Salazar confirmation hearings today expected to yield few fireworks

This is the big office for those interested in Western wildlife and public lands. The nomination doesn’t seem controversial to his fellow senators-

Salazar confirmation hearings expected to yield few fireworks. Senator generally respected, admired by GOP and Dems. By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News





  1. kt Avatar

    Well if that ain’t a Testimony to where the flaccid and feckless Big Green groups and their enablers are!

    Think about the description of Ken Salazar’s stances and the minor tussle over oil shale as the REALLY BAD THING he opposes. Now what if he were in a Hearing for confirmation, say, of a Human Rights Cabinet Post. Ken Salazar’s record on, and concern for, environmental issues is like saying from a human rights perspective: The Bush admin has been waterboarding, electroshocking, sleep deprivation, starvation and pulling fingernails out of detainees. Salazar opposes the finger nail pulling.

    Do you really think that would fly with human rights organizations? Nope – but the Big Green capitulate!

    And I note how an activist (Culp I believe) transformed into one of the “Villagers”/Good Old Boys.

    Also: “Salazar will be introduced at the hearing by his brother, Rep. John Salazar, and Sen. Mark Udall, who is poised to become Colorado’s senior senator after just a few weeks on the job”. That would be the John Salazar who supports Poison and chemical weapons used against the Nation’s Wildlife.

  2. outsider Avatar

    kt would you please post a link showing where the Bush Admin in your words “waterboarding, electroshocking, sleep deprivation, starvation and pulling fingernails out of detainees.”

    I will give you the waterboarding and sleep deprivation. The elctroshocking, I’m assuming is refernce to Abau Grab. But I’m not finding anything on Starvation and Fingernail pulling please elaborate.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    The admission of torture from people in the Bush Administration was all over the TV news last night. It made me sick and I turned it off after about a half hour.

  4. outsider Avatar

    Thats a nice link KT, great song, but I find no reference to pulling fingernails and starvation.

    Ralph I don’t watch much TV, to much junk, CNBC is what I watch mostly.

  5. kt Avatar

    A British paper (The Guardian) puts it more in perspective than the simpering in this country:

    Maybe folks across the Pond have a better understanding of critical issues about what is at stake on the public lands in the American West than the regional papers and subservient Big Green groups all concerned over saying nice things so they can have continued “access” to Politicians.

  6. kt Avatar

    This is supposed to be a Link to an Archived Webcast on the Salazar Hearing, but I can not get anything to Play … Found it be going to the Guardian Links to the Bingaman and now Domenici-less committee even though Domenici still shows up on the screen, and clicking along to:

    Maybe someone else can get it to work .

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Outsider, regarding the torture.

    This is from USA Today, but a Google News query brings up many variations of the same story.

    News roundup: U.S. official says interrogators tortured Gitmo prisoner. The “official” was none other than “Susan Crawford, the Defense Department official who decides whether to try Gitmo detainees.”

    She said they couldn’t prosecute because the confessions came from torture and so were not credible.

  8. kim kaiser Avatar
    kim kaiser

    Maybe we should have just invited the terrorist over for tea and scrumpets after a good game of Patty Cake. Then we would know for sure they would reveal the plots and intentions.

  9. Salle Avatar


    Do you ever venture beyond that armchair throne?

    A good look at the world beyond your own filtered/sheltered existence might help you understand the things you get all excited about… Maybe then you’d have something more credible to argue about or a more credible argument about something, anything.

  10. Layton Avatar

    Salle, ET AL,

    Do you have any real, on the ground experience with anything but cultural anthropology?? You and KT can sit here and bitch and moan about the Bush bunch all you want, but could I point out that you CAN sit here and bitch??

    There’s a quote somewhere about Americans being able to sleep at night because rough men are willing to bring harm to our enemies during the dark of that same night. I believe that it is true.

    Those folks over there in the sand, just in case you have forgotten, cost the USA about 3000 lives with just a couple of airplanes and a bit of planning — do you really think they wouldn’t do it again in a heartbeat? There is a reason they haven’t. And it damn sure isn’t because someone has offered to “negotiate” with them “unconditionally”.

    Do you remember any videos about beheadings?? Nope, probably wasn’t part of an anthropology class. How about some of the other things showing how they treat “non-believers” and “infidels”. How about a religion that tells them it’s OK to kill the rest of the folks that won’t sign on??

    IF we gave them a bit of their own medicine there are some of us out here that wouldn’t mind it a bit — if it accomplished a goal — a goal of 9/11 not coming around again. And it would appear that, to this point anyway, it has. I guess we’ll see how it goes when we just play patty cake.

    By the way, are the Dems going to give government jobs to those folk incarcerated at Gitmo when they close it?? Or will they just give them preferred residency status of some kind?? Or maybe send them home so they can get back to what they consider their REAL mission in life?? But please, don’t play the music to loud before they leave. After all, they just shot, bombed, blew up or otherwise maimed a few thousand Americans.

    Of course that’s not important right?? Cuz’ after all, they’re republicans, they can’t have done anything right!!

  11. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Bush made the entire world unsafe and he empowered terrorists by his lying invasion of Iraq, his incompetence as commander-in-chief, his use of torture, and his lack of attention to the growing housing bubble.

    I see Osama bin Laden (confirmed to be real guy) just sent Bush a going away thank you. Talk about utter and complete failure to have Osama bid you farewell!

    The Republicans didn’t even want him to show up at the convention this summer, and they breathed a sigh of relief when the hurricane came in giving them an out when he didn’t come.

    Why would you defend Bush? Other Republicans are distancing themselves.

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Obama’s AG pick breaks from Bush on torture, GTMO

    “WASHINGTON – With just three words, Attorney General-designate Eric Holder capped years of angry debate over U.S. counterterrorism policy and declared a major break from the Bush administration.

    “Waterboarding is torture,” said Holder, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to run the Justice Department.”

  13. Caleb Avatar

    From past discussions I know that myself and layton don’t agree on many environmental issues like wolves and such, which led me to believe we might not agree on anything. But after reading all the crap in this certain post which was supposed to be about Ken Salazar and his upcoming effects on wildlife, I would have to say that Layton, and Kim make the most sense on this issue.

    Wake up, quit trying to make peace and love with as Layton put it “those folks in the sand”. None of them want peace with us. They look down and laugh at people like you who try and defend them. As for the armchair throne Salle, how much experience working in the middle east do you have?

  14. jburnham Avatar

    I hate to take this thread further off topic, but I think Layton must have missed these:

    Evidence Of Innocence Rejected at Guantanamo

    82 Inmates Cleared but Still Held at Guantanamo

    Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Fuels Terror

    Great Job!

  15. Caleb Avatar

    Ralph, it isn’t about defending Bush whom I hate very much on certain decisions made by him and his cronies. It is about defending people from other countries who hate us and always will no matter what. It is about people in my country putting people that aren’t in my country and who want to ruin my country, above our own people. Republican/Democrat who cares when there are more important issues at hand than which party is yours and which one to defend.
    Obviously Bush sucks at almost everything environmental and i hate him for that, but Obama hasn’t done a thing yet, but everyone is expecting him to be some big savior. I hope he will be, but we just don’t know and selecting Salazar already proves he is not nearly going to be a perfect environmentally minded president.

    Anyway, my biggest complaint is the people commenting on this blog about things like the above that isn’t envorinmentally, western public lands, or wildlife related. Obviously they have forgotten the meaning of this blog and this article.

  16. JB Avatar

    “How about a religion that tells them it’s OK to kill the rest of the folks that won’t sign on??”

    Religion is a funny thing. To this day, Muslims, Jews, AND Christians all seem perfectly capable of justifying the killing of innocents, whether explicitly or implicitly endorsed by their religion.

    BTW: Most of us liberals fully endorsed the invasion of Afghanistan; however, Iraq is a different matter. Our government took their eye off the ball and now, 7 years after 9/11 (1) Bin Laden is still loose, (2) Afghanistan is deteriorating, and (3) thanks to Bush, most of the Middle-East believes we’re hell bent on making “imperialist policies” part of our permanent agenda. Well that’s progress!

    I find especially galling claims that “things are turning around in Iraq.” Well isn’t that great! It only took how much American $$$ to remove a threat that wasn’t their in the first place while letting the real perpetrators off the hook? Mission accomplished (yes, that’s sarcasm).

  17. Salle Avatar

    “How about a religion that tells them it’s OK to kill the rest of the folks that won’t sign on??

    Let’s see….

    Isn’t that what Americans have been doing to Native Americans for centuries now? With the “go ahead” from the POPE who said that since they weren’t christians, they weren’t human so it was okay to exterminate them?
    (One reason I don’t subscribe to organized religions. Far as I can tell, they amount to population control mechanisms based on fear and guilt.)

    “Do you have any real, on the ground experience with anything but cultural anthropology??”

    Absolutely, far more than there is space to describe here. Suffice it to say that I have traveled extensively, among many cultures, before I ever took my first class in college at the spry young age of 35. (And I was a ninth grade dropout who exited college with a graduate degree in political science, thank you very much.) Experience is a great teacher, academia is a great teacher and clarifying experience. Doesn’t make “all knowing” but I seem to know a heck of a lot more than most folks I meet.

    Any more questions?

  18. Salle Avatar

    “Do you have any real, on the ground experience with anything but cultural anthropology??”

    Oops, I forgot to mention that I am also a heavy equipment operator, retired licensed CDL operator and instructor, operatic vocal performance artist (I have performed with symphonies 7 times and sing in 7 or 8 languages), cook, process photographer, offset lithographer, typesetter, homeopathic practitioner, graphic artist and… that’s all I can think of at the moment, I’ll have to look through my resumes for more.

  19. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think the general political content of the blog may decline once the new President is in office and there is something more than rumor to talk about.

    Ambiguous political hopes and threats are things that provoke — bring out — folks’ underlying partisan loyalties.

    I also think that the declining economy results in people finding it harder to keep those issues separate from wildlife. For example, Idaho Fish and Game is about broke. Should they get a license increase? That issue causes quite a “politico-wildlife” stir.

  20. Salle Avatar

    I have been looking for any kind of video covering the Salazar Committee hearing and I can’t find it, even n c-span. Anyone got a good link?

  21. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    I would like to ask…

    How many here, that are posting on this issue, this thread or what ever it is, actually have experience dealing with extremist Muslim groups?

    I spent 26 years in the service, was a commissioned officer, 20 years of my service was in the middle east…my other 4 years was stateside…

    But I would really be interested in hearing from those who have first hand experience..

    I do, and for the most part can say, the Muslims as a whole are great people, I can also say with 100% conviction that those in the radical groups are not great people, just as with any other zealot religious group…

    As far as Gitmo, where I have a few friends serving, I will let them make there choices and I can tell you, they don’t have an easy job…

  22. Salle Avatar

    I wonder why we seem to be so quick to label people by their religions. I think that is a core issue that should be considered, it fits into the demonization model that functions so well at the political and gut level simultaneously .

    I have many acquaintances who are from the middle eastern countries, they subscribe to numerous belief systems. I find that they have interesting cultures and I try to identify with people and/or understand them by learning about their culture. It makes for a more comfortable way to see each other as equals with respect for one another. I don’t have to agree with them nor they with me in order for us to respect one another.

    If we could make that connection among ourselves and with people we don’t understand, it would help us find a way out of the “war mentality”. Respectful curiosity is what I call it.

    On the other hand, I have dealt with radical extremism within a number of sects be they religious or political… doesn’t make a difference what flavor, they end up in the same primal mindset that is easily provoked to irrational acts whether their argument is valid or not.

  23. outsider Avatar

    kt still waiting for the link on fingernail pulling and starvation link, or would you like to retract that part of your comments.

  24. Layton Avatar

    I was going to get a whole bunch of quotes from the above thread and go thru them one by one — but I don’t think I need to.

    Maybe some of you don’t understand what I wanted to say. I’ll try to make it plainer.

    I don’t give a damn if somebody waterboards, keeps awake, sleep deprives or maybe even does some other things in order to same American lives!!!! Is that plain enough??

    The people that started this whole thing– and PLEASE don’t try to tell me they are all in Afganistan –saw fit to kill 3000 americans in one fell swoop (didn’t most of them prove to be Saudis? I don’t think that’s in Afganistan), tortured and decapitated some more and made videos of it, and publisize every day their intent to do more.

    I’m NOT a pacifist and, if they would take an old phart like me back, I would be back in the military in short order. I did 23 months in another war zone and I’d do another 23 if I could!!

    Try to blame it on Bush, but if and when you pull your heads out and start thinking you might figure things out.

    Does the USS Cole or that barracks full of US marines in Beruit or an incident in Somolia jolt any memories??

  25. Layton Avatar


    “Oops, I forgot to mention that I am also a heavy equipment operator, retired licensed CDL operator and instructor, operatic vocal performance artist (I have performed with symphonies 7 times and sing in 7 or 8 languages), cook, process photographer, offset lithographer, typesetter, homeopathic practitioner, graphic artist and… that’s all I can think of at the moment, I’ll have to look through my resumes for more.”

    The only things that I can figure you left out is leaping tall buildings in a single bound, giving policy advice to God and, of course, your modesty.

  26. Salle Avatar

    You were the one who asked. Most people I know don’t know all those things. All is true, documented and most of it was adventurous and fun. Next time, be careful what you ask for…

  27. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Even after spending 26 years, two wifes, a couple of bullet holes in my body, I would go back in a heart beat!..

    I understand exactly, what Layton is talking about…if we even had 1% of what goes on in other countries on the streets of America…

  28. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Perhaps you missed what is by now common knowledge — torture is an inaccurate method of obtaining information. That is one reason why evidence from “coercion” is not admissible in court.

    Even if you have no moral problems with the technique, a person being tortured will tell the torturer what he wants to hear, not necessarily the truth.

    The Bush people got a lot of “information” this way, and a lot of it was a lie or simply made up because the subject really didn’t know. The Bush people in Iraq then based their strategies and tactics on bad (not to mention immoral) information.

    Not only that, when the use of torture became known, it increased the attacks on American troops. Many American troops died because of torture. Torture made the peoples of Iraq hate the American troops, and it helped the recruiting efforts of those who wanted unrest.

    I won’t bother to give examples because they are all over the web. A search will find example after example very quickly. That’s why I am surprised by your statement.

    So, torture is evil. Torture doesn’t gain information. Torture makes people all over the world hate those who learn about it. Torture is just plain stupid unless your goal is to terrorize people. That is its only useful use. That is why tyrants torture. It is not to gain information.

    The reasons above are why I think there should be a war crimes trial. Brutal, stupid people who result in misery for people in a foreign land, and serve to indirectly kill their own soldiers, as well as ruin the reputation of the country, deserve to be put on trial.

    A person who tortures is not someone who is tough and does what is an unfortunate necessity. If the other side tortures too, or does it first, that does not make it, therefore, a good idea. It just makes the entire conflict worse. That’s why the Geneva Conventions were created. They are not brainchild of “soft liberals”, but by people in many armies who had the collective experience of thousands of years of war.

    I don’t want any more discussion of this topic on my blog. It is so unpopular with what I think most people are like that I think it will ruin the forum. So if anyone wants to leave because of this, please go away now.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan