They Got Rolled

The WaPo sums up the general consensus, in a post titled The Abuse Can Continue:

THE GOOD NEWS about the agreement reached yesterday between the Bush administration and Republican senators on the detention, interrogation and trial of accused terrorists is that Congress will not — as President Bush had demanded — pass legislation that formally reinterprets U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions. Nor will the Senate explicitly endorse the administration’s use of interrogation techniques that most of the world regards as cruel and inhumane, if not as outright torture. Trials of accused terrorists will be fairer than the commission system outlawed in June by the Supreme Court.

The bad news is that Mr. Bush, as he made clear yesterday, intends to continue using the CIA to secretly detain and abuse certain terrorist suspects. He will do so by issuing his own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions in an executive order and by relying on questionable Justice Department opinions that authorize such practices as exposing prisoners to hypothermia and prolonged sleep deprivation. Under the compromise agreed to yesterday, Congress would recognize his authority to take these steps and prevent prisoners from appealing them to U.S. courts. The bill would also immunize CIA personnel from prosecution for all but the most serious abuses and protect those who in the past violated U.S. law against war crimes.

In short, it’s hard to credit the statement by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday that “there’s no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved.” In effect, the agreement means that U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress’s tacit assent. If they do, America’s standing in the world will continue to suffer, as will the fight against terrorism.

It is hard to think of this as a compromise, unless your idea of a compromise is being asked by your child for a million dollars, telling them no, and then agreeing to give them $998,000. Remember this week when, in a few years, our boys andgirls are overseas facing ‘tough interrogation methods’ and jackasses like the loudmouth pro-torture lobby in the right-wing blogosphere are blubbering about human rights and the Geneva Convention. No wonder they are, in many cases, the same folks who want to proselytize in the military- our servicemembers are going to have hell to pay in the future and will need someone to pray to as they are being waterboarded, beaten (but it doesn’t leave marks!), and dipped in vats of icy cold water after days/weeks with no sleep and no access to counsel.

And that only scratches the surface of what this ‘compromise’ is going to do. No worries- we can beat ‘suspected’ terrorists into submission, and they will tell us of their plots to use dirty bombs on the Omaha American Legion ahead of time. Red State America is safe, and even if we were wrong about the terrorists and tortured the wrong person and they only confessed to non-existent plots after hours of abuse, we have made sure they can’t do anything about it, so we won’t have to hear about the messy details anyway. Self-governance and responsibility are, apparently, much like parts of the Geneva Conventions, ‘quaint ideas.’ I am sure you all are as thrilled as I am that we can now rely on the judgement of our current President when it comes to important matters such as this.

The only upside to this ‘compromise’ is that I no longer have to listen to the catcalls of degenerate fools claiming my opposition to torture and rewriting/ignoring the Geneva Conventions is simply an attempt to achieve moral superiority. Apparently these hubristic louts think that opposition to acts that violate basic human decency somehow makes me ‘morally superior.’ I thought it made me ‘normal’ and ‘sane’ and, until the past few years, ‘American.’ Given the brazen cheerleading of the pro-torture crowd in the past few years, it appears I was wrong. Wanting a nation that does not officially condone and engage in wanton acts of violence and torture apparently does make me morally superior. That is a shame.

So, in closing, it is torture they wanted, and it is torture they will get. Given the current domination in Washington of what I have now come to realize (too late to do much about it, I regret) is the ignorance party, there is little we can do about it. I do, however, intend to engage in a little recreational torture myself- I plan to waterboard these jerks at the polls in 2006, again in 2008, and for as long as I can see until there are some basic and systemic changes to the way our government and the now morally bankrupt Republican party operate. And if I am wrong about my choices at the polls, I will just have to take solace in the fact that I, like the President, will remain unaccountable for my mistakes. I can just roll my eyes, feign ignorance, and state that ‘No one ever expected that the Democrats would be worse.’

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116 replies
  1. 1
    Par R says:

    Very good news, indeed. Good for our nation and bad for terrorists and their Lefty supporters in this country.

  2. 2
    Pharniel says:

    Y’know, back in the day, you didn’t do certian things, not because they were right or wrong or some other moral ambiguity or arbitrary line, but simply because they just. were. not. done.

    Which meant that when unpleasentness was called for it was carried out and used appropriatly – as a surgical specility tool, one which was saved for when neccissary and weildied by specilists and experts, not whipped out and used by joe-bob junior.

    the current use of interregation reminds me of a chimp using an ESM

  3. 3
    Mr Furious says:

    “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

    While I try to decide whether staying on the sidelines for this one was good or bad for the Democrats, that quote is really all I can come up with.

    As disappointed as you are in what was once your party, John, this whole sordid affair hasn’t left me feeling much better about mine. The fact that the Democrats have been content to stick their heads in the sand on this for purely political risk calculations is just as disgusting and discouraging.

  4. 4
    Mr Furious says:

    Fuck off, Par R.

  5. 5
    Pharniel says:

    or bad for us par. I mean, if our enemies know we’ll engage in willy nilly torture, then if they are smart, and I think Hamas proved that they are far more on the ball than people would like to admit, then they’ll just start using the tactics WE used against an opponent that belived in ‘harsh’ interrogation techniques.
    Namely misdirection, false leeds and giving people ‘vital information that must not fall into the enemies hands, so hold out as long as you can’ – and then allowing them to be captured. Sure, they’re most likely doing this already, but why not step it up. at the very least it’s even MORE effective than not letting people know anything as they have something to give up, and as the stories don’t match you’ll prolly start to see more deaths from ‘processing’, which is win-win for the bad guys(TM)

  6. 6
    Par R says:

    Drop dead, Mr. Furious. God, what an asshole you truly are, as ppGaz used to observe from time to time.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    PAR R-

    Call me a terrorist supporter one more time. I dare ya.

    Before you do, though, fax me your DD 214 so we can compare notes.

  8. 8
    Snail says:

    Bad for the terrorists, Par R, and also bad for any innocent schlub who gets rounded up because of his funny sounding name. See the recent revelations about the Canadian rendered to Syria for some casual beatings. I’m sure he’s far from the only one.

  9. 9
    Faux News says:

    Why did ppGaz get banned? He was amusing, unlike knuckle dragging, mouth breathing morons like Par R.

  10. 10
    Mike in SLO says:

    Thank God you came out on the right side of this, John. I am dumbfounded that McCain went along with that. It only makes me even more cynical and, where I once had hope that McCain could bring the nation together as President, his capitulation to legalizing this Administration’s torture gambit has forced me to lump him with the rest of the degenerate power hungry political elite that plague our nation. Our transformation to the Soviet Union is complete. I used to think we won the cold war…

  11. 11
    JWeidner says:

    Yes, Par. Much better for us to sink to a lower level morally than to try to maintain the high ground. In fact, I think we’re not going far enough. We need to just start cutting heads off all suspected terrorists in public executions. After all, if the terrorists can do it, we should be able to as well!

    And if it turns out a suspect wasn’t really a terrorist, well, damn, he shouldn’t have been born an A-rab.

  12. 12
    chopper says:

    Very good news, indeed. Good for our nation and bad for terrorists and their Lefty supporters in this country.

    well hey, if imagining a government dude torturing the hell out of someone turns you on, by all means. bit kinky for my tastes tho.

  13. 13
    Mike in SLO says:

    Oh, and by the way, I would be extemely surprised if Par R had a DD 214. Everyone I know who has served is against torture or any tampering with the Geneva Convention. If Par R served in the military it must have been for the Revolutationary Guards.

  14. 14
    Richard 23 says:

    Remember this week when, in a few years, our boys andgirls are overseas facing ‘tough interrogation methods’ and jackasses like the loudmouth pro-torture lobby in the right-wing blogosphere are blubbering about human rights and the Geneva Convention.

    I don’t think this will happen. They hate the hands-tying Geneva Conventions and don’t give a damn about human rights. They don’t see ‘the enemy’ as human anyway. And they love to be outraged by the outrage.

    Notice how often they bring up the sawing of heads. They will use any ‘tough interrogation techniques’ used by ‘the enemy’ as justification for whatever masturbatory dark ages fantasies they can conjure up. The 101st Fighting Keyboardists know neither shame nor regret.

    Great post, John. This is why I come here.

  15. 15
    Pb says:

    Great post, John. I just hope that the Democrats in Congress show at least a tenth as much outrage and backbone on this issue.

    And if waterboarding isn’t considered torture under this bill, then can we set up a demonstration of it for the members in Congress? Maybe Rep. Duncan “two types of fruit” Hunter could bravely volunteer to try it out on the floor of the House.

  16. 16
    Pharniel says:

    “Kill them all, God will know his own.”
    Why are we even bothering with this. Just wipe out the Middle East, all of it, ‘cept maybe the kurds, if they pledge undying loyalty to us.

    And then on the homefront, convert to an acceptable religion. Maybe setup a Beuro of Religious status. They’ll inquire as to whether you’ve gone back to your heathen ways. Inspectors will be paid from siezures of the property of those that have strayed back into the dangerous cult teritory.
    hell, it’s how we fund the War on Drugs already.

  17. 17
    Pb says:

    If Par R served in the military it must have been for the

    Texas Air National Guard, draft-dodging division?

  18. 18
    Tim F. says:

    1:48 pm:

    bad for terrorists and their Lefty supporters in this country.

    1:58 pm:

    God, what an asshole you truly are

    Fruit flies have a longer attention span.

  19. 19

    Very good news, indeed. Good for our nation and bad for terrorists and their Lefty supporters in this country.

    Agreed. The most important thing here is that the Democrats lost the argument. The Republicans couldn’t afford to capitulate to the Democrats complaints, as it would have made them look weak just before the 2006 midterm elections. So I’m glad they did the right thing by defending torture against those who hate Liberty.

    Fortunately we had strong leaders like John McCain who were willing to stand up for Liberty, and give our soldiers the Freedom they need to do the right thing.

    As for torture? Who cares. We got rid of Saddam Hussein and his torture rooms. That’s what counts. People should be giving us a lot more respect for that one. Damn them all!

    And besides, here we have people slaughtering horses for the sale of meat overseas, and all you people can do is worry about is torture! Horse rendering is a far more important issue to the voters of this country than whether or not we torture a few terrorists.

  20. 20
    RSA says:

    A reader on the TPM site suggests that this development may cause changes to the procedures that military interrogators (not just the CIA) follow. I wonder how long it will take before someone refuses to follow orders to torture a prisoner?

  21. 21
    Par R says:

    Cole – My active duty service runs back to the Vietnam era when the designation for the “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty” was, in the case of airforce personnel, DD Form 256 AF and AFRES 116. My service included some six years, including eleven months (in country) of Vietnam service in 1969.

    And I don’t recall calling you a “terrorist supporter,” although many commenters here clearly are.

  22. 22
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Mr Furious Says:

    “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

    While I try to decide whether staying on the sidelines for this one was good or bad for the Democrats, that quote is really all I can come up with.

    As disappointed as you are in what was once your party, John, this whole sordid affair hasn’t left me feeling much better about mine. The fact that the Democrats have been content to stick their heads in the sand on this for purely political risk calculations is just as disgusting and discouraging.

    September 22nd, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    Whew – that was close. Almost thought someone would forget to bash the powerless Democrats for watching the Republican Kabuki theater from the balcony. Everyone knows that ‘not being able to do a damn thing’ is equally as offensive as being “pro-torture”. Damn dirty Democrats.

    It doesn’t matter what the Democrats do or don’t do as long as they are stuck in this awful game of “Heads-I win, Tails-you lose” with the Republicans.

    President Bush could kill little kittens on live TV and within 5 minutes there would be some cable news host agreeing with some Republican talking-points automaton that this development is good for Bush and the Republicans and bad for Democrats because it shows they’re powerless to stop him.

    I’m a very optimistic guy, really I am, but I’m just about spent.

    This is not America.

  23. 23
    Richard 23 says:

    [President Bush] will do so by issuing his own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions in an executive order….

    Question: wouldn’t this, depending on how it is worded, open the President to future charges of some kind? I think it is a good thing if he actually goes on record authorizing illegal behavior. Treaties are the law of the land, or so I have been led to believe.

  24. 24
    Pharniel says:

    par r – you’re a dick.

    not liking torture, not automatically hating leaders of other countries != terrorist sympathizer.

    Shit, we totally need to clone the founding fathers so they can bust some caps into this sort of bullshit cheap theatrics and rhetoric.

    oh wait. there goes me having pre-1776 thoughts again.
    gotta thing post 9/11

  25. 25
    matt says:

    Title change? I think it’s us who got rolled, John.

  26. 26
    Richard 23 says:

    ParRot squawked:

    And I don’t recall calling you a “terrorist supporter,” although many commenters here clearly are.

    Clearly. Name them.

  27. 27
    Neddy Seagoon says:

    Do you yet think that Bush, Warner, Graham and McCain are stupid and offensive?

  28. 28
    Neddy Seagoon says:

    So – we didn’t invade Iraq because of WMDs, say the Bushies. No, we invaded because their gov’t tortured people.

    Well – now we do, too.

    Does this mean the troops can come home?

  29. 29
    TJ says:

    About fucking time, Mr. Cole.

  30. 30
    Neddy Seagoon says:

    Folk like Par R say torture is fine so long as one has a good reason.

    Next time some fool tells me that we had to invade Iraq because “Saddam tortured his own people” I’m going to say: “Maybe he had a good reason.”

  31. 31
    Davebo says:

    If anything good can possibly come out of this it will be that America will finally see John McCain for the spineless weasel that he is.

    Then again, maybe not. The country had a totally unfounded perception of Colin Powell being a stand up guy despite the tons of evidence to the contrary available.

    If only the NSA had an 800 number for reporting the IP addresses of suspected terrorist blog commenters Par R might get a chance to scream with joy at the effectiveness of the “special interrogation techniques” being applied to his sorry ass.

  32. 32
    Par R says:

    Pharniel – You are the DICK here. You and virtually all the others posting comments here have no idea what you are typing and jabbering away about. You all simply toss around the word “torture” as though every approach to gathering intelligence constituted real torture as was visited on Senator John McCain and others.

    Literally thousands of American military soldiers and sailors have been subjected to “waterboarding” as a part of a rigorous training regimen. And undoubtedly, many more thousands have subjected themselves to loud and obnoxious music. In many of your minds, torture is just another manifestation of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

  33. 33
    Blue Neponset says:

    Par R deserves our sympathy more than our scorn. We should thank him for showing us what a hate-filled heart looks like.

  34. 34
    Snail says:

    Par R,

    If an American serviceman were captured and waterboarded as part of an interrogation, would you say he had been “tortured”? If he claimed he was, would you dispute him? Are you saying that is an acceptable practice for any national army?

  35. 35
    canuckistani says:

    ParRot squawked:

    And I don’t recall calling you a “terrorist supporter,” although many commenters here clearly are.

    Clearly. Name them.

    If there’s a blacklist, I want to be on it.
    If opposing torture means I support the terrorists, then sign me up for the Strawman Liberation Front.
    What happened to you, America, you used to be cool.

  36. 36
    matt says:

    Par R, how you, as a veteran, can support this, boggles my mind.

    Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    The notion that torture is immoral, counterproductive and un-American has been around a lot longer than President Bush.

  37. 37
    VidaLoca says:

    Rusty,

    Almost thought someone would forget to bash the powerless Democrats for watching the Republican Kabuki theater from the balcony. Everyone knows that ‘not being able to do a damn thing’ is equally as offensive as being “pro-torture”. Damn dirty Democrats.

    I may be mistaking your intent here, but if you’re suggesting holding back on criticizing the Dems because they don’t hold committee chairs and can’t set the agenda: let’s not.

    All they had to do was show up for the fight. If you fight back, people recognize you as a fighter. If you lead, people recognize you as a leader. If you do fricking nothing and let the kabuki theater go on, you’re perceived as powerless because that’s ultimate what you’ve made yourself. Even if you lose you can set up the conditions so next time you come back stronger — that’s how the Republicans got where they are for God’s sake.

  38. 38
    Krista says:

    You all simply toss around the word “torture” as though every approach to gathering intelligence constituted real torture as was visited on Senator John McCain and others.

    Par – Are you on glue? Believe me, it’s not the left who misinterprets what torture is. We’re not the ones acting like torture consists of some harmless fraternity-like pranks.

    Gathering intelligence, I’m all for. Nobody here is suggesting that people not be interrogated.

    BUT, taking someone without any proof of them being involved in terrorism, and making them think that they’re going to die, and then making them wish that they WERE going to die…is that something you’re proud of? You shouldn’t be. Not only does torturing not work, but it’s only creating more people who hate America.

  39. 39
    Pb says:

    The notion that torture is immoral, counterproductive and un-American has been around a lot longer than President Bush.

    Back then they were probably accused of having KGDS (King George III Derangement Syndrome), just for fighting against his pre-1776 mentality.

  40. 40
    Davebo says:

    If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em.

    We’ve tried for 3 years to make Iraq a mirror image of America but apparantly we have to settle for making America a mirror image of Iraq.

  41. 41
    Pharniel says:

    sorry par r. waterboarding, or anything else stright from (NSFW) http://www.waterbondage.com or http://www.insex.com “punishment techniques” are pretty much how I identify what is “torture” vs. what isn’t.

    Waterboarding, hypothermia/cold water dunking, cutting, flogging with bared wires etc. Anything which is classified as “edge play” or hard core SM should probobly be classified as, y’know torture.

    Sleep dep, constant questoining whatever. Hell, i’m down with the isolation treatment but the problem is that it’s a slippery slope. You start off with 72 hour questoining sessions, next thing you know we’re doing them naked, and then we’re throwing in an enema and refusing the person to use the bathroom, because hey, that works better.

    Right now we’re approaching that threshold of ridiculousness – where life starts to immitate bad 80’s conspiracy/THE MAN genre.
    secret prisions – check
    ‘processing techniques’ – check
    ill defined and over used classification of ‘the enemy’ – check.

    There’s a time and a place for coercive interrogation.
    there’s a time and place for throwing people into obliettes.
    There’s a time and a place for leveling a city or nation and salting the earth.
    there’s a time and a place to negotiate, and there’s a time and a place to intimidate.
    So far i have been givin no indication that this administration or congress is capable of the judicious use of any tool, let alone some of the most powerful and dangerous.

  42. 42

    See a tongue-in-cheek visual of the Grand Opening of “Tortureland”…here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  43. 43
    Tsulagi says:

    Once again the Republican “mavericks” like McCain, Grahm, and Warner have proven they have a spine supported solely by Bush farts. When it came time to step up to the plate, they showed they can Specter with the best of them. Bush and this entire Republican “leadership” are beyond garbage.

    But at least it was nice to see some attempt at honesty. Letting us know in advance the ayatollah intends to issue a fatwa to clarify what Congress means in this legislation and say they have no intent to follow anything that doesn’t suck his limp dick. Welcome to the neotard’s form of democacy.

    I seem to remember some gross urban dictionary like definition out there of a Santorum. Needs to be expanded. It applies to the entire spineless less-than-shit Republican Party.

  44. 44
    Richard 23 says:

    Once we all get acclimatized to the idea of torture being part of standard interrogation techniques, how long before it starts getting used against naughty criminals and dissenters in the United States?

    After all, you’re either with us or against us. Appeasing and offering aid and comfort to Islamofascists and terrorists should be a crime, right? Who knows or dares to dream what info torture might turn up in such cases?

    What about filthy drug dealers? They should be tortured so we can get to their sources. Maybe we can finally win that pesky drug war.

    Torture might be effective in getting scofflaws to pay their parking tickets.

    Maybe Mirror, Mirror might be possible after all, in our own universe.

    I realize it will probably be awhile before our own enforcement and justice system is infected with the idea that torture is just another tool in the arsenal, but it is a distinct possibility. Well, I hope not.

    I’m just brainstorming here. Back to you, Par R.

  45. 45
    ThymeZone says:

    Good post, John.

  46. 46
    neil says:

    Intruder alert! Intruder alert!

  47. 47
    Pharniel says:

    don’t forget the deadbeat dads.
    and the other guilty before convicted criminal scum.

  48. 48
    Davebo says:

    he only upside to this ‘compromise’ is that I no longer have to listen to the catcalls of degenerate fools claiming my opposition to torture and rewriting/ignoring the Geneva Conventions is simply an attempt to achieve moral superiority.

    But for reasons no one could possibly understand you are still required to list them on your blog roll.

    Damn that online integrity pledge!

  49. 49
    r€nato says:

    John, I’m glad you’ve seen the light, but I just can’t resist saying it.

    “We told you so.”

    I’m not saying that with glee; I’m angry.

    Many of us knew six years ago that Bush was completely unqualified for the office. We knew that the “really smart, experienced people” advising him who were supposed to compensate for his lack of experience, were a pretty bad cast of characters.

    Instead all we got was, “Al Gore’s an egghead! Boooo! no one likes a smarty-pants! He said he invented the internet, hahaha! Bush is a guy I can have a beer with, that’s what I want in a president!”

    Then that little Iraq marketing campaign came along four years ago. A lot of us said it was a bad idea, that it was wrong, that we were being lied to, that it would most certainly not ‘pay for itself’, that Iraq was no threat to the US. We were called ‘Saddam-lovers’, disloyal, America-haters, traitors, on and on and on. We were right. And we still get called all that as you’ve discovered first-hand.

    In 2004 we were mocked for supporting Kerry. “He windsurfs! Flip-flopper! Massachusetts liberal! Hahahaha!” Or maybe you rationalized it, as many did: “Bush sucks but Kerry would be worse!” I think we now know that a warehouse full of Hoovers could not suck as much as Bush has proven he can since ’04.

    So… pinko commie pansy terrorist-appeasing hippie liberals are 3-0 since 2000. Right about Bush twice, right about Iraq. I know you turned against Bush a while back but I hope next time you might take us lefties more seriously next time, considering our track record on these matters….

  50. 50
    Mr Furious says:

    If anything good can possibly come out of this it will be that America will finally see John McCain for the spineless weasel that he is.

    Not when the LA Times headline reads: “Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees.”

  51. 51
    Phila says:

    Apparently these hubristic louts think that opposition to acts that violate basic human decency somehow makes me ‘morally superior.’ I thought it made me ‘normal’ and ‘sane’ and, until the past few years, ‘American.’ Given the brazen cheerleading of the pro-torture crowd in the past few years, it appears I was wrong. Wanting a nation that does not officially condone and engage in wanton acts of violence and torture apparently does make me morally superior. That is a shame.

    Well said. And I just want to point out that the pro-torture crew are cowards, as well. They simply don’t have the courage, values, or resolve to stand up for American ideals. If they did, they’d be a hell of a lot better suited to the job of fighting terrorists.

  52. 52
    Fledermaus says:

    I hope this whole criminal Administration is locked up in the Hauge to rot until the day they die

  53. 53
    F. Authorati says:

    1984, I was taking a physics lab. The TA, a long-haired biker type was reading some rag while we lasered each other. In the middle of class, he slammed his desk and said, “Do y’all know the United States is the largest manufacturer and exporter of torture equipment in the world?”.

    Everyone kind of mumbled and went back to work. He kept staring at us, with a look like “What the f@%k is wrong with you people?”. Of course, I didn’t help things out by asking after class if Torture Engineering was an ME or Physics minor.

  54. 54
    Mr Furious says:

    “Do y’all know the United States is the largest manufacturer and exporter of torture equipment in the world?”.

    DieHard batteries and jumper cables? Or is somebody actually manufacturing and exporting racks?

    If there is, it’s probably Halliburton…

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    Not when the LA Times headline reads: “Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees.”

    What a relief. I was worried Mr. McCain wasn’t going to make it through his cannonization. But if he’s got the balls to stand up to 2% of Bush’s torture policy… well, at least he’s not a Democrat, right?

    The fact that the Democrats have been content to stick their heads in the sand on this for purely political risk calculations is just as disgusting and discouraging.

    The nation doesn’t support the Democrats. The Democrats don’t support the nation. It’s a vicious cycle. If you want to ask why we don’t have better Dems in office, ask all the Conneticut voters still voting for Joe Lieberman. Ask all the folks down in OH-02 who supported Jean Schmitt. Ask the “values voters” in charge of the Iowa caucus who thought Howard Dean was “unelectable” because he gave a war-whoop at a campaign rally. If people don’t want to invade foreign countries on a whim and have their telephones tapped and their international next-door-neighbors kidnapped and tortured and pay $3.00/gallon for gas to oil companies picking up billions in government subsidies, then they shouldn’t be voting for Republicans, period. You can’t just sit around waiting for Dems to push through the perfect campaign.

  56. 56

    And I don’t recall calling you a “terrorist supporter,” although many commenters here clearly are.

    I believe I saw an episode of General Hospital which dealt with this issue.

  57. 57
    Pb says:

    But for reasons no one could possibly understand you are still required to list them on your blog roll.

    Damn that online integrity pledge!

    RedState has managed to hold to an online integrity pledge? Unpossible.

  58. 58
    Davebo says:

    RedState has managed to hold to an online integrity pledge? Unpossible

    Well, they’ve never killed anyone… online at least.

  59. 59
    sglover says:

    Here’s an insightful take on the matter by a former Soviet dissident. Our resident idiots (I’m looking at you, ‘Par R’) might find it a hard concept to grasp, but morality aside, relying on coercion is an excellent way of proving the police maxim that “stupid criminals produce stupid cops”. What you want out of an interrogation is the truth. You want to arrive at that by questioning the right guys. Clearly, in Guantanamo and the secret ex-Gulag prisons and the outsourced Syrian dungeons, we haven’t been very interested in being effective. But to scared pussied like ‘Par R’, it’s the feelings that count — nothing more.

  60. 60
    Mr Furious says:

    Almost thought someone would forget to bash the powerless Democrats for watching the Republican Kabuki theater from the balcony. Everyone knows that ‘not being able to do a damn thing’ is equally as offensive as being “pro-torture”. Damn dirty Democrats.

    Rusty,
    I’m not sure where that falls on the sincerity/sarcasm meter, but let me respond by saying the Democrats sat on their fucking hands while Rome burns. Had they actually come out with a strong position on this, they would able to call this “compromise” out for the bullshit that it is. Since they made a political decision to wait out the debate instead of doing what was right, they can kindly shut the fuck up about it.

    Charlie Pierce says it better than I ever could:

    The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea. For an entire week, it allowed a debate on changing the soul of the country to be conducted intramurally between the Torture Porn and Useful Idiot wings of the Republican Party.

    […] And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate. It contributed nothing. On the question of whether or not the United States will reconfigure itself as a nation which tortures its purported enemies and then grants itself absolution through adjectives — “Aggressive interrogation techniques” — the Democratic Party had…no opinion.

    […] This was as tactically idiotic as it was morally blind. On the subject of what kind of a nation we are, and to what extent we will live up to the best of our ideals, the Democratic Party was as mute and neutral as a stone. Human rights no longer have a viable political constituency in the United States of America. Be enough of a coward, though, and cable news will fit you for a toga.

    The Democrats were content to sit by as three Senators and one President sold out the nation. Nice job.

  61. 61
    tBone says:

    Maybe Mirror, Mirror might be possible after all, in our own universe.

    The bullshit detectors, Cap’n! They cannae take th’ strain!

    John, great post. Reminds me why I started reading you in the first place.

  62. 62
    jaime says:

    loudmouth pro-torture lobby in the right-wing blogosphere are blubbering about human rights and the Geneva Convention.

    It’s already happening.

  63. 63
    sglover says:

    Instead all we got was, “Al Gore’s an egghead! Boooo! no one likes a smarty-pants! He said he invented the internet, hahaha! Bush is a guy I can have a beer with, that’s what I want in a president!”

    Beltway geezer David “Sclerosis” Broder this week admitted that “Midwesterners like me” (!!!) just didn’t like “know-it-alls” like Gore and Kerry. In the same column, he masturbated at considerable length about manly John McCain’s brave stand against “lawless” GW Bush. In other columns, Old Dave has mentioned how he’d get bored when Gore or Kerry would actually discuss issues. Damn know-it-alls!

    The “Dean” of the Washington press corps. Think long and hard about that.

  64. 64
    Marion says:

    If an American serviceman were captured and waterboarded as part of an interrogation, would you say he had been “tortured”?

    I only wish our captured servicemen in the past few wars and this one had gotten off that lightly.

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    yeah, waterboarding is nothing. it’s like being smothered by puppies. and who doesn’t love puppies? i’ll tell you who: liberals.

    see, this is why liberals can’t be trusted with national security. because they hate puppies.

  66. 66
    chopper says:

    […] And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate. It contributed nothing. On the question of whether or not the United States will reconfigure itself as a nation which tortures its purported enemies and then grants itself absolution through adjectives—“Aggressive interrogation techniques”—the Democratic Party had…no opinion.

    yeah, i love how conservatives who made so much fun of political correctness a decade ago (“i’m not a janitor, i’m a ‘sanitation engineer’! haw haw”) are so quick to minimize torture as ‘alternative interrogation techniques’.

  67. 67
    jg says:

    The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea.

    Lines like that are why I read Pierce.

  68. 68

    Really, it should be called Alternative Discussion Methodologies

    Aggressive sounds kind of mean.

  69. 69
    Tsulagi says:

    My active duty service runs back to the Vietnam era when the designation for the “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty” was, in the case of airforce personnel, DD Form 256 AF and AFRES 116. My service included some six years, including eleven months (in country) of Vietnam service in 1969.

    Air Force. It figures. The OTHER terrorist organization. However, I will not dis any servicemember’s service. No matter how gay it was.

  70. 70
    jaime says:

    yeah, waterboarding is nothing.

    What Bush won’t discuss is how we sew suspects buttholes closed closed and keep feeding them and feeding them and feeding them.

    This is otherwise known as the Method man technique.

  71. 71
    Zifnab says:

    The Democrats were content to sit by as three Senators and one President sold out the nation. Nice job.

    Before you go crying about Democratic complacency, keep in mind that they have a bill entirely their own. I believe it’s the Reid-Feingold bill, although I could be mistaken.

    Has the McCain/Graham/Otherguy bill been voted on yet? Has it been passed? Then hold your horses on this one. This was a White House-Republican Rubber Stamper piece of legislation that was being hammered out well beyond the reach of Democratic lawmakers.

    If Reid and company let the bill slide into law, then you can start screaming bloody murder about how Democrats abandoned the nation. Last I checked on DKos, Reid was swearing that by hell or high water, Bush’s torture bill will not pass. I’ll stick with him till then.

  72. 72
    Richard 23 says:

    Does anyone know what will be in Bush’s executive order and whether or not going on the record regarding torture puts him in potential jeopardy?

    Oh, and that e coli spinach story we heard about? It was a terrorist attack….

  73. 73
    Ricky Bones says:

    A lot of you guys are some tough talking wimps. Trust me, you would tell them you had sex with your dad after the U.S. got done “interrogating” you. SO, hwo are we to trust that info obtained under these conditions is good intel.

    I am certain that many of the tough talkers here NEVER served, nor would they ever now.

    Some of you need to walk that walk before you consider opening your mouths on this matter. I served in the first Gulf War and Somalia.

    All I have to say. You can hammer away if you feel, but I am not cheking back, because most of the posts here are rubbish and most of you could not make intelligent arguments on this matter other than something along the lines of “hell yeah, torture ’em!”

    Sad commentary – and so many conservatives claim the liberals are full of anger and hate. It is difficult for either side to listen when you will not keep an open mind to any INTELLIGENT arguments from either side.

  74. 74
    jaime says:

    You can hammer away if you feel, but I am not cheking back, because most of the posts here are rubbish and most of you could not make intelligent arguments on this matter other than something along the lines of “hell yeah, torture ‘em!”

    It was nice meeting you too, Ricky.

  75. 75
    82ndAbnVet says:

    Its a matter of standards. Do we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world, or not?? Seems we don’t… Funny thing is, most of those who support ‘alternative’ interogation techniques would be outraged if those same ‘techniques’ were applied to American soldiers. Of course, most of those who support ‘alternative’ interogation techniques have never bothered to serve even a day in uniform themselves, so they have no real stake in the matter one way or the other

  76. 76
    Brad R. says:

    Very shrill, J.C. Me gusta :-)

  77. 77
    jg says:

    most of you could not make intelligent arguments on this matter other than something along the lines of “hell yeah, torture ‘em!”

    Same people who yelled ‘hell yeah, impeach him’. And for the same reasons, republicans told them too and that if you don’t you’re siding with…….

  78. 78
    Pb says:

    Do we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world, or not?

    No, apparently that’s pre-9/11 thinking. Now The Party Of Torture hold us to a higher standard than the terrorists allegedly follow, which has indeed lowered the bar to below the point of limbo.

  79. 79
    ThymeZone says:

    Oh, and that e coli spinach story we heard about?

    It’s not like you weren’t warned.

    The Alert Level has been Yellow — Elevated Threat of Bloody Diarrhea — for a long time now.

  80. 80
    Par R says:

    John Cole supports terrorists. He confirmed as much when he hinted he would vote for a Democrat this fall…

  81. 81
    Krista says:

    John Cole supports terrorists. He confirmed as much when he hinted he would vote for a Democrat this fall…

    A little too heavy-handed, my spoofy friend. Tone it back a bit if you want to be in the least bit believable.

  82. 82
    Dustbin Of History says:

    The national Democratic Party is no longer worth the cement needed to sink it to the bottom of the sea.

    Yeah, because its totally the Democrats fault that everytime they opened their mouth, the MSM went running to Saint John of Arizona and his “maverick” buddies for more quotes. Harry Reid could’ve held a three-ring circus on the Senate floor, and it wouldn’t have gotten more coverage than how McCain was taking a tough stand against the President.

  83. 83
    Par R says:

    Tone it back a bit if you want to be in the least bit believable.

    I was just reprising the tenor of my earlier comments, including this gem:

    Drop dead, Mr. Furious. God, what an asshole you truly are, as ppGaz used to observe from time to time.

  84. 84
    craigie says:

    Once we all get acclimatized to the idea of torture being part of standard interrogation techniques, how long before it starts getting used against naughty criminals and dissenters in the United States?

    This is absolutely my question, and I wonder why this hasn’t been part of the media conversation. Well, no, nevermind, I know why.

  85. 85
    Pb says:

    Remember, folks, We Do Not Torture. Just like we we didn’t have secret prisons. In the same way that we went into Iraq to spread freedom–and it was a catastrophic success! Much like how the Clear Skies and Healthy Forests Act saved us from global warming.

  86. 86
    CaseyL says:

    Once we all get acclimatized to the idea of torture being part of standard interrogation techniques, how long before it starts getting used against naughty criminals and dissenters in the United States?

    The, er, beauty of the way Bush has this all set up is that naughty criminals and dissenters can already have vanished down the rabbit hole without anyone knowing. Maybe their immediate families – who have, no doubt, been told to keep their mouths shut if they ever want to see their Disappeared again.

    So I don’t wonder how long before it happens; I’m pretty sure it already has.

    What I wonder is how long before it’s done in public, on TV, for the entertainment of the masses. Public torture and execution are real crowd pleasers: ask the Romans, Spaniards during the Inquisition, the Taliban – hell, you don’t have to look very far back in our own history to find public celebrations of brutality and death.

    Making it public serves many purposes. It gratifies the slime-monsters who walk among us disguised as human beings. It serves as a diversion for public despair and rage which might otherwise be directed at the actual cause of the despair and rage.

    And it intimidates the populace, because even your most mild-mannered and law-abiding citizen knows he or she is only one unguarded word – or one rejected suitor, or one grudge-holding acquaintance – away from being the next star of the auto da fe.

    At the current rate of our social and political degeneration, I figure we’ll see public torture – or at least public executions- in a couple of years. Maybe they’ll even roll it out as part of the 2008 election season.

  87. 87
    Pb says:

    What I wonder is how long before it’s done in public, on TV, for the entertainment of the masses.

    Next, on “Who Wants To Be A Detainee?” (Not me!)

  88. 88
    Tulkinghorn says:

    What is misunderstood by everyone but the white house is what torture is for. It is not for getting usable intelligence for the war on terror. It is for getting actionable ‘information’ that can be used for political purposes.

    Torture got suspects to give bogus information about WMD. This suited the administration’s purposes perfectly – hey rode that information all the way to Baghdad. Look for it to be used again for this purpose. These folks talk about ‘creating reality’, and torture is an essential tool in that process.

    At this point Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be sharing Milosovich’s old cell — he does not need it anymore.

  89. 89
    Mr Furious says:

    Drop dead, Mr. Furious. God, what an asshole you truly are, as ppGaz used to observe from time to time.

    Yeah, Par, that gem was worthy of an encore. And as far as me and ppGaz goes, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

    Thanks for your contributions this evening, it’s been enlightening.

  90. 90
    rachel says:

    Pb Says:

    Remember, folks, We Do Not Torture. Just like we we didn’t have secret prisons. In the same way that we went into Iraq to spread freedom—and it was a catastrophic success! Much like how the Clear Skies and Healthy Forests Act saved us from global warming.

    George Orwell’s estate should sue for violation of their IP rights.

  91. 91
    p.lukasiak says:

    And if waterboarding isn’t considered torture under this bill, then can we set up a demonstration of it for the members in Congress? Maybe Rep. Duncan “two types of fruit” Hunter could bravely volunteer to try it out on the floor of the House.

    great idea — but what we should really do is waterboard Bush until he agrees to “confess” that waterboarding is torture….

  92. 92
    Beej says:

    While we’re considering who gets the blame for this outrage, let’s not forget the dear, gullible, apathetic voter. How many of you here have called, faxed, emailed, written a letter to your senators and representatives telling them just how loathsome you find the prospect of this country endorsing any form of torture? If you haven’t, get to it! There’s still time.

  93. 93
    moonbiter says:

    When I was a kid of about 5 or 6, I watched President Nixon resign from office on TV. I didn’t really understand what was going on, except that the president of the United States was quitting and that we would have a new president now.

    I asked my dad why he was quitting, and he told me that the president had broke the law and did some bad things.

    I asked him how the president could have broken the law. Isn’t the president the chief of police? Couldn’t he do what he want?

    To which my dad replied (and I’ll never forget his words), “In American not even the chief of police is allowed to break the law.”

    That was the America I believed in when I was growing up, a nation of laws, derived from the Constitution to which the public servants were sworn to serve and protect, and no man was allowed to breech those laws and get away with it. It was a good country where people had freedom and couldn’t be taken away to some dark torture chamber and locked up forever on the mere charge of “treason” or “terrorism” by powerful person without due process.

    That America is being killed today, because of those cowards who cry “freedom’s no good if you’re dead!” That America is being killed today because of those in power who see an opportunity to break the chains of laws that bind them. The new America that is resulting is no longer the land of the free or the home of the brave, but simply the largest and richest third world, third-rate, tin-pot dictatorship to exist since Gorbachev pulled the plug on the failed Russian experiment in totalitarianism.

  94. 94
    Tulkinghorn says:

    While we’re considering who gets the blame for this outrage, let’s not forget the dear, gullible, apathetic voter. How many of you here have called, faxed, emailed, written a letter to your senators and representatives telling them just how loathsome you find the prospect of this country endorsing any form of torture? If you haven’t, get to it! There’s still time.

    Due to the regional division of voting blocks there is not much point in this. I can easily call on John Kerry or Teddy Kennedy to not change their positions, but how do I instruct them not to be so passive?

    IN any case, I take the silence so far from the Dems to be a good sign. I don’t want them tainted by the discussion at this point. Just to stop this legislation by any possible means when it comes up. It is the last chance for a generation of Congressional Dems to make a mark before the base gives up on them entirely.

  95. 95
    Proud Liberal says:

    great post John.

  96. 96

    A truly amazing post by John and plenty of outstanding comments by others.

    Many a thanks to everyone that raised the question of when can toture be used in non-terrorism related cases. I honestly never even thought of that.

    Talk about an eye opener…

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Jill says:

    This will protect our torturers and in turn protect all torturers. Way to go America! Way to go McCain! Nothing good will happen in this country or government until we have true oversight and that can only happen if the Dems take over the house or senate.

  99. 99
    Dennis says:

    I was an MP during the Vietnam war, confinement specialist. I have some experience with this topic, but was never a torturer. The one thing I know is that every soldier loves the Geneva Conventions! Just ask John McCain, he didn’t have them. Every man on the battlefield knows he faces capture every day. Many fear this knowing that their capturer (the low ranking soldier with the gun) will mistreat them. However once off the battlefield rules apply that assure at least some reasonable treatment. This by no means guarantees comfort.

    Taking away the Geneva Conventions doesn’t support our troops.

  100. 100
    rilkefan says:

    Fine post, John.

  101. 101
    David B says:

    It seems like a pretty reasonable compromise to me. And I don’t think it’s fair to say that it condones torture. Harsh methods? Yes. Torture? No.

    The original proposal from the the White House was, I think, pretty horrific. We can’t alter Geneva. That’s just plain crazy. But we shouldn’t be coddling terrorists either. I think this compromise does both pretty well — and bravo to the brave Senators who made it possible.

  102. 102
    Egypt Steve says:

    Par R — sure, lots of American troops have been waterboarded in training. Others have been stuffed into confining spaces or had similar things done to them. Two points about that. First: Do you want to know why … why this was necessary, and how it was all thought up? Becuase during the Cold War, it was assumed that American soldiers might fall into the hands of the Russians, the North Koreans, the North Vietnamese, or the Chinese, and be … TORTURED. These were techniques we knew were being employed by Stalinist, ChiCom TORTURERS.

    Second: just because you do something to someone with their consent, doesn’t mean that it would be a crime if done to them by someone else. Take sex … if someone forces himself on your wife, would you buy it if he argued that it’s not rape, because, what the hell, she has sex with you all the time anyway? Somehow, I suspect you might not go along with that.

  103. 103
    ThymeZone says:

    if someone forces himself on your wife, would you buy it if he argued that it’s not rape, because, what the hell, she has sex with you all the time anyway?

    I can’t answer a hypothetical, but anyway, Rodney Dangerfield had the reciprocal situation: His wife cut him off from sex, but he wasn’t too upset, he said, because she cut off three other guys at the same time.

  104. 104
    David B says:

    Taking away the Geneva Conventions doesn’t support our troops.

    It’s hard to argue with that. But the shrill anger of the left doesn’t help our troops much either.

  105. 105
    ThymeZone says:

    But the shrill anger of the left doesn’t help our troops much either.

    That’s right, the “shrill anger of the left” is the greatest threat to the troops, no doubt about it.

  106. 106
    Beej says:

    David B,

    Anger is generally shrill. Or roaring. Or screaming. Or making lots of noise in some other way. That’s because it’s ANGER. Having the soul of your country subverted and twisted does that to some people. Go figure.

  107. 107
    BrianM says:

    I can easily call on John Kerry or Teddy Kennedy to not change their positions, but how do I instruct them not to be so passive?

    By doing what I’m going to do on Monday, which is call Durbin and Obama’s office and tell them that, while not identifying myself as a Democrat, I gave somewhere around two or three thousand dollars to Democrats last election cycle and that, because of the Democrat’s passivity, I don’t plan to do that this cycle. They’re just going to waste it. Hell, I was all set to take two weeks off work and do whatever the local House contender needed – until, that is, I heard him fold on a radio call-in show.

  108. 108

    […] If John Cole were a Beastie Boys album, he would be called License To Shrill: It is hard to think of this as a compromise, unless your idea of a compromise is being asked by your child for a million dollars, telling them no, and then agreeing to give them $998,000. Remember this week when, in a few years, our boys andgirls are overseas facing ‘tough interrogation methods’ and jackasses like the loudmouth pro-torture lobby in the right-wing blogosphere are blubbering about human rights and the Geneva Convention. No wonder they are, in many cases, the same folks who want to proselytize in the military- our servicemembers are going to have hell to pay in the future and will need someone to pray to as they are being waterboarded, beaten (but it doesn’t leave marks!), and dipped in vats of icy cold water after days/weeks with no sleep and no access to counsel. […]

  109. 109
    Redleg says:

    Par R doesn’t understand that the cumulative effect, over a period of weeks, of waterboarding, severe sleep deprivation, loud music, humiliation, close confinement, chemlites up the anus, and other Bush-approved techniques does a hell of a lot of damage to the person. Sure, many of us could withstand being waterboarded one time for a few minutes, but how many can withstand it over a sustained period of time, especially with other tortures mixed in for variety? Just pick one of the tortures and imagine having to be subjected to it, every day, day after day with no end in sight? If you don’t think that’s wrong then you and I can’t even begin to understand each other.

    Many military intelligence experts have warned that such techniques are often counter-productive- resulting in resistance in the short term and the extraction of mis-information and false confessions in the long term.

    Bush and his cabal don’t care about the collective wisdom and experience of the actual military professionals. Instead, Bush relies on the likes of Alberto Gonzalez and John Woo, neither of whom have ever had to hump a ruck and an M-16.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    BroD says:

    If the flag I served doesn’t stand for honor and decency, it’s nothing to be proud of.

  112. 112
    A Hermit says:

    I’m an occasional reader of this blog, sometimes I agree with John, sometimes I disagree, sometimes I even think “what a wanker”.

    Never before have a wanted to jump up and shout “Hallelujah and Amen Brother!!!!”

    Shout it from the moutaintops…

  113. 113
    Lex says:

    People have always thought they could keep torture on a leash.

    And they have always been wrong.

    Bravo, John, from one extremely disaffected Republican to another.

  114. 114

    […] These days it seems as though the administration has driven the evenhanded moderates and even rightwingers with intellectual credibility past the breaking point. Gregory Djerejian passed me up months ago, along with what seems like the entire retired leadership of the US military. John Cole, of course. Even unapologetic trog-cons like Cold Fury (e.g., libs lost Vietnam) agree that the present leadership deserves to go: […]

  115. 115
    pj says:

    My favorite Bush administration lies:

    Rumsfeld:

    “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat”

    Cheney, a two parter:

    1. “Its pretty well confirmed” that Atta met with an Iraqi Agent in Prague.

    2. “Well, let’s get to Mohamed Atta for a minute because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, “pretty well confirmed.”

    VP CHENEY: No, I never said that.”

    Bush, a tie (and I don’t even have to go to Iraq):

    “I don’t think anyone anticipated a breach of the levees.”

    “He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994,” Bush said of Lay, “and she named him the head of the Governor’s Business Council. And I decided to leave him in place, just for the sake of continuity. And that’s when I first got to know Ken, and worked with Ken, and he supported my candidacy.”

    Rice: “I don’t think anyone could have anticipated that people would fly airliners into buildings.”

  116. 116

    […] Indeed, never underestimate the value of principled “moderates” who always stand ready to drop their principles like a prom dress. The kabuki generally runs like this: George Bush proposes some extravagant new executive power like, say, legal sanction to pull the legs off of kittens. The Democrats reasonably agree (mostly) that pulling legs off of kittens is wrong, but usually lack the party discipline and/or the overall votes to stop the president on their own. Worse, nothing terrifies Democrats more than the thought that somebody might call them soft on terrorism for denying the president the power to deal with the awful kitten leg threat. The thought of David Broder calling them partisan usually reduces them to tears. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Indeed, never underestimate the value of principled “moderates” who always stand ready to drop their principles like a prom dress. The kabuki generally runs like this: George Bush proposes some extravagant new executive power like, say, legal sanction to pull the legs off of kittens. The Democrats reasonably agree (mostly) that pulling legs off of kittens is wrong, but usually lack the party discipline and/or the overall votes to stop the president on their own. Worse, nothing terrifies Democrats more than the thought that somebody might call them soft on terrorism for denying the president the power to deal with the awful kitten leg threat. The thought of David Broder calling them partisan usually reduces them to tears. […]

  2. […] These days it seems as though the administration has driven the evenhanded moderates and even rightwingers with intellectual credibility past the breaking point. Gregory Djerejian passed me up months ago, along with what seems like the entire retired leadership of the US military. John Cole, of course. Even unapologetic trog-cons like Cold Fury (e.g., libs lost Vietnam) agree that the present leadership deserves to go: […]

  3. […] If John Cole were a Beastie Boys album, he would be called License To Shrill: It is hard to think of this as a compromise, unless your idea of a compromise is being asked by your child for a million dollars, telling them no, and then agreeing to give them $998,000. Remember this week when, in a few years, our boys andgirls are overseas facing ‘tough interrogation methods’ and jackasses like the loudmouth pro-torture lobby in the right-wing blogosphere are blubbering about human rights and the Geneva Convention. No wonder they are, in many cases, the same folks who want to proselytize in the military- our servicemembers are going to have hell to pay in the future and will need someone to pray to as they are being waterboarded, beaten (but it doesn’t leave marks!), and dipped in vats of icy cold water after days/weeks with no sleep and no access to counsel. […]

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