Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

image of a person with thinking cap

One part of political debate I like is using images to make a point. Whether it is a chart or a quote image, these graphics hold on to the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. They are also easy to share in social media. However one still needs to be careful one isn’t sharing inaccurate information. Don’t post or share any graphic unless you can confirm the accuracy of the information.

Earlier this year this chart was making the rounds of the blogs I read:

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The GOP is a junior high school red herring monger

A red herring is a logical fallacy used by people to divert attention away from a real issue in an argument. Usually it is because the real issue can’t be defended or the person diverting the attention doesn’t want to defend the real issue. The Republican Party loves them some red herring. One example was making the 2004 general election about gay marriage instead of a referendum on the Iraq war. They are good at diverting attention, especially when they have the ear of the mainstream media who parrot their talking points. The most recent case concerns Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and when did see know about the torture used during the Bush administration. The reason the GOP brings this up is for the red herring so we might ignore the fact that torture is a war crime.

Basically, the GOP is saying that Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the CIA use of water boarding of detainees back in 2002 while she served on the House Intelligence Committee. They are implying that Pelosi is just as culpable for the war crime as President Bush and VP Dick Cheney for ordering the torture. That is since she knew about it and did nothing about it, that she approved of it then.

Pelosi says she was never told about water boarding specifically.

The villagers (aka the mainstream media) have been beating this horse for a couple of weeks, but they miss the point.

Water boarding is a WAR CRIME!!!!!!

It doesn’t matter who knew what when. Anyone who knew about it and condoned it in the government has “blood” on their hands – Democrat or Republican. There was a severe lack of outrage back in 2002 and 2003 when the torture was revealed and we found out about the abuse of detainees.

As Former Sen. Bob Graham, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee told David Shuster on MSNBC:

David, I think fundamentally what’s happening is there’s an attempt underway to try and shift the discussion away from what’s really important and that is did the US use torture? Was that within the law? Who authorized and what were the consequences of that. Those are the important issues. Whether The Speaker or anybody else knew about it is frankly sort of off on the edges. 

Sen. Bob Graham backs up Pelosi and says he was never briefed on water boarding by the CIA 

It’s a nice play, if it were needed.

Basically the GOP is hoping not only to divert attention away from Bush and Company, but also as threat to the Democrats if they go through with any “truth commissions” or prosecutions over the war crimes, they plan on taking some Dems with them. It is the old junior high game of “He did it too…” which we all know doesn’t absolve you of your wrong doing.

It isn’t needed because I really don’t see the Democrats rushing to prosecute anyone or to make it a front page news for long since they went along with the program back then.

That’s why a special independent prosecutor is needed.