February 6, 2009

"You know, much more of this and I’ll start to think that all the concern over rendition and waterboarding was just insincere electoral hooey."

Hmmm... another chance to use my "Obama is like Bush" tag.

43 comments:

garage mahal said...

ALthouse voting for Obama is like buying a Barbie to mutilate it.

Seven Machos said...

I've been spouting on your blog for years now that Bush was just like Clinton. Where was that tag? or do you really think there was a difference?

Michael H said...

garage- brilliant!

Synova said...

LOL, garage.

And the torture "thing" was just that. I realize he's not anyone *important* but I've got a quote from uber liberal actor hero Matt Damon saying how torture should *never* be legal, but we should expect people to torture anyway, if it's *really* important.

”Look, the best line about torture I’ve heard came from [retired CIA officer turned war-on-terrorism critic] Milt Beardon,” Damon says. “He said, `If a guy knows where a dirty bomb is hidden that’s going to go off in a Marriott, put me in a room with him and I’ll find out. But don’t codify that. Just let me break the law.’

“Which I think is right. You can’t legalize torture. But anybody would do it..."


So is that *anti* torture?

No, it's not.

It's pro-torture, but lets make the right noise so we can feel all moral and sh*t.

fcai said...

Torture is only immoral when done by anyone other than Democrats or al Qaeda. YIYIYIYIYIYI!!!

franglosaxon said...

Ha ha ha. Glenn Reynolds is really a simpleton.

Under Panetta/Obama:

--No rendition to black sites or foreign countries who torture

--No waterboarding by CIA or anyone else

Now, Panetta has to answer a question from some wingnut Senators about a hypothetical case they saw on 24, the so-called "ticking time bomb" scenario. In such a scenario, he would request extra measures. which could then be denied.

Do you see how this is different from the previous administration in which the US Department of Justice was ordered to issue memos effectively legalizing torture?

Seven Machos said...

Actors. They have way too much time on their hands and they don't have any idea what they are talking about. For some reason, media gatekeepers give them a soapbox. And then they say dumb shit like, "The government ought to be put in a position where it is forced to break its own laws."

Truly, the mind reels.

Mark O said...

It certainly seems that BHO is out of his league. So many mistakes so soon. Such a tin ear. He probably can’t sing along with Buddy. Or Bubba.

Now he’s using fear for economics while he dismisses charges against terrorists so he can get to the “correct” judge. He’s a charlatan. What a mess he will make.

So, weigh in here all ye prone to the One. Bray this with a mortar in a pestle.

former law student said...

Panetta doesn't want to antagonize the CIA before he even starts the job.

Seven Machos said...

No rendition except when there is rendition.

No waterboarding except when there's waterboarding.

That's the same as Bush, dummy. Cute of you to draw noble distinctions based on your heart being in the right place.

Synova said...

Now, Panetta has to answer a question from some wingnut Senators about a hypothetical case they saw on 24, the so-called "ticking time bomb" scenario.

Heck, I can answer that one. "We will follow the rules agreed on. Period." Why couldn't Panetta manage it?

Why did he have to answer that if it were *really* important that they'd get special permission?

EDH said...

Damon says. “He said, `If a guy knows where a dirty bomb is hidden that’s going to go off in a Marriott, put me in a room with him and I’ll find out. But don’t codify that. Just let me break the law.’

Isn't that the movie star "get my 'personal assistant' to do it" approach for a president?

Cedarford said...

A few years back, on another website, one fairly liberal and occupied by some fairly serious posters - with a scattering of loons, of course....I posed a question. This was at the time news that the 9/11 Mastermind was interrogated and resisted all until he caved under waterboarding and revealed the whereabouts of other high-ranking AQ and two plots underway at Singapore and Heathrow AP, which supposedly saved many thousands of people from dying.

At the time, the Left and libertarians were screaming that torture was illegal by "international law", that it never worked, or made us "just like them".

I asked, lets get off torture and ask about new technology then and now still underway that would eliminate torture but still be coercive. That would be interrogation under new drugs, or use of sophisticated new "lie detector" technology that monitor involuntary eye movements, voice stress, capillary dilation, brain chemical use.

If you could still interrogate and get answers without a person's willing consent, yet avoid "torture"....would you agree to that?

As expected, the people that opposed torture also were against non-torturous methods that could be used in the future to catch lies and to coerce info.

Objections fell into predictable categories:

Those opposed, who thought such new methods being worked on would endanger all because the technology would harm concepts like:

1. Terrorists have rights to the 5th and lawyers present.
2. If that worked, then the slippery slope would mean we all fell under the dark night of fascism as government and cops and employers and family courts could find out what citizens were lying and which weren't and they would all then have complete control over us.

While people that did favor waterboarding certain Jihadis tended to think that methods of non-torture to find the truth from unwilling terrorists would be a great new thing.

Synova said...

Random thought...

Could it be that when Bush was asking for judicial clarity over legality that our differing reactions were due to conservatives viewing legality as restrictive and liberals viewing legality as license?

I always felt that a legal clarification of which methods of interrogation were legal had no relationship to a decision to use those methods or not.

The outrage I heard for the mere fact that Bush *asked* for legal clarification seemed to assume that whatever was "legal" had to happen. Like... all the time. That no other possible elements would enter into the decision making process that might result in a decision not to use those methods.

This is weird to me, and I don't understand it.

And I wonder, too, if it has to do with those five moral intuitions that we supposedly differ on so greatly.

Seven Machos said...

A libertarian who believes in international law is not a libertarian.

Synova said...

As expected, the people that opposed torture also were against non-torturous methods that could be used in the future to catch lies and to coerce info.

I'm not surprised.

Objections fell into predictable categories:

Those opposed, who thought such new methods being worked on would endanger all because the technology would harm concepts like:

1. Terrorists have rights to the 5th and lawyers present.


Liberals base their moral understanding on two primary elements. One of those is "fairness."

It's not *fair* to have an advantage over terrorists. It's not *fair* to get our panties in a twist over someone having nukes when *we* have nukes.

It's not *fair* to shoot wolves from airplanes.

Franco said...

With leftists and Muslims every issue is merely a pretext to assert themselves.

Franco said...

With leftists and Muslims every issue is merely a pretext to assert themselves.

blake said...

Interesting that garage views the mere airing of inconvenient truths as mutilating his Barbie.

Seven Machos said...

Making Barbie the object of the metaphor was also interesting, given Obama's vacuousness.

He was very nicely packaged, though. All sparkly. And anatomically correct, except for the man boobs.

Trooper York said...

Now that's the way to get a tag man.

Cedarford said...

Damon says. “He said, `If a guy knows where a dirty bomb is hidden that’s going to go off in a Marriott, put me in a room with him and I’ll find out. But don’t codify that. Just let me break the law.’

Damon plays a hero on TV. He isn't actually one, nor a great predictor, as a megamillionaire. of what career modest-income gov't military or security agents will do with their jobs or pensions on the line.

One of the great buried events following 9/11 was the extraordinary meeting held of all the FBI people involved in counterterror, where they were assured that as long as they followed things by the book, that 9/11 failures would have no impact on jobs, reprimands, even promotions...as long as future investigations may show they missed things - but that they violated no law or FBI regulation.

That if it was so, failure would have no effect.

And the military is unfortunately the same, as commanders sent out troops on patrols where they knew they would be IED'd, ambushed, and had enemy that they knew , knew where and when ambushes would happen..but put "love of law", and their careers and pensions above deaths and maimings of soldiers under them.

The Colonel West example was told to all serving officers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Saved his troops lives from enemy, but destroyed his shining career...

And Matt? Far more interesting than Matt Damon defending "hero torturers" violating law to "save lives" and extolling their sacrifice of career, life savings, time in jail --would be him popping up at a latter date and defending the law-abiding bureaucrats that see their careers and "rule of law!!!" as more important than saving lives of soldiers in harms way or US citizens at home. Matt cheering "right on!" as some lawyer-bitch at FBI says she is due a promotion for accepting the deaths of thousands to stand up for terrorist rights and her own selfish CYA.

Joe said...

No rendition to black sites or foreign countries who torture

Then apparently there will be no rendition since ALL countries torture. Only an ignorant fool would believe otherwise.

Anthony said...

this whole discussion doesn't really make a lot of sense when you completely disregard the distinctions between rendition and extraordinary rendition, as well as the executive orders Obama has already signed to close CIA prisons and abandon any harsh interrogation tactics...both of which were not the policy of the United States yet were used by the Bush administration. But then again, that's the typical trope of conservatives: boil everything down until it is as simplistic as possible until we can trick ourselves into thinking our argument is valid.

Mark said...

And so the Left discovers nuance....

jayne_cobb said...

Well, clearly if the other nations promise not to do anything then that's okay.

I mean it's not like foreign governments would lie.

Revenant said...

both of which were not the policy of the United States yet were used by the Bush administration

The policies of the President and the policies of the United States are one and the same. I think you mean that it wasn't the LAW of the United States.

former law student said...

A libertarian who believes in international law is not a libertarian.

Are you bankrolling the Somali pirates or something?

former law student said...

The policies of the President and the policies of the United States are one and the same.

I didn't like that thought the first time I heard it, when it was "L'etat, c'est moi."

Synova said...

A libertarian who believes in international law is not a libertarian.

Are you bankrolling the Somali pirates or something?

I don't believe in international law. It's illogical. It has no basis because there is no authority to base it upon. All it is, is someone or other deciding to pretend that the authority exists to scold other nations or worse, individuals who are citizens of nations. There may be reciprocal agreements but there is not *rule*.

What this has to do with Somali pirates, I don't know. Because there is no logical reason that anyone whatsoever can not do what they darn well please about the Somali pirates. There is no requirement for international law before action can be taken.

The reason we are *now* talking about actively capturing them is because we can send them to Kenya (?)... a country who will undoubtedly observe all their civil rights... because *we* are not willing to have a hearing and execute them at sea... which we actually have a legal right to, but that isn't because of some "international law" that says how we have to deal with them... it's our own rules.

former law student said...

I don't believe in international law. It's illogical. It has no basis because there is no authority to base it upon.

As its name implies, international law is the law between nations. There is no overarching authority by definition. Yet nations have worked out laws in their independent interest to their mutual benefit. This process would seem to be libertarian if anything is.

*we* are not willing to have a hearing and execute them at sea... which we actually have a legal right to

On the high seas, there is no law but international law. Remove it, and piracy is no crime.

Synova said...

On the high seas, there is no law but international law. Remove it, and piracy is no crime.

What is involved is NATURAL law, if anything. People, and nations too, have a right to self-defense even where laws do not exist. A pirate in international waters does not have to have a law someplace stating that stealing stuff that doesn't belong to him is a crime before the right to defend life and property miraculously exists, or for that matter, before the right to preventive action to protect life and property exists.

Now, why you seem to think that it's necessary to first *create* the crime of piracy by prohibiting it through law before anyone has the right to defend their lives, property, or act on behalf of others, might *maybe* explain the bizarre notion that we ought to treat terrorism and war as a criminal/judicial matter.

The spaces between nations are a different creature entirely.

former law student said...

A pirate in international waters does not have to have a law someplace stating that stealing stuff that doesn't belong to him is a crime before the right to defend life and property miraculously exists

Absent law, might makes right. In that case, if you can't keep pirates from taking your stuff, raping you, or killing you, don't come crying to the rest of us.

From Inwood said...

Obama said in his inaugural speech that we must "reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." That’s why "scrappleface" posted a satire entitled “War On Terror' Ends, Obama Starts 'Case Against Terror’ ”. Some of us don’t think this approach is a good one with respect to the “our safety” part.

But, now, "Meet The New Boss...."

It’s Orwellian. These guys have no shame. It's like the U.S. Communists after the Molotov-Rippentrop Pact in 1939, turning the propaganda machine on a dime!

From The Volokh Legal Blog;

"the Obama CIA's use of coercive techniques wouldn't be torture because we would never do that -- no matter the circumstances. It also wouldn't be 'enhanced interrogation' because that's what Bush did. It would simply be 'additional authority.'"

And the MSM will give Obama a pass, unlike with Bush where everything, hearsay, rumors, lies, was published.

Had lunch today with two professed Nader voters & several supposed McCain voters (though, judging from their having gleefully jumped on the anti-Palin bandwagon, I’m not certain that they did vote for McCain), patriots all.

Seems that all are now ecstatic since they feel that Obama has been shown himself to be a true patriot who will do whatever is necessary to stop the “ticking time bomb” & I was just a robotic Republican voter who did not see the need for change pretty much across the board, with the exception, of course when the safety of our nation was involved, where they knew that it would be America First despite campaign rhetoric. (Not sure how this unthought could be stretched to Nader, but nevermind.)

I said that gee, maybe any bad guy who is believed to have any info which would result in a big PR win for Obama was gonna have to put his hands over his private parts & hope that waterboarding & rendition was the worst that he’d face.

No one seemed to appreciate my wit. Go figure.

Why do I think that a Dem like Obama out of the Chicago ooze will be more concerned with appearance, and less concerned with “human rights” outcomes, than Bush? Maybe it’s because Liberals are always more concerned with the process than the outcome!

Synova said...

Absent law, might makes right. In that case, if you can't keep pirates from taking your stuff, raping you, or killing you, don't come crying to the rest of us.

Well.. DUH.

And if I can't keep pirates from taking my stuff, raping and killing me... how will a *law* change that?

What *enforcing* mechanism does this "international law" have? Nothing. It has nothing. There is no controlling or enforcing authority.

former law student said...

What *enforcing* mechanism does this "international law" have?

What goes around, comes around.

Synova said...

That's not international law.

That's karma.

blake said...

And a poor interpretation of Karma to boot.

former law student said...

That's karma

Phrased otherwise: "Treat others as you would wish to be treated."

Oligonicella said...

former law student --

Phrased otherwise: "Treat others as you would wish to be treated."

Uh, yes. When asked for help against pirates, do so, as you would wish help yourself. No laws needed. And, as we have seen recently, international "laws" aren't upheld by internationals, so they're not really laws, are they?

As for the pirates, snuff them, as they would do that for you.

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- Your reasoning skills are very poor. I said nothing about the goodness or badness of international law, or libertarianism (or piracy).

I merely pointed out that it is impossible to profess both a belief in international law and a belief in libertarianism.

My guess is that your inability to make proper inferences in your life has haunted you throughout your life far more than you know.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There is no controlling or enforcing authority.

Piracy - kind of like democratic fundraising

Revenant said...

On the high seas, there is no law but international law. Remove it, and piracy is no crime.

That's quite wrong. Ships are covered by the laws of their home nation while in international waters. Even before there was such a thing as "international law", countries recognized acts of piracy against their ships as a crime.

The correct way to put it is that if there was no international law governing the seas, nations that can't be bothered to maintain a decent navy wouldn't have any grounds for harassing the United States into dealing with pirates on their behalf.