Not surprised

John writes:

I have to admit to being surprised that the right seems to not only have instinctively rushed to defend torture (when, of course, they are not busy insisting that it isn’t torture), but now they are attempting to shift the debate into one in which we discuss the relative merits of torture (look at all the good intel I got while drowning this guy!) while bringing in the lawyers (I guess Andy McCarthy has moved on from Obama’s birth certificate) to make sure that their legal behinds are covered.

I have to admit I’m surprised too — I expected the reaction to be worse, both from the Village and from the right. It’s a given that the right not only likes the idea of torture for “national security” reasons but is also, in all likelihood, sexually aroused by the idea of torture. I expected much more lurid stuff about how great torture is and how Bush saved us from 1000 9/11’s, 9/11’s that will now befall of us because of Obama.

And I’m not surprised that the Village has taken a strong stand against prosecution, but I am surprised that they support the release of the memos at all (Broder):

Obama, to his credit, has ended one of the darkest chapters of American history, when certain terrorist suspects were whisked off to secret prisons and subjected to waterboarding and other forms of painful coercion in hopes of extracting information about threats to the United States.

[….]

Suppose the investigators decide that the country does not want to see the former president and vice president in the dock. Then underlings pay the price while big shots go free. But at some point, if he is at all a man of honor, George W. Bush would feel bound to say: That was my policy. I was the president. If you want to indict anyone for it, indict me.

Is that where we want to go? I don’t think so. Obama can prevent it by sticking to his guns.

It’s a given that the Village sees an affair with an intern as far more serious than violations of human rights. We already knew that. I expected the Village outcry against the release of the memos to be much stronger.

I’m not depressed that our society is half-depraved. I’m pleasantly surprised that it may be half-sane.






72 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m not depressed that our society is half-depraved. I’m pleasantly surprised that it may be half-sane.

    I’m depressed that the half that is depraved seems to be disproportionally represented in the levers of power and information.

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    Obama can prevent it by sticking to his guns.

    Last time somone stuck to their guns, we got the Iraq Clusterfuck.

  3. 3
    Jay B. says:

    It’s more like 30% who are beyond reach. And that still doesn’t make me optimistic.

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    I’m not depressed that our society is half-depraved. I’m pleasantly surprised that it may be half-sane.

    Well, at least we’ve been able to firmly establish that 28% of us are sociopathically deranged and eager to embrace the craziest right wing and fundie quackery anyone will throw at them.

  5. 5
    demkat620 says:

    Anybody else watching Tweety? Methinks the MSM is starting to figure it out. They went to war on a lie and then they tortured people to get them to lie to find evidence to support their original lie.

    Well, they are slow but maybe they’ll figure it out.

  6. 6
    Keith G says:

    I have to admit I’m surprised too—I expected the reaction to be worse, both from the Village and from the right.

    I am that not surprised. Some part of the reaction, now, is just circling the wagons, instinctive. Like just a few months into Watergate, there is reluctance from the “little wooden soldiers of the status quo.”

    I want the forces of good to be publicly agnostic about prosecutions. Let the Truth flow like righteous waters. A critical mass will build and prosecution will be widely called for as necessary. Self righteous villagers leading the way.

  7. 7
    raff says:

    But at some point, if he is at all a man of honor, George W. Bush would feel bound to say: That was my policy. I was the president. If you want to indict anyone for it, indict me.

    Huh? Bush has never taken responsibilty for anything in his life:

    – 9/11 was Clinton’s fault for not taking out bin Laden

    – The economic downturn & eventual crisis was also Clinton’s fault (& ACORN!)

    – Marines hung the “Mission Accomplished” banner

    – Torture was due to a “few bad apples”

    -ad nauseum

    Somehow I doubt we’ll hear a peep from Broder when Bush turns out not to be a “man of honor”. But Broder is a very serious person

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    I expected the Village outcry against the release of the memos to be much stronger.

    Even the Village can read the writing on the wall. When public opinion has turned hard against torture and war and the GOP, you don’t have to lick your finger to know how to set your sails.

    The punditry’s first job is to tell you what you want to hear. In the Clinton case, that meant eight years of lightly veiled porno. In the Bush case, that meant rabid all-American patriotism. In the Obama case, it looks like they’re angling for the old smart and serious crown they abandoned at the end of the Regan Revolution.

    And, hey, Obama won the election. Agreeing with him is a great way to score cheap political points in your next column. And it burnishes your creds as an Obama-support when next you disagree with him. So you can write columns like, “I’ve supported Obama before, but now I think he’s gone to far…” when the President goes from verbally rebuking torture to actually prosecuting it.

    After 8 years of madness, it’s time to walk it back till you can find that sympathetic audience again.

  9. 9
    LittlePig says:

    Raff had the same reaction I did – Dubya? take responsibility?

    “The Dean” needs to get that Altzheimer’s looked at post haste, because clearly his memory of the last eight years has vanished.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    @Keith G:

    I want the forces of good to be publicly agnostic about prosecutions. Let the Truth flow like righteous waters.

    How can you be agnostic? Either they investigate or they don’t. When they find incriminating evidence, either they prosecute or they don’t. No one is (seriously) arguing laws weren’t broken. They’re just arguing that laws don’t apply (IOKIYAR!) We’ve known the truth for years. The only question left is whether we act on it. You can’t be agnostic on that.

  11. 11
    JK says:

    Honestly, after the 2008 presidential election, how can anyone be surprised by anything?

    Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman had greater intellect and more gravitas than Sarah Palin and this babbling idiot from Wasilla almost (conjure up an image of Munch’s painting The Scream ) became Vice President of the United States.

  12. 12
    CT Voter says:

    I’m not depressed that our society is half-depraved. I’m pleasantly surprised that it may be half-sane.

    Whoa there. I’d say certain segments of society (The Villagers at times, certain Republicans all the time) are depraved all the time. Other segments are sane 80% of the time. I guess if you throw it all into the blender, it’s all of us half-depraved and half-sane some of the time?

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    Just wait until all the cable news networks allow their viewers to Twitter in their comments and “observations”. For an example of said technological abortion, see Channel, Weather

  14. 14
    BobJ says:

    The greatest question of all is: how horrified would the villagers be if it turned out we’d extracted information from the terrorists/prisoners not by torturing them, but by hiring interns to blow them?

  15. 15
    Montysano says:

    But at some point, if he is at all a man of honor, George W. Bush would feel bound to say: That was my policy. I was the president. If you want to indict anyone for it, indict me. Damn ya’ll. The weather here in Argentina is wonderful! Steaks are on the grill. TTYL!

    Fixt.

    And Broder got paid for writing that steaming pile of bullshit?

  16. 16
    CT Voter says:

    Geez, Punchy, just because some viewer Twittered to the Weather Channel that she tried to leave Florida after 24 hurricanes in one season and the Weather Channel blithely repeated that on the air doesn’t mean the whole idea should be scrapped, does it???

  17. 17
    Ramalamadingdong says:

    The latest ABC poll shows only 21% of the participants identify as Republican. Borrowing a phrase from John – this is the rump of the party. I believe this rump absolutely takes pleasure in torture (see native Americans, slaves, Muslims, etc).

    The only advantage I can see is that everyone will have a very clear method of identifying the sadists.

  18. 18

    I think it’s a mistake to accuse torture supporters of enjoying “sexual arousal.” It’s almost certainly false for the vast majority of them.

    But that’s not to say they don’t like it. What’s going on instead is a sort of moral arousal. These are the people who never have to consider whether or not it is a good idea to take military action against some bad gays at any particular point, because by definition, it is always good for the Good Guys to fight the Bad Guys whenever they get the chance.

    In both situations, we’re talking about support that goes beyond a dispassionate tally of the benefits, into simply liking something. It makes them feel good about themselves to read about Bad Guys being shot or tortured, because they consider it good in and of itself for the Bad Guys to get theirs.

  19. 19
    jrg says:

    If there was proof that Bush detained and tortured political opponents or war protesting U.S. citizens, I’d bet that 20% of Americans would be just okie-dokie with that. I’d also bet that the media would be singing the same tune – that prosecuting people who ordered the torturing of captives is nothing more than partisan posturing.

    The right in this country has no sense of what freedom is and where it comes from. The media has no balls. If we survive the next Republican administration with the rule of law intact, I’ll be very, very surprised.

    Torture is illegal. We need prosecutions, regardless of what Broder or any of the pussies in the DC press core say. Fuck them – they had a job to do, and they failed. Who gives a damn what they have to say now?

  20. 20
    Barry says:

    “It’s a given that the Village sees an affair with an intern as far more serious than violations of human rights. We already knew that. I expected the Village outcry against the release of the memos to be much stronger.”

    No – the Village saw *anything* done by an Outsider (Clinton) as wrong. Remember, the original ‘he trashed the place and us Owners are pissed’ piece was written by a woman in the WaPo editor’s circle, who got there when a senior editor divorced his wife and married her. The Village doesn’t have a problem with lies, sin, crime, depravity or anything else commited by Villagers.

  21. 21
    RememberNovember says:

    @TenguPhule:
    No WE got stuck to his guns. 6 years later, still stuck.

  22. 22
    omen says:

    why does broder put “torture” in quotation marks?

    http://uggabugga.blogspot.com/.....rture.html

  23. 23
    smiley says:

    Admitting that I’m doing what I have a problem with other people doing, I have to report this, as a citizen journalist:
    http://www.fancast.com/blogs/t.....onference/

  24. 24
    binzinerator says:

    @El Cid:

    Well, at least we’ve been able to firmly establish that 28% of us are sociopathically deranged and eager to embrace the craziest right wing and fundie quackery anyone will throw at them.

    I recall reading years ago some research/polling done on Russians just after the demise of the USSR (sorry no linky — it was pre-intertoobz) that showed about the same level of approval for Stalin.

    Which means you can do it as bad as Uncle Joe did it and still the same percentage will be A-OK with it.

    Apparently the number of people who are seriously fucked in the head seems to be some kind of constant in the (so-called) human race.

    This does remind me of Bob Altemeyer‘s research on authoritarianism. Asks Bob: “…[H]ow many ordinary people do you think an evil authority would have to order to kill you before he found someone who would, unjustly, out of sheer obedience, just because the authority said to?”

    We now know the answer: No more than four people, tops.

  25. 25

    Are you saying the Republicans are out of touch? That couldn’t possibly be, could it?

    I was just talking to Wendy Wright, the president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, about the nomination of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kans.) to run the Department of Health and Human Services. The group opposes the nomination, and Wright is raising some questions about the timing of the swine flu crackdown so close to tomorrow’s cloture vote.

    But read the rest of the quote in the post. This coming from people who supported an administration that lied about everything.

  26. 26
    Keith G says:

    @Zifnab: I feel there are several paths to this mountain top. The harder prosecutions are pushed for, right now. The harder the push back – and there are many in America who do not like what as been done, but are too wrapped up in their own world to want much attention paid to this.

    Bring these folks along. Defuse anti-prosecution pushback by simply asking for the truth, now. “As for prosecutions….we will cross that bridge if we get to it.”

    But we will get it – along with the memos, affidavits, and pictures. And when we do, the harsh reality will be its own best argument.

  27. 27
    omen says:

    But at some point, if he is at all a man of honor, George W. Bush would feel bound to say: That was my policy. I was the president. If you want to indict anyone for it, indict me.

    is that the most broder has been “critical” of bush? sweet, he waits until after he’s left office.

    broder’s column generated 1134 posts so far. isn’t that a lot?

  28. 28
    KG says:

    this whole thing reminds me of this scene from South Park’s “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” (the 9/11 conspiracy episode):

    Cartman: They aren’t going to find out who did it. But they’ll make up a scapegoat, send him to detention, and make us all believe it. It’ll be 9/11 all over again.
    Kyle: Will you shut up about 9/11!
    Cartman: Kyle, why are you so afraid of the truth?!
    Kyle: Because anybody who thinks 9/11 was a conspiracy is a retard!
    Cartman: Oh really? Well did you know that over one-fourth of people in America think that 9/11 was a conspiracy? Are you saying that one-fourth of Americans are retards?
    Kyle: Yes. I’m saying one-fourth of Americans are retards.
    Stan: Yeah, at least one-fourth.
    Kyle: Let’s take a test sample: There’s four of us, you’re a retard, that’s one-fourth.

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zifnab:

    How can you be agnostic?

    I don’t know if “agnostic” is the right word, but there’s plenty to be said for slowly and carefully building a case instead of charging in and possibly getting things so wrong that you screw up the prosecution (which should now and forevermore be called “pulling a Nifong”). There’s a reason that Dr. Sam Sheppard has a Supreme Court case named after him.

  30. 30
    ironranger says:

    I don’t see how anyone cannot lose part of their soul after using torture. I wonder how the torture defenders would feel if their own children or other close family members were the torturers.
    Never mind…it’s highly doubtful that torture defenders would ever let any of their own actually be in that position.

  31. 31
    omen says:

    It’s a given that the right not only likes the idea of torture for “national security” reasons but is also, in all likelihood, sexually aroused by the idea of torture.

    it’s overcompensation for having small dicks.

    they love to put up a macho front but yet are afraid to talk to chavez.

  32. 32
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Next Republican argument:
    “At a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs it’s shocking that Obama wants to deprive hard-working torturers of their employment.”

  33. 33
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I agree that we just need to let the truth out right now. I am fine with gathering as much information as possible and letting prosecution wait–as long as it always remains on the table. In that way, I am with Keith G and Mnemosyne. I want this to be done right, not necessarily right now.

    As for the moral depravity of our country, I am not surprised by anything the 28% (why is it always roughly the same percentage for all the opposition?) do or say in support of/for torture, Bush, etc. It saddens me and disgusts me, but it doesn’t surprise me.

    P.S. I am liking Lawrence O’Donnell more and more as he’s lost some of his cool. His latest theory that the right believes torture works because it would work on them was a thing of beauty. Basically, he said that he (Larry), Cheney and the others who got out of serving their country are cowards at heart and would break in a second. Interesting theory.

  34. 34

    .
    So, there’s this buncha guys, mostly guys, mostly old guys, mostly old white guys. And they all get this thing going to “inform” the rest of us about our government and so on. They set up shop in the Capitol, where they find not much ever really happens. The pace is glacial. The details are mind-numbingly boring. The people who actually get stuff done in government are even more boring.

    Bad for business. And boring for the “journalists,” as they call themselves. So, they start tweaking the news a bit. And it works. It sells papers, and ad-space, and airtime. Their bosses notice. They’re mostly just “businessmen,” corporate types who don’t notice much of anything but money. They let their underlings, the journalists, know that they want more money, in case that’s news to them.

    The business gets ugly. Nobody really cares about the details of bland government affairs. But sex scandals, end-of-the-world scary stories, and brutal infighting instigated, exaggerated, or egged on by the media, you know, all that trashy personal stuff, that really sells. Sells bigtime. Lotsa dough.

    Money is power. And power corrupts. Pretty soon the journos realize how much power they have, and how much richer they can get, if they use that power to benefit the right people: Like their bosses, and their cronies in and around government. Now you’ve got yourself a real industry, cranking out bulls*t 24/7/52. If there’s no news, you can always make some. And if it still ain’t news, just say it is, make it so, drum it into the audience until it comes out their ears. There’s GOLD in them there ears!

    But if all the money and power comes from us, and the media and their cronies in and around government just want to take our money and power, why are we listening to them? Shouldn’t they be listening to us?

    Tune them out. Turn them off. Stop buying their bullsh*t newspapers, magazines, cable tv news channels, and broadcast bullsh*t. At least stop talking about them. It’s boring and pointless. No sane person cares what they have to say. Focus instead on getting rid of them.

    If we don’t, we’ll all be eating their sh*t forever. Oh, and don’t eat alfalfa sprouts, either. Even they have sh*t in them.

    Golly-wolly, wonder what the PUNDITS think of that???!!!

    Not.
    .

  35. 35
    slag says:

    I have to admit I’m surprised too—I expected the reaction to be worse, both from the Village and from the right.

    So true. This pleasantly surprised feeling is known as the “enhanced bigotry of low expectations”. John hasn’t been a Democrat long enough to really feel this yet. But soon…

  36. 36
    mcc says:

    I don’t know if “agnostic” is the right word, but there’s plenty to be said for slowly and carefully building a case instead of charging in and possibly getting things so wrong that you screw up the prosecution

    This seems like a quirk of framing. What we need is investigations to support prosecutions as appropriate. I don’t think the differences between the people who support different positions on what kind of investigations (truth commission? special prosecutor? congressional investigations, then deciding on how to proceed from there?) are really substantive. The real debate here is between the people who want full airing and accountability by whatever means on one side, and Broder/Cheney on the other.

  37. 37
    raff says:

    Jebus. I did myself the dis-service of reading Broder’s article & here’s what I took away:

    – Broder mentions torture by name 3 times, but never attaches the word to Bush directly. When it’s Bush’s policies involved, torture (including waterboarding) becomes a form of “painful coercion”. But not torture.

    “This is not another Sept. 11 situation, when nearly 3,000 Americans were killed.” Indeed. Only slightly over 100 dark-skinned foreigners died as a result of Bush’s torture policies & they were most likely terrorists that threatened the very fabric of civilization.

    – By suggesting Obama’s best bet is to “stick to his guns”, Broder means Obama should do nothing. When it comes to investigations and/or prosecutions, apparently “we” don’t want to go there. I guess “we” all just want to join Peggy Noonan’s speed-walking club & not look back.

    – Any attempt at accountability & justice is partisan “scapegoating” whose objective is purely political axe-grinding.

    But, hey, Broder is a very serious person.

  38. 38
    JK says:

    @Montysano: David Broder has made a career out of writing pure, unadulterated bullshit such as:

    “I like Karl Rove. In the days when he was operating from Austin, we had many long and rewarding conversations. I have eaten quail at his table and admired the splendid Hill Country landscape from the porch of the historic cabin Karl and his wife Darby found”

    “He (Bill Clinton) came in here and he trashed the place and it wasn’t his place”

  39. 39
    Zifnab says:

    @Keith G: @Mnemosyne: Ok, I’m all for slow and steady. I’ve got nothing against waiting and building a case. But investigations and prosecutions don’t just magically happen. You’ve got to have formalized, government run, official proceedings. That can only happen when the Attorney General steps up and signs off on them, or when Congress actively steps in to subpoena documents.

    John Bolton, Harriet Miers, and Karl Rove STILL have outstanding Congressional subpoenas. They’ve never been the recipients of more than a Sternly Worded Letter(tm). I’m not overflowing with confidence that an investigation will lead to more than that by the end of Obama’s first term.

    We have an abundance of evidence as we stand. At what point do we hit critical mass? What’s the threshold above which we recognize the DoJ doesn’t really plan on making a move? When does the Obama Administration move from “being cautious” to “stalling to preserve political capital”?

  40. 40
    JK says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Agree with you 100% regarding Lawrence O’Donnell. He’s great at going toe to toe with the wingnuts.

  41. 41
    omen says:

    @Zifnab:
    When does the Obama Administration move from “being cautious” to “stalling to preserve political capital”?

    i don’t know if this is what will end up happening but obama has a habit of doing the rope-a-dope. there is value in allowing the right to expose their true nature. the more they defend torture, the more the public will grow repulsed.

  42. 42
    Cat Lady says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Everything with these people is projection. This is just another one of those times. Understanding that is the coda to everything these assholes say.

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    Well, each day longer this goes on, the less likely the GOP will be honest about what happened. This makes Watergate look like non-event.

    The punditry knows that if they were to stop fighting this, the GOP would surely die. They’re close to that point now – only about one in five claims to be Republicans. That’s enough room for a strong 3rd party to overtake them. The GOP needs to not give anyone the microphone long enough to let that happen – so they’ll fight and fight and fight some more.

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @omen: I’d rather see a little generic GOP reputation spared if it gets specific cronies in prison. The idea that Obama is dragging out torture proceedings for political gain doesn’t exactly fill me with glee. I recognize the political reality, but I’m more interested in seeing law and order than a few more points on the score board.

  45. 45
    binzinerator says:

    @demkat620:

    Methinks the MSM is starting to figure it out.

    I’m inclined to think what they are figuring out is how the growing consensus for prosecutions for war crimes can be manipulated and shaped into a media-feeding frenzy windfall — one that will be entirely to the pundit’s (and the networks and their advertisers’) advantage.

    This is partly why I think we will see a big ramping up by the Village of the gooper talking point that prosecuting these crimes is somehow partisan. What ‘he said/she said’ angle is there to work when the question is torture? When one gets right down to it, there is no debate. Torture is wrong, and it’s a war crime. But that can’t be milked fro profit not nearly as successfully deflecting it into a faux debate on whether it’s criminalizing politics. They MSM really wants people to miss the point. It works out better for them in every way, not the least is escaping their own culpability in this. We’ve seen the shift has begun from the goopers themselves.

    I’ve said before and I’ll say again, when there are war crimes prosecutions if there is any real justice the enablers would also be charged for their role in it. Consider the MSM’s adoption and echoing of the euphemism ‘enhanced interrogation’ the Bushies used to refer to torture — the term itself was borrowed from the Nazis’ own euphemism for it, the Bushies employing theirs for the same reason: to hide that they torturing. And the MSM have propagated this lie for years, even now refusing to call it torture. Just look at Broder’s scare quotes he puts around the word torture.

    So sure they want to derail any honest effort to get to the bottom of this. The last thing they want to do is for people to figure out what really happened, what this all really means. The Bushies tortured. Those are crimes against humanity. And one must examine their motives for torture. Because i believe it all hinges on their other, greatest war crime, the invasion of Iraq. And no way does the MSM want people to figure that out. If they weren’t complicit in torture, they sure as hell were in the propaganda selling the Iraq war.

  46. 46
    omen says:

    @Zifnab:
    there first has to develop majority support for investigations. otherwise, the effort will get undermined as a political witch hunt. it will get tagged as that anyways, but the charge will be harder to stick if there is overwhelming support.

    it’s early in the game. we haven’t even seen the embargoed photos yet.

  47. 47
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    if he is at all a man of honor, George W. Bush would feel bound to say: That was my policy.

    Aunt, balls, uncle.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    His latest theory that the right believes torture works because it would work on them was a thing of beauty. Basically, he said that he (Larry), Cheney and the others who got out of serving their country are cowards at heart and would break in a second. Interesting theory.

    I just didn’t see where to go with this line of reasoning. I believe I would tell the torturers whatever they wanted before the torture started, and certainly whatever they wanted to hear after. Of course I’m afraid of being tortured, what rational person would look forward to it?
    Saying that they liked it because they knew it would work on them just didn’t seem to zing anyone as far as I was concerned.

  49. 49
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @JK: Yup. I think he’s reached critical mass, too. Before, I’d see him on Keith’s show or Rachel’s show, and he’d be cool and a bit amused. Now, he’s heated. He’s had all he can take of the stupidity. I like it. He can ruminate political motives with me any time.

    @Cat Lady: No kidding. As I told my best friend, “If a Republican starts accusing a Democrat of doing something, better check his backyard.” The Republicans assume others have the same motive they do. Partisan bickering? It’s Obama’s fault. Cramming through legislation with the reconciliation process? Stupid power-hungry Dems. Stuffing pork into a bill? Yeah, it must be the lefty liberals. It would be funny if it weren’t so infuriatingly stupid.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    to take military action against some bad gays at any particular point,

    I know you meant bad guys here but I kinda thought the connotations of “bad gays”, especially given the context of your post made it much more enjoyable.

  51. 51
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Corner Stone: The context, though, was the question of why the right keeps saying that torture works. Larry went on to say that people who are dedicated to a cause aren’t going to fold so easily. I don’t think he was trying to zing anyone.

    It makes sense to me. Back when the airport used to let you take bottled water through the security line, they would make you drink out of it to demonstrate that there was no nitroglycerin. I would take a swig, thinking, “If I’m about to blow up a plane, I certainly won’t care about a little thing like ingesting some nitroglycerin.”

    No one looks forward to torture, but there are ways to prepare for it. That was what the SERS training was used for.

    I am not sure I agree with Larry. I actually think Cheney, et al, simply don’t care about whether or not what they did was torture. I tend to view Cheney as a sociopath.

  52. 52
    SnarkIntern says:

    our society is half-depraved.

    Stupid, ill considered rhetoric and a mob mentality are exactly what got us to this story in the first place. It’s what got us to Iraq, and the crap that goes with it.

    Loud, thoughtless manipulation is what is is, no matter how good the intentions behind it.

    American society is not half depraved just because it doesn’t agree with one.

    Of course, one can come along and say something coy like “I didn’t mean it literally.”

    That’s right, and the potatoheads say that they they didn’t literally mean that Iraq had a nuclear threat, either.

    Anyway, I’m glad we elected a government that thinks before it speaks, rather than worrying about whether all it says agrees with everything I think. Someday maybe there will be blogs as good as the government? Heh.

    Hey, I didn’t mean it literally.

  53. 53
    Keith G says:

    @omen: “O”, my thoughts too. Not only a critical mass in the hinterland, but there are a few votes in the Senate that need to be brought along. And like it or not, those votes need to be cultivated for other issues important to me.

    President Obama makes mistakes, but you are right in the rope-a-dope/[chess] commentary. He is very patient and quielyt tenacious.

  54. 54
    Bender says:

    It’s a given that the right not only likes the idea of torture for “national security” reasons but is also, in all likelihood, sexually aroused by the idea of torture.

    Oh, for a minute there, Perfessor Psychology, I thought you were wanting people to take you seriously. At least you were right when you filed this under “Assholes.”

    But fair’s fair: I’m guessing Obama was, in all likelihood, sexually aroused by the idea of making Manhattanites think terrorists were attacking again. Stay classy, BJers.

    By the way: What if Bush, rather than the current Incompetent-in-Chief, had staged a photo op that looked like 9/11 Part Deux and scared the shit out of most of Manhattan? I’m betting you guys might’ve put up a post or five about it by now. There would’ve been some hilarious insults about how stupid Bush was, and how narcissistic, and how insensitive, etc. Funny, now that the clown shoe is on the other foot, certain things are just not newsworthy.

  55. 55

    it’s overcompensation for having small dicks.

    And you know, this is a real shame. It’s counter-productive. Personally, I’ve found that the best way to compensate for having a small dick is to become really good at eating pussy.

  56. 56
    gil mann says:

    Hey, Bender, I thought the airplane thing was a pretty dumb move on the White House’s part. Duzzat make the twoll feew bettuh?

    Christ, it’s been three months and already I can’t imagine a world in which you whiny little bitches had all the power.

    Oh, and by the way:

    scared the shit out of most of Manhattan

    Lremme guess, the only New Yorkers you know are Wall Street frat-knobs that actually commute from Hoboken, right? The actual 9/11 didn’t scare the shit out of most of Manhattan. It pissed most of Manhattan the fuck off.

  57. 57
    JWW says:

    Why don’t one of you blog masters define torture in your own words?

    It seems as though all of these tortured people are doing fine in their current cell. Their bones are still covered by body fat. They still convey their message. They don’t have broken bones, holes drilled in them, branding iron scars, seperated limbs.

    They are fed much better than the homeless, they have a bed, they are given time to pray.

    All of you blog masters and the vast majority of your readers should spend a little time reading history before you tie yourselves to what the 2009 definition of torture is.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zifnab:

    I understand your frustration but, honestly, the last few years have shown that Obama operates on a different timetable than the media does. We’re so used to having every president chase the news cycle that we’ve come to expect it, so when we’re talking about something, we expect to see it reflected back from the White House almost immediately. Clinton did it and Bush did it, so we have 16 years of training at this point.

    Obama seems to ignore the news cycle as much as possible, which gives me confidence that he’s going to move at the actual pace of investigation, not at the pace of what tidbits the investigators can slip to the media (Ken Starr, I’m looking at you).

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    All of you blog masters and the vast majority of your readers should spend a little time reading history before you tie yourselves to what the 2009 definition of torture is.

    We hanged Japanese soldiers as war criminals for waterboarding Americans during World War II. What has changed in the intervening 50 years to make it not-torture at Gitmo?

  60. 60
    El Cid says:

    I’m just trying to figure out at what stage of life do conservatives make the mental leap that utter public cowardice = brave devotion to American security?

    Any, any amount of impulsive, jackass stupidity is now publicly justified by “I’m real askeert! They’re bad! The super-terror peoplez iz gonna killus!”

    And they actually seem to believe that their public pants-pissing attitude is supposed to be interpreted as manly steadfastness.

    My god, I had known a lot of lunatic anti-communists who thought Armageddon was around the corner, but I’d never seen so many abject diapered cowards until the Bush Jr. years. Absolutely disgusting. A more worthless lot of preening shitbags could hardly be found.

  61. 61
    gil mann says:

    We hanged Japanese soldiers as war criminals for waterboarding Americans during World War II.

    Well, sure, if you’re only counting non-fiction. JWW’s talking about when Captain Patriot socked it to the Zeroes at Pearl Harbor, so that never happened.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    What has changed in the intervening 50 years to make it not-torture at Gitmo?

    IOIYAR.

    SATSQ.

  63. 63
    TenguPhule says:

    Their bones are still covered by body fat. They still convey their message. They don’t have broken bones, holes drilled in them, branding iron scars, seperated limbs.
    They are fed much better than the homeless, they have a bed, they are given time to pray.

    It’s not like they repeatedly drowned nearly to death or anything…

    JWW: Posterchild for mandatory abortions of wingnuts.

  64. 64
    omen says:

    @JWW:

    it’s okay for somebody to snatch you off the street as long as you’re treated well?

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    They are fed much better than the homeless, they have a bed, they are given time to pray.

    Again, the conservative world view in a nutshell:

    Sane people read this summary and wonder why the lives of the homeless can’t be made better; they write this summary and wonder why the lives of our prisoners can’t be made worse.

  66. 66
    SixStringFanatic says:

    @El Cid: Well, it was St. Ronnie the Absent-Minded who said most of the homeless were homeless by choice so, you know, no need to try to improve their condition.

  67. 67

    […] Other Intersting Blogger Commentary On The Subject Of “Torture”: Drudge Retort (Left); Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish (Centrist) poses the question “Can torture victims move on?” (and he’s not talking about George Sorros or Moveon.Org either); Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic is quick to point out the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich on the issue; DougJ of Balloon Juice (Left) is suggesting perhaps the Right gets a stirring in their collective “loin” at the mere mention of the word “tortur… […]

  68. 68
  69. 69

    @omen: Yeah, but not very big ones.

  70. 70
    fleinn says:

    …half-depraved. I’m pleasantly surprised that it may be half-sane.

    I am a society is half- depraved rather than a society is half-sane person myself – but yes, I agree this seems to be a step in a le.., sorry, more positive (eh, eh? :D) direction.

  71. 71
    JWW says:

    I really did expect the feedback that you have provided.

    As I have pointed out so many times, you are all history illiterate. The Japanese waterboarding was a completely different process. It was called murder. It was not used to instill fear, it was intended to end in death. Actually it was just a game for them.

    You are a bold crew, yet you have no clue of what you even attempt to address. You depend on the news for truth.

  72. 72
    JWW says:

    And though,

    Not one of you so called blog masters has yet to give an answer to the original question. What is your definition of torture?

    I really don’t expect an answer from Doug, his would be, the last week before my next paycheck.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Other Intersting Blogger Commentary On The Subject Of “Torture”: Drudge Retort (Left); Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish (Centrist) poses the question “Can torture victims move on?” (and he’s not talking about George Sorros or Moveon.Org either); Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic is quick to point out the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich on the issue; DougJ of Balloon Juice (Left) is suggesting perhaps the Right gets a stirring in their collective “loin” at the mere mention of the word “tortur… […]

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