example of why nobody running for office should have to face tough questions or be able to string a coherent sentence together. Whatever shallow blow-dried douchebag the GOP puts up in 2012, whenever he gets asked a question tougher than “what kind of breakfast cereal would you like to be,” expect him to look serious and shake his head and said “You know, that’s exactly the sort of gotcha politics that drives decent people like Sarah Palin out of public service.”

  33. Here’s that link suggesting that she’s done for good. This makes it sound more like a “screw you guys, I’m going home” thing than any major scandal.

  34. She’s going to transfer to Hawaii for a year of governoring there, then to Idaho for a year, then back to Alaska, and in the end she’ll have earned the credits for a full term as governor.

  35. Reading her speech, I’m struck once again how, in Palin’s world, every problem is somebody else’s fault. She sought out the media spotlight — she doesn’t get to cry when it shines in her eyes.

    I’m as flabbergasted as anyone about her sudden resignation, and I really hope it doesn’t mean that the 2012 election season is spinning up already. As to scandals or whatever, I don’t care, as long as it takes her out of the national spotlight — if I never see her on television or hear her speak another word, it will be too soon. I’ve spent my whole life trying to get away from people like her.

  36. It could be exactly what she says – she’s fed up with the job, it’s wrecking her family life, and she’s decided to put that first. I’d respect that.

    Of course, that goes against everything she’s shown herself to be – self centered, nekulturny, spiteful, and deceptive. Odds are she’s angling for GOP nomination in 2012, or a senate seat.

  37. Not long ago, one of the more politically active sporting arms manufacturers took out a full-page ad in The American Rifleman.

    The ad promoted the ‘Governor Sarah Palin Commemorative AR-15 Carbine.’ The weapon is finished in NorthWinterWoods camo and appropriately inscribed to honor Governor Sarah Palin, a true friend of the American hunter and marksman.

    Hoooo boy. Oh, my. I have no idea whether they’ll be worthless or priceless by this time tomorrow.

    And I’m not making this up.

  38. Rob @29: Thanks for the link to transcript… I tossed the text of her speech into Wordle and this is what fell out.
    Loaded with emotions; semantic content, nil.

  39. I’m placing odds:

    1) The dems are going to dump something really juicy onto the front page tomorrow: 2-1

    2) Her campaign manager swears he can get her trained up like a politico Mr. Miyagi in just 3 years: 5-1

    3) Someone is actually planning to run against her, so she might lose the governorship, which would put the kibosh on the Presidential training and 2012 fiasco: 1:1

    4) She has a horrific disease and is not long for this world: 3:1

    5) She has reached a deep personal realization that she really doesn’t want or need to be a politician or on the national stage: 125:1

  40. Even money that hubby Todd told her she needed to choose between not torturing the family with paparazzi and being a SINGLE governor.

  41. Maybe she’s decided to accept the Alaskan Independence Party’s nomination for President in 2012 instead of the GOP’s? That would sure turn a few heads.

  42. Kia @53:
    Your #1 is highly plausible, your #2 is vaguely kind of plausible if we strip away the humor and assume she’s making a dumb decision …
    … but your #3 is simply not plausible.
    All she has to do if she thinks she can’t win reelection is not try for it.
    She’d then leave office in 2010 or 2011, whenever it is, precisely, that her term is scheduled to end, and immediately start running as hard as she can for the GOP nomination.

    Losing reelection would kill her chances at moving up, but so does leaving office in mid-term like this. Not running for re-election, on the other hand, wouldn’t – she’d just have to make up some spiel about not wanting to have to abandon Alaska partway through, etc etc. Of course, she can’t do that now, so I see absolutely no way that this boosts her chances of getting the nomination in 2012.

    And good riddance!

  43. “we are not retreating, we are advancing in another direction”

    Sounds an awful lot like “our appeal is becoming more selective.” Will Ian Faith become her new campaign manager?

  44. I haven’t read the 58 comments before mine, but my gut reaction was that she’s simply positioning for the 2012 Presidential election, because these days apparently Presidential elections last three years.

    Can’t say I’m impressed with the “I ran for governor but I can’t be bothered to fulfill the commitment I made” vibe here.

  45. All else aside, has anyone else EVER seen a more incoherent political speech?

    “I’m going to pass the ball while looking north at the net for victory”. Or something. And that is actually fairly close to a quote.

  46. This strikes me as another of her endless pity plays. The woman comes across as a con-artist or a sociopath. How could anyone ever think she was a responsible leader after this kind of resignation?

    This should be the end of Sarah Palin as political noise. But I’m afraid it probably isn’t. Someone will always drink the trademarked beverage willingly without a gun pressed to their temple.

  47. @58 Outstanding.

    As for the noise about how hard it is for her as a result of her treatment by the press, yeesh. It must be so hard to be accurately judged by the media. And as a public official no less. In fairness to palin, she has definitely rebranded ‘cut-and-run’ as patriotic. So, huzzah.

    As for the notion that ‘hillary clinton’ settles that argument, nonsense as well. Refer to previous comment. Same for x politician you like that receives negative coverage on negative aspects of their decision making, personality or otherwise.

    But, those editorials in the wall street journal, the ny times, fox news and msnbc evening editorial shows sure do seem to contain a hell of a lot of bias these days. Where do those opinion editors get off putting an opinion in editorial news? ZOMG. Outrageous.

    Why are we even discussing this? I’ve heard Michael Jackson may have died. I would like to know more about that. Particularly whether or not he will be waxified. That’s news I can believe in.

  48. A different Mike B.

    I think that Jon Stewart is right, her clan are some sort of con artists and she’s getting ready to bail before the heat comes down.

  49. Somewhat aside, but “only dead fish go with the flow”?

    Um… actually, only dying fish swim upstream/against the flow, right? Isn’t that what the salmon do every year when they go to spawn and then immediately DIE? I always thought the young, healthy fish swam from down river towards the ocean… you know, with the flow… yeah yeah, reading way too much into that little comment… :)

    Thanks for the transcript link. It was rambling for sure to watch…

    My vote is on about to break scandal.

    Also, why does juicy stuff always seem to break when the Daily Show is on vacation? Grr… (though I think announcing this while resignation right before a major holiday isn’t a coincidence at all…)

  50. whoops, meant to hit the shiny preview button, hit submit instead. “while” = “whole” in above post by me. sigh.

    commenting at 4am is not l33t ;)

  51. #48, Josh – I’m not sure your alternatives are alternatives. It is quite possible that she has all those faults, and yet won’t allow their consequences to impinge on the people she does care about, past a certain point. I’ve met people like that. They don’t necessarily have to recognise that they’re wrong on the big scale, in order to do the right thing closer to home, either.

    Generally on the Hillary Clinton point – separate instances of viciousness from both sides of a fence do not IMHO cancel each other out. Nor does the contemptible nature of some of Palin’s rhetoric make any of the purely personal crap that was flung her way one whit less contemptible. Rather, it reflects even worse upon crap-flingers, since she kept leaving them wide open goals which they neglected in favour of playing monkey-troop. Ditto for Clinton, of whom for other reasons I’m also a very lukewarm admirer.

    I’m as confused as anyone about this latest, and suspect it’s an artefact of her getting in too deep too soon. Whether it’s because she’s smart enough to have noticed, or the reverse… I don’t think we have that data, yet. It’s all surely very strange.

  52. hmmm… maybe if national TV shows made jokes about your daughter being raped… if comedians and commentators made fun of your downs syndrome baby… if your own children were continually the target of smear, mockery, and ridicule, you’d quit for the sake of them too. (Of course that’s on top of the ongoing campaign directly against her.)
    She rose to prominence in part due to her image and appeal as a mother. It’s clear to all but the most partisan and boneheaded that she’s leaving for exactly the same reason.

  53. @ munroe ross (#67): Your conclusion that it’s clear she’s leaving for the same reasons (appeal as a mother) is not self-evident.

    Speaking from Canada, I am confused by her behaviour.

    (Besides, her appeal was more than just the motherhood part. She also had — still has — that appeal of good looks, which can be so important to a political figurehead’s success – take just the looks of Obama vs McCain last time: any quick look, esp. around the end of the campaign, showed McCain to be a tired old man (sad but true). Whereas Obama looked “young” and vital.).

    Aside from that, here’s the end of a NY Daily News article that quotes unnamed Repub top people:

    “”She proved she couldn’t play in the big leagues last fall and now she’s proven it again,” one of the party’s most prominent kingmakers said. “If you can’t even handle a governorship, there’s no way you can handle the White House.
    “She couldn’t win – but now she can’t even run,” added the official, who once was among her most fervent boosters.
    “She has an incredibly thin résumé, a serious lack of gravitas, no coherent philosophy and the people around her are amateurs,” another top Republican pol argued. “She’s finished.”

    All that’s left is to find out’s whether a scandal’s indeed about to break. Ciao, all.

  54. It’s rather obvious. The eggs she laid in John McCain are about to hatch, and she needs to prepare her hive.

  55. Munroe, you mean, like Jon McCain’s famous Chelsea Clinton jokes? Or how about the countless ones about Hillary being a lesbian? And yet she kept going. So did Bill Clinton. You may not like either of them, but they’ve got the guts to keep going.

    The truth is, the world is a horribly sexist place. This means you’ll see sexist attacks on conservatives as well as sexist attacks on centrists like Clinton.

    Obama had racists attacking him, many right in front of Palin’s face, which she conveniently ignored. He had actual white supremacists with rifles planning to kill him (ineptly, mind you, but that just means there might be competent ones out there as well).

    What you’re implying is that politic is too mean to women for any of them to play the game. That’s absurd. It’s not clear that she’s leaving just because of her family. It *might* be true. And I’d respect it if it was, but leaving in the middle of a term because of “family concerns” has been political shorthand for “running away because of a scandal” for ages.

  56. Enough already with Sarah Palin. She’s stolen the limelight long enough and she should just disappear into obscurity with the rest of us who are not ready for prime time.

  57. That speech made absolutely no sense at all. It must have been written entirely by her.

  58. It could be a brilliant move. She can raise money to fight ethics charges from her term in office–without any of the ethical constraints put on a sitting governor; then run for the Senate. She can also rake in the cash as a speaker/writer/pundit.

  59. I suspect that she was a hiking companion of Governor Sandford.

    Seriously, it’s got to be that sports complex. That has been a ticking time bomb for quite a while and she’s making a deal with the US Atty’s office.

  60. Munroe and Rick Perez,

    So let me get this straight… If she’s been elected VP and McCain had keeled over making Palin President (shudder)… and she thought the press was being mean it would be just fine and dandy for her to resign the Presidency because her kids were being hurt by mean things in the press?

    If you posit that she’s out because of the chillun, then what will your defense be if she tries to run in 2012? After all, the press nastiness will come right back… so…

  61. Anyone else reminded of Ross Perot’s run for the exit during his presidential campaign?

  62. I think she is being paid to speak at so many closed door rallies, special interest functions, and private banquets that she can’t continue managing her responsibilities in Alaska.

    She was faced with a choice to either build her new lucrative career as a public speaker or finish off her term as Alaska’s governor. I think her paid speaking career has longer legs than her political one. She most likely came to the same conclusion.

    Her “presidential” bids will likely turn into a perennial part of her stage persona.

    Hey- it beats working.

  63. I hope its that she decided to leave politics forever for personal reasons.

    I fear that she is doing it to bone up on answering questions beyond “whats the best way to make moose chili”. I fear this because I know too many highly intelligent people who voted for McCain just because she was on the ticket without actually recognizing that she was only barely qualified to get a parking ticket.

    I refuse to hope that she’s going to be getting involved in a federal coruption probe that’s going on up there. Even though that would prove that same group of people I mentioned above so absolutly wrong….but alas I do live just down the street from my inlaws.

  64. Alaska contingent mobile unit #3 weighing in a day late. Jim (Stonekettle Station) is on vacation (as noted above), so you’ll get the Fairbanks/North Pole version.

    1) she’s fleeing scandal (house)
    2) she’s been offered a tv deal from Fox (boy did we havfe fun with reality show names yesterday)
    3) she’s crazy (my personal fave)
    4) she’s going to move into the speaking circuit/fundraising with an eye toward national office

    If she were interested and capable she could make a good faith effort to be governor. Her predecessor made innumerable unpopular decisions as Governor because he knew he wouldn’t get re-elected. What did he have to lose? I may not have like Murky, but I could respect his willingness to pursue unpopular venues because he had nothing to lose. Apparently Sarah has neither the spine or creativity to do that.

    I’m not a Sarah hater, I have found her disappointing for years. Hate is too much effort, she’s not worth it. We’ll be glad to see her and her sideshow gone.

  65. I’m beginning to wonder if the reason Ted Stevens got off is due to some deal he made re: Palin’s house. He only got one floor and he is already toast. She may have gotten the whole house as a bribe. The house uses multiple parts (doors, fittings, etc.) that are identical with parts used in the stadium and after 26+ years in the business, there is no way I would buy into that that house being built for the money claimed nor with the small, part-time work force they’re admitting to. Stevens did some business with the construction company in the past, he may have known enough to leverage a deal.

  66. She released this statement today, which basically says nothing new other than she’d been planning this move “For months now”.

    Oh, and that she’d “never been one to waste time or resources”, which is utter bullshit, and that anyone who thinks she’s a nutcase isn’t an “ordinary American”, which is about her usual level of sneering at anyone who disagrees with her.

    She never did get the message that you can’t win a national election by appealing to a fringe, no matter how “ordinary American” your local rednecks think you sound. Rednecks and Bill Kristol aren’t the only Americans out there.

  67. I figure she believes resigning from the governorship (and blaming Democrats/media) will be less of a handicap in the 2012 Presidential race than actually serving out her term in the midst of this financial crisis. Oil revenues failing, unemployment soaring–governors across the country are being forced to do very unpopular things to keep government governing.

    I think she’d rather be a quitter than preside over a failing economy.

  68. Three possibilities I can think of quickly:
    1) She’s pulling a Howard Dean and will become chair of the RNC. This would probably be the smartest thing she could do, since her power is in the Republican base and not in the general public.
    2) She is actually thinking about a presidential run in 2012 and wants to establish residency in a slightly more populous state like Tennessee for example. I don’t buy the budget crisis angle. Oil prices are relatively stable and likely to rebound by 2011. Alaska’s relatively well-off. Alaska isn’t Florida, and Palin isn’t Charlie Crist.
    3) She’s going to be indicted in the next few weeks.

  69. Oh, and I suppose she could really be dropping out to help care for her grandkid(s).

  70. Josh @86: I suppose there’s a lot of extraordinary Americans out there, then.

  71. This is all speculation on my part, but it sounds logical. Here goes:

    The old-line Republican power brokers in Alaska still hate her guts. She put a serious dent in their gravy train and have spent her entire term trying to stop her reform efforts. It didn’t happen because she put together a coalition of like-minded Republicans and Democrats that were tired of the sleaze and corruption in dealing with the oil and natural gas companies.

    Left-leaning Democrats started taking aim at her with bogus ethics complaints, and since they started getting money from national lefty Democrats, have been piling on with almost daily charges. She’s had to pony up her own money to fight these, and while the Palin’s are comfortable, they’re not well-to-do by any stretch of the imagination. In addition, the sideshow was keeping her from getting things done in the state, as well as on the national stage.

    She’s found the perfect answer to all this. For the critics in her own party, she’s attempting to short-circuit challenges to the reforms she’s been working on. Stepping down now gives Sean Parnell over a year to settle in as governor and show what he can do. He was her hand-picked successor from the get-go.

    The bogus ethics violations end now. She’s out of office. Not much else they can do.

    And she’s freed up to head to the Lower 48 and start putting things together for a national run. Best guess is that it’ll begin with helping campaign for like-minded congressional candidates in 2010. That gets her good will around the Republican world outside of the national power brokers, who don’t like her for the same reason the Alaska power-brokers don’t.

    This is gonna get interesting. Real interesting.

  72. And now we’re getting news that Former Governor nutbar is planning massive lawsuits against “the media” for being mean to her

    “This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law.”

    So much for the idea that she was bowing out due to wanting to avoid media attention. She’s decided that her public image outweighs the job she was elected to do, and wants to spend all her time in an media slap fight. One wonders how, if she’s been having trouble paying her legal bills, she plans to fund a major fight against at least 4 giant media properties who have staff lawyers for junk claims like hers.

  73. This is gonna get interesting. Real interesting

    Good Lord, no it’s not. A good point guard, when facing a full court press does not shriek, run out of bounds, and head for the locker room.

  74. So all those who are angered about the joke (singular) about one (singular) of Palin’s kids, and yes, I agree the joke (singular) was out of bounds –you’re prepared to condemn Rush Limbaugh, for saying of a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton “There’s a white house cat… but did you know there is a white house dog?” And putting up a picture of her, right? I want to see you write it. “I condemn Rush Limbaugh for his attack on Chelsea Clinton.” Otherwise, you’ve got no standing her. Follow that up with “I condemn John McCain for his sick joke about Chelsea Clinton.” (That’s 2 offensive jokes to 1, in case you’re keeping score. Which you are.)

    As for referring to the ethics complaints as “bogus”–can you stop that, already? Walt Monegan was a good Transportation Commissioner who was fired because he refused to fire a Trooper who’d *already been disciplined through the proper disciplinary process.* It’s sort of like double jeopardy–you can’t fire someone just because the governor doesn’t like him; it would leave the state vulnerable to a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Monegan did the right thing and lost his job because of it; it’s absurd to say otherwise.

    There were a number of Alaska Republicans who were concerned about Monegan’s firing and thought he got a raw deal as well.

  75. The explanation for all of Sarah Palin’s behavior is quite simple. She’s an extreme narcissist, pathologically involved with her self.

    Narcissists are extremely manipulative but have poor social skills as, because the are so self involved, they do not perceive that other people will have a different reactions to theirs.

    Narcissists are also poor workers. They use work as a way to please people to get what they want. The concept that you are actually supposed to achieve a result eludes them.

    Narcissists love the limelight.

    My guess is the Sarah Palin just didn’t feel like being Governor any more. The job was becoming a drag.

    Remember: “Enough about you, lets talk about me.”

  76. @92: “The bogus ethics violations end now. She’s out of office. Not much else they can do.”

    So you don’t think she can still be prosecuted? Methinks you’re going to be disappointed on that one.

    So she quit because she’s corrupt and about to get nailed, or she quit because she’s innocent and sick of the attacks. Doesn’t say much for her either way, does it?

  77. I figure she’s going to join the Orange County Motorcycle guys on their show once her resignation is finished, and move to New Jersey! They did her a solid, she can do them a solid!

    (for those who don’t know, the OC guys from The Learning Channel showed up in her office on a recent episode)

  78. Not to mention Nobama and his mountain of debt and his most critical sin of not supporting gay marriage. Yep, we are real good shape now!

  79. “No, she’s not suited for national office.”

    True. But several trillion dollars later, can we really say that about Obama?

  80. @100 yeah, biden is so much better…. lol

    How to spot the trolls, they use “lol” instead of a period.

    And yes, Biden is so much better, and in fact there really isn’t any comparison whatsoever at this point.

  81. She’s starting a blog called Whatever:Alaska and changing her twitter name to ExAKGovSarahPalin. ALL YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ARE BELONG TO HER. She already started whinging on facebook about lawsuits.

  82. @104 – How to spot the trolls, they use “lol” instead of a period. And yes, Biden is so much better, and in fact there really isn’t any comparison whatsoever at this point.

    How to spot mindless lemmings who are clueless fools… They think Biden is great!

  83. @102 “No, she’s not suited for national office.”
    True. But several trillion dollars later, can we really say that about Obama?

    That would be NO, he has accomplished nothing of significance since taking office.

  84. Wow, such caring and tolerance from many of the lefty posters here. Why does this woman terrify the left so much?


  85. KoolMaster:

    Given the content of your comments so far, I’d watch who I’m accusing of being a mindless lemming.

    More to the point, if you’re not actually planning to post messages that show evidence of thought aforehand, you should move on now.

    Bill in Memorial and all the other apparent newbie right-wing folks: Likewise. Make an argument rather than ticking off an already-tired talking point, please.

  86. Didn’t she say something about a higher calling? Perhaps this could be higher in terms of her religious beliefs rather than political?

  87. Hey, the Left loves Sarah Palin. She effectively destroyed one of the wingnut Right’s usual attacks on female politicians, namely that they’re ball-breaking bitches with castrated husbands and ought to be home with their babies instead of making money (that’s for the menfolks).

    She’s probably going to end up at some highly-paid bomb-throwing “grassroots” group.

  88. [Deleted because KoolMaster doesn’t appear to understand the concept of “make a better argument.” Try again, KoolMaster. Try harder. — JS]

  89. @ Josh, it’s “fewer”, though I disagree with your premis.

    Regardless, this pretty much kills any presidential aspirations for her. Folks who liked Palin liked her for her policies (ballanced budget, sane energy policy, etc.) not for some sort of cult of personality. This move makes her look like a quiter (duh), and that does not pay well with anyone. Her supporters will move on to someone else who embodies their values.

    I’d have to bet on some sort of ethics scandle about to break. Possible some sort of speaking gig, but I think scandle is more likely.

    Either way, this pretty much leaves Bobby Jindal unopposed for the 2012 run

  90. Mark – I think Huckabee would beat Jindal. I’ve seen Jindal speak, and he’s not exactly inspiring. The GOP’s Barack Obama has yet to show up.

  91. Jack Wheeler at “To the Point News” and James Taranto at “OpinionJournal Online” posted some conjecture on this topic. Note, they tend to be Palin supporters, but I haven’t seen anyone make the same points here in your comments

  92. It’s the snark that gets me here, but it’s the LMoC that keeps bringin’ me back.

  93. She should have use the Nixon 1962 language, it was much more effective and gave him 6 years to campaign…

    “I leave you gentleman now and you will write it. You will interpret it. That’s your right. But as I leave you I want you to know — just think how much you’re going to be missing. You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference and it will be one in which I have welcomed the opportunity to test wits with you.”

  94. Is anyone else out there really amused by the whole “I’m not a quitter I’m a fighter” argument. Maybe with all my fancy book lernin and stuff I’m having trouble understanding how resigning a job isn’t quitting. Perhaps its something like advancing to the rear?

  95. # Bill in Memorial

    She frightens us much the same way as a cult leader frightens us.

    There’s a National Geographic special “Inside a cult” that gets shown every once in a while. Much like many (not all) of her supporters the people in that cult showed a complete and total lack of any critical thought. Blind worship scares the living heck out of me.

    Of course this whole quitting while in office thing is going to torpedo her chances outside of that cult of personality. I can see the ads now “Sarah quit every state wide office she’s ever had, now she wants to run for President, what is she going to do when things get tough?”. or “Sarah Palin couldn’t handle the US Media, how will she handle (Putin or whoever is in the news in 2010), America can’t afford a quitter”. They practically write themselves.

  96. It depends on how you define “quitter”. Somtimes calling it quits is the right thing to do.

    “I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But …. I must put the interest of America first. …

    To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of … when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.”

  97. I like Webster’s definition:

    Quit”ter\, n. 1. One who quits.

    If she was a fighter then she’d fight these personal battles, if she was a quitter then she’d quit her job to try and avoid having to fight them.

    How do you define quitter?

  98. I’ll share this quote from a right wing blog:

    “If it’s her duty to always “protect” Alaska, then that strongly implies not walking away from the responsibility of governing it — a responsibility she sought, and with which her constituents trusted her to execute. No one leads by quitting. No one leads by quitting. Palin’s abandoning her post, and at least from her own description, doing it because she doesn’t want to deal with the issues of being a “lame duck,” a status all politicians have to handle at some point.”

    The whole post can be found at:

  99. I disagree with the quote “No one leads by quitting”. Richard Nixon lead by quitting.

  100. So you’ll equate Sarah Palin’s leaving office, for what appears to be strictly for her long term political ambitions, with Richard Nixon leaving office in order to avoid the very real prospect of being impeached? Not to mention the fact that Ford would pardon him for any possible crimes.

    Could you explain to me what exactly Sarah Palin is running from that could possibly be equivalent to that?

  101. I have no idea.

    She did say she was taking the right path for Alaska, so I don’t know why you say she resigned strictly for her long term political ambitions.

  102. I had a much longer post that my traterous computer’s power supply just ate.

    There’s a great opinion peace at the American Spectator about politicians who quit without good reasons. Unfortunately I don’t have the address on my phone here.

    Ask yourself this, if she’s so worried about world peace and national prosperity how would she be able to have the larger impact, as a private citizen or as the leader of an entire state, even with some ethics issues to deal with.

  103. Kevin 47: I’m struck once again how, in Palin’s world, every problem is somebody else’s fault.

    That’s a classic symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Coincidence? Perhaps.

    Josh 48: everything she’s shown herself to be – self centered, nekulturny, spiteful, and deceptive.

    Nekulturnaya, surely?

    Joyce 61: The woman comes across as a con-artist or a sociopath.

    Or maybe a victim of NPD. I’m just sayin’.

    Dave 92: Sarah Palin. A reformer.


    I won’t say more, because your mind and mine are just on different vibratory planes. No connection is really possible. I’m in awe of the size of the gap there.

  104. Xopher: don’t you think that the denial of all responsibility had been a trait of the GOP for the last 8 years or so?

    Its so much easier to quit, before you fail, and blame others than to stick to your job and possibly fail even though you’ve tried your best.

  105. But skipjim, Bush didn’t quit. He hung in there like a spider on a piece of toilet paper while the whole country spiraled down the drain. Maybe SP just couldn’t get away with refusing to sign ANYTHING unless it was exactly what she wanted to sign. Maybe she had a ledge and jude* that would actually hold her accountable.

    But yeah, shift the blame whenever possible. Can a whole party collectively have a personality disorder?

    *OK, I mean legislative and judicial branches.

  106. I didn’t say that Bush quit. Bush stayed till the bitter end.

    Palin didn’t.

    And yes its possible for a segment of the population to have a personality disorder.

    I know at least one person who thought that her being a runner was a good reason to vote for her.

  107. My point was that it’s a radically different style of responsibility-avoidance. Bush just avoided being held responsible for his actions, while Palin is casting away the responsibility itself.

    I’m hoping for an indictment of some sort, I really am.

  108. Xopher, but that still wouldn’t be her fault. That would be something fabricated by the “liberal media elite”.

    There’s always hope that Bush & Cheney will pay for their crimes.

    Probably the only long term winner here is Tina Fey’s career.

  109. Hahaha…

    “Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House the “department of law” would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.”

    Think she’s given up her dreams of being President?

  110. 137: Thankfully we don’t try former Presidents for their policy decisions in office. While that would be great business for the lawyers and media, it would be a tragedy for our country.

  111. Jonathan, I don’t think that they’ll ever actually be tried in a court of law for their actions. You’re probably right that its a good thing that we don’t have a tradition of that here in this country.

    That being said, I really think that history will not be kind to the previous administration and that the previous eight years will go down as one of the most shameful in US history.

    Going back on subject now, the huffington post has a link to a video clip from Fox News of one of their regular contributors tearing apart Sarah Palin after she made her announcement (sorry can’t access the link at the moment)

  112. If Palin really had concerns about her children, she wouldn’t have thrown her pregnant teenage daughter under the bus on international television and flown across a continent while in labor.

    This tells me any claims to wanting to protect her kids is bogus. She’s hiding something huge, and it may be that someone has threatened to go to the press and she needs to step down to do damage control. I don’t know.

    But here’s one Republican who will vote for anyone but Palin.

  113. But Pat, she’s the anointed one, the next high potentate of the Republican Party. How can you not like her?

    It is kind of funny, first she trotted out the family, “here what a wonderful Mom I am, with four kids, and a grandmother in my early forties”. Then when people in the media pointed out that having a pregnant teen daughter isn’t exactly the greatest thing in the world she turned into “oh my God you stay away from my beloved family!! How dare you expose them to this media circus. I must run away and hide”.

    For our nation’s sake I really hope there are more Republicans like you Pat, even if it leads us to Mitt Romney someday, he’d have to be better.

  114. Everytime I start to get truly worried about Palin, she kindly shoots herself in the foot. Mike Huckabee must be dancing a jig these days.

  115. Jonathan @ 138

    It is not the policy nor the policy decisions that the prior administration would be investigated and tried. It is the illegal and unconstitutional ACTIONS that would be in question.

    Or is it the policy to engage in illegal activities at whim that you refer to?

  116. If she gets the nomination in 2012 I honestly think that will mark the end of the Republican party. Demographics are already against them, add a candidate with her baggage and you can write off the election in September.

    I do wonder if she quit as Governor because she looked over the next 18 months and all the bridges she’s burned, realized that she’d lose her reputation as a reformer and someone who can get things done if she stayed. Better to leave now before things get ugly.

  117. 143: I am not aware of any illegal or unconstitutional actions committed by Bush that would ordinarily be prosecuted under US law. I could come up with a list of acts by Bush that one could argue could result in prosecution, but that’s really just a pipe dream. We don’t do that here. Bush is no longer President. Get over it.

  118. Wow.

    You’re awful forgiving Jonathan. I suppose we shouldn’t have bothered trying all those folks after WWII because the folks who made all the decisions aren’t working for the government anymore.

  119. Jonathan@146: Bush is no longer President. Get over it.

    Are you a republican?

  120. Wow.

    You’re right he’s not the President anymore. However he’s still the guy who in my name, as well as yours, and every other American, tortured people to death.

    He locked them up, had them beaten, waterboarded, put into stress positions, and a whole list of things that human beings shouldn’t do to other human beings.

    He did this in my name. I’m horrified by this. No, I’m offended by this. I’d like to see him tried and convicted and locked away as a warning to other world leaders that some actions have too high of a price.

    And before anyone gets defensive about how he saved lives by doing this ask yourselves the following questions:

    What about the innocents that went through this proceedure even though they knew absolutely nothing?

    What about the fact that some of these detainees are nothing more than children (or were when we locked them up)

    If torture is so effective at extracting information from people why aren’t our police forces waterboarding criminal suspects?

    If you haven’t seen Jessie Ventura’s clip from The View on waterboarding you should (I stole the police comment above from the clip)

  121. Wow, I’m embarassed, I brought Nazi’s into the discussion earlier. I wonder what I was drinking (at least I didn’t name them specifically). Thats what I get for trying to squeeze in a post while filling my gas tank I suppose. I’ll blame it on fumes.

    How about this example Jonathan.

    Say your neighbor gets his house foreclosed. At some point the bank sends a couple of burly tattooed guys to come and move all your neighbor’s possessions out of his house and change all the locks.

    Well, sometimes mistakes happen don’t they? Lets say for example our two burly friends empty your house instead of your deadbeat neighbor’s house. Oops they say and immediately quit their jobs.

    Do you forgive them and start moving your possessions back into the house and put your old locks back on the door (they generally leave the locks they removed on the floor by the front door so it’d be easy to replace them in case you’re curious), because it’s not their job anymore? Or do you call the cops and report a breaking and entering and sue the two gentlemen who just trashed your house?

    Bush trashed our national reputation, as the elected leader of this nation it was his job to make sure everything we did as a nation was done right and within the law. He failed at that and there are a good many of us who are still offended by that fact. Probably the only good to come of the whole Bush administration is the fact that he did such a horrible job odds are Jeb Bush has given up his Presidential asperations.

  122. 148. Yes, I vote in the Republican primaries, so I guess that makes me a Republican. However, I’ll vote for a good Democrat or Independent in any given election. I’m somehat of an old fashioned republican, I figure the government’s job is to protect us from foreign enemies and keep the peace while not tramping on our indiviudal freedom.

    149, 150. I figured the reference to WW 2 was over the top and you’d realize that. Although since we were talking about US Presidents I thought perhaps you were going to discuss the camps for US citizens of Japanese ancestory ordered by Roosevelt. You could write a book on the “crimes” or “unconstitutional acts” committed by almost any good US President. I’ve studied enough history to know that when it comes to US Presidents, one generation’s criminal is the next generation’s hero and sometimes bad things happen when you’re trying to do the right thing. Besides, it’s too soon to know what really happened during the past 8 years. Too much is still classified or kept hidden.

    I’m not defending (or attacking) Bush and I don’t think he will be considered a great US President years from now, but I also don’t think there’s any basis to seriously argue he should be charged criminally for conduct in office.

  123. Johnathan, we need more Republicans like you. No offence ment but there are way too many knee jerk 1 issue voters out there who can’t or won’t take a serious look at who they’re voting for.

    Sorry if I’m coming off kind of grumpy. I’m sitting in a waiting room at the University of Michigan hospital waiting for the results of my one year old daughter’s heart surgery…you could say I’ve been distracted this week.

  124. skipjim,

    Thank you. And I hope your daughter has a full and complete recovery.

  125. She’s supposed to be fine, while it is heart surgery it is on the simplier end of the spectrum…. We are already 45 minutes beyond when we were supposed to get our first update though. I’m climbing walls at the moment.

  126. jonathan@152: I figure the government’s job is to protect us from foreign enemies and keep the peace while not tramping on our indiviudal freedom.

    hm, we attacked Iraq that had no WMD’s, no connection to al queda, and no connection to 9/11.

    sometimes bad things happen when you’re trying to do the right thing.

    yeah, and it’s still wrong and still illegal. Bush broke numerous laws, and he lied to the american people while doing it.

    Besides, it’s too soon to know what really happened during the past 8 years. Too much is still classified or kept hidden.

    We know enough about Lakhdar Boumediene to know he was not a terrorist even though he was held prisoner by American forces for years and tortured.

    We know about Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Yvonne Bradley, the lawyer for Binyam Mohamed, who said Binyam had been held at various CIA black sites and had his genitals cut with razor blades.

    We know that there have been about 800 detainees held at Guantanamo, about 400 of them were eventually released without ever being charged. About 100 of them died in US custody. About 40 of those have been ruled homicides.

    We know that the number of people who went through Guantanamo who have been convicted of terrorism is a grand total of three.

    800 prisoners. 3 convictions.

    You wanna sweep this under the rug as “bad things happen when trying to do good”? YOu wanna pretend that we don’t know enough to know that Bush broke the law?

    Oh, right, the secret shit that torturing these people revealed that is classified. Right.

    Well, we also know that in 2004, the CIA’s Inspector General John Helgerson found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped thwart any specific imminent attacks.

    And we also know that Ali Soufan was an FBI interrogator at Guantanamo who used normal interrogation techniques and who testified to congress that he was getting intel from Abu Zubaydah, before the CIA came in and started torturing him.

    Anyone who says “we just don’t know” is refusing to look at the truth.

  127. Oh, and we also know this:

    The Bush White House vehemently objected to provisions of the law dealing with rape by instrumentality. When House negotiators pressed to know why, they were met first with silence and then an embarrassed acknowledgment that a key part of the Bush program included invasion of the bodies of prisoners in a way that might be deemed rape by instrumentality under existing federal and state criminal statutes.

    Yay Bush!

  128. Greg,

    I can find similar allegations or worse against numerous US administrations. Most prove out not to be true once fully investigated. Others are never resolved because the issues become political rather than a search for the truth. Someday we may know the full historical record, we certainly don’t know that now. There would be a lot more people killed or in prison if we convicted people based on hearsay statements in the press.

    I am not familair with the “anal rape” allegations that you make, but I know parents of children with autism who could make the same allegations about state government. I know of a 9 year old boy who was strip searched and had several cavity searches done because he ran away from school and was hospitalized. That probably qualifies as anal rape under some definition. Is that what were talking about?

    What are you proposing? A truth tribunal? How far back do we go? Or are only Republicans subject to prosecution since they lost the last election? Who conducts the tribunal given that much of the evidence for both sides may be classfied or otherwise protected from public release?

  129. cavity searches done because he ran away from school and was hospitalized. That probably qualifies as anal rape under some definition. Is that what were talking about?

    Please stop downplaying this with naivietie. We’re talking about prisoners murdered in US custody. We’re talking about prisoners being sodomized with phosphorescent tubes and police clubs, as well as the use of wire in sexual torture.

    Seriously, stop pretending this was just some harmless pranks or normal protocol. This was inhumane. This was a massive war crime. I’m not demanding that people be convicted without trial, but I sure as hell am demanding that this shit deserves a bunch of trials.

    What are you proposing? A truth tribunal? How far back do we go? Or are only Republicans subject to prosecution since they lost the last election?

    Ah, so, it isn’t really that “we can never know”, it’s that you’re afraid a criminal investigation would convict more Republicans than Democrats. Either that, or what you haven’t come out and said is that you actually approve of the use of torture on some level.

    What exactly is the problem here? Americans tortured and murdered hundreds, maybe thousands, of prisoners, for months and even years, and many of these prisoners were actually innocent of any wrongdoing.

    Do you or do you not think this is immoral and worthy of a criminal investigation?

    If you don’t, then that would explain the foot dragging.

    If you do, then what’s the problem?

  130. I don’t have any credible evidence that this is a true statement:

    “Americans tortured and murdered hundreds, maybe thousands, of prisoners, for months and even years, and many of these prisoners were actually innocent of any wrongdoing.”

  131. Jonathan, stop the footdragging. If you wanted the evidence, you’d google it and find it pretty quick. I can only assume that your footdragging is to avoid acknowledging your true feelings about the topic: You support the use of torture under some circumstances.

    If you support the use of torture, then man up and say so and I’ll stop tryign to convince you that torture occurred. Because if you don’t care that torture occurred, then proving it to you is pointless.

    If you assume the numbers I gave you were true, and you would support criminal investigations into those cases and all the way up the chain of command to whoever gave the orders to perform that torture, then say that, and then I’ll find you some websites to back up the numbers.

    Where do you stand?

  132. I don’t support the use of torture, except in extreme circumstances that I don’t think are present in the allegations I’ve seen or the circumstances you are describing.

    I can google disturbing anecdotes, but I can find those online for events that I know are false. I’ve conducted investigations for my work and discovered many times that initial factual allegations turn out to be false or over stated due to all kinds of reasons.

    If you have links to highly credible evidence of “Americans tortured and murdered hundreds, maybe thousands, of prisoners, for months and even years, and many of these prisoners were actually innocent of any wrongdoing.”, then I’d be interested in seeing those.
    If you have links to credible evidence that such action was ordered by the President I’d look at that too.

  133. I don’t support the use of torture, except in extreme circumstances

    Well, then it’s just a matter of negotiating the price I suppose.

    Human Rights Watch has a report on various numbers relating to cases of abuse that we know about.

    at least 330 cases in which U.S. military and civilian personnel are alleged to have abused detainees, ranging from beatings and assaults, to torture, sexual abuse, and homicide.

    At least 600 U.S. personnel have been implicated. At least 460 detainees have been subjected to abuse. authorities opened investigations into approximately 210 out of the 330 cases. Of the approximately 410 personnel implicated in cases that the military and civilian authorities have investigated, only about a third have faced any kind of disciplinary or criminal action. 75 percent of the cases in which investigations were conducted do not appear to have resulted in any kind of punishment.

    Researchers identified more than 1,000 individual criminal acts of abuse.

    Of the fifty-four guilty verdicts, forty resulted in sentences involving prison time. the average sentence was about four months.

    Section 4

    Under the doctrine of command responsibility, a long-recognized principle of U.S. domestic and international law, commanders can be held criminally liable as principals for the criminal acts of their subordinates, if they knew or should have known about criminal activity, but did not take steps to prevent it or to punish the perpetrators. For example, if prosecutors demonstrate that commanders knew their troops were committing abuses, but failed to stop them, the commanders can be charged as though they committed the crimes themselves.

    Not a single U.S. military officer serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or GuantnamoBay has been criminally charged under the doctrine of command responsibility for detainee abuses committed by his or her subordinates.

    section 5

    Congress should appoint an independent commission to review U.S. detention and interrogation operations worldwide in the “war on terror.” Such a commission should identify and analyze the systemic failures that have lead to widespread torture and abuse, and make detailed and specific recommendations to ensure that reforms are instituted.

    section 7

    Sample homicide cases listed here.

    I have a bunch of URL’s listed here:

    Most blogs have a three-URL limit on comments to stop spam, so I’ll link to that and you can click on the various links there.

    The wikipedia links I don’t trust directly, but I use them for the various off-wikipedia articles that they use for citations.

    The ACLU link has tons of stuff gotten through teh FOIA, most of them have stuff redacted, but pretty brutal none the less.

    That should be a good start.

  134. Oh and in response to your “Not another Truth Commission” speed bump, it turns out there has already been a Truth Commission.

    Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. In his report, he stated “The commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture.”

    In 2008, Taguba wrote a preface a Physicians for Human Rights report accusing the Bush White House of war crimes.

    The man in charge of investigating the torture going on at Abu Graib, a retired military general, has said that the torture was systemic, came through the chain of command all the way from teh president himself, and said Bush committed war crimes.

    Think about that for a second. Based on the shit that happened at Abu Graib alone, not looking at Bagram, not looking at Guantanamo, not looking at all the black sites in Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and wherever, just on Abu Graib alone, the investigator concluded that Bush had committed war crimes.

    We don’t need a Truth Commission. We already have enough to take Bush to court with just this one site.

    If you want to go after Pelosi too, I’m fine with that. But there’s no need to drag our heels about Bush. Abu Graib has already been investigated and it points directly to Bush committing war crimes.

  135. Hey Jonathan, here’s another one for you:

    between 250 and 3,000 (depending on sources) Taliban prisoners were shot and/or suffocated to death in metal truck containers, while being transferred by U.S. and Northern Alliance soldiers from Kunduz to Sheberghan prison in Afghanistan in 2001.

    Obama administration officials said on 11 July 2009 that there were no grounds for a war crimes investigation, not because they said no crime occurred, but because they claim the prisoners were not killed by American forces. Rather, they claim the prisoners were killed by Afghan forces who were working with American military and the CIA.

    Dostum, was the Northern Alliance general who is accused of overseeing the atrocities. A former U.S. ambassador for war crimes issues, Pierre Prosper, told the Times that the Bush administration was reluctant to investigate the deaths, even though Dostum was on the payroll of the CIA and his soldiers worked with U.S. special forces in 2001.

    Dostum was suspended from his military post last year on suspicion of threatening a political rival, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently rehired him, the Times reported.

    hundreds, probably thousands, of prisoners executed by someone working with the US military and paid by the CIA.

    And Obama claims we can’t touch him.

  136. Greg,

    I’ll take a look at your links. The wiki link on the 2001 events highlights the problem though. The claimed video tape doesn’t exist and even the Physicians group says the evidence is not clear. This reminds me of alleged massacres by US and allied troops during WWII and Vietnam, some of which are still disputed. That siad, I will take a closer look at the links you provided. Thanks.

  137. The claimed video tape doesn’t exist

    “The existence and destruction of the tapes was first revealed on Thursday by CIA Director Michael Hayden in a letter to CIA employees. … Hayden made the improbable claim that the tapes were destroyed to protect CIA interrogators from retaliation by Al Qaeda. He wrote in his letter that the CIA halted the practice of taping interrogations in 2002, after only a few recordings had been made.”

    As for the Physicians saying the evidence is “unclear”, I think it’s pretty clear that Obama’s response that we have no jurisdiction to investigate is bullshit.

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