Tuesday, April 29, 2014

THE SMILER WITH THE KNIFE.

There's been some interesting commentary on Sarah Palin's grisly joke about waterboarding as baptism for terrorists (and, in Tbogg's case, on the godly folk who find sacrilege more worrisome than torture). However...
Sarah Palin on Baptism, Waterboarding . . . and ‘Torture’ 
Patrick, Sarah Palin’s comparison of waterboarding to baptism, even in jest, was bad judgment. If I were Gov. Palin, I’d lose all the baptism jokes, since they manage to provoke devout Christians and authentic Muslim moderates as much as they do jihadists. But I think it is a mistake so off-handedly to agree with the Left’s political and hypocritical claim that waterboarding, as applied by the CIA to three high-value al Qaeda detainees under careful (albeit controversial) guidelines, amounted to “torture.”
...it's always a good time to reflect on what a horrible monster Andrew C. McCarthy is.
Waterboarding the way the CIA executed was highly uncomfortable, but it did not cause severe pain, it was of short duration, and it did not cause fear of imminent death (the detainees were told that they were not going to be killed).
If you can't trust your torturer, who can you trust?
People who want a categorical ban on such tactics constantly avoid addressing the ticking-bomb scenario and similar questions that bring the logic of their position into stark relief: forced to choose, they would prefer the occurrence of a preventable atrocity and the loss of perhaps thousands of lives to interrogation that harms a hair on the head of a culpable terrorist.
Remember the early '00s, when everybody was Jack Bauer on 24? McCarthy's still back there. When he's not dreaming of don't-call-it-torture, and of the fun he could have offering terrified prisoners waterboarding in exchange for years off their sentences (though to be fair, he was against the "court-ordered torture-murder of Terri Schiavo"), he's denouncing the condition of the poor in this country -- because it's too good  ("flat-screen TVs, iPods, X-boxes and the scores of other extravagances that the 'poor' in America manage to score without government mandates"), and telling us how Don Imus making fun of Rush Limbaugh presages an Obamafascist state, etc. He was a cryptobirther, too.

This will give you some idea of how awful McCarthy is -- he attempts to enlist Rod Dreher in his defense, and I feel outraged for Rod Dreher.

135 comments:

  1. Bizarro Mike11:18 AM

    Wasn't the ticking time bomb scenario done to death? It's a situation where the captured bomb maker can give out false information to stop the torture temporarily, but use it to play for time until the bomb goes off. This gets him one over on the torturers, given that there's no reason to believe that the torture will stop once the bomb situation is resolved one way or the other. This shit isn't rocket science.

    Christ, every time these Bush-era nightmares come back up, I forget how much of the awfulness of that time I've repressed in my mind.

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  2. XeckyGilchrist11:26 AM

    Yeesh, that's what I'd thought too. And I'd thought "address my point, libs!" was just for comment sections.


    I guess you could argue that debunking isn't addressing. But only if you were a jerk.

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  3. Not to mention how ridiculous it is to make a timer the primary triggering mechanism on an explosive. It's unreliable compared to just about anything else - and that's even ignoring that this particular enemy has a history of using themselves as the triggers. Not to mention that for a scenario where we catch someone involved, torture them for information and still have time to reach the ticking time bomb, the timer would have to be preposterously long (which they always are on the teevee, am I right?). What are these, fair play terrorists?


    The problem is that these assholes get all their information from fiction. Yeah, a bomb on a timer is nice and tense in a film or a video game, but that's dramatic license, idiots.

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  4. BigHank5311:41 AM

    The most insanely stupid thing about the whole ticking time bomb scenario is that even if you grant them all the absurd preconditions (the bomb, the terrorist with certain knowledge, torture actually working), you know what? Even if the torture was illegal and you knew the perp would walk and you'd have to beg for a pardon and maybe go to jail, you'd suck it up and save the city and take your lumps, because hey, saving the city. It's moral math a goddamned four-year-old could manage.

    It was a popular idea because it wasn't actually what they wanted. What they wanted was the right to torture any suspect, any time, for whatever reasons they wanted or made up, whether they were innocent or not.


    They wanted to torture people. Think on that for a moment.


    Now, the thing is, torture actually does work. Not for extracting intelligence; it's impossible to separate the signals from the noise. But if your goal is the suppression of internal dissent, torture is an exceedingly useful tool for the State. When that cranky professor disappears for six weeks and reappears thirty pounds lighter and with bandages on all his fingertips, a lot of people get the message.

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  5. I suppose now that 24 is getting another season, the old authoritarian torture apologia is once again visible through the faux-libertarian veneer.


    Really, if these assholes were going to fixate on a spy-thriller show and use it to inform all their beliefs, why couldn't it have been Burn Notice? It has all the sexy violence these guys need to get off, along with a protagonist who refuses to torture because it doesn't fucking work. If that show had come out a few years earlier, maybe we could've avoided a lot of ugly, shameful debates. Sad, ain't it?


    (Is it just me, or does Jack Bauer seem like he could fly as a Burn Notice villain? I could see him forcing Michael Westen to torture a prisoner as "training" or some such thing. Maybe shooting Sharon Gless in the knee to prove what a serious operative he is)

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  6. For a certain type of sociopath, it's not enough to be able to hurt people. They want to hurt people and then hear applause, confirming that everything's okay. I mean, it's all well and good to talk about being a martyr for the greater good, but no one wants to actually go to jail, right?

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  7. Back in 2009, Chicago shock jock and all-around idiot Mancow Muller decided he'd get waterboarded for charity. Apparently, he did not understand that waterboarding is torture, because he called it off after 7 seconds of water. On top of everything else, many supporters of torture are just really dumb people.

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  8. blondie12:06 PM

    Enough with the ticking time bomb scenario! Outside movies and tv shows (i.e., fiction, not real, made-up entertainment-ish stuff), when has this actually happened?


    And if it had, in truth, happened and worked, don't you think the propaganda machine would have spread it far and wide to show how torture is an a-okay, effective, not-really-so-bad tool?

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  9. the "court-ordered torture-murder of Terri Schiavo"

    Terri Schiavo, how could I forget? Remember when every IRL moron needed to talk about her, and tell you that her husband just wanted the money? Remember when eventheliberal Nat Hentoff accused the judge who said to take her off life support of "judicial murder"? This McCarthy fellow is really taking me down memory lane.

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  10. A strange combo of sadist with moral coward.

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  11. Jay B.12:19 PM

    But I think it is a mistake so off-handedly to agree with the Left’s political and hypocritical claim that waterboarding, as applied by the CIA to three high-value al Qaeda detainees under careful (albeit controversial) guidelines, amounted to “torture.”

    What's hypocritical about it? I'm against torture, but I'm also against torture! Is there no end to my perfidy?


    Also, they got shit from their "high-value" detainees, I realize that McCarthy might not know that, since the news runs counter to his transparent masturbation fantasies, but it's true (even though the CIA denies it, I tend to believe the awful Diane Feinstein in the matter, since she's usually such a reliable shill for the intel community anyway, it must be REALLY bad for her to oppose them).

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  12. coozledad12:34 PM

    Waterboarding the way the CIA executed was highly uncomfortable

    Spoken by a man who has experienced minimal discomfort through his life, this is really saying something.


    If karma were an actual thing, McCarthy might find himself trapped in a submerged automobile.

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  13. calling all toasters12:38 PM

    Who says there's no cognitive development among conservatives?

    4 year old Republican, caught crapping in the yard: "a terrorist came an' pointed a gun an' made me do it!"

    National Review writer, caught crapping in the yard: "IMAGINE IF a terrorist came an' pointed a gun an' made me do it!"



    So they develop the ability to think in hypotheticals.

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  14. lawguy1:00 PM

    It also works for getting confessions. Hell, look at all those admitted witches back in the day. There must have been something there or they all wouldn't have confessed, right?

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  15. Gromet1:01 PM

    To his credit, I believe the Mancow unit then went on to tell everyone "This is definitely torture." So: dumb, yes, but also capable of learning and honesty. If only a few rightbloggers had those traits.

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  16. Gromet1:05 PM

    Well that's where you're wrong, D Johnston. I can't tell you how many times the Westerner has chosen to cut the right wire just as the timer hit 001. Or, often, 007. It's tense, and it isn't pretty, but that's how democracy gets saved.

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  17. Gromet1:14 PM

    I remember I had a coworker who was into talk radio when the Schiavo mess went down, and the DJ said (as I recall), "She's sitting up in bed, she wants to eat, she's begging for food, but as she begs, these people are standing in the room between her and the good people holding the food, saying No. You cannot." I wish I had the DJ's name and transcript -- it was a shocking fiction about a woman with all the agency of a throw pillow.


    If there was any lingering chance I might someday revert to my moderate-right upbringing, that moment (plus some moronic "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" crap) killed it forever.

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  18. redoubtagain1:37 PM

    For a certain type of sociopath, it's not enough to be able to hurt people. They want to hurt people and then hear applause
    If this isn't on Breitbart's tombstone it should be

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  19. I'm willing to stand over any one of their graves and applaud. Will that do?

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  20. Budbear1:50 PM

    And I'm willing to stand over any of their graves and relieve myself of whatever liquid burden my bladder contains.

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  21. GeniusLemur1:57 PM

    Not strange at all. Quite common, actually.

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  22. willf2:11 PM

    See, we just need to take the Mancow technique and apply it to everyone who still thinks that water-boarding isn't torture.

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  23. gratuitous2:15 PM

    Ah, our old friend the ticking time bomb. The scenario that soon enough slides down the slope from making torture allowable under this very narrow, prescribed circumstance to making torture mandatory because . . . how do you know FOR SURE that this guy doesn't know something about something? Better strap him down and get the jug of water out.

    It was on this very issue that I had to break with the late Bartcop years ago, who kept trying to imagine a situation where torturing a suspect would be allowable.

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  24. randomworker2:21 PM

    The money was long gone on care. Not a dime was left.

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  25. mrstilton2:26 PM

    Too quick, too clean, too painless.

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  26. Silly liberals won't acknowledge that if we hadn't used torture, we'd never have caught bin Laden in time. We're just lucky that the time bomb in this scenario was set to over 10 years. I mean, what if the next time bomb goes off in only 9 years?! What then, liberals?!

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  27. I mean, it's probably the only way they'll ever recognize that it's torture*, but then we actually would be hypocrites, since, y'know, we'd be torturing people for their political opinions.


    *And a fair number of them would still be okay with it as long as it's not done to white people.

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  28. sigyn2:30 PM

    " Remember when every IRL moron neededto talk about her, and tell you that her husband just wanted the money?"


    Actually, I was working in a truck-stop at the time; truckers skew conservative, and they listen to talk radio all day and night.


    What I got was teary-eyed drivers explaining to me how they had done the best they could for Grandma (or Dad) and surely that awful decision they had to make for her was the right one, wasn't it?


    What they needed was reassurance that they weren't monsters, like they were hearing on the radio. It was heartbreaking.

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  29. glennisw2:31 PM

    People who want a categorical ban on such tactics constantly avoid addressing the ticking-bomb scenario
    Yes, we do. Because the ticking-bomb scenario is FICTION.

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  30. glennisw2:49 PM

    to interrogation that harms a hair on the head of a culpable terrorist.
    I see that the transformation Sarah Palin initiated is becoming fully fleshed out into a full blown Wingnut Talking Point. It's not that liberals oppose torture because 1) it's illegal or 2) it's immoral or 3) it doesn't work or 4) it exposes our troops to torture; no, liberals oppose torture out of our sensitivities for the feelings of "terrorists". All they need is to refine the point where they can say it's only Muslim feelings we are sensitive about.

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  31. Mooser2:49 PM

    Conservative 'reasoning', and a script conference for a lousy action-hero thriller flic, what's the diff? Oh, that's right, they do family melodrama, too.

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  32. Unholy Moses2:55 PM

    Um, if waterboarding were such an effective technique to get someone to talk, why did the CIA use it nearly 200 times on one person?


    If it's such a harmless thing to do, then why did our nation put to death the Japanese torturers who used in WWII? Why is banned by the Geneva Conventions (which, last I checked, we're still a part of)?


    I really thought we had moved past this idiocy...

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  33. Mooser2:55 PM

    Yes, that goes back to Edroso's (I paraphrase) 'Do they even know any real people?' Anyway, it was either Edroso or Ed Roso who said it.

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  34. Mooser3:00 PM

    "Because it was for botched fertility treatments."


    Just shows how wrong I can be. I thought it was Nora Ephron, for some reason, but it's attributed to Lilly Tomlin.

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  35. If you can't trust your torturer, who can you trust?

    Now, now, the Order of the Seekers of Truth and Penitence has extremely high standards.

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  36. coozledad is a liberal, he's against unnecessary cruelty.

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  37. You sure it wasn't Edro So?

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  38. We're still waiting on Sean Hannity's "waterboarding for charity" to happen.

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  39. Mooser3:10 PM

    "since, y'know, we'd be torturing people for their political opinions."

    That makes liberals who are against torture the real torturers, just like they are the real racists!
    I could explain this, but I'll have to strap Reason to a bench and get some H2O first.

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  40. This atheist was waterboarded as part of a baptismal ceremony during the Great King Salmon Revival and End Time Harvest last year. It was kinda’ a blast.

    The whole thing started out as a simple fishing trip to the Naknek river on the Alaska peninsula. We were promised some excellent spring (Americans call them “kings”) salmon fishing in the river and while the fishing never really measured up the excursion remains, of all the things I have so far experienced in my life, definitely one of them.

    Sara Palin’s eldest daughter, Bristle, was a cook at the camp I was staying at, and she convinced me to attend the nearby GKSRaETH one evening. Since the fishing was slow and Bristle is such a good dancer (I’d seen her on an American teevee show called Former Pregnant Teens Certain They Can Gyrate) and there was dancing promised at the Revival, well, who would have to be asked twice?

    Things seemed a little weird right from the get-go. When we arrived (a bit late; the ATV wouldn’t shift out of second gear) most everyone was either in the salt chuck or standing next to it, chanting and wailing to the many seagulls whirling overhead, or else chanting and wailing face down in the sand, trying to get the attention of the clams, no doubt. I also noticed there was a nasty jellyfish bloom happening right there in amongst all the folks in the water, so without hesitating I tore off my clothes and rushed in to save the poor folks getting stung by the jellyfish. Of course, the only person to get stung – repeatedly – was yours truly.

    The Revivalists were mighty concerned about me as they carried my almost paralyzed body up to their camp and inside a tent. My lips and eyes were swollen up like a pelican bill full of oolichans, I couldn’t speak or see barely at all, and I couldn’t move my limbs. All I heard was very concerned whispering and the name “John Woo” mentioned several times. Must be the local doctor, I figured. I don’t really know what exactly happened next, it was like a dream that I couldn’t really follow, but Bristle filled me in later.

    It seems all the Revivalists took turns squatting (or standing, as the case may be) above me and micturating. That is, they pissed on me. A lot.
    And quite a bit of it got in my mouth, apparently, and I sputtered and coughed and of course feared for my life. But this “enhanced cleansing technique,” as I later learned it’s called, is a lifesaving piss-up used by Believers for both the body and soul – although the bodily was the only one that took on me. I cleared up pretty darn quickly after that, and even managed to eat more than my share of some delicious smoked salmon, despite all the muttering we had to do before each mouthful. All in all a fun evening with a bunch of folks who were all very concerned about my welfare, Bog bless ‘em.

    So when I read that Sara Palin believes that “water torture” (heh) should be used like a baptism for wrong-believers, I believe her. After all, it happened to me and I’m here to tell about it.

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  41. Mooser3:13 PM

    "Christ, every time these Bush-era nightmares come back up, I forget how
    much of the awfulness of that time I've repressed in my mind."



    Thank you for saying that.

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  42. Remember that the timer has to have a large, bold digital readout, preferably in red.

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  43. Halloween_Jack3:15 PM

    Not bad, although the upshot is that you've outed yourself as that person who saw The Paperboy.

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  44. Halloween_Jack3:19 PM

    It's unreliable compared to just about anything else


    As the Provisional IRA found out, more than once.

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  45. Shakezula3:21 PM

    With Palin it is more The Shrieker in the Dorkness.

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  46. merl13:21 PM

    that's just what I was thinking.

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  47. eohippus3:22 PM

    Andrew's just trying to live up to his last name, as he has the soul of Joseph McCarthy and the brains of Charlie McCarthy.

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  48. coozledad3:23 PM

    I'm a hard man. Vicious, but fair.

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  49. eohippus3:29 PM

    Dude, everybody knows that. It's Bombmaking 101, right along with "all wires must be carefully color-coded to simplify de-fusing."

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  50. Shakezula3:30 PM

    Based on the few episodes I watched, Burn Notice was about 50 gazillion jillion times too cerebral. I imagine the fact that the bad guys lacked the traditional bad guy indicators (brown skin, names like Mohammed or Mohammed) also made the show difficult for the average RW brain to follow.

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  51. LittlePig3:32 PM

    Edros O.

    He's the one with the white cat in his lap.

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  52. Mooser3:34 PM

    "All they need is to refine the point where they can say it's only Muslim feelings we are sensitive about."


    And as far as the feelings of Christians who might be uncomfortable with the conflation of a Baptism and torture technique, well, if it wasn't for waterboarding, you'd all be Muslim by now.

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  53. Mooser3:38 PM

    Takes a lot of talented people to keep Alicublog going.

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  54. Halloween_Jack3:41 PM

    I noted this from McCarthy:

    It requires the infliction of severe pain and suffering by a government official who deliberately and consciously intends to torture his victim.

    *snip*

    Waterboarding the way the CIA executed was highly uncomfortable, but it did not cause severe pain, it was of short duration, and it did not cause fear of imminent death (the detainees were told that they were not going to be killed).

    Note that the "and suffering" part kind of disappeared. Whether or not feeling like you're drowning constitutes "pain", by any definition, waterboarding certainly induces "suffering", as even the late diehard antijihadist Christopher Hitchens told us.

    In the meantime, according to one NRO commenter, Bible Spice has doubled down:

    Actions to stop terrorists who’d utterly annihilate America and delight in massacring our innocent children? Darn right I’d do whatever it takes to
    foil their murderous jihadist plots – including waterboarding.



    Does that include the likes of domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, who actually did massacre innocent children?

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  55. Derelict3:52 PM

    Even if you're callous enough to think torture should be okay in the ticking-bomb scenario because you're doing it for some immensely greater good, you still have to worry about that line's inevitable slide toward making torture acceptable for lesser offenses.

    We can torture this murderer because he might have murdered other people, and this way we'll find out!

    We can torture this pot smoker because he'll turn in his dealer and we can save hundreds of school kids from lives of drug abuse!

    We can torture anyone we pull over for speeding because they might have information on a crime that we can either solve or prevent!

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  56. Shakezula3:52 PM

    Does that include the likes of domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh, who actually did massacre innocent children?

    No, she specifically said jihadist. McVeigh wasn't a jihadist (although I realize this is a theory popular among some of the shriekeratzi). This also excludes people who attack family planning clinics or exercise their 2nd Amendment rights in a manner likely to cause dead bodies all over the place.



    I'm not surprised she's dumbling down, how else is she going to get attention that might translate into $$? I mean it isn't like she can run for office ... Saaaaay...

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  57. Shakezula3:56 PM

    This is exactly the point for these creeps. The Venn diagram of LawnOrder/Pro-torture fans is a circle.

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  58. Derelict3:56 PM

    Actually, the script for the lousy action-hero thriller flick has much more internal consistency. It also has a point. These are two things conservative reasoning is utterly devoid of.

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  59. Shakezula3:59 PM

    I wondered who would bring on the Wolfe.

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  60. XeckyGilchrist4:17 PM

    Only government officials can torture, huh? Yet another function that would be just fine if done by private enterprise.

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  61. XeckyGilchrist4:20 PM

    You're thinking of Ernststavr O.

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  62. Christopher Olson4:40 PM

    Do we really have to sanction every panicky last minute decision made in the face of imminent danger and then make it standard practice?

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  63. Smurch4:41 PM

    3 Gold Stars for "shriekeraztzi".

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  64. DN Nation4:46 PM

    Also, too, Jenny.

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  65. smut clyde4:59 PM

    the ticking-bomb scenarioo.

    Oh no, what will happen when the terrorists catch up with digital technology and stop using mechanical escapement mechanisms in their bombs?

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  66. Christopher Hazell5:00 PM

    Nothing says "small government" like having the feds take accused criminals away to secret prisons to be tortured.


    Also, nothing says small government like the conviction that anybody accused of a crime is obviously guilty.

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  67. satch5:29 PM

    I remember in my younger, radical days, I favored sparkly burning fuses attached to bowling ball shaped bombs with the "Acme" brand prominently visible.

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  68. smut clyde5:32 PM

    Not for extracting intelligence; it's impossible to separate the signals from the noise.
    That cannot be so, for the scumbucket psychologist who advised the CIA on their torture program has assured us that it yielded much useful intel, and I am sure he would not be just making stuff up in the absence of (a) a security clearance and (b) access to the outcomes of interrogation.

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  69. smut clyde5:34 PM

    Did you have the accompanying black cloak within which you could conceal the infernal device until it was time to hurl it at the target?

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  70. satch5:43 PM

    National Review writer, caught crapping in the yard:


    "And ANOTHER brilliant post!!11! (hits "send")"

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  71. Was he a cousin of Edro Nu?

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  72. TGuerrant6:02 PM

    They're still grappling with the Emancipation Proclamation. Trendy ephemera such as this must wait.

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  73. Wait, which scenario do I get to torture more people? Because thats how I decide these hypotheticals.

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  74. philadelpialawyer6:03 PM

    "This will give you some idea of how awful McCarthy is -- he attempts to enlist Rod Dreher in his defense, and I feel outraged for Rod Dreher."
    -------Meh. Here is Dreher's take on Palin's comment:

    -------"For us Christians, baptism is the entry into new life. Palin invoked it to celebrate torture. Even if you don’t believe that waterboarding is torture, surely you agree that it should not be compared to baptism, and that such a comparison should be laughed at. What does it say about the character of a person that they could make that joking comparison, and that so many people would cheer for it. Nothing good — and nothing that does honor to the cause of Jesus Christ."
    -------First of all, Dreher equivocates on whether waterboarding is "really" torture, and that is the only actual public policy issue here. Secondly, he makes it clear that his real concern is not that Palin defends torture, but that she did so in a way that insults Christians, their sacrament, their beliefs and their "honor." Frankly, I don't give a crap about any of that. What I find to be most abhorrent is torture itself, followed by those who defend it, but Dreher doesn't. Not really. What is abhorrent to him is anything that does not redound to the benefit of Christianity.
    -----I would feel a lot more outraged for Dreher if he was a consistent and forthright critic of torture, and didn't place his endless, parochial concerns for his religion above everything except his even more parochial concerns. As it is, it is no wonder that McCarthy considers Dreher a potential ally in all of this.

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  75. "Deliberately and consciously"--were they worried that people would get hauled up for torture when they bumped somebody in the doorway or stepped on their toe accidentally? Or is this simply an extension of "its not racist unless hitler mustache?"

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  76. Also, too: dumbling down.

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  77. PulletSurprise6:07 PM

    My kinda dunk tank.

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  78. XeckyGilchrist6:09 PM

    Sadly, we moved past the Geneva Conventions instead. (Keyword "quaint.")

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  79. smut clyde6:32 PM

    That was part of Norm Cohn's thesis in "Europe's Inner Demons". Of course Cohn knew whereof he wrote, what with his experience in the Intelligence Corps and interrogating Nazis after WWII.
    Cohn is sadly no longer with us, so someone else must write the sequel "America's Inner Demons".

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8c/Europe%27s_Inner_Demons.jpg

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  80. Mooser6:32 PM

    Man, don't you know nuffin? Terrorists always use a timer with a large digital count-down display, from which several different wires extend to the main part of the bomb. These are the just-in-time wires, which are cut, you guessed it, just in time.

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  81. Mooser6:35 PM

    "panicky last minute decision made in the face of imminent danger"


    Oh, gimme a fucking break.

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  82. Mooser6:42 PM

    When I hear the name "Ed Roso" I picture a guy who might very well have been Perry Como's competitor.

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  83. Smurch6:53 PM

    Nonsense - Perry C. had no peer!

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  84. satch6:53 PM

    Yep... low tech but damn near foolproof.

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  85. coozledad7:07 PM

    Sounds like Lanny Davis being initiated into George Bush's frat.

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  86. smut clyde7:24 PM

    Sarah Palin's grisly joke about waterboarding
    Not so much 'joke', more 'profession of psychopathy as shibboleth of tribal membership'.
    I am sure there is a market for "I Flunked the Voight-Kampff Test" t-shirts.

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  87. That's a spicy meatball!

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/_HCS9AJ0rEI/maxresdefault.jpg
    ~

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  88. Kaplan Voight-Kampff Test Prep has you covered.
    ~

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  89. davdoodles8:30 PM

    I'm, not so sure that setting policy based on the pathetic action-adventure comicbook nightmares of piss-pants cowards like McCarthy and Dreher, and nasty, lazy socipaths like Caribou Barbi, has work out so well so far.
    But apparently, whether or not something is "working" seems to have little or no effect of their enthusiasm for torturing others. Entirely irrelevant to them, even...
    .

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  90. JennOfArk8:33 PM

    Go with the zygotes. There's 50 of them, so you can do the whole Peeps thing. You know, put some in the microwave, float some in the tub, etc.

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  91. davdoodles9:08 PM

    "...the Left’s... hypocritical claim that waterboarding... amounted to “torture"."

    I wondered the same thing. How is claiming that waterboarding is torture "hypocritical"?

    We say it's torturehere, and we say it's torture there. (Now getting my Green-Eggs-And-Ham groove on), we say it's torture everywhere.

    Or is he sugesting that, on the one hand, we condemn torture/waterboarding, and elsewhere, we practice it. Cos' I'd meet a citation for that last bit.
    .

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  92. coozledad9:24 PM

    I used to have a neighbor that I swore if he died, I'd go take a dump on his grave. It was an idle threat, made even more idle by the fact they buried him next to a major road running up beside the Methodist church (It's an old church, and they've nearly run out of burial space). A friend of mine came up with an elegant solution- plastic bucket drive by.


    I haven't acted on this plan. but that's not to discourage anyone else.

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  93. davdoodles9:25 PM

    Perhaps this is what McCarthy meant by "liberal hypocrisy" about waterboarding: I would genuinely like Hannity to get voluntarily waterboarded.
    Not involuntarily, of course.
    But a public record of the moment his cocksure, lumpy, Brylcreamed smugness morphs into a waterlogged, sobbing, coughing convert... would be priceless.
    And that, as he knows, is precisely why he will never do it, no matter what the charity.
    .

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  94. M. Krebs9:55 PM

    There seem to be lots of dead people where you live. But then that's probably true in many places.

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  95. Jeffrey_Kramer9:59 PM

    My aunt had just come back from a visit with a self-pitying relative who kept saying to her that when she died, nobody would come to her funeral. She told the story to her brother, adding "I really don't care who comes to my funeral. In fact, if you have anything you'd rather do that day, feel free to skip it." To which my uncle replied, "I can't conceive of anything I'd rather do."

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  96. M. Krebs9:59 PM

    smut, you are one amazing trove of knowledge.

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  97. M. Krebs10:02 PM

    I'm thinking more like "roll of quarters in a sock for charity."

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  98. M. Krebs10:06 PM

    It's Eduardo O'Droso, son of Portuguese and Irish immigrants.

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  99. Except for that little problem in Atlantic City with the male hooker and the cocaine. Oh, wait, that was the Baptist minister.

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  100. Jeffrey_Kramer10:26 PM

    So, naturally, polls show that the religious group most friendly to torture (in America, at least) is evangelical Christians. Which might initially seem counter-intuitive because, you know, "Prince of Peace," turn the other cheek and all that. But which of course is not surprising in the slightest when you think of Bryan Fischer and Tony Perkins and Franklin Graham and "Coach" Dave Daubenmire and Rick Wiles and Kevin Swanson and....

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  101. KatWillow10:26 PM

    They contradict themselves: if waterboarding is not torture, doesn't harm or even scare the victim, WHY DO IT?

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  102. Good combination. A liberal Himmler.

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  103. M. Krebs10:26 PM

    It's gotta be one of these.

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  104. Wait, frozen fertilized eggs? Sounds like torture to me from the jump. I mean, have you ever sat in the fucking freezer for three weeks WITH NO CLOTHES ON?

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  105. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:47 PM

    Small government and small minds just seem to go together. Coincidence, I'm sure...

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  106. The only reason I can think of for them waterboarding KSM 200 times is because they enjoyed it.

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  107. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:00 PM

    At the campfire (for the ex-Scouts out there)...

    Splash!
    Do you believe?
    Yes, I believe!
    Splash!
    Do you believe?
    Yes, I believe!
    Splash!
    Do you believe?
    Yes, I believe!
    Tell us, what do you believe.
    I believe you're tryin' to drown me!


    Not sure today's New Improved BSA would approve.-

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  108. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:15 PM

    we'd never have caught bin Laden in time.

    In time for what? Dinner?

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  109. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:20 PM

    Trained interrogators like this guy?

    Soufan told congressmen that within the first hour of his interrogation of Zubaydah, he had obtained "actionable intelligence," including information regarding Khalid Sheik Mohammad the so-called mastermind of 9/11. But Soufan said that when the CIA took over, they used techniques he considered "border line torture" and that Zubaydah stopped giving useful information.


    As Atrios says so often, we are ruled by idiots...

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  110. mortimer200011:20 PM

    Waterboarding the way the CIA executed was highly uncomfortable, but it did not cause severe pain, it was of short duration, and it did not cause fear of imminent death...

    Jeez, McCarthy, you just described a big wet smooch from my Aunt Dolly whenever she came to visit: Highly uncomfortable, of short duration, no pain of fear of death, just a momentary sensation of drowning while being asphyxiated in a fog bank of Evening in Paris toilet water. Interrogation in such circumstances might be distasteful, but not what you could call enhanced.

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  111. Wow, sigyn. You're right, that is heartbreaking.

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  112. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:27 PM

    Some furrin' soundin' dude. Royed Roso, I think, but I don't speak furrin......

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  113. AGoodQuestion11:29 PM

    Hey there's no smoke without fire. Especially if you're burning someone.

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  114. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:31 PM

    In a way, the disease that is the Right Wing tends to innoculate others against it. The infection grows no larger, but redder and more pus-filled. man, if that sucker ever pops...

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  115. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:35 PM

    Only if Fox paid him some big bucks. That's where his core values are.

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  116. AGoodQuestion11:46 PM

    Did Rupert Murdoch snap that DJ up? He'd have to be very unlucky - or butt-ugly - not to get at least a panel job on Fox News.

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  117. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:48 PM

    Acme's PR department pay pretty good?

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  118. coozledad12:04 AM

    My wife quit calling me that after I consented to adopt another pot-bellied pig. But i know she still thinks it.

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  119. coozledad12:13 AM

    No shit. The south is just reeking with ghosts. I knew this from the time I was a child. I still can't figure out what makes them, even in the face of intelligent inquiry. I don't mean booger ghosts, but the ones that make living people do stupid shit. The existence of those are indisputable.

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  120. synykyl12:25 AM

    The only thing more disgusting than the monsters who torture their prisoners, are the monsters who argue that the torture is justified.

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  121. Smarter than Your Average Bear12:58 AM

    Apparently not, although this time it seems it's a drone - Bauer and 24 is back this summer with 12 episodes.

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  122. Smarter than Your Average Bear1:05 AM

    The compleat spy vs. spy uniform - I always preferred those big slouchy hats

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  123. Daniel Bj├Ârkman3:34 AM

    Mmm-hmm. Let's see the ticking-time-bomb scenario actually happen, and then we can talk. In fact, then I fully expect that we will talk - or more accurately, you will never shut up about it. The fact that you never see pro-torture assholes point to any particular person and say, "hey, he/she is only alive because we tortured someone!" tells you all you need to know about the efficiency of torture.


    And the "waterboarding isn't as bad as they say!" argument is just bizarre. So it's just a mild discomfort that does not present much in the way of physical or emotional pain... but at the same time it's a super-effective interrogation technique that we absolutely cannot afford not to use?

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  124. "Waterboarding the way the CIA executed was highly uncomfortable, but it did not cause severe pain, it was of short duration, and it did not cause fear of imminent death (the detainees were told that they were not going to be killed)."


    So…is McCarthy complaining or something?

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  125. One wonders, if waterboarding is so innocuous, why bother doing it? Is it a courtesy, like handshakes at a business deal?

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  126. satch8:17 AM

    No... that was Julius LaRosa. Close, though...

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  127. gocart mozart10:57 AM

    Also, when there is a ticking time bomb and you torture the guy in order to find out which wire to cut to defuse it, (is it the blue one or the red one!) 50% of the time they lie. Note: I watch action movies too.

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  128. Nope, but read the book. Pete Dexter is one of many favourites.

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  129. Halloween_Jack1:52 PM

    I did and liked it as well; the movie seems to have gotten not nearly as good a reception.

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  130. Dear Andrew "Hitler Got Nuttin' on Me" McCarthy:

    I see Yoo have a different opinion than most sapient organisms as to what constitutes torture.

    "It requires the infliction of severe pain and suffering by a government official who deliberately and consciously intends to torture his victim."

    This was further micro-parsed by Yoo et.al. to mean that the purpose of the water boarding should be the infliction of the pain (equivalent to major organ failure or some other such high bar, for reasons unexplained), rather than seeking answers to questions. So that, if the benighted water boarders were just "intending" the honorable task of stopping a ticking time bomb and not just engaged in gratuitous infliction of pain, it was not torture. Despite the fact that the Torture Convention (and thus U.S. law implementing such) specifically rejects any such rationalization or excuse. Actual human beings can consider this 'argument' and reject it as a fool's errand to justify the unjustifiable; a madman's version of "the ends justify the means".



    Sincerely,
    -- Your conscience, which has permanently fled from the environs of your maggot-eaten cranium

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