Skip to comments.Reno wows crowd ("My mother told me: 'Truth Is A Very Elusive target'")
Posted on 02/18/2008 6:41:57 PM PST by presidio9
Former Attorney General Janet Reno said the U.S. government must be careful to avoid selectively using facts when prosecuting suspected terrorists.
Reno, who served as attorney general under President Bill Clinton, said prosecutors often allow prejudices to skew their use of facts.
"But what I've discovered (from being a prosecutor and attorney general) is that we get tunnel vision," Reno said. "We want the facts to be something and we wish them into being."
Reno made her comments while speaking to an audience of mostly students and professors at the S.J. Quinney College of Law on Tuesday. Her speech focused on the role technology plays in helping prosecute terrorists and the attention prosecutors should give to facts.
Reno did not specifically name members of the Bush administration or the Department of Justice, but criticized their practices in general.
"We have obscured that truth with other overlays that don't lead to the truth, but lead to murky prosecutions and to intelligence efforts that should be headed in another direction," she said.
Reno specifically spoke out against waterboarding, an interrogation technique where water is poured over the face of a detainee to evoke a drowning sensation. Lawmakers and others have criticized the George W. Bush administration for waterboarding several suspected terrorists.
Before denouncing the practice, Reno reiterated that decisions must be made by applying the law to the facts.
"With that understood, I am opposed to torture, I am opposed to waterboarding, and if I were reviewing the facts I would make sure that I understood what people were talking about when they said waterboarding," she said. "Because here is an example of where people can get into trouble by misstating the facts, confusing the facts."
Martin Stolz, a first-year law student, said he thinks the Bush administration has abused the facts.
"I think that our current administration has fallen prey precisely to the danger Janet Reno spoke of," he said.
The real danger is that these murky prosecutions undermine the confidence we have in the rule of law and the trust other nations have in the United States, Stolz said.
To avoid misusing the facts, Reno said prosecutors must engage in "good, hard self-searching" and pay particular attention to nuances in language, which she said can change meaning drastically.
"Facts can produce so many answers if we search hard enough for them, but too often we don't, and too often, even having searched, we do not apply the law to the facts as we should," she said. "These are small items, but they make a tremendous difference when you're sitting there having to make the decision of arrest or not arrest, of file charges or not file charges."
Reno said the key to fighting terrorism on an international level is collaboration. She repeatedly praised the law school's collaborative efforts.
"Unless we start adding collaboration like I've seen here today, were not going to be successful in fighting terrorism," she said. "Collaboration is the name of the game."
Reno said the United States must work with other nations to fight terrorism because there are too many variables of terrorism that the U.S. government has not dealt with directly.
Reno concluded her speech by talking about the challenge of finding truth, a lesson she learned from her father who worked as a crime reporter for the Miami Herald.
"My mother once told me truth is elusive," she said. "And it is a very elusive target."
So it’s okay to burn Americans to death because they’re weird but we can’t waterboard terrorists who want to kill thousands? Makes perfect sense to me.
I'm sure Grant Snowden was thrilled at being part of your learning experience.
But as Saturday Night Live once sarcastically quoted Leon Spinks:
“Yeah, but at I’ve still got my good looks”
My first thought.
There are a lot of Japanese men who would love to be stranded on an island with her.
Best comment on the thread so far.
And don’t forget, if it wasn’t waterboarding but some other tactic, we’ed be getting the same line of s-ht from the lib crowd.
Here’s the best biting satire on the Elian kidnapping — from the viewpoint of that brave patriot that stuck his weapon in Elian’s face. It was written in May 2000, published here on FR by China Clipper...kept it on my hard drive, it’s long but incredibly good! Kinda encapsulates the whole spectrum of the evil Clinton era in one essay...
Operation Just Reunion!
So there it was. Id be walking point. In this business, point is where its at, but its not for the meek. First to Fight, First to Die its what I live for. I-OPS (Department of Justice Intelligence Operations) had confirmed that at any time, we might (and probably would) encounter weapons of mass destruction. Not to mention the fiercest jungle fighters anywhere on the planet.
I guess I can honestly say I was scared. Scared for myself, yeah. But mostly for the 130 brave souls on this suicide mission that we had volunteered for. We waited. We waited some more. Some guys smoked cigarettes, some caught up on letters, some had sex with other soldiers, without first asking or telling what sex they actually were. What would it be like when the action started, I wondered And suddenly, we got the word we dreaded, yet longed for: it was time!
“Operation Just Reunion” was on!
Some say your life flashes before you when you are about to die. All I know is, my breakfast was flashing past in huge chunks as we jumped into our assault minivans and headed for the battle site. Rumor was out that BJ Company had caught some serious sh** the day before, performing weapons reconnaissance inside the battlefield.
Jeez, were we heading into the jaws of death? I was doing some serious praying on the way out, I really was. We approached the scene It was the scariest thing Id ever seen, but in a way I was strangely calm. I reminded myself of other brave men Id seen on TV.
Then, in an incredible show of testosterone, me and the other grunts blasted our way onto the battlefield. Sweet Jesus, total pandemonium, in an oddly professional way. Shrapnel everywhere. Warrants dropping out of our asses, for chrissakes. I saw a door splinter like it was made of balsa! A deadly weapon in the shape of the Virgin MaryHoly Sh**, what is THAT all about? We neutralized the threat, because it could have given one of us a nasty conk on the head, if our helmets fell off, or something.
But the worst was yet to come. The enemy had cleverly disguised themselves as peaceful, loving cousins, negotiators, and family membersthe worst kind of enemy, we learned in our Commando camp. They were wily bastards, crying like scared puppies, trying to get us to drop our guard, screaming like girlie-men! Sorry, folks, no can do! We knew better This is the big time, and you are up against the BEST!
Suddenly, I felt the adrenaline pumping through me as I screamedin a calm and orderly, non-threatening fashion”Wheres the boy?! Tell me where the boy is, or Ill shoot!!”
It was really exciting, cause then the family really put on a show! This rather attractive young girl, known from I-OPS as “Marisleysis” (which we had learned earlier is Spanish for “Lying Evil Cousin”), shouted really mean things at us, exposing her teeth as she yelled things in English, which threw us off for a while, because I-OPS had told us to listen for Spanish! Oh, she was good! A Pro! But she didnt fool me or the 8 other guys in the sector for long. We just screamed at her louder (but nicer) when she begged us to “put the guns down, please, dont let the boy see them!” and other wimpy sh** like that.
We unscrambled her English code quickly and professionally, toyed with the wicked family for a bit, and then suddenly I heard it! The sound we had been told to expect! It was a slight, hushed whimper, coming from “B” Closet in “Alpha” sector it was HIM! La Hurricane (”The Hurricane”), and he was putting on his show!
I called out to my men in a loud, masculine, commando-type voice “Over here!”, and like the pros they are, they lock-stepped right over with me. I was of course expecting to be shot, incinerated or at least bumped on the head really painfully at any moment, as I-OPS had warned us. But they cant fool memostly, they cant deter me! For I am the meanest sonovab**ch in full body armor, and dont you forget it!
I bravely approached the closet where the evil “Monster of Miami” waswe knew it, and my blood ran cold. We felt his eerie presencehell we SMELLED it. But we are the feds, and let me tell you, you dont THINK about messing with us! Suddenly out of the closet burst the most frightening, fearsome human being I had ever seen WAS HE HUMAN?!
Great god almighty, I thought, as my mind raced, this 50-pound dynamo had the iciest stare and no doubt the most evil dimple I had ever laid my eyes on! I knew at that moment that I was in for it, but in spite of the fear, I fell back on my excellent training. I raised the weapon and can I stop a second here, do you, would you mind?
OK, the thing is, my gun was under control at all times. And as Mr. Holder had indicated, I didnt recall whether I really had a weapon, but then I saw the reflection of myself in this photographers lens, and OK, I guess I did. But I didnt have my finger on the trigger. And if I did, I had the safety on, and if it wasnt on, the gun wasnt loaded, and if it was loaded, my excellent commando training precluded my accidentally capping some woman or child with the gun, but if that happened, it would be fully justified BECAUSE YOU DIDNT SEE WHAT I SAW!!!
Oh sh**, here I go oh, god, please, turn off turn off the g*dd*m camera a minute! I, Im sorry, I Ill be OK, Im OK now OK, see, you were not there! You cannot judge me! This Elian, this Monster, was staring at me, and I tell you it was PETRIFYING!
God, I peed into my jackboots, ruined the crease on my pant legs, and I honest-to-god started quaking more than this Reno guy that we always laugh abouthe almost looks like a woman (not that I would ask or tell.)
Anyway, I carefully and with complete control of my gun, aimed near but not at the Monster and the fishy-smelling guy, and hey wow! Cool! It dawned on me that this was the actual fisherman that rescued that alien from that inner-tube! Whoa, I was like “unbelievable”, cause we had learned from I-OPS that he knew Darva Conger, and suddenly I felt better, though my goggles were steaming from the vaporization in my pants.
And then it happened A couple flashes went off! Oh sh**, hit the deck, hit it, and I hear one of my buddies screaming “Medic! Medic! Help, oh Jesus, Im hit! Oh sh**”, but it was just one of the guys goofing off, so we all laughed, then I realized the flashes came from this photographer, and he had just snapped my picture. I was bummed, because I had left my favorite fatigues at home, and these ones were a bit soiled front and back.....
Anyway, I-OPS had said we didnt need to kill photographers this time, so I just kicked him in the stomach, because I knew he wanted it. And I left him my card, so his people could call my people to negotiate some upfront cash for me (no monkey points, OK, I didnt just fall off the halftrack yesterday pal! I want gross!)
OK, so on the way out, we saw the evil Uncle Lazaro, who again was playing scared, whimpering it up for us, frankly scaring the sh** out of some of us, I dont mind saying! But by the empty beer cans around his armed encampment (which was disguised as a slightly worn, 1976 La-Z-Boy recliner—jesus, those bastards are BRILLIANT!), you could tell that he was drunk as a skunk, just like I-OPS had said. So I gassed the family, as a gesture that we meant them no harm, and because I could.
I had by then handed Hellboy to a swell brave gal, who took off running full cocked like OJ over suitcases. And I have to admit, even in moments as absolutely terrifying as this, you have got to find something to laugh about. Here I was, following this f***ing butch fullback out of the hellhole, and I watched her exit the battlefield and run smack dab into a f***ing bush!
Honest to sh**! I laughed so hard, I peed my pants again. And some of the more intellectual guys said how ironic it was that she ran into a “Bush”, kind of as a metaphor for what might happen to the democrats at election time on account of Operation Just Reunion? But see I knew that Clinton had already beaten Bush in 92, so I didnt think it was funny. But I totally have to admit, her full frontal assault into the bush was a highlight of the morning for me.
But not as cool as the fearful yet addictive terror that only freedom warriors, who storm private homes in the dark and whisk away dangerous, explosive menaces can ever know. Its what I do I was born to it. Id die for it. No sh**, I literally laugh at danger.
As cool as it had been, my day wasnt over yet. I was relaxing and debriefing with the other patriots at the home of this suave, gray-haired lawyer, when we found out that the eight of us had been nicknamed the “Three-Minute Men”. Apparently, it was in honor not only of the breathtaking speed and precision of our mission, but also as a “play on words” from the nickname of some idiots from the Revolutionary War, or something. Like we gave a f*** about some assh**es from back in the 70s!
Anyway, it was about that time that I got a personal call from the President! Of America!!! I tell you, I love this man! He starts out by asking what the party was like, and we reminisced about the day in general, how was the family, and he went like good job for the American people, yadda, yadda, yadda. And we laughed our asses off about the “warrant” thing.
He asked me offhandedly about the gun I didnt remember having, then he saw Mr. Holder on TV, and he remembered, and then he said hey great work, and he wasnt at all mad that I got my picture taken and stuff, and he thanked me for using a trigger lock, and it was just really awesome. But he did seem a bit troubled or distant at the time.
Then all of a sudden, he springs to life like hes had this great idea, or like he just wanked into the Oval Office sink, one, and he says “As a reward for your excellent bravery and for defending the Constitution against the forces of evil, I want to send you and the other brave commandos on an all-expense paid trip to any exotic place you choose. My personal Osprey Helicopter is fueled and waiting!!!”
COOLOOWWOOOO!!! DUDE, we get to go anywhere we want, on the DOJs tab. And he promised me personally that we didnt even have to tell ANYONE where we were going, and hed call our bosses and stuff! The guy is so cool, we talked about chicks, and he even asked me about my girlfriend, like where she lived so he could send her a card of gratitude and stuff, and
Oh here I go again, oh sh**! Im sorry, I just am so emotional! I Oh, geez, sorry, Im OK. God I love that man! God bless that brave honorable manjust about the best danged president in the whole danged country EVER!
So thats my story. I do not tell it to enlarge my credentials, or to brag about my performance in combat. WAR IS HELL! I tell it so that others might follow in my jackboots and defend the Constitution. True, I answered the patriot call. Yes, I am proud that I put my ASS on the line for democracy, the Constitution, and the Clinton Rule of Law! Yes, Im proud that we were the “Best and the Brightest” in that fearful predawn battle.
But most of all, I am proud that from here on out, the photo of me staring down the very face of evil will replace trite, worn-out scenes like the flag being planted on Iwo Jima. Now we truly have an icon more glorious than all others, which will represent just exactly what America stands for in the Year of our President 2000!
G*dd*m, I am so proud to be an American today!!! Is Clinton AWESOME, or what!! Dont wait up!!! I am 10-4 outtahere!!!
Posted by China Clipper, 27 April 2000, Free Republic.
Religious zealots can be difficult targets too.
Best to burn the place down to make sure the religious zealot never escapes (oh yeah...and a few dozen women and children as well)
“Someone once told me that she smoked cigars and wrestled alligators”.
"Unless we start adding collaboration like I've seen here today, were not going to be successful in fighting terrorism," she said. "Collaboration is the name of the game."
Yeah, collaboration's where it's at. That's clear as mud. Is she writing Obama's speeches now?
I hate to sound so glib about this, but isn't that what defense attourneys are supposed to prevent?
If those who read this article are as uninformed as its author, they have no inkling that the sleep-deprivation methods used by the Clinton Administration at Waco (bright lights in the windows, Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” and screeching animal noises over loudspeakers) might be classified by some Bush Administration critics as “torture.”
“Former Attorney General Janet Reno said the U.S. government must be careful to avoid selectively using facts when prosecuting suspected terrorists. “
But massacring innocent Americans (no matter how deluded) such as was perpetrated at Waco under her instructions is A-OK?!
I have nothing but contempt for this woman.
In a fair world, this woman would be in PRISON!!
“Truth Is A Very Elusive target”
Especially when you burn the evidence.
>>Former Attorney General Janet Reno said the U.S. government must be careful to avoid selectively using facts when prosecuting suspected terrorists.<<
I think about Reno and Waco every time the administration takes a new power and asserts the rights to bypass the courts and congress. One of these days its gonna be another Reno as AG and I fear it will not be pretty.
OK, we know that would not be pretty. :)
I’ll always remember that Reno said her sister told her, “atta girl” about the Waco decision. For some reason that sticks in my mind.
That and the fact that alot of people in this country didn’t bat an eyelash when it happened.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.