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The Blinders of Dick Cheney’s Patriotism

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Incredible. Absolutely freaking incredible.

Today: "In my long experience in Washington, few matters have inspired so much contrived indignation and phony moralizing as the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists."

Taken at face value, this statement shows that Cheney believes that American senators and representatives are not truly offended at all that we as a country tortured people. He apparently believes that the outrage against torture is nothing more than political posturing.

Nothing, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. To this particular retired Navy man, Cheney – like Rumsfeld, Limbaugh, and Bush (who served only in a 'boutique squadron' and never left the States during his entire tour of duty) is nothing more than another chickenhawk, someone who has never really served in the military but is absolutely sure that he knows what the military is all about and is all too eager to send them in harm's way.

A simple search on Google will find that the American government was not the first to coin the phrase 'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques'. No, that particular distinction belongs to the Nazis, as is made clear in articles from The Atlantic and Harper's. In fact, the article in The Atlantic makes clear that the Bush Administration's EIT program differed from the Nazi EIT program only in that the Nazis seemed to provide more oversight and used methods less outrageous than those of the Bush Administration.

Don't get me wrong – I'm only referring to the Enhanced Interrogation Technique programs of the Nazis and the Bush Administration, and I'm certainly not comparing the Bush administration to the Nazis. I'm only pointing out that this ONE program bears an uncomfortably close resemblance to that used by the Nazis, only ours was worse.

Not only that, but Cheney took it one step further. Interrogators' use of waterboarding, he insisted, was not only lawful but "skillful" and "entirely honorable." Y'know, we've seen a plethora of military officers up to and including generals who have decried the use of this torture, and we've seen FBI and CIA agents come out against it…but I've yet to see ANY military, FBI, or CIA agents come out FOR waterboarding. The only ones I've heard FOR waterboarding are chickenhawks who never served.

I figure I'm probably wrong about that, though – there's GOT to be someone from the military, FBI, or CIA somewhere who's got some experience with EIT who is willing to tell just how valuable they were to America's security. I haven't seen them yet. I'm sure the readers of this post will oblige and find some. Until then, as far as I'm concerned, Cheney's a wonderful example of Samuel Johnson's maxim that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," for he must realize that his own statements have landed him afoul of international law and treaty, and such "patriotism" may well be his only way to avoid an appointment at The Hague.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • http://mongo.not.me Mongo

    Fully agree and thank you. Torture is bullshit. It will never work for the United States, only serves to give US detractors ammo because it paints Americans as hypocrites.

  • Clavos

    You say:

    I figure I’m probably wrong about that, though – there’s GOT to be someone from the military, FBI, or CIA somewhere who’s got some experience with EIT who is willing to tell just how valuable they were to America’s security. I haven’t seen them yet.

    Mr. Cheney asserts that there are CIA memos which conclusively prove the value of EIT, and he has repeatedly challenged the Administration to release those memos. The Obama lack of response to Mr. Cheney’s challenges creates a strong suspicion that Mr. Cheney is right.

    Pejman Yousefzadeh, a Senior Editor of The New Ledger writes in an article for CBS News titled “D.C. Smackdown: Advantage Cheney” that while “[He] write[s] as one who believes that waterboarding is counterproductive at best, and torture at worst. [He] write[s] as one who believes that torture rarely is justified.”

    He nonetheless makes the point:

    “It seems as if the Obama Administration is incredibly capricious about the evidence it chooses to release, and the evidence it chooses to keep under wraps. This capriciousness is puzzling; by calling for the release of memos detailing how successful enhanced interrogation might have been, Vice President Cheney is, in effect, inviting the Obama Administration to call shenanigans on his arguments. If enhanced interrogation was unsuccessful, the Obama Administration can show it through those memos and prove to the public that Dick Cheney was wrong.

    Of course, it is entirely possible that the Obama Administration is refusing to release those memos because Dick Cheney was right. If so, the Administration’s refusal to take up the Cheney challenge, while self-righteously claiming that Dick Cheney is wrong, is dishonest in the extreme. And if that dishonesty translates itself into policy, it will be to the detriment of us all.”

    It’s an important point, and it behooves the Obama Administration to accept Cheney’s challenges, release the memos and respond appropriately to their content.

    If he continues to stonewall this issue, Obama stands to lose yet another measure of his rapidly dwindling credibility with the American public.

  • Vishal

    Great quote at the end.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, I thought we had finally put this kind of lame bullshit behind us, but apparently not.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    the article in The Atlantic makes clear that the Bush Administration’s EIT program differed from the Nazi EIT program only in that the Nazis seemed to provide more oversight and used methods less outrageous than those of the Bush Administration.

    And in the fact that the Nazis tortured thousands for political reasons and the US tortured only 3 and that because they actually had information on immediate threats to security.

    But don’t let me ruin your hate parade with some truth.

    Carry on.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks guys, #2 & #4, for letting me sweat while being attacked by a pack of vicious dogs from both the intolerant left and equally rigid right.

    But it looks like principles don’t really matter to either of you; and that the only thing that rouses you to any kind of action, verbal or otherwise, is when your favorite politician is being attacked. And if that ain’t the filthiest and the nastiest in partisanship, nothing is.

    So thanks, again, for your show of courage and for opening my eyes. You should be proud of yourselves.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Roger, principles matter to me, but this article is just more of the same old pointless attacks and has nothing to do with principle.

    Dave

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, what exactly are you on about? Your #6 was your first comment here, so how are you “being attacked by a pack of vicious dogs from both the intolerant left and equally rigid right”?

    Dave, I don’t get your point about “pointless attacks” as you do that all the time to people who have different opinions to you. Is that some kind of “principle” I’ve not yet encountered?

    Principles are just like any other dogma, secular or not, they are only useful up to a point.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Wow, I thought we had finally put this kind of lame bullshit behind us, but apparently not.

    So did I. Unfortunately the Dark Lord’s speaking tour marches on.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I wish someone would just come out and say it. “Dick Cheney was the President of the United States for eight years,he just didn’t have the balls to admit it!”
    I think everyone here is missing the original point! They tortured people so they could justify going into Iraq for the OIL!
    Furthermore, Saddam wasn’t relieved of hie “post” because he was part of “the axis of evil” or that he had “known ties to Mideast terrorists” he was overthrown because he was UNDERCUTTING OPEC and selling oil CHEAP! Cheney’s God is money and his church is the OIL INDUSTRY!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Jordan, is your comment thread broken? I couldn’t see any words..

  • Jordan Richardson

    Apparently it thinks I wrote it in transparent font. Weird.

    Try this again:

    the simple fact is that what Cheney and co did to a couple of terrorist most likely saved the lives of at least a handful of American citizens

    Maybe, at best. It’s probably more likely that what Cheney and Co. did was create more than a handful of fresh new terrorists with vigorous hate hard-ons for America.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Oh, by the way Jeannie, thank you for the comment on my music review.

    I’m about as far from conservative as possible (I think). But I’m more than willing to ensure that Obama and anyone else receives a fair shake of the criticism, especially when they simply reinstate failed policies that continue to create bad will around the world and threaten the cause for peace.

    Yeah, I’m a crazy idealist. Been called worse.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    (#8) – a point of clarification:

    The reference was to another thread, and they both knew it; the principle concerned personal integrity, hardly a matter of convenience.

    The first had an excuse because he was laboring under the impression that I insulted him (despite my explanation); the second had none.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I know I am a nut about President Obama(I hate it when people call him Mr.) even if they think he’s an ass or whatever their real “unspoken problem” is with our President today, he still deserves respect and I don’t think the White House is being secretly run by Vice-President Biden either…unlike the last administration.
    Here is a slogan
    “When a law abiding citizen is afraid of their own country,what does that say about their present administration? I am not afraid anymore..”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    What this post shows is the continuing desperation of the left to talk about anything but the failures of the Obama administration and the absolutely loony stuff coming out of congress. Attacking the Bush administration and Cheney is a transparent effort to redirect attention and it’s becoming increasingly creepy and pathetic.

    Dave

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Dave, Look- [And in the fact that the Nazis tortured thousands for political reasons and the US tortured only 3 and that because they actually had information on immediate threats to security.] This is bullshit isn’t it?
    Are you justifying Hitler or Cheney! They will both be remembered as ‘Sick individuals.”
    Until the Dick-Cheney re-write history tour I didn’t even know what his voice sounded like! and we can all read body language can’t we? Look at his hunched shoulders and the way he postures towards the interviewers leaning forward and almost falling out of his seat. I am truly surprised that he has not had another coronary by now!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    And also if my punctuation or spelling is not PERFICT :) too bad..You can still understand my content can’t cha?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dave,

    What do you propose “the left” or the media do when Cheney wanders out of his retirement home and offers up this speeches? Surely “the right” didn’t ignore Al Gore when he trotted around the country talking about global warming.

    This has nothing to do with left or right nonsense, Dave, and everything to do with a bitter old man on a bender cruising through every media outlet and organization that will let him deliver yet another “speech.” Why should writers not call attention to it and expose his content for what it really is?

    If Cheney doesn’t want to be addressed by the left or the media, perhaps he should emulate the former President and get to stepping. In terms of the real issues, there’s been ample discussion about Obama’s problems with the torture issue and with military commissions. And an awful lot of it has come from “the left.”

  • Jordan Richardson

    I am truly surprised that he has not had another coronary by now!

    His robotic heart is standing up pretty well, isn’t it?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Jordan :)
    I second your #20 comment! Can we retweet here?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t you have anything good to say about Obama administration? Don’t you think, for example, that the crackdown on the credit companies, requiring the kind of transparency not available to consumers before, is a good thing?

    What exact failures do you have in mind? Closing the Gitmo? Resuming the Middle East peace process? It would help not to speak in generalities.

    Jordan,

    Cheney and company have no choice but to speak to presumed advantages of EIT to diffuse the charges of the Bush administration wrongdoings. It’s still far from a resolved issue.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I am truly surprised that he has not had another coronary by now!

    His robotic heart is standing up pretty well, isn’t it?
    a blended thought! :)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You two should get a room!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Mr. Cheney asserts that there are CIA memos which conclusively prove the value of EIT, and he has repeatedly challenged the Administration to release those memos. The Obama lack of response to Mr. Cheney’s challenges creates a strong suspicion that Mr. Cheney is right.

    Only to people who won’t acknowledge that Cheney has an agenda. His agenda is to defend torture. It’s clear from his propaganda about it and his actions to meddle in independent investigations.

    There is plenty of information available. I have put the article and video that describes this and the CIA Inspector General report several times in the last months.

    CIA Inspector General: no proof harsh techniques stopped terror attacks on America

    ” ‘It is difficult to quantify with confidence and precision the effectiveness of the program,” Steven G. Bradbury, then the Justice Department’s principal deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a May 30, 2005, memo to CIA General Counsel John Rizzo, one of four released last week by the Obama administration.

    “As the IG Report notes, it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks.

    (snip)

    Nevertheless, Bradbury concluded in his May 2005 memos that the program had been effective, although the still secret reports by Inspector General John Helgerson had been disseminated a full year earlier.”

    We have people like Bradbury here reading from the IG report which says we cannot conclude something–and based on this report Bradbury then DOES conclude that the program is effective?

    How and why does this happen? I think we all know.

    It is pretty clear that if one wants to support what was done, one will simply ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit with that opinion. It’s not like there isn’t enough information to anyone to minimally think CHENEY HAS AN AGENDA. Any reasonable person would not be taking Cheney’s word for anything.

    The Inspector General of the CIA investigated for crying out loud. Saw everything and made a statement that no evidence supports torture! Cheney tried to meddle with that investigation at the time.

    Cheney Intervened in CIA Inspector General’s Torture Probe

    “Cheney’s “reaction to this first, carefully documented in-house study concluding that the CIA’s secret program was most likely criminal was to summon the Inspector General to his office for a private chat,” Mayer wrote. “The Inspector General is supposed to function as an independent overseer, free from political pressure, but Cheney summoned the CIA Inspector General more than once to his office.

    “Cheney loomed over everything,” the former CIA officer told Mayer. “The whole IG’s office was completely politicized. They were working hand in glove with the White House.”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger[Don’t you have anything good to say about Obama administration? Don’t you think, for example, that the crackdown on the credit companies, requiring the kind of transparency not available to consumers before, is a good thing?]
    notice this was ramrodded through the House like a bolt of lightning!
    Why are all the other bills we so desperately need lying on the floor of the Senate. Do you think on of those “numb nuts” could pick one up and pass it. Note: I refer to the proverbial nut belonging to both male and female!
    pass HR 676! pass HR 444 and pass the Lilly ledbetter fair pay bill so the 64% of the working force that is FEMALE can bring home enough money to feed their families!!!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Enough with the get a room bullshit. It’s really fobnoxious.

    fobnoxious – fucking obnoxious

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    THIS is our room! It belongs to all of us..:)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Jeannie. Don’t forget me either. I could use an extra hundred a week. Then I wouldn’t be stuck on BC every hour of the day.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And you should cut back on your caffeine intake!

    Enough with the made up contractions. They’re really fucking obnoxious!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This room business resurfaces every so often. The editors are fairly conscientious about it, though, and tend to clamp down on all suggestions of impropriety.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Cindy, I have found this little fact true my entire life:
    When ever a girl or woman says something you don’t agree with there is always that little boy or man sitting in the corner trying to bring it back to sex. ANDY, Sex can not be used as a weapon here. Go move to Pakistan or Afghanistan or any other Stan where you will feel like A BIG man…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie, that’s not entirely correct. Ask Cindy how many times the suggestion was directed at me and her. It takes all kinds.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I fear Jeannie, you won’t like me much the next time I talk about Obama who is, I feel, dangerous. I’m just preparing you ahead of time.

    The first time I criticized Obama to my mom, she told me these two things: “Obama is a different kind of Capitalist.” and “Nothing you say will ever make me change my mind.” Knowing my mom–further discussion would not lead to anything good. So, she occasionally glows with praise for Obama while I just make some noncommittal vocalization or change the subject.

    Anyway, your enthusiasm reminds me of hers. I am afraid though I can’t go as easy on a political blog.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger,[Well, Jeannie. Don’t forget me either. I could use an extra hundred a week. Then I wouldn’t be stuck on BC every hour of the day.] HA HA HA
    I am having so much fun here I’m ready to pay BC! :) no offense Andy :(

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And you had better consult Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style from now on – all you inept contraction makers. You’re bastardizing the English language.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, you do meet all kinds here, Jeannie. And that is the truth.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Oh please!

    let’s take a look at this for second here people…look at comment 21 then look at comment 24. If that’s not an example of mutual masturbation than I don’t know what is!

    Why are you LIBERALS so fucking mean anyway? Can’t take a joke now and then? Do you ever get laid? Maybe you need to double up on your prosac or something!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Jeannie, that’s not entirely correct. Ask Cindy how many times the suggestion was directed at me and her. It takes all kinds.

    Well that was more because when I like someone I can be very affectionate. It was a mistake to do that here. Though apparently I can get away with it in Clavos’ case, I am happy to see. :-)

    Also my views in support of people in general are often taken as personal flattery.

    On twitter I can sign my messages with love or X’s and o’s. No one tells me to get a room or misinterprets my affectionate nature.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Cindy, Don’t miss-understand my Enthusiasm here!
    I like all of the people here Conservative,Republican,Democrat,liberal,Independent,Canadian!
    This is freedom of speech! :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Even Andy?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    So, in other words Cindy, you gave me a ration of shit for a comment that wasn’t even meant for you…nice…is that how you get your exercise? Jumping to conclusions?

  • Clavos

    Why should writers not call attention to it and expose his content for what it really is?

    Good point, so let’s look at a few that do just that.

    Victor Davis Hanson:

    “In short, while pundits still believe Cheney is a marginalized figure and an easy target of scorn, in fact, his methodical defense of the past is both logical and principled, and is beginning to illustrate, in quite painful fashion, the utter hypocrisy of the entire Democratic position on enhanced interrogations techniques and Guantánamo Bay.”

    Stephen F. Hayes, Senior Writer, The Weekly Standard:

    “While some of these wounds are self-inflicted, there is little doubt that the constant pressure applied by Cheney is having a significant effect.

    Cheney is making arguments that the Bush administration largely avoided throughout the second term. Aside from an occasional, defensive speech about its war on terror policies, the Bush White House allowed its opponents to level harsh attacks with little or no response. Only in the final months of the administration did the White House offer a consistent, unapologetic argument that Bush administration policies, however controversial, were responsible for keeping the country safe in the seven years after the 9/11 attacks.

    Equally important is that the views of the American public on national security are much closer to Cheney’s than Maureen Dowd’s. Democrats have made the assumption that because Cheney is personally unpopular, the policies he has advocated are, too. Obama did not become president because voters supported his positions on national security and the war on terror. They don’t.

    In a widely overlooked Pew poll on “torture” released late last month, respondents were asked: “Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?”…

    “…A stunning 71 percent of those surveyed said that the use of torture could be justified–with 15 percent saying it is “often” justified, 34 percent saying it is “sometimes” justified, and 22 percent saying it is “rarely” justified. Independents fall decisively in what most journalists might characterize as the “pro-torture” camp. More than three-quarters of independents–77 percent–said that torture could be justified: with 19 percent saying it is “often” justified, 35 percent saying it is “sometimes” justified, and 23 percent saying it is “rarely” justified. The phrasing of the question also likely resulted in underreporting the support for what Cheney calls “enhanced interrogation,” since some of the respondents might be hesitant to admit to a random telephone caller that they favor “torture.””

    Jim Geraghty:

    “The standard has been set; Obama is now tinkering with the methods. They’re betting a lot ??” not just their chance at a second term, but the lives of you and me ??” that they can get the same results with different methods. We will see…

    …If there is another successful and terrible terror attack, either on U.S. soil or on a U.S. target abroad, the immediate moment will be too terrible to hear the words “I told you so.” But if, God forbid, that day comes, we will know that indeed Dick Cheney did tell us so.”

    There is also the article, “D.C. Smackdown: Advantage Cheney” to which i linked in my comment #2. Because of the site limit of three links per comment, I can’t link to the article here, but there is a link in #2:

    “I realize that Dick Cheney is “Darth Vader,” as far as the Obama Administration and its allies are concerned. But he is also an excellent debater who is able to bring well-placed facts overwhelmingly to bear in any argument. He did so against Joe Lieberman in the 2000 Vice Presidential debate. He repeated the performance in 2004, manhandling the silver-tongued John Edwards in the process. And despite the fact that I disagree with much that makes up his stance, I have to admit that he appears to have done so again. If President Obama–eloquent as he is–is unable to persuade those who are inclined to agree with him, he ought to reconsider his debating strategy.

    Maybe he’ll consider taking a lesson from Dick Cheney.”

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    That’s funny roger!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Andy,

    Then you tell two men to get a room next time and I won’t say a thing.

    And I’m not a liberal.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Actually, Andy’s right. The “room” remark was directed, as best I can tell, to Jordan and Jeannie.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Of course it was directed to Jordan and Jeannie, Roger. Who thought it wasn’t?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Interesting article and truly fascinating comments.

    From the article, we learn that Vice President Cheney (who apparently wore a funny hat) is a “chickenhawk,” that the “torture” employed by the U.S. to gain information from three terrorists was worse than the “torture” employed by Nazi Germany during WWII, that the Nazis employed more safeguards and used less outrageous methods, and that Vice President Cheney’s own statements have landed him afoul of international law and treaty so that he should have an appointment at The Hague.

    From the comments, we learn (# 9) that Vice President Cheney is the Dark Lord, that (#11) Cheney’s God is money and his church is the OIL INDUSTRY!, that he created (#13) more than a handful of fresh new terrorists with vigorous hate hard-ons for America., that we should (#18) Look at his hunched shoulders and the way he postures towards the interviewers leaning forward and almost falling out of his seat. I am truly surprised that he has not had another coronary by now!, that (#20) Vice President Cheney is a bitter old man who wandered out of his retirement home, and that his (#21 and #24) robotic heart is standing up pretty well. . .

    The comprehension of the “torture” issue is truly outstanding; good, hard headed factual analysis such as presented here is so much needed in these times of partisan bickering and ad hominem mud slinging. I am proud to see my colleagues from the left rise so far above that sort of thing.

    Palpable anger always leads to rational discussion. More! MORE, I say!

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger, Are you referring to ME! I was about to say thanks for your reference to About . com in fact I am trying to download the free version of White smoke grammar checker it would really help me! :) but every time I try to choose the free version it changes to 99 bucks :)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Women sometimes support each other. Men and women sometimes support each other too.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But your response to Andy made him think he was referring to you and Jeannie. At least Jeannie thought so.

  • Clavos

    You’re wasting your time, Dan(Miller).

    It seems they are all about to get a very large and rubber-lined room.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Are you referring to the Strunk & White remark and the business of contraction-making? No! That was Cindy’s flagrant violation.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Cindy, [Women sometimes support each other. Men and women sometimes support each other too.]
    I RETWEET YOU :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, Mr. Miller. This thread has become way too personalized to your taste. I looked for a show of support, though, yesterday, but all the big conservative guns had decided to keep silent. Oh, well.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll second that, Jeannie. I’d rather view all humans as androgynous beings – after Virginia Woolf’s fine example.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Clavos, [It seems they are all about to get a very large and rubber-lined room.] you can join us! the more the merrier ha ha ha

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Personally, I may need that padded room shortly.

    As I am now self employed, I’ve decided to start my Memorial Day weekend early. I’m heading to the golf course with a new driver!

    It’s too nice a day to fight with you guys any more!

    I wish you all a nice long weekend and try to remember what it’s supposed to be about, at least on Monday…

    …and why in the world would I ever tell two men to get a room? EWWWWW! And I hate to tell you this, but you sure are a liberal. I’ve been reading your comments way to long for you to try to blow that smoke up my ass!!!

    Have fun, maybe I’ll see you next week! I know some of you are hoping I’ll stay away longer next time!

    HA!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    OK let’s get back to the subject:
    CHENEY sucks!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Andy and Roger,

    People create the English language. Not them peopleus people.

    Roger, you should read the short essay or whatever it’s called that I wrote and I posted to Clav on the subject. Here it is again.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    oops messed up the html.

    My Subjunctive Mood

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    OMG! my courser started moving across the screen by itself and it scared the hell out of me after my last comment! Then I realized the mouse was falling off my desk :)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    ‘Desperation’? ‘Lame BS’? ‘Pointless attack?’

    If this is so, then why hasn’t ANYone with direct experience with interrogation – whether the lawful way or whether with torture – has said ANYthing to back Cheney up?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Andy and Roger”

    I wasn’t being constipated or anally-retentive. Again, you misplace your references.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Bye Andy, You know what George Carlin used to say “Give all the golf-courses to the homeless!” How’s that for liberal rhetoric!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Andy you are wrong. I’m not a liberal. Liberals support the idea of government. I am much farther left than a liberal.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I am having fun but I really have to pay some attention to Rick(husband) and we want to do a little yard-work. Believe it or not there is a little sunshine in western NY right now! Bye everyone :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie,

    Why don’t you withhold your remarks to him until he’s back online.

    Just a suggestion.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    #
    37 – roger nowosielski
    May 22, 2009 at 7:39 am

    And you had better consult Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style from now on – all you inept contraction makers. You’re bastardizing the English language.

    Roger, you were just joking?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course it was said in the spirit of irony, in reference to Andy’s earlier comment about contractions.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ah…sorry then Roger.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You should try to get a better feel as to where people stand on any number of issues – for there’s certainly plenty of material to go by, the voluminous threads, for one thing.

    I know, you occasionally forget in the heat of the moment.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, since I signed up yesterday for the Yahoo Group that Lisa was talking about, I’m getting swamped with emails. I don’t know if that’s your experience, but I don’t need to be so bombarded with information. I think I’ll disengage.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    ‘Pointless’

    Interrogators have come forward during the Bush administration who stated that they saw firsthand how our torture was used to recruit more terrorists…and one can only wonder how many American soldiers have been killed BECAUSE of this wonderful recruiting tool we gave the terrorists.

    ‘Pointless’

    In the first Iraq war, thousands of Iraqis lined up to surrender. How many enemies of ours in the Middle East would surrender now, now that they KNOW we might torture them?

    ‘Pointless’

    Even though so far it’s ONLY chickenhawks – people who have little REAL military experience – who support torture. So far, NO military, FBI, or CIA agents have come out FOR the torture. All who have done so, have come out AGAINST torture.

    What’s POINTLESS, Dave, are the blinders you are continuing to wear. Maybe you haven’t experienced being on the metaphorical pedestal in a foreign country just because you’re an American. Maybe you haven’t experienced a foreigner’s eagerness to sincerely discuss crucially important matters with you just because you’re an American.

    I have…but we’ve lost much of that moral authority. We’ve lost much of that TRUST, of that HONOR. And whether you know it or not, such moral authority and trust and honor is PRICELESS and not easily gained, much less regained.

    These are what Bush and Cheney so cheaply threw away in the name of expediency…and these are what you would refuse for the same reason.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    #73 – roger nowosielski

    This from someone who says everyone assumed a comment was between two people…one of whom hadn’t even posted yet!

    Keen eye there Mr. Eagle.

    Please stop giving me advice Roger. It really is a lame thing to do when someone doesn’t want it. Tell you what I will update my list now and then and when your name appears you can give me all the advice you want.

    Here you go: List of people whose advice I welcome and seriously consider:

    Mark
    Irene
    Les Slater
    Bliffle (though he never gave me any)

    End of List

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Part of the problem, Glenn is that moral authority, trust and honor aren’t important anymore because we are America.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re just blind, Cindy. So stay that way. I wasn’t giving you any advise, BTW, only pointing out an obvious flaw.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To put it bluntly, you have no sense of persons. End of discussion.

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    BTW, since I signed up yesterday for the Yahoo Group that Lisa was talking about, I’m getting swamped with emails. I don’t know if that’s your experience, but I don’t need to be so bombarded with information. I think I’ll disengage.

    Roger, you can set your email preferences at the Yahoo group website to either receive one daily digest or to receive only administrative notices (which are important announcements). Or you can do as I do with some of my Yahoo groups and choose not to receive email at all but instead read the messages on the web. This keeps your inbox absolutely free.

    My reason for posting that comment yesterday was simply to point out that there is in fact an avenue for writers at BC to become involved in some discussions of site business. Writers who willingly choose not to engage in that avenue don’t have much of a leg to stand on when they complain of a lack of communication between writers and site management.

    Of course whether you choose to keep those lines of communication open is entirely up to you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, Lisa. I’m gonna have to reset the mail preferences. It’s good if it offers a channel for providing feedback, and I’ll avail myself of that.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    lol yeah well, here’s a saying from one of my mom’s past self-improvement meetings…

    “Every time you point a finger there are three more pointing back at you.”

    (sheesh, I am using my mom’s sayings…that’s scary.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, you don’t have a sense of persons. And that just about sums it up for me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And BTW, it wasn’t said in any accusatory, finger-pointing tone, only as an expression of regret.

    All communications are relationships; but in the absence of the latter, the former are useless. Hence the regret.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    We reap what we sow.

    And now I’d better go.

    :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Have fun in the realm of ideas.

  • Bliffle

    #2 Clavos says:

    “Mr. Cheney asserts that there are CIA memos which conclusively prove the value of EIT, and he has repeatedly challenged the Administration to release those memos. The Obama lack of response to Mr. Cheney’s challenges creates a strong suspicion that Mr. Cheney is right.”

    Or that the memos don’t exist. Perhaps Cheney has created a strawman.

    But then that would mean that Cheney is lying. Gee.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    This has nothing to do with left or right nonsense, Dave, and everything to do with a bitter old man on a bender cruising through every media outlet and organization that will let him deliver yet another “speech.” Why should writers not call attention to it and expose his content for what it really is?

    Well, one reason might be that every bit of additional publicity you give him spreads his message further and gets him taken a little more seriously by those who respect him.

    As for his current high profile, it seems like he’s just trying to make up for lost time and the self-imposed silence he went through for 8 years. He’s got a viewpoint and he’s very serious about it and he is getting it out to the public. You may disagree, but he is very obviously sincere.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    We shall never find one which is which, Bliffle, and ain’t that the truth.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Roger, it seems to me that a definitive statement that the memos don’t exist or the release of the memos would solve the problem once and for all.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I haven’t said they don’t exist. What I do think is that the atmosphere is too charged for them to be released. So they’ll just dillydally with it until the problem goes away.

  • Clavos

    Or that the memos don’t exist. Perhaps Cheney has created a strawman.

    There are two flaws in your reasoning, bliffle; there always are flaws in your “reasoning.”

    1. Obama hasn’t denied their existence, only refused to release them.

    2. Some of the information was contained in the memos Obama has released, but it was redacted.

    It’s no strawman, and you know it. Fortunately for the country, Cheney, bulldog that he is, will continue to ratchet up the pressure until BHO is forced to release them (with his own proprietary spin, of course) to control the damage to his fast-fading credibility.

  • Bliffle

    I have some other questions:

    -if torture works, then why does a guy have to be repeatedly tortured? Wouldn’t he spill the beans on the first shot? Why was someone tortured 80 times?

    -if waterboarding isn’t torture, then why would anyone think that waterboarding someone would induce revelations?

    One might be justified in suspecting that torture is for the benefit of the torturers emotional needs. That’s what one sees in civilian life.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “if waterboarding isn’t torture, then why would anyone think that waterboarding someone would induce revelations?”

    With all due respect, bliffle, I really fail to understand the meaning. Why would you suppose that only torturing someone would produce the required information?

    That’s more than loading the dice.

  • Bliffle

    Even Clavos can make mistakes:

    “1. Obama hasn’t denied their existence, only refused to release them.”

    Really? Has Obama said that: that they exist but he’s withholding them?

    “2. Some of the information was contained in the memos Obama has released, but it was redacted.”

    I don’t understand. If the info was redacted how do you know what the info was?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And in the fact that the Nazis tortured thousands for political reasons and the US tortured only 3

    Oh, well, that’s all right, then.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I believe the White House sources themselves have owned up to the fact that the memos were redacted. And “national security” was the reason they cited. No one knows what they were in their pre-redacted form, only the major players.

  • Bliffle

    Roger:

    “Why would you suppose that only torturing someone would produce the required information? ”

    I didn’t say ‘only’. Why do you say ‘only’?

    Perhaps I should re-state my question:

    If waterboarding is NOT torture then why would one use it to extract information from a reluctant prisoner? Why would one expect it to work?

  • Clavos

    Really? Has Obama said that: that they exist but he’s withholding them?

    His spokesmen have said they will not release them, yes.

    I don’t understand. If the info was redacted how do you know what the info was?

    I don’t. Cheney insists that it is the information that proves the success of the EITs.

    If it isn’t, all Obama has to do is release the memos and redacted parts to prove it.

    But he doesn’t — not thus far, anyway.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    I think the bone of contention has to do with whether invaluable information was obtained via EIT. Cheney and the intelligence agencies contend that yes; the White House and the opponents deny the fact. That’s why the memos, in their full and un-redacted form, assume such an importance.

    Which brings the second, related and somewhat more theoretical point. For if indeed vital information was obtained via the EIT methods – the “ticking bomb” scenario that K suggested, remember, and all the big conservative guns, so gung-ho now when the air is clear but conspicuously silent at the time of the controversy for fear of sticking out their neck – then it’s arguable that those techniques were indeed justifiable.

    Do I need to spell it out any clearer?

  • Clavos

    And in the fact that the Nazis tortured thousands for political reasons and the US tortured only 3

    Oh, well, that’s all right, then.

    Actually, in light of who the three were, it is, IMO. I do not accept. the lefty premise that there are no circumstances in which torture is acceptable.

    However, although it was not I who first made the statement you quote, Doc, the implication of it was obvious to me. to wit: that it is ridiculous to equate the torture of three murderous assholes with the torture of thousands of innocents, both as to the nature of those tortured and as regards the numbers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    It’s still the same connection, even in the rephrased form. It suggest, somehow, that only through torture (and nothing less) we can obtain reliable information.

    Now, I’m certain that you would want to disagree with the intent of this claim. I certainly would.

    As to why would “I” use it – even if it isn’t torture, there, I fixed it for you! – simply because “I” believe it might work.

  • Baronius

    For the last few months, there’s been debate among political observers about who is the leader of the Republican Party. Someone finally stepped up, a man who’s prominent enough to do the job, and intellectual and articulate enough to do it well. Who would have thought that 2009 could turn out to be the Year of Cheney?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “the . . . premise that there are no circumstances in which torture is acceptable” should probably be amended, on the order of something like . . .

    “Under the ‘ticking-bomb’ scenario, certain EIT may be deemed justifiable,” with an additional proviso – something to the effect that under those circumstances the “EIT” methods do not constitute “torture”

    On analogy, let’s say, with situations in which “murder” (when done in self-defense) is not murder but “homocide.”

    The “moral dilemma” in question has got to be resolved in some such way – through linguistic definitions. That’s the purpose and function of language – to make proper and legitimate distinctions.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I do not accept. the lefty premise that there are no circumstances in which torture is acceptable.

    It’s not a ‘lefty’ premise, Clav, it’s an ethical one. Baronius, one of the least lefty commenters here, has been one of the strongest voices against the use of torture.

    Sure, there may be certain extreme and laughably-unlikely-ever-to-happen scenarios in which torture may be necessary to obtain a desired outcome. That does not make it acceptable.

    I do agree with you that Glenn’s parallel was unfair. It was, however, cleverly inflammatory.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Correct, Doc. That’s why I struck out “lefty” in my #101 from Clavos’ unnecessarily polarizing statement.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Interesting analysis, Bliffle (Comment #97):

    If waterboarding is NOT torture then why would one use it to extract information from a reluctant prisoner? Why would one expect it to work?

    Under this reasoning(?), the Obama Camp could reliably demonstrate that

    (a)waterboarding was indisputably torture by showing that it actually worked or could reasonably have been expected to work, and

    (b)that ice cream deprivation is also torture by showing that some reluctant prisoner yielded to it, or could in any event reasonably have been expected to yield to it, by providing information, or

    (c)on the other hand, if a technique did not work and could not reasonably have been expected to work, then it obviously was not torture.

    Is the suggestion that the Obama Camp does not want to acknowledge success of various techniques possibly still in use, such as ice cream deprivation, by acknowledging that they work and are, therefore, torture?

    The reasoning certainly appears to have been tortured, in any event.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think #97 should be given a chance to die its natural death. It only distracts from whatever progress can possibly be made.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry. Should be #103.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #108 is addressed to Dreadful.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    BTW, I like the pic of ‘Darth’ Cheney that goes with this article. Is that from one of the White House press dinners, or is it Photoshopped?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I do too. But I didn’t know you were already in need of comic relief. The slugfest hasn’t even started.

    Strike that remark. Totally inappropriate.

  • Irene Wagner

    I think it’s Colonel Klink, Dr. Dreadful.

  • Mar k

    I want to get a room with Rick. He sounds like the most reasonable of us.

  • Irene Wagner

    Vee have our orderrrrs.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Rick,

    Who in the hell is Rick?

    I didn’t know you were swishy?

  • Irene Wagner

    “vee have vays of making you talk.”

  • Mar k

    (Rog, Rick is Jeannie’s significant other. And I am far too dour to be gay. Can’t two guys just talk…I feel so ewww! now.)

  • http://hardnews1.wordpress.com irving c jackson

    The GOP need a smokescreen so they are
    I wish I could say I’ve been amazed few of our now called Mainstream Media mention the war criminals who have been prosecuteded for waterboarding by USA Justice System instead of parroting the “ticking time bomb” since torture..uh..CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY..uh..harsh/enchanced interrogation was not used before 9/11 attacks.

    McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay was prescient about the fact “the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002–well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion–its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida.

    According to former Colin Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson “So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney’s office that their detainee ‘was compliant’ (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP’s office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, ‘revealed’ such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

    (Incidentally, al-Libi just committed suicide‘ in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi….)

    Still I am not amazed Stephen F. Hayes & the rest of the Right Wing Noise Machine Believe our formerly always hiding VP Dick Cheney is Winning the Debate despite ourNations’ loss of honor, credibility & moral high ground.

    Dick Cheneys’ legacy tour is stirring up a lot of strong feelings — and dark humor. For the last three weeks Glenn Beck & the GOP water carriers have been playing what did Nancy Pelosi “Know & when did she know it” instead of questioning the veracity of our CIA.

    Especially since former Senator Bob Graham & Newsmax.com have chronicled errors in the CIA briefing reports about when & what our legislators were told.

    Yet Rush Limbaugh claims the Democrats have watered down (pun unintended) the definition of torture like the members of NOW changed the definition of domestic violence.

    And his sidekick Sean Hannity uses a football to express his love of our Constitution.

    Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president and a former State Department official, made a round of cable television appearances this week to defend her father’s waterboarding with the tortured logic that US soldiers receive the same treatment from cohorts.

    Talk Radios’ Laura Ingraham suggest the popularity of the elevison show 24 is all the information needed to justify torture.

    Yet John McCain her partys’ last standard bearer disagrees with the fiction.

    And left-leaning Lawerence O’Donnell dismisses Dick Cheneys’ speech today & mentions the fact torture..uh..CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY..uh..harsh/ enhanced interrogation was not used even after the 1mth early 12noon delivery of the 3am wake-up call (the August 6, 2001 binLaden attack USA PDB).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I didn’t know you’ve already managed to warm yourself up with Suzie the homemaker. Fast work, buddy. But you do know I was speaking in jest. Besides, in the area of personal relations I am more liberal – libertine may be the right word – than in my politics.

    But I had better stop before I corrupt Irene perchance.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mr. Jackson,

    You should write an article. It’s too much to absorb in one mouthful.

  • Mar k

    Rog, I have it on good authority that Irene runs a stable of her own studly boys.

  • Irene Wagner

    Having real problems coming up with a snappy comeback here…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’ll be darned. I’d better send her a snapshot. Her intellect and spirit alone are good enough for me. And she’s not a misanthrope (like some people I wouldn’t mention).

    It’s all in the mind, as you must know. The most powerful sex organ ever.

  • Irene Wagner

    Reminds me though, one of the studly boys managed to have a red ink pen “fall apart” in his new pants. ALMOST time for one of the studly boy to learn how to do his own laundry.

    See you guys. Sorry for suggesting psychopaths are control of the whole shebang from behind the scenes. They can’t keep us from having fun though. :)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Run, Irene! Hide! And failing that, whack him with a Ron Paul doorhanger!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As you see, Irene, not at all. I’m quite liberated.

  • M ark

    (Irene, I blame it on the Dominicans.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Reminds me though, one of the studly boys managed to have a red ink pen “fall apart” in his new pants. ALMOST time for one of the studly boy to learn how to do his own laundry.”

    Sounds like a picture from “Oklahoma” or some other corny musical.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I love Doc’s advice, though. She promptly took heed.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    113 – Mar k

    ROFL!!!

    :-)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Irene: red ink pen–new pants (hair spray removes ink)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I had a whole bunch of things to reply to but it’s too much work. I’ll just say this, for now:

    3 people were tortured?

    100s and maybe 1000s of people where tortured most of them released (sometimes after 5 years) without ever being charged.

    I am going to start posting their stories. I think maybe that will make them human. I hope.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    3 people were tortured at GITMO. What was done at Abu Ghraib was not initiated by the government or any kind of policy or for the purposes of eliciting information. It was some hillbillies amusing themselves. The rest of your stories will be about people tortured outside the US by agents of foreign governments.

    But by all means post your stories, Cindy. Write it up as an article.

    Dave

  • Ma rk

    Dave, so you don’t believe that the ‘hillbillies’ were ordered to ‘soften ‘em up’ for the contractors?

  • Ma rk

    …and I take it that iyo torture at the behest of the US government isn’t more or less equivalent to torture by US personnel…

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dave 100s of people were tortured at Gitmo. and possibly 1000s if you count the various places in other countries they were tortured in before arriving.

    Perhaps 3 of them in Gitmo using drowning torture.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    People are arguing about whether drowning is torture and all the rest of the Gitmo torture gets minimized–like it was nothing.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I was trying to do it as an article for about a month and I gave up.

    Maybe a few articles. Short ones where I don’t have to feel like I shouldn’t leave any point out.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    So far, in all the 139 comments so far, I’ve seen NO proof of ANYone with significant military experience or firsthand experience with interrogation who has stepped forward to defend the torture. NOT ONE. Many with such experience have spoken out against it…but NOT ONE for it.

    THAT is the crux of the matter, Dave. YOU must decide if Cheney knew better than those who were there…because Cheney and the conservative talking heads (literal chickenhawks, every one) are the ONLY ones to speak out FOR torture.

    OH! Except for this conservative radio talk show host who lasted SIX SECONDS being waterboarded and said “It IS torture!”

    I even looked up uber-neocon-tool Oliver North, and when pressed about waterboarding, he wouldn’t address waterboarding directly, but only said he was ‘against torture’. That, and Hannity claimed that North told him “it wasn’t so bad”…but until we hear that from North himself, that’s only hearsay.

    SO UNTIL YOU PROVE OTHERWISE, Dave, those supporting the use of torture are ALL classic chickenhawks…whereas ALL those who have significant military experience and/or direct interrogation experience have ALL spoken AGAINST torture (including waterboarding)…WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    C’mon, Dave and Clavos – since neither of you apparently have such experience, you’re going to have to find someone other than Cheney to speak up for you…because now even Cheney’s daughter is admitting that the reason Cheney’s speaking up is because of fear of prosecution.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The rest of your stories will be about people tortured outside the US by agents of foreign governments.

    ???

    How did they get to these places Dave? You can’t be for real if you are supporting the idea that if the US sends people to be tortured outside its own jurisdiction that it isn’t responsible.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn, until you stop engaging in what I consider to be hate speech I have no response for you. Rational discussion takes place in an environment of respect. You have and deserve none.

    Cindy, legally the US is not responsible for the fate of prisoners transferred into the hands of another nation outside of our borders. Not a pleasant truth, but a truth.

    As for other torture at GITMO, having someone touch your Koran or not being told which direction is East is not torture.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Hate speech, Dave? Calling people chickenhawks is hate speech? Are you for real?

    To this observer I’m afraid it looks a lot like you’re taking your ball and going home.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, I am for real, Dr. D. I’m sick of the hatemongering which I see manifested in this article and in the constant whining of the American left. Comparing people who legally opted not to serve in the military to homosexual child molesters is hate speech, no two ways about it. While I support their right to be vile and offensive as free speech, I’m under no obligation to debate with them or give them any more respect than they deserve.

    And I don’t care if you disagree with Dick Cheney on these issues – as most of us presumably do – he deserves some respect for his career of service to the country in roles as vital as those held by most in the military, and with his life at risk as demonstrated by his health problems and the Taliban attempt to assassinate him in 2007.

    You can disagree with him. You can hate him. But at least give him some fucking respect.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I am engaging in HATE speech??????

    Other than using the phrase ‘chickenhawks’, can you show me ANY insult I’ve posted? EVER? IN ANY POST?

    No, you can’t.

    Apparently, Dave, since you can’t refute what I posted, you’ve chosen to hold me to a far higher standard than almost anyone else here. I post NO insults against other BC members, the facts I present are ALL verifiable, and when proven wrong, I’ve ALWAYS shown the courage to admit it and even thanked the one who pointed it out.

    YET I’M ENGAGING IN ‘HATE SPEECH’. Gee whiz, but I’m having a REAL hard time finding it!

    Dave, I presented FACTS. Can you refute them? Or are you going to use your apparent ‘moral outrage’ as an excuse to keep from having to refute me? After all, none of the other conservatives on here has been able to find ANYone with significant military experience or firsthand interrogation experience to agree with your viewpoint…

    …but I guess that observation is yet more ‘hate speech’.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Comparing people who legally opted not to serve in the military to homosexual child molesters is hate speech, no two ways about it.”

    Did you do that, Glenn? Where and when?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Common, guys. We’re all Americans, and human beings to boot. If we can’t discuss even the most hotly-debated topics with mutual respect, why even bother? It defeats the whole purpose. There’s no possible future for this country if we can’t do it right in this little shitty microcosm.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dave,

    Did Glenn say that?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, Roger. Look up the word “chickenhawk.”

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Come on H&C. I’m trying to reconcile these fuckers. It’s too fucking much.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    And Glenn, I’m not going to refute anything you wrote, because like most sensible people I stopped reading in the third paragraph when you resorted to namecalling and hatemongering or at least by the 4th paragraph where you violated Godwin’s Law.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    OK, Dave. Maybe he mixed the two metaphors together. Give him credit it wasn’t intentional.

    I’m more concerned about the level of discussion of late. Honestly, you guys couldn’t be speaking to one another like that in person or it would come to blow. So why do it on the net. Because it’s safe.

    It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth that grownup and emotionally mature people can’t deal with even the hottest issues without throwing insults. It really defeats the purpose of it all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    ” this statement shows that Cheney believes that American senators and representatives are not truly offended at all that we as a country tortured people. He apparently believes that the outrage against torture is nothing more than political posturing.”

    And Glenn, with all due respect. I don’t see on what basis now you’ve going to vindicate members of the House or the Senate. It becomes clearer by the day that the likes of Pelosi – to name but one – all were aware of what’s going on but decided to turn a blind eye. So in retrospect, the attack on Cheney alone – however well meant or intended on your part – does appear to be misdirected. Many shared the blame. And the failure was the failure of our fucking corrupt government at work – all corrupt and power hungry politicians, Democrats and Republicans.

    You don’t really believe that a small group of Neocons, bad as they were, hijacked the whole country against the wishes of all. That’s just to simplistic for me to believe. And I’m certain that, on second thought, it’s just as simplistic to you.

    We all shared the blame, the American public too.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Cindy, legally the US is not responsible for the fate of prisoners transferred into the hands of another nation outside of our borders. Not a pleasant truth, but a truth.

    Dave, if you believe that the US can send people outside its jurisdiction to be tortured and still not be responsible because of some legal technicality then…

    Then…your ideas say enough about you.

    As for other torture at GITMO, having someone touch your Koran or not being told which direction is East is not torture.

    From this statement I take it you’ve been discussing something when you have failed to find out the substance behind it. I won’t be presenting any Koran infringements.

  • Ma rk

    We all shared the blame, the American public too.

    absofuckinglutelyright

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So Glenn,

    Am I going to get a response or will it be “get Dave” kind of day? Because if all you can think about is ganging up on a person like a bunch of dogs, I have no respect for that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Exactly, Mark. I don’t see any particular outrage emanating now from either side of the aisle. It’s phony to the core and political posturing at best.

    I’m not defending Dave’s position here of making excuses. I have no idea why he’s doing that. I believe it’s his commitment to whatever platform he’s representing – a libertarian caucus or whatever the fuck it is. And that’s bad enough not to be able to speak with your own voice. But the time for this outrage ought to have been four of five years ago.

    It IS water under the bridge and pointing fingers no longer serves a useful purpose.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dick Cheney deserves a trial, not respect.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another case of creative misreading. I wasn’t concerned with Chaney but with someone I regard as a colleague, Mr. Nalle.

  • M a rk

    What with ideas of ‘prolonged detention’ floated out there I’m not so sure that it is water under the bridge. The time for outrage is now.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, I can’t understand that either. Even yesterday, I provided a link to an article about closing the Gitmo, prior to Obamas’s appearance before the House to ask for the money. (You know that’s not flying right now.)

    Anyway, there was a ruling there by a federal judge to the effect that some of these people can be held in custody indefinitely, never mind the fucking trial. It’s a judge like that that should be hung from a tree. But see, the politicians argue that the public sentiment, before the 2010 mid-term elections, is against holding these people in US prisons. So they’re biding their fucking time until they get reelected.

    So you tell me how fucked up it all is.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    shuts up counts to 25

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And we’re not talking here about the monster Cheney but your regular run-of-the-mill smiling sleazebag whom you’re electing and re-electing into office time after time.

    We the people deserve it.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    158 in response to Dave @ 143

  • M a rk

    Well, Cheney did make a bunch of $$ for Haliburton stockholders back in the good old days…gotta show respect for a guy who fattened yer wallet.

    service to the country indeed

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Then they all should go on trial, Pelosi included.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The problem is, Dave wasn’t one of them; otherwise, he wouldn’t be wasting his time here.

    But really, you know they all felt the EITs were justifiable. There was not one clean one among them. Just in the same manner as they’ve all approved the Iraqi venture – same fucking difference.

  • Ma rk

    The US government is a failed enterprise…let’s close it.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I second that. Let’s close it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I cannot but agree. Bring on the socialists, what the fuck.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Good deal Roger! How ’bout we skip the socialism and go right to anarchism.

    What do you say, are you in?

  • Lumpy

    just another paetisan would be grand inquisitor who would be applaiding torture if it were being used on a tim mcveigh or eric rudolph.

    just igbore him.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No thank you! We’re already at each other’s throats as it is – I don’t mean us but this little thread is a perfect example. So no, I don’t want to see any mayhem.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why, Lumpy? Is it because Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph are whites so they deserve it?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    hmmmm what does anarchism have to do with mayhem?

    btw, I think socialism requires a state, don’t you? gonna be hard to close the government and then opt for socialism, wouldn’t you say?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    there’ll always be a state – which is controlled violence; and in the absence of the state, uncontrolled violence = mayhem. And I don’t want to be getting into the finer points.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, you say:

    there was a ruling there by a federal judge to the effect that some of these people can be held in custody indefinitely, never mind the fucking trial. It’s a judge like that that should be hung from a tree.

    Have you perchance read the opinion? I haven’t, but shall do so if I can find it before commenting further on it, and shall reserve judgment on whether the judge who wrote the opinion should be “hung from a tree.” With or without due process of law.

    In the meantime, you might find

  • Mar k

    Again Rog, human nature isn’t set in stone. But you’re right that arguing this isn’t going to change minds here.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Somehow, the last part of my comment #179 didn’t make the grade. Evidently, I screwed up the HTML link, which I would have caught before posting had there been a preview window. Oh well. Some fine day.

    Here is the whole thing:

    Roger, you say:

    there was a ruling there by a federal judge to the effect that some of these people can be held in custody indefinitely, never mind the fucking trial. It’s a judge like that that should be hung from a tree.

    Have you perchance read the opinion? I haven’t, but shall do so if I can find it before commenting further on it, and shall reserve judgment on whether the judge who wrote the opinion should be “hung from a tree.” With or without due process of law.

    In the meantime, you might find this interesting:

    Obama said that while most detainees could be dealt with in civilian courts, military commissions or transfers to other countries, some probably couldn’t be tried because the evidence against them was inadmissible in court, having been obtained through illegal methods.

    Yet the president said that some of the detainees at Guantanamo still posed such an ongoing threat to Americans that they shouldn’t be released, either, so he’s prepared to hold such detainees indefinitely without trial.

    “We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people,” he said.

    He spoke from a podium in the room at the National Archives that houses the Constitution.

    Obama didn’t say how many detainees fall into this category, though some analysts have estimated that it could be 50 to 100 of Guantanamo’s remaining 240 detainees.

    The article goes on to note that

    Obama said that his approach to these issues wasn’t the same as Bush’s. He said his military commissions wouldn’t permit evidence obtained through cruel interrogations and would give detainees expanded rights, and that he’d always left open that possibility on the campaign trail.

    Hence, the inadmissibility of evidence obtained by “torture” seems to be a justification for indefinite detention without trial if someone (I don’t know who) decides that release could “endanger our national security. . . or . . . endanger the American people . . .” Apparently, there is little need for concern, since

    As for the indefinite detentions, Obama said he’d “construct a legitimate legal framework” for such detainees.

    Surely, sir, you are not suggesting that President Obama be hung from the same tree as the offending judge! That would be both unkind and rather partisan, and even perhaps demonstrate a lack of “empathy.”

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    So far, in all the 139 comments so far, I’ve seen NO proof of ANYone with significant military experience or firsthand experience with interrogation who has stepped forward to defend the torture.

    Wrong Glenn.

    I did, in comment #100. Here’s what I said (in deference to Doc’s valid point, I’ve redacted the adjective.

    I do not accept the ***** premise that there are no circumstances in which torture is acceptable.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I like my nephew’s idea. He says we could divide the country up. All the libertarians can go over there all the anarchists over there, etc.

    I think he is recreating voluntary association.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Of course his idea is not without its problems. :-) But still he’s working on it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ah, but Cindy — who gets Michigan and Illinois, and who gets Washington, D.C.? Not to mention California, New York and Daveland (whoops, I meant Texas).

    Just don’t mess with Panama.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    I think we have been given message(s) from on high. That if we don’t go on yahoo groups and read our emails then we ought not expect to have grounds to complain.

    I hope there are special e-mails without 160 DVD reviews plus one relevant message. But if not I will brave the tide and wade in.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    lol Dan(Miller), I think you have gone directly to the heart of the problem with his solution.

    The thing is, if we got rid of the government. I would likely become extraordinarily flexible about where I’d live. Just please can I live in a state with an ocean?

    P.S. I think Texas is a done deal. You currently have to present a teabag at the border just to get in.

  • Mark

    Noted Dan. Panama has been reserved for retired lawyers and government contractors.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy,

    You, Madam, are a saint. I am not.

    When suitably incensed, I shall complain. I shall also continue to preserve my comments until they are blessed by the Technorati Monster and manage to appear, by blocking and copying them prior to posting.

    I have been complaining about the lack of a preview window since the new site appeared. I have complained to the poor guy who edits my articles, and he has passed them on to the powers that be.

    Judging from the “special e-mails . . . with. . . 160 DVD reviews,” the only thing I have seen of late has had to do with author photos, obviously a very big deal and more important than having a comment preview window. Had I not posted one long ago, I might find it interesting.

    Oh well. Priorities and that sort of thing.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    Dave, I would never have made the jump from chickenhawk to, um, chickenhawk. I never even knew there were two meanings to the term.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Mark,

    …arguing this isn’t going to change minds here.

    I was thinking that for the umpteenth time just today when I decided not to post the same argument for the 42nd time.

    Hard to figure out why one does what one knows won’t work.

    I am still working on we become what we resist. Now I have a medic and a warrior to consider.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, Panama has an ocean; actually, it has two, the Atlantic and the Pacific. Although we don’t exactly have anarchy, sometimes it seems pretty close.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Jordan Richardson

    Seeing as how the major point of this site (it is Blogcritics, after all) is to review and critique DVDs, books, CDs, and the like, it shouldn’t be too surprising to see that the Yahoo review materials database emails are largely concerned with…well, review materials.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller)

    What do you know! You are a rebel! It sort of struck me too that there are very few complaints and on the very unlikely chance that they aren’t already known, with very little effort they might be compiled with the diligence that Capitalism requires for keeping customers happy.

    Reminds me more of an insurance company’s solution.

    I volunteer to write up one thing for anyone who doesn’t want to go themselves. So, let me know what else besides the preview window.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    True Jordan,

    But isn’t it a wee bit umm ‘not very thoughtful’ to expect us to go and read all those when we are talking about site issues?

    I went on yahoo too. I didn’t see anywhere anyone was discussing site issues.

  • Mark

    How ’bout the font? My tired old eyes don’t love the new one.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I will put that on the list Mark? Should I say just a more visible font would be better? Or something like the old font was better?

    I will put Bliffle in for pagination. And anything else if he stops by and adds to the list.

  • M Ark

    Thanks, Cindy. I tried to sign up with the yahoo group once a while back, but yahoo hates me.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    lol…well, at least horses like you. :-) (and they are much smarter than Yahoo)

    Dan(Miller) – please feel free to add to the list.

    And anyone else. I’ll wait until next week, middle to end thereof.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh Mark, I heard you are really an English teacher from Whichita. lol

  • m ark

    Who ratted me out? Damn their eyes!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Well, no one knows. Irene says it was Clav. Clav said nope. I went to see if you wrote any articles and you did. You wrote two articles about Alfred Hitchcock movies. lol

  • Lumpy

    roger I was thinking it would be ok to torture rudolph or mcveigh because they attacked the government and abortion clinics, things the left holds sacted.

  • Clavos

    Cindy et al:

    It’s been some time (weeks actually) since I’ve seen a new complaint or suggestion about the new site that isn’t already known to the techies, both Blogcritics’ and Technorati.

    This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t be discussed by any means. On the contrary, Doc, Dave, Chris Rose, I and all the editors are passing on all the complaints/suggestions to those in a position to do something about them.

    They are being fixed literally on a daily basis and will continue to be fixed until everyone (well, ‘most everyone) is happy.

    Really.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Perhaps everything will look better tomorrow.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Aaaaawwww Dan(Miller),

    You ol’ softie, you!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan #178.

    I posted it yesterday I think On Notre Dame’s thread. It was just a news item from Yahoo News, before Obama’s appearance before the House to ask for Gitmo closure funds; I’ll look it up tomorrow and will repost it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Lumpy, #200,

    Now I get you. That makes perfect sense. But I’m too wiped out by this infighting. I’ll be in good shape tomorrow. Bye bye.

  • http://www.futonreport.net Matthew T. Sussman

    Glenn, you have GOT to start fact checking your articles. It seems every time I turn my head and see another one of your potentially interesting rants, there are factual inaccuracies.

    You call Rumsfeld, who served in the Navy (so, your colleague!), a chickenhawk. Like, of all the dozens and dozens of Republicans consistently called non-serving warmongers, you somehow stumble upon, like, the one fucking Cabinet member who had legitimate military service.

    And while it’s not a factual inaccuracy, you lump Rush Limbaugh in with Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush. Which leads me to ask: what Cabinet position did he have? Chief of staff, I think it was?

    I’d go back and read the rest of these 200something comments to make sure this has been pointed out, but I’ll just assume they’re all golden beacons of insight regardless.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh, Dan(Miller) That cat is sooo cute!

    It makes me miss my last little guy who would climb into bed and try to kiss me on the face. Cold wet cat nose. I am catless for two months.

    Clav’s cat is beautiful.

    (P.S. Clav, I am just following recommendations from above that writers should be going and speaking up at yahoo groups or on e-mails or whatnot. I’m not trying to be impatient. Just do the right thing according to what is expected. I don’t want to discover I missed an opportunity when advice was given.

    In that spirit I will be happy to collect any suggestions from people who don’t want to go themselves because they are rebels or yahoo hates them or they aren’t writers.)

  • zingzing

    if i could point out the one thing that is still bothering me about the redesign, it would have to be the structure of the comments. splitting them up 20 per page probably has something to do with ad revenue or something, but it’s still highly annoying. there’s just no way to search for some bit of text remembered from a previous comment without looking through 10 or 20 pages… looking for specific comments proves difficult.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    zinger, I’m sure it is your comparatively infrequent visits recently that have caused you not to notice that this has been reported four gillion times already and will be addressed in the not too distant, along with a whole bunch of other niggling bugs.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, in the extremely unlikely event that you notice something problematic that hasn’t already been added to the list, please just let me know directly and I’ll take care of it…

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Big C,

    You picked up Mark’s comment about the font being difficult to read?

    That is about the only thing I saw that was new.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh, and thanks Big C.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Glen,
    I would like to apologize personally to you for the Horrible way that I wrote yesterday. I don’t know what came over me..my words can be like little daggers sometimes and I hope I didn’t offend anyone but Dick Cheney! :(

  • Arch Conservative

    Thank god for Dick Cheney.

    All of you Obama nutlickers are as essential to the security of this nations and it’s economic prosperity as tits on a bull.

    Seriously if I have to hear one more time how Cheney or Rumsfeld or somene else did not serve………..here’s a novel idea….since King Barry and his merry band of socialists are so fond of taking care of the environment, illegal aliens, the “Constitutal rigts” of jihadists, and welfare deadbeats at the expense of the average American working 40 plus hours a week…..why doesn’t HE AND HIS MINIONS PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THIER MOUHTHS ARE AND GIVE 60 70 80 90% OF THIER INCOME TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BE REDUSTRIBUTED FOR ALL OF THESE BULLSHIT CAUSES AND KEEP THIER FAT LITTLE FINGERS OFF OF EVERYONE ELSE’S PAYCHECKS!

    Really, there are no words in the english language to accurately convey just how fucking useless you all are or how much I despise you. If I could, I’d snap my fingers and you’d all be gone.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cindy is a cat blogger…

    dave

  • Bliffle

    After all the verbiage, only Roger has attempted to answer my simple question about waterboarding, and Roger only seems to want to turn that question into a different question that he has the answer to.

    I repeat: If waterboarding is NOT torture, then why would one think that it would work?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    But but … but Arch — I am reliably informed that Ferdinand the Bull had tits, and was therefore rather androgenous in character. He enjoyed grazing in the field and looking on at the world; he did not want to fight, and as far as I know, never did so.

    In this New Age, that is a wonderful thing, and we must all try our best to emulate him. We must MOOveon!

    Nevertheless, here is an article you may find interesting.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    One thing you should know about me: I always want to cut to the chase rather than here myself speak. But honestly, now – try as I may, I really don’t understand your question. Could you rephrase it?

    The implication still lingers that for some reason, unless something is NOT (and I repeat, NOT) “torture,” then it won’t work. Why would you want to assume, in other words, that ONLY “torture” works? Unless you’re couching this very proposition in a facetious mode.

    So I cant’ really get my teeth into what you’re trying to say before I get over this obstacle. I’ll need some help from you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Bliffle — well, I tried, back in Comment #106.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s no help to resolve whatever question bliffle is entertaining to reduce it to a nightclub routine. And it’s obvious that #106 was designed with no other purpose in mind.

  • Clavos

    And you did, Dan(Miller), you did.

    But bliffle, in his characteristically fumbling way, is trying to set a trap, and you didn’t play fair; you answered without falling into his poorly concealed punji stick pit.

    Sic transit gloria bliffi.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s hardly a trap if it can be so easily dismantled. And it hardly justifies a full-page response. Sometimes, a straight out confrontation is the best form of response. Unless, again, we just want to hear ourselves talk.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You do make me, however, look things up in the Wiki now and then, and for that I’m thankful.

  • Clavos

    It’s hardly a trap if it can be so easily dismantled

    Exactly.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I thought Bliffle’s question was very straightforward to understand personally and don’t begin to comprehend any of your problems with it, which seem mostly pointless red herrings to me.

    Does anyone else find Roger’s remark “I always want to cut to the chase rather than here myself speak” richly comedic?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re entitled to whatever interpretation you may wish to append to what I post on BC, Chris. And I’m no doubt to be faulted for my verbosity. But if anything, let me assure you it’s unintended – a by-product of bad habits, English not being my native language, any number of things, I suppose. And yes, perhaps even the desire to impress, for what I am ashamed. But as to the “cutting to the chase” part, of that I know I’m not guilty of. But then again, you’re free to think as you please.

    As to Bliffle’s rather cagey way of putting things – no, I think it’s the furthest of what you call being “straightforward.” But then again, it’s good we’re free to disagree.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    216

    I repeat: If waterboarding is NOT torture, then why would one think that it would work?

    On the one hand we have people defending the use of torture. You know who you are (even you ticking time-bombers are defending torture). These people are suggesting that torture might be justified because it might be the only thing that could get information from a terrorist and save innocent lives. Some of these people go on to suggest that ‘waterboarding’ may have led to vital information in this very way.

    At the same time some of these same people have been the loudest in repudiating that ‘waterboarding’ is torture at all.

    So which is it? Does waterboarding possibly work and therefore justify using torture or is it not torture?

    BTW Bliffle, regarding the figure of approximately 80 x waterboarding. I thought you’d like to see this.

    Is waterboarding effective? CIA did it 266 times on two prisoners

    “The number, much higher than previously reported, comes out as President Obama visits CIA headquarters today.”

    “Abu Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding 83 times in August 2002.”

    “Khalid Sheikh Mohamed…was subjected to waterboarding 183 times in March 2003.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I believe bliffle is speaking here with a false tongue. In spite of numerous challenges, he refuses to come clean. It’s for that reason that I think his rather convoluted comment doesn’t deserve any further attention – until he owns up, that is.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I’m going to be brave and go in to see if I can find comment #106–if you don’t hear from me in a day or two, you’ll at least know what happened!

    (lol)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Yeah, but we’re gotten used to you thinking things like that Roger. Don’t worry about it. lol

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I’m sorry Roger, I’m just in a goofy, ridiculous mood. Just forgive me please.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m not worrying about a darn thing. And who’s the royal “we”? For an individual thinker you claim yourself to be, you come awfully close to trying to solicit opinions from every Tom, Dick and Harry – whatever walks on the face of the earth – in order to be able to substantiate your half-baked opinions. That’s hardly an individualistic trait by anyone’s definition.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    OK, I will as long as you’ll erase my retort in #232.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Ok, deal! :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good. Now we’re back to square one – cats and dogs, that’s all.

  • Clavos

    Wait for it…

    Here it comes…

    “Get a room, you two.”

    :>)

  • zingzing

    chris, my comparatively infrequent visits as of late are partially the fault of the new commenting system. and then just list my complaint as another reason to move the problem up on the list of problems you guys are working on. i have to say that i’ve gotten used to just about every other problem (although searching for an article by date is rather cumbersome as well… may i suggest searching by the week?) with the website, at least the ones i regularly bump up against.

    as for torture, if we know that 3 have been waterboarded, how many people do you think ACTUALLY have been waterboarded? hard to say, but i can guarantee that there have been many, many more people waterboarded than the u.s. gov’t is letting on.

    and if you believe that it’s an effective means of extracting information, but isn’t torture, i have to wonder what you think it is…

    and if you believe it is torture and that it’s still an effective means of extracting info and is therefore ok, then i have to wonder if you’re human.

    as for the “get a room” stuff, i am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. i am recording the sound of my speaking voice and i am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. what you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. i regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To tell the truth, I wouldn’t mind at all to meet Cindy in person. It might shatter whatever perception I have of her, and vice versa, of course.

    So “getting a room,” in that restrictive sense, is not such a bad idea.

    I speak only for myself, mind you. I’m certain she’s bound to rebuke you.

  • Clavos

    and if you believe it is torture and that it’s still an effective means of extracting info and is therefore ok, then i have to wonder if you’re human.

    I do, it is, it is, and I’m not.

  • Mark

    I do, it is, it isn’t, and I’ve done inhuman things.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    236 – ROFL Clav!

    238 – Roger. The other day someone remarked to me how well I get along with people. Then they paused and said, “except computer people.” I am sure we would not fight at all. We’ll just have to feed you a lot so your mouth will be full and I can get a word in edgewise (meow!) :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger,re #219 and 220:

    reductio ad absurdum

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dave,

    Here is something regarding your suggestion that Abu Ghraib was merely some ‘hillbillies’. Did you just go with whatever Cheney said on that?

    In public discussion of these matters, there has been a strange and sometimes willful attempt to conflate what happened at Abu Ghraib prison with the top secret program of enhanced interrogations. At Abu Ghraib, a few sadistic prison guards abused inmates in violation of American law, military regulations, and simple decency. For the harm they did, to Iraqi prisoners and to America’s cause, they deserved and received Army justice. And it takes a deeply unfair cast of mind to equate the disgraces of Abu Ghraib with the lawful, skillful, and entirely honorable work of CIA personnel trained to deal with a few malevolent men. –Cheney

    “This opinion flies in the face of essentially all the available evidence about how US military interrogation techniques migrated to Abu Ghraib — including the assessment of the former top commander of US ground forces in Iraq.” (Source: Cheney’s Misinformation on Torture)

    Sanchez: ‘Crossover’ Of Interrogation Techniques (Audio Interview)

    “Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez was in charge of the ground forces in Iraq when some of those techniques were used at the Abu Ghraib prison. He says the complex relationships between the Army, CIA and Special Forces blurred the boundaries of authorized interrogation techniques.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Correct, Dan. I should have seen that.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    During the witch trials of the middle ages 1000s of people were tortured to get them to confess to being witches.

    Based on the number of people who finally admitted they were in fact witches, we can surely see its effectiveness.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “We’ll just have to feed you a lot . . . ”

    You do know that’s an act of love . . .

  • Bliffle

    If one has convinced himself that waterboarding is NOT torture, wouldn’t he be a fool to try using waterboarding to torture information out of a prisoner?

  • Baronius

    Bliffle, you’re getting at something, but I can’t figure out what it is (and I don’t think I’m alone). Could you state it, rather than put it in question form?

  • m A r k

    Waterboarding is a way to ensure that your prisoner is adequately hydrated, and pulling fingernails is a pedicure.

    The question is bullshit.

  • Jordan Richardson

    On a hot day, I love to be waterboarded by two or three Asian women in bikinis. What?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    From the beginning of the program, there was only one focused and all-important purpose. We sought, and we in fact obtained, specific information on terrorist plans. (from Cheney’s speech)

    “That seems like Cheney’s oblique effort to push back against the recent spate of evidence that the program was used in part to find intel that would bolster the case for the war in Iraq. It’s a documented fact that al-Libbi, who was waterboarded, provided information — later shown to be false — that was cited by both President Bush and Colin Powell as evidence that Saddam Hussein was working with al Qaeda in developing chemical weapons. Libbi’s false information led us to war in Iraq.” (Source: Cheney’s Misinformation on Torture)

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chomsky on the torture memos.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Wonderful Jordan Thanks for that. Hot off the press. It’s actually written tomorrow!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Here is something regarding your suggestion that Abu Ghraib was merely some ‘hillbillies’. Did you just go with whatever Cheney said on that?

    No. I have no idea what Cheney said. When the news of Abu Ghraib first came out and they mentioned that it was a reserve unit from Cumberland Maryland, my past experience with that part of the country let me quickly put 1 and 1 together and the explanation was obvious.

    There are parts of America which are nearly as tribal and culturally backwards as parts of Afghanistan. Here at home we put perople from those places on TV with Maury Povich and Jerry Springer. Abu Ghraib is what happens when you put those people in charge of prisoners with almost no oversight.

    I could have told you in advance: Cumberlanders + Iraqi Prisoners = Naked Human Pyramids.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Jordan, there ought to be a rule like Godwin’s Law that when you make an Appeal to Chomsky as if he’s an authority on anything but the inside of his own sphincter, you cease to be relevant to the discussion.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    I stalk him. Not as exciting as you’d think, though. He knows loads of words.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Sorry, Dave, next time I’ll make sure that sharing other opinions on a topic is okay with you first.

  • Clavos

    There are parts of America which are nearly as tribal and culturally backwards as parts of Afghanistan

    True.

    The boundaries of those areas are the Canadian and Mexican borders, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Here Dan(Miller), a rat for you.

  • Bliffle

    It is a contradiction to both maintain that waterboarding is NOT torture and to employ waterboarding to torture a prisoner into revealing information.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Bliffle,

    I’m sorry to say, but the presumed contradiction is of your own design and import: “to employ waterboarding to torture a prisoner …” should be amended to read
    “to employ waterboarding … as means of …”

    And this has got nothing to do with whether “waterboarding” is or isn’t torture, which issue I’m not even addressing – only with the structure of your proposition.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To say it another words, Bliffle, you’re trying to be a sophists, here, though not a very good one, I’m afraid.

    Rethink that sentence structure of yours, really. There are better arguments you can muster. Let this one go.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    254

    But Dave. I just showed you evidence that you’re probably wrong. And you just ignored it.

    Why would you do that? Don’t you want to look at all the evidence before you decide?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Cindy. I can’t scroll back through comments so I have no idea what you’re talking about. Probably missed it previously as well.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ok, Cindy, I red your quotes. Why are they relevant?

    The photos from Abu Ghraib which spurred all this controversy have nothing to do with organized torture like the waterboarding at GITMO and they are the main source of contention. They show disorganized, somewhat sadistic behavior which had nothing to do with getting information and was all about entertainment for the people involved.

    Still troubling, but having nothing to do with what you’re talking about.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I cannot believe that a dumb politician trying to justify torturing three people has provoked all this bullshit (I meant commentary) here. The idiot is not even in office anymore. You would think he still had power or something.

    Well, actually at BC, I can believe it….

    And Glenn, you might want to start looking real hard at the problems that the cowardly policies of the Blessed of Hussein is bringing down on your heads – like Chinese expansion in the Indian Ocean….

    You better start messing around with the PROPER tonal inflections of Y-Ü-A-N. It may serve you mightily in the next 18 months or so….

    Have a good week, y’all!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Sorry Dave, I think they actually are talking about only the memo-related things in that interview.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Prof. Bliffle’s comment is 100% clear and sensible.

    Try this: What is the point of ‘waterboarding’ someone unless you are trying to torture them ?

    Why do it if you aren’t trying to cause agony so great that you think they would reveal something?

    I’m really not sure what the problem is understanding this.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    Want to know WHY China’s able to expand into the I.O.? Back in the 60’s we had a thriving textile industry in America. Now it’s nonexistent. Last year I tried to find ANYthing made in America in J.C. Penney’s…and found nothing.

    Globalization of the world’s economy – and NOT any other ‘weak’ or ‘strong’ political policy – has enabled China’s expansion.

    But I’m not really worried. Why? Because (barring some technological leap that would suddenly nullify our advantage (and that IS a possiblity)) China cannot and will not build a navy that can compete with ours for at least a generation – the sheer logistics negate the possibility. Thirty years from now, maybe…but not before.

    Second, China’s army serves a two-fold purpose…and neither purpose involves expansion. First and foremost, it’s to ensure internal security (they have FAR more internal unrest than do we, obviously), and then there’s the 850-pound gorilla in the room…the fact that by 2020, there will be 40 million more men than women in China…and the disparity will only grow for the foreseeable future. China’s going to have to do SOMEthing to keep them busy, because millions of men without women to keep them occupied…are a sure recipe for disaster.

    No, I’m not worried about China. I worry about pandemics, global warming, rogue nukes, and genocide…but not China.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Matthew T. Sussman –

    Okay, Rumsfeld served in the Navy as a fighter pilot. However, he not only served only in peacetime, but not only can I find no indication that this Navy man ever served on a ship, but I find nothing saying that he ever deployed overseas or flew his F9F Bearcat (a WWII-era propeller-driven fighter that was obsolete when Rumsfeld entered service in 1954) anywhere other than stateside.

    Now, if you can find where Rumsfeld DID deploy on board a ship, where he DID fly over dangerous waters as Navy fighter pilots have done since long before Dubya’s did certainly DID, then I’ll thank you for it.

    But even if you did, that would only be putting lipstick on a pig…or shining a turd, which was the equivalent euphemism we used in the Navy. Why?

    The military generals and admirals sentenced to work for Rumsfeld almost to a man hated him because Rummy felt no compunction about overriding their orders and refusing to follow their advice…and his willful blindness and stubborn incompetence cost us blood and treasure. Bush put a high premium on loyalty above all else (see Gonzales, Alberto)…but even he knew Rummy had to go.

    As far as I’m concerned, Rummy is just as much a chickenhawk as another Bush admin official who flew a fighter plane in a boutique squadron…Dubya himself.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “What is the point of ‘waterboarding’ someone unless you are trying to torture them ?”

    The problem with this proposition is the assumption that the point of ‘waterboarding’ is to torture someone. It might be so in the case of sadistic individuals. But excepting that limited application, the obvious purpose is to get them to reveal what they might not otherwise – not to torture them.

    Professor Bliffle is either an aspiring sophist or had better enroll in Logic 101.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    WAITAMINNIT!

    Dave’s not going to reply (read: defend the indefensible) because I’m using ‘name-calling’ (ONLY the word ‘chickenhawk’ against ONLY public figures) and ‘hate-speech’ (examples of which I do NOT see in my writing) and because I violated “Godwin’s Law” since I showed that the euphemism “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” was first coined in Nazi Germany…for a program with techniques that weren’t even as harsh as our own!

    No, Dave – go ahead and walk away, then. Just as I am not afraid to sincerely and publicly apologize when I am proven wrong, I am also NOT afraid to defend ANY opinion I hold.

  • m a r k

    What’s the point of going to Stop-N-Shop unless you’re trying to go shopping? Oh wait, I see. Your going to the store in order to get groceries, not to go shopping.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That analogy doesn’t hold here, Mark, and you know it. You can’t make these sentences right even if you stood on your head. The flow is inherent. It’s got nothing to do with my position on the issue.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Somehow, I am reminded of the old saw about a carpenter, who complained that although he had cut a piece of wood three times, it was still too short.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    should be “flaw.”

    Actually, Dan, there’s a way to dissect the flawed argument if people stopped being all-emotional about the issue. I’m kind of surprised that Mark can’t disengage himself from his feelings in the matter and put on his logical hat.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, I posted a link to legal opinion re indefinite detentions on the “Four Arrested in New York …” thread.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    WAITAMINNIT AGAIN!!!

    Dave! You’re castigating me for name-calling (‘chickenhawk’ and ONLY ‘chickenhawk’ and ONLY towards public figures)…yet YOU are the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus (in Texas, IIRC), and the leadership of the Republican Party wants to “change the name of the Democratic Party to ‘Democrat Socialist Party'”???

    Your party smears ALL Democrats and you say nothing…yet when ONE Democrat posts an insult against specific public figures within the Republican party (and NOT against all Republicans), you feel you must ‘claim the moral high road’?

    Sorry, Dave – but this one’s going to haunt you over the months and years. Every time you fail to castigate one of your own precisely in line with your manner and your purported motive in castigating me, I’ll point it out for all to see.

    I really am sorry for using such aggressive language towards any non-public person on BC…but if standards are to be upheld at all, then they must be upheld fairly for all.

    First example – in SJ Reidhead’s article there’s several of references to ‘the infantile left’. Exactly how is this as bad as calling certain individuals WITHIN the right ‘chickenhawks’…for I did not paint with a broad brush.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m in perfect agreement with you, Glenn. I kind of took Dave’s side a couple of days ago because I felt he was on the verge of breakdown. But the following day, he rebounded and started dishing it out.

    Yes, there is this fucking double standard, Dave, and your own comments very often reflect your contempt for those who do not agree with you. So if you want Glenn to play fair, you should too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Glenn, I feel, however, that we can still make valid points without resorting to invectives. Just because the opposition does it, we don’t have to stoop so low.

    Visit SJ’s thread, BTW, when you’ll see Ruvy, for example, speaking of “the infantile Left” with a glow in his heart. And they all think they make a point.

    So yes, let’s do better than them and take the high ground.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    Did you find the rat I left for you?

  • Bliffle

    This comment by Dave is interesting:

    “The photos from Abu Ghraib which spurred all this controversy have nothing to do with organized torture like the waterboarding at GITMO and they are the main source of contention. They show disorganized, somewhat sadistic behavior which had nothing to do with getting information and was all about entertainment for the people involved.”

    First, this statement “…organized torture like the waterboarding at GITMO…” confirms that Dave recognizes that waterboarding IS torture.

    Second, this statement is revelatory: “…nothing to do with getting information and was all about entertainment…”

    I am coming to the conclusion that this has been true about all of our torturing efforts. From some of the reports I’ve seen from insiders, Cheney himself wanted to employ torture even when it was failing, presumably for his own amusement.

    If we look at torture in civilian life we never see cases where torture is employed to elicit information. Torture is employed for personal amusement by twisted personalities.

    Why would it be any different in military life? As we can see from Abu Graib, monstrous people use the opportunity of extreme power to exercise their madness. The famous Zimbardo experiment at Stanford, and numerous others, confirm this.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I’ll try it another way.

    What does ‘waterboarding’ do to a person that might make a person think it would result in a suspect ‘talking’?

    In other words, what is the physical effect that anticipated that would prompt one to use it as a means of extracting information?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “f we look at torture in civilian life we never see cases where torture is employed to elicit information. Torture is employed for personal amusement by twisted personalities.”

    At last you’re getting to the gist of the matter. The “core” of the concept has more to do with perversion than anything else; and one reason why the term “torture” evokes such a strong moral indignation is to prevent people from using “techniques” which might be construed as “torture” to other areas of life (and in ways which are not particularly directed at satisfying their sadistic instincts).

    Which tends to suggest that, to some extent at least, the entire argument is bogus.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, Cindy. Inflicting pain on a person, we all know, can make people do what they wouldn’t otherwise be willing to do. Does that answer your question?

    Read my #283 as one way of thinking about these issues.

  • Bliffle

    Roger,

    After throwing out the strawmen and ad hominem attacks I can’t perceive any solid material in your comments.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t believe there were neither strawmen or ad hominem in any of my responses to you. (In fact, you were rather guilty on the first count by trying to be so cagey: read Dan Miller’s and Clavos’s responses to your “argument” if you happen to think I was the only one to think so.

    And if you fail to see the gist of my #283 – which, BTW, is based on, and in accord with, your own observation in #281 – I can’t help that. I must have attributed greater wisdom to your own remarks than you’re either aware of or are willing to give yourself credit for.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Inflicting pain on a person, we all know, can make people do what they wouldn’t otherwise be willing to do.

    What do we call it when we inflict unbearable* pain on another person?

    *My standard would be ANY pain. But since you’re only likely to understand if I say it this way, and it will serve if further illustration is needed, I’ll go with ‘unbearable’.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    …one reason why the term “torture” evokes such a strong moral indignation is to prevent people from using “techniques” which might be construed as “torture” to other areas of life (and in ways which are not particularly directed at satisfying their sadistic instincts).

    Could you explain this in a different way? I don’t quite understand it.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger,

    I saw all the ad hominem attacks you made in response to Bliffle. And you just did it again at the end of #286.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I am coming to the conclusion that this has been true about all of our torturing efforts.

    I will agree and even go further. I am purchasing:

    War, Sadism and Pacifism: Three Essays by Edward Glover, M.D. (George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1933. Pp. 148. Price 3 s. 6 d.)

    If anyone would like a copy let me know. (Or any other item that might be at the Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing Archive — which is classic hard to get texts as opposed to contemporary stuff.

    I am paying for 24 hour access and I’ll be happy to give out free copies or get anything else anyone wants. So, if anyone does, then just go there and find what you want and let me know.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh, here is the description of Glover’s position in War Sadism and Pacifism. That might help.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    First, this statement “…organized torture like the waterboarding at GITMO…” confirms that Dave recognizes that waterboarding IS torture.

    For the record, I’ve never claimed that it is not torture. That’s really not the question. The question is whether torture is ever justified or productive.

    If we look at torture in civilian life we never see cases where torture is employed to elicit information. Torture is employed for personal amusement by twisted personalities.

    Largely true, but the police do employ certain forms of mild and approved psychological torture to get information, and no one thinks twice about it.

    As we can see from Abu Graib, monstrous people use the opportunity of extreme power to exercise their madness.

    To be fair, although I bashed on these people myself, they are NOT monstrous. They are ignorant and childish and irresponsible, but that doesn’t make them monsters. I doubt that they really thought much about what they were doing. These aren’t moral philosophers. They’re barely literate trailer-park escapees.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, here for what little it may be worth, is my take on the detention case to which you provided a link (see Comment # 277). I can find nothing of legal significance, and nothing I would cite as precedent, in the Supreme Court’s decision or in the the lower Court’s decision which was vacated.

    In Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Forth Circuit, sitting en banc,* held,

    (1) by a 5 to 4 vote (Chief Judge Williams and Judges Wilkinson, Niemeyer, Traxler, and Duncan voting in the affirmative; Judges Michael, Motz, King, and Gregory voting in the negative), that, if the Government’s allegations about al-Marri are true, Congress has empowered the President to detain him as an enemy combatant; and (2) by a 5 to 4 vote (Judges Michael, Motz, Traxler, King, and Gregory voting in the affirmative; Chief Judge Williams and Judges Wilkinson, Niemeyer, and Duncan voting in the negative), that, assuming Congress has empowered the President to detain al-
    Marri as an enemy combatant provided the Government’s allegations against him are true, al-Marri has not been afforded sufficient process to challenge his designation as an enemy combatant.

    Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is reversed and remanded for further proceedings consistent with the opinions that follow.

    Thereafter, the Supreme Court, acting on petition for a writ of certiorari, vacated the 4th Circuit decision stating,

    The application of the Acting Solicitor General respecting the custody and transfer of petitioner, seeking to release petitioner from military custody and transfer him to the custody of the Attorney General, presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted. The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the appeal as moot . . .

    What, one might reasonably ask, in the Hell does this mean? One interpretation is offered by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to the effect that the 4th Circuit decision had been “badly flawed.” I can find nothing in the Supreme Court’s short opinion to suggest whether the 4th Circuit’s en banc decision on the permissibility of indefinite detention in military custody was good or bad. Had the Supreme Court opined on the matter, whatever it said would have been mere dictum, and of no value as precedent. By vacating the lower court’s mooted decision, all that the Supreme Court did was to eliminate whatever value as precedent, if any, which the decision might otherwise have had within the Forth Circuit.

    I think that confusing is a better description, with nine judges of the court sitting en banc offering no opinion in which a majority of five could agree on both of the two points at issue. They did agree that the petitioner had not been granted due process enabling him to respond to the allegations on the basis of which he had been detained, and remanded the proceeding for such due process to be granted on the basis that the detention was permissible if the allegations upon which it was based were properly shown to be true.

    Since between the date on which the 4th Circuit acted and the date on which the Supreme Court vacated the 4th Circuit opinion, the Acting U.S. Solicitor General had sought to release petitioner from military custody and transfer him to the custody of the Attorney General . . . , the case had become moot, rendering it unnecessary — and therefore inappropriate — for the Supreme Court to decide whether there might be circumstances under which a person such as the petitioner could be detained indefinitely.

    *Normally, three judges of a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal decide cases. A party can thereafter seek en banc reconsideration. If granted, all (or most) of the judges for the circuit hear the case and render a decision. That is what happened here. Grants of petitions for en banc reconsideration are quite unusual.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    There was nothing ad hominem about the cited remark. I essentially concurred with Bliffle as to what I regarded the import of his earlier remark. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    And I don’t care to be discussing what I regard as side issue. If bliffle or you want to deal with the substance, fine with me. But so far, all that bliffle is capable of by way of retort – because he did in fact was caught in a manner of speaking with his pants down – is to address my table manners.

    So be it!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And if you don’t understand the import of #283 (as per your #288) – which follows from, and is a direct consequence of, bliffle’s #281, the significant part of which I cited) – then by all means you shouldn’t be following with #289 – because that’s like trying to have it both ways. You should be staying on topic. So forgive me, but I don’t take your inquiry seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger are you going to respond to my comments or not? 287, 288

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    It isn’t that I do not understand the import of it. I don’t understand what it means, as you wrote it. It is unclear, in other words. Could you rephrase it?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller), Did you ever see the two messages I wrote you yet on this thread? As we are about to go to another page of comments soon. I’m sure you’ll miss this one too.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just think. The normal, customary application of “torture” (as as bliffle referred to “in civilian life”) has to do with a kind of perversion, a predilection for cruelty. “Torturing animals” comes to mind. It’s a good example. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy one’s perverse, sadistic impulses/instinct. So that’s what I mean by the “core” of the concept. And one of the main reasons why the term “torture” carries such strong connotations – evoking great moral indignation as to what clearly is the most reprehensible human conduct – is to prevent its application to any other areas, beyond it’s usual context (or linguistic environment), which, again, serves no purpose whatever other than feeding the perversion.

    I believe you can take it from there.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, no, not yet. I spent most of the morning writing and reviewing my unfortunately not very useful Comment #293. I will try to get to yours later today. Right now, my wife is calling upon me to help wash our cat. Putting her (the cat) in the washing machine probably is not a good idea.

    Roger — re #299: I think you have hit the nail on the head: calling something “torture” disqualifies the conduct as human. The problem is that calling something by a name does not necessarily mean that it is the same as other things called by that name. Simply calling a rabid rat an animal should not suggest that all other things called animals need to be destroyed.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Exactly, Dan. Which only points to the error of using simplistic definitions as to what constitutes “such and such” on the basis of “objective facts” alone.

    I provided an analogy up the thread: A murder when shown to have been “done” in self-defense is not murder but homicide (even though the “objective facts” may be identical). Our language must make proper distinctions; and it’s a good thing that it does.

    And for that reason, I tend to believe that in no small measure we’re dealing here with a bogus argument.

    When you do have a chance, BTW, could you explicate your #293 in plain English (no offense intended). I can’t get myself to read the entire (two-hundred some pages of the) legal argument in the link you provided.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Good thinking Dan(Miller). You are on the ball! If I had a cat I might actually allow you to wash it. (Hopefully you have reached a similar conclusion about how to dry a cat.)

    p.s. I just wanted to make sure you found the picture of the rat…please continue to dawdle along at a snail’s pace (charming smile)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Oh btw Dan(Miller) both the message were the same. They concerned a rat I thought you would like. So, if you find one, no need to go searching through pages and pages to find the duplicate.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Well, about half the class seems to understand the concept as stated by Prof. Bliffle.

    Conclusion: The concept is perfectly understandable as is. Ipso facto.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The rest of you seem sort of anal retentive to borrow a favorite local expression.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Thanks, Cindy. I found the rat, and thank you for the dedication. I think I know exactly what you mean. However, let me suggest that it is one thing to “torture” an animal as part of a laboratory experiment in maze behavior, and quite another to “torture” a human when necessary or apparently necessary to prevent very serious harm to others.

    I have no personal knowledge whether anyone involuntarily subjected to waterboarding had critical information on the basis of which lives were, or could have been saved; whether that information could have been pried loose through more gentle means; or whether some of the folks who performed waterboarding enjoyed their activities. I have read opinion pieces taking various sides.

    I very seriously doubt that the attorneys who wrote memoranda outlining the legal limits of the waterboarding process did so to get sadistic thrills themselves, so that others could get such thrills, or that they acted criminally, unethically or otherwise in bad faith. It seems quite unlikely that they were asked for, or gratuitously offered, their personal feelings about whether “torture” is good or bad. The portions of the memoranda which have been made available suggest to me that they were asked to analyze carefully, and on that basis to explain in specific contexts, the statutory limits so that agents in the field could approach, but not cross over, those limits. I think they did a reasonable and workmanlike job. I also think that they did a far better job of explaining the meaning of “torture” under the law than I have seen in the other commentaries on the subject which I have read.

    Dan(Miller)

    PS: During her bath, our cat did not reveal any information whatever, other than that she wished she were elsewhere.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, re my #293: In the first paragraph, I tried to summarize my understanding of the cases. The Supreme Court’s opinion was procedural rather than substantive and offers no guidance on whether, or on the circumstances under which, anyone can be held indefinitely without a trial on the merits.

    It is not the function of the courts to provide legal advice on matters not before them. Rather than opine on hypotheticals, they wait for specific facts and laws to come before them. Here, since the Acting Solicitor General had mooted the matters otherwise before the Supreme Court, there remained no specific case or controversy to be resolved. Perhaps some day the Court will have these issues squarely before it, and will rule.

    That, as I see it, is it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Baronius

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I found Bliffle’s idea to be so flawed it didn’t merit a reply. But silence can imply consent, so I guess I’d better say something.

    There are dozens of ways to get information during an interrogation. You can harass, confuse, trip up, wear down, appeal to the subject’s vanity, bargain, persuade, intimidate, buddy up to the subject, and those are off the top of my head. If waterboarding isn’t torture, at a minimum it’s intimidating and draining. 183 of anything is going to wear you out, especially with the prospect of 183 more.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller)! Oh my…the rat had nothing at all to do with this conversation. The cute rat is a reply to the cute cat…I came across it on my computer, I was just going to post the picture, but it is a blog right? So, realized I could work that little story into it.

    I can’t really read your reply with the rat in mind. The rat must remain separate from the rest. The rat is cute and good and happy.

    I just thought you would like it! :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is a report on what Colin Powell had to say on the “torture” issue today.

    Based on the report, I agree with him.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller),

    My impression is that the vacating the other court’s opinion was by choice and not necessarily a given. Rather than merely dismiss the case and render the opinion moot, they vacated the opinion…and removed it from the books.

    I am pleased 1) that Obama didn’t proceed with Bush’s course of action, and 2) that the court chose to vacate the opinion.

    It makes a statement in and of itself.

    Re: Your opinions on torture, it’s proponents, and those who supported and committed it.

    I see they haven’t changed. I didn’t expect they would.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan,

    #307 provides me with the framework for understanding the decision. Thank you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Cindy, #311 — I understand the position; as noted, it is the one taken by the Criminal Defense lawyers’ association in a blog article about the decision. However, I find nothing in the Supreme Court decision to support that position, which perhaps rises to the giddy level of wishful speculation.

    The Court cited its 1950 decision in Munsingwear, 340 U.S. 36. That case involved the antitrust laws in two separate but related proceedings brought by the Government, one seeking an injunction and the other treble damages for price fixing. The damages case had been held in abeyance pending resolution of the injunction proceeding. The defendant won the first case, it being held that the defendant had not violated the law. Thereafter, the underlying law was changed to deregulate the commodity involved, thereby making any question of injunctive relief moot. The Government wanted to avoid application of the unfavorable ruling in the injunction proceeding to the companion damages proceeding. However, it had neglected to seek vacation, on the basis of mootness, of the decision that the defendant had not violated the law. The MunsingwearCourt said,

    As already indicated, it [vacation of a decision] is commonly utilized in precisely this situation to prevent a judgment, unreviewable because of mootness, from spawning any legal consequences.

    The case is therefore one where the United States, having slept on its rights, now asks us to do what by orderly procedure it could have done for itself. The case illustrates not the hardship of res judicata but the need for it in providing terminal points for litigation.(emphasis added)

    The Ali-Marri Court did not give even a hint that it agreed, or disagreed, with the 4th Circuit decision — either that indefinite confinement may be acceptable under some circumstances, or that the petitioner had not been afforded the required due process. The Court vacated the judgment as moot and remanded to the 4th Circuit with instructions to vacate the appeal as moot, citing Munsingwear

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    (Miller) for SCOTUS!!*

    *The above has been sent to President Obama for his consideration as a fitting successor to Mr. Justice Souter.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Okay, thank you very much Dan(Miller). I understand your point and I will withdraw my enthusiasm for the court’s decision as having any meaning beyond standard practice. I will remain as unenthusiastic as ever about the court and the law.

  • M a rk

    Agreed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Except for one thing, Mark. We’ve got to get Dan to explicate his legal wisdom on BC in plain English. One feels one has to go through two years of law school to even get a gist of what he is saying.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Now, I must try to muster the courage to read Dave’s Gitmo article which will likely test my ability to give up my inner warrior.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, let’s pose another question, then, Dan. There must be some legal basis upon which a Federal judge would authorize holding the detainees indefinitely and without trial. Because this and nothing else is at stake (at this point). So what would that be?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The law is not conducive to being expressed in human terms Roger. Dan(Miller) could hardly be expected to help it.

    But, in regular language, the legal basis was that Bush decided as a president he could do that, Obama did not pursue Bush’s course of action. So, it remains for some future president to try and see if s/he can get away with indefinite detention of citizens.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Then I don’t trust it.
    As to the second paragraph, I believe a decision was rendered to the effect that the powers of Executive privilege don’t extent to indefinite detention. I’m awaiting Dan’s confirmation whether it’s so.
    Dan Miller than must be able to put on another hat in addition to the one he’s wearing. The law evolved from human terms; it therefore must be translatable into terms of ordinary language.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, as I understand the 4th Circuit decision (link provided in Comment #293), (a) a detainee may be held indefinitely without a trial on the merits, but (b) this detainee had not been afforded the requisite due process in determining whether he qualified for such detention. Please do keep in mind that there were few things upon which five members of the nine member panel actually agreed, and that in the multiple and lengthy opinions concurring in part / dissenting in part, the various judges devote a lot of ink to rephrasing and disputing the opinions of the other judges. Sifting through the two hundred and twenty page (single spaced) thing is rather like trying to restore the materials found in a rat’s nest to their status quo ante.

    In one of the concurring/dissenting opinions, Judge Gregory observed — and I agree — that

    The majority of my colleagues agree that a person of al-Marri’s status is entitled to more due process than that which he received, but unfortunately, there is no concrete guidance as to what further process
    is due. Little doubt exists that this judgment will leave the district court with more questions than answers.

    I could probably devote the next week to attempting to derive more guidance from the shifting sets of five judges who formed a plurality, and get no further than did Judge Gregory. I have no intention of doing so, because it would be a wasted effort. Or, I could try to improve upon Judge Gregory’s opinion as to the sort of guidance his brethren should have provided, but did not, to the district court on remand. That would also be a wasted effort.

    President Obama has stated (see another link in one of my previous comments on this thread) that he will

    move to “construct a legitimate legal framework” to justify the detention of dangerous terrorism suspects who could not be tried or released, a proposal that is creating unease among human rights advocates.

    It therefore seems likely that the Supreme Court will eventually decide what is required. Whether that will happen during my lifetime, or that of the last surviving detainee, I offer no opinion.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Leaving aside my opinion on “torture” as a legal matter, I have never been tortured nor have I ever (knowingly) “tortured” anyone. I have never been detained, nor have I ever detained anyone, as an enemy combatant. Here, however, is an article about a man who was tortured by experts in Vietnam between between his capture 1967 and his release in 1973. He

    was tortured by the North Vietnamese for 18 straight days and periodically thereafter until his release in 1973.

    The article relates his perceptions on the subject. Despite my gross lack of personal experience, I find myself in agreement with his observations.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, it is an account of experience, Dan, that’s all. But not shedding any light on how we ought to regard the concept in these “limited” applications. One thinks here, perhaps, of James Bond’s “Casino Royale,” where he was subjected to enormous pain to make him reveal the password to a Swiss bank account.

    I suggest that an incisive analysis is needed, along the lines suggested earlier. What we’re dealing here is a conceptual difficulty, and for good reasons, naturally, because under all but unusual circumstances, “torture” has no reason for being and ought to be abhorred.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    One thinks here, perhaps, of James Bond’s “Casino Royale,” where he was subjected to enormous pain to make him reveal the password to a Swiss bank account.

    Perhaps one does, if one experiences insuperable difficulty in distinguishing fact from fiction. Fortunately or unfortunately, life is not a screen play; there is no James Bond to safeguard anyone from real and final death, or even from transitory destruction. Like it or not, we are stuck with real, live humans — some of whom are intent upon imposing real death and real destruction, and some of whom are intent upon preventing that sort of thing as best they can.

    The contest will doubtless continue indefinitely, and those who would like to see terrorist activities eliminated will simply have to get accustomed to the reality that humans, and the laws which we write, are imperfect.

    It seems quite unlikely, to me, that while we ponder ways to make the world a nicer, more pleasant, place for all people, others with rather different objectives will sit around peacefully and allow all the time we need for such a reconciliation.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Bliffle

    Thanks for the citation, Dan. Here’s my take on it:

    ” John [McCain] thinks waterboarding is torture; Bud [Day] and I [Thorsness] believe it is harsh treatment, but not torture. Other POWs would have varying opinions. I don’t claim to be right; we just disagree.”

    So it’s just a ‘belief’, a sort of guess, on Thorsness’ part. He doesn’t illuminate what separates torture from harsh treatment, in his view.

    Then he provides this interesting theory:

    ” But as someone who has been severely tortured over an extended time, my first hand view on torture is this:

    Torture, when used by an expert, can produce useful, truthful information. I base that on my experience. I believe that during torture, there is a narrow “window of truth” as pain (often multiple kinds) is increased. Beyond that point, if torture increases, the person breaks, or dies if he continues to resist. ”

    Now two public figures who were sceptical (about waterboarding being torture), Christopher Hitchens and that DJ “mancow” both declared that waterboarding WAS torture upon being (briefly) waterboarded.

    That seems to define waterboarding as torture, indeed, because the consequent follows from the Thorsness supplied antecedent that “Torture, when used by an expert, can produce useful, truthful information. ”

    And this coheres with my earlier assertion that “it is a contradiction to say that WB is NOT torture and then expect to extract information from a prisoner by applying WB”, the corollary of which is that one applies WB because they believe it to be an efficacious torture for eliciting information.

    So, IMO, while Thorsness consciously regards WB as NOT torture, his underlying theory defines WB as torture.

    Now I’ll advance the type of common slander that is so beloved on BC, so it should be welcomed with enthiusiasm: Thorsness’ article is published on Powerline which a well-known rightwing outfit that advances ultra-conservative ideas with vigor. That may explain why they chose a statement by Thorsness, or it may signify that Thorsness is an advocate of the same political views.

    I wonder if John McCain, Bud Day or Thorsness were ever waterboarded themselves?

  • Clavos

    Published on Powerline though it is, I believe every word of Thorsness’ account.

    When I was in Vietnam, (1965 and 1966), we were already beginning to hear stories like the one Thorsness tell. All of us expected that, were we ever to be captured, we would be tortured.

  • Clavos

    BTW, Thanks, Dan(Miller), for the link.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Jesse Ventura: You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour, and I’ll Have Him Confess to the Sharon Tate Murders

    The link is to a Video interview on Larry King.

    Ventura, an ex-Navy SEAL was ‘waterboarded’ as part of SERE training. “Ventura makes no bones about it. Waterboarding is torture.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Bliffle,

    First, the perceptions of Mr. Thorsness appear to be based on his personal experiences as one tortured* over a period of years; in that respect, his perceptions may well be better grounded than mine or those of anyone else around here.

    Second, as I understand your analysis, an interrogation technique which is successful in obtaining valid and useful information from someone reluctant to provide it is, ipso facto, torture. I must therefore suppose that obtaining such information from an informant by paying him money is torture. As a corollary, the more money the more dastardly the torture.

    I hereby volunteer to be tortured in that fashion; I am very strong willed and very reticent, so it will cost quite a lot.

    Alas, I very much doubt that I have any information for which you or anyone else would be willing to pay me even an insultingly small amount.

    Dan(Miller)

    *Please note that I did not enclose in quotation marks the word torture in this context.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t called into question by anyone. And I’ve no reason to doubt Thorsness’ account of his own torture.

    However, I suspect Thorsness’ might consider ‘waterboarding’ torture if it was done to US military members. Just as everyone else like him did when the US executed Japanese war criminals for ‘waterboarding’ US POWs.

    Correction: U.S. actually did execute Japanese soldiers for waterboarding

    “We — our country executed Japanese soldiers who water- boarded American POWs. We executed them for the same crime that we are now committing ourselves. How do you defend that?” –Paul Begala

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Dan(Miller) is clearly being amusing. As I could never believe, not in a million years, that he can’t differentiate that there are various methods used to interrogate people and that only the ones involving the creation of agony or pain are intended to be discussed in a conversation about torture.

    The very question (for some of you) in fact, is whether or not the agony was great enough to warrant calling it torture. Prof. Bliffle logically asks…well if you didn’t think it would cause agony so great as to get a result, then why would you even do it?

    That this is so in no way suggests there are not other interrogation techniques that do not involve torture or that every interrogation technique is torture. But Dan(miller) knows that. That fails as one of your funnier routines Dan(Miller); it suffers from lack of believability.

  • Clavos

    The question as to whether or not waterboarding is torture is a red herring.

    The real question is “Are there ever any circumstances under which the use of torture is justified.”

    My answer: Yes.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    #331 was semi-directed to Clav. (The first paragraph anyway.)

  • Bliffle

    Dan says:

    “Second, as I understand your analysis…”

    IMO you understand my analysis, but then you draw an unwarranted conclusion. You probably don’t like my conclusion, IMO.

  • Bliffle

    Let’s take a look at Dans comment, which he no doubt thinks is quite witty:

    “#330 – Dan(Miller)
    May 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Bliffle,

    First, the perceptions of Mr. Thorsness appear to be based on his personal experiences as one tortured* over a period of years; in that respect, his perceptions may well be better grounded than mine or those of anyone else around here.

    So my question remains: was Thorsness waterboarded so that we may get the benefit of his perceptions?

    Second, as I understand your analysis, an interrogation technique which is successful in obtaining valid and useful information from someone reluctant to provide it is, ipso facto, torture.

    Nonsense. This is a transparent distortion. The remainder of your comment is invalid and silly.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan (Miller)/Bliffle:

    #325: James Bond movie wasn’t the point of the remark, so I don’t see why you found it necessary to go off on a tangent to speak of the complexities in real life. Point well taken, though.

    # 326:

    “Second, as I understand your analysis, an interrogation technique which is successful in obtaining valid and useful information from someone reluctant to provide it is, ipso facto, torture.” (Dan Miller)

    “Nonsense. This is a transparent distortion. The remainder of your comment is invalid and silly.” (bliffle)

    Far from nonsense! That was the “apparent” import/intent of numerous remarks and/or rhetorical questions paused by the author. (Don’t make me pull them out, especially since you know they’re there.)

    What is “transparent” about this whole thing is a clumsy attempt on the author’s part to set a trap. At last, it becomes TRULY apparent that since the ploy didn’t work, the author finally disavows himself from the intended meaning and claims innocence in that he had been intentionally
    misunderstood, whereas the intention to mislead and to trip people has all along been none other than the author’s.

    My question, bliffle, is? Did you really believe that some minds on BC were going to fall for this ploy rather than call you on your bluff? If you did, that’s rather naive of you. And if you didn’t, the question remain: Why bother play these silly, childish game rather than getting to the chase.

    So finally, since the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, would you care to elaborate on the implications of your new and improved proposition – and I’m referring here specifically your objection that Dan’s interpretation of your position was, to say the least, inaccurate,

    In particular, since you now tend to agree that not only torture is useful in eliciting needed information but other techniques as well, then what follows from there? What is your position, exactly, and what are its implications? There is only so far one can go with rhetorical questions. A proposition of some sort stands in dire need to be articulated.

    The inquiring minds want to know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Reference in #337 should be to #336.