August 30, 2009

Andrew Sullivan trashes the Washington Post for omitting something from its KSM story...

... that the Washington Post included in the story.

How could he make such a mistake? He relied on an Althouse blog commenter! LOL.

And his reading of this blog as "pro-torture" is equally lame.

Come on, Andrew! Raise your game!

63 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

Has anyone ever seen garage and Sullivan on a blog at the same time?

Maguro said...

And still no tag for garage? Talk about torture...poor thing is suffering worse than KSM ever did.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The commenter, garage mahal, doesn't even say the quote was omitted from the Washington Post story. Sullivan is making the issue up in his head.

See, he's no hypocrite, just easily confused. Really easily confused.

Marcia said...

Garage's comment does not say the Post omitted that. He quoted from the Post story.

Sullivan invented the ommission part himself.

Sullivan also says: "the barbarians were at the very heart of the American government for seven years."

That's an odd statement. Which seven years? Presumably 7 of the 8 years of the Bush administration. But I don't see how you get there. There was not a big change in personnel right after 9/11, so it's not like there were suddenly barbarians in charge after 9/11.

Joe said...

It also completely misses the point. If I know you are misdirecting me, isn't that misdirection itself extremely valuable? Anyone who has dealt with kids knows this.

KSM is obviously an egomaniac. Perhaps the CIA were incompetent buffoons (given the history of the CIA this is a likely scenario), but they also could be clever, or even clever "enough", to use KSMs egomania against him.

It seems to me that interrogating an egomaniac would be far easier, though not necessarily easy in absolute, than someone who is genuinely altruistic.

Marcia said...

Or, what Jason said without my typo.

Meade said...

Maguro: hilarious!

Mian said...

I'm surprised that Garage, Andrew, and the terror-apologists take KSM's comments (about misleading his interrogators) as the Gospel truth. After all, KSM has much too much integrity to ever lie about anything...

peter hoh said...

Mian, what, in your mind, is meant by the term, "terror-apologist"?

cubanbob said...

There is a certain irony that the last enemy state that ever treated US POW's with some measure of respect was Nazi Germany.

Frankly I don't care what is done to terrorist captured on the battlefield if it provides useful intelligence. It's not like they are ever going to treat American's captured by them with any of the measures of care and consideration the left demands we treat terrorists.

EDH said...

Never mind the lectern, imagine the information we could have gleaned if they just gave KSM a seat on The View

TOTWTYTR said...

Sullivan's was one of the first blogs I read, way back. I lost interest when he went off the rails. Which leads me to ask; Does anyone really take him seriously any longer? Do people really still read his tripe?

traditionalguy said...

Wow! Another UTO ( unexplained thought object ) in the Sunday night Blogging Sky. Sullivan has tipped off the authorities to what appears to only be another one of Garage's weather balloons.

Jason (the commenter) said...

What Sullivan doesn't understand about Althouse's blog is that she is not making pronouncements like he is. She has commenters, she tells us what people are saying and expects to see some discussion.

Thank goodness.

Sometimes the discussions go nowhere, but at least you get a good idea of what kind of arguments are out there. And at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if Althouse is convinced by your arguments or not, because you've had a chance to work through things yourself.

Fred4Pres said...

I did not realize that Ann Althouse ran a pro torture blog!

I have watched Sullivan drive himself into insanity over Sarah Palin. Pursuing Trig Trutherism has been Sullivan's own personal trip up the Congo to madness.

But Sullivan is right to oppose offical sanctioned torture. I agree with Sullivan on this issue, I think torture is wrong on a moral level and on that basis alone should be avoided. I also believe it can be counter productive, as demonstrated by Col. Stewart Herrington's take on the subject. Herrington is someone who has actually been there and done it. We also had this example of how smart interrogation can get even the hardest nut to crack (without torture).

That said, the USA's official tactics on coercive force and torture, while certainly questionable are hardly rising to the level of what we typically regard as war crimes. The examples of murder that Sullivan likes to focus on are almost exclusive use of force by individuals who clearly went beyond what they were supposed to do. The examples of what was done to KSM by the CIA, in example, appeared to have been clinically and carefully done. There is of course the pandora box argument that once you go down this road you can expect the worse to occur. I suppose that is true, but that said, what was done to KSM hardly shocks my conscience.

So while I want this type of stuff to stop, I also disagree with Sullivan's clearly political motives in going after those he deems responsible for it. Sorry, I am not going to put Cheney and Rumsfeld in the dock because Sullivan questions what happened after 9/11.

I am not also not so naive to think coercive force can sometimes get accurate information from someone. And that noncoecive force can solicit false information. The WaPo story on KSM is interesting because it suggests both possibilities.

Chase said...

As someone who has been making a concerted effort to avoid demonizing those who disagree with my political positions, I will only allow myself to say - as I have for the last 7 years - that Andrew Sullivan is one very talented but confused asshat.

AJ Lynch said...

So one daft loon, Sullivan, makes an error which highlights the error of our own beloved loon, Garage? Hahahaha. Life is good.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Fred said

We also had this example of how smart interrogation can get even the hardest nut to crack (without torture).

Why would you classify Saddam as 'the hardest nut to crack'?

While he was certianly an evil dictator, he appeared to believe in nothing but himself. From his perspective, what downside would there be to talking?

On the other hand, someone who believes that they are part of a larger, ongoing cause, on the side of god, would have a much stronger reason to resist.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Sometimes when Sully lies and misleads, it breaks in a way that you won't hear about from others. Like this. Whether you want to call the second quoted sentence there a lie or simply him getting things wrong, it's clearly wrong on the facts of the matter. Yet, oddly enough, you won't hear about that from anyone else.

P.S. For him to be right, among other things state authorities would have to be on record as "vouching" for the picture shown on BHO's site. That's something they haven't done.

Florida said...

"Come on, Andrew! Raise your game!"

This IS his elevated game, Ann.

Peg C. said...

Andrew, raise your game? Isn't that a bit like Barney, be intelligent or Chris Dodd, be honest?

If only waterboarding Andrew could raise his game.

elHombre said...

We also had this example of how smart interrogation can get even the hardest nut to crack (without torture).

Please give us examples of the lives that were saved by the information provided by Saddam to the FBI "interrogator."

It would also be interesting to know what time constraints were involved and why Saddam was "the hardest nut to crack."

former law student said...

He relied on an Althouse blog commenter!

That just redounds to the professor's glory. If an Althouse commenter typed it, no fact checking necessary.

Blob said...

I'm still half-expecting Sullivan to reveal that his writings of the past 5 years were an elaborate practical joke.

Chris Wren said...

I thought he'd retired. Or is he on one of his "Blogging takes so much out of me. You can't understand how much I give, give, GIVE" breaks?

Bilgeman said...

Ms. Althouse:

Your readers may enjoy a good laugh at the expense of Greg Sargent, (formerly of Talking Points Memo), who now flacks for the WaPo on their The Plum Line blog.

Mr. Sargent has been howling all week that the released memos PROVE that "torture doesn't work" or somesuch.
(Frankly, his untreated BDS/Cheneyphobia usually has spittle flying from his lips, making his point very hard to divine).

So it was with great pleasure, no doubt, that he must have read his own employer's flagship publication yesterday asserting exactly the opposite of what he had been bleating from his own pathetic soapbox about so loudly and for so long.

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/torture/happy-hour-roundup-72/#comments

(I rub his nose in it in commentary at 09:39 pm.)

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Ann,
Sullivan used to have this section called Michelle Malkin Award of the Day.. i dont know if he still has it as i stopped visiting it since his Obama-sucking got waaay out of control..

May be you should have one such award section called ASS of the Day - named after Andrew Sullivan's Stupidity.

Btw, congrats Garage Mahal - you are now... known to the public as Garage Mahal.

rhhardin said...

The seven lean years are the Chinese restaurant.

Mian said...

"Mian, what, in your mind, is meant by the term, "terror-apologist"?'

Those who have a scintilla of sympathy for KSM and the boys at Guantanamo. Andrew, certainly; you, maybe (?)

Craig said...

" I agree with Sullivan on this issue, I think torture is wrong on a moral level and on that basis alone should be avoided. "

You miss the point. Most people don't approve of torture. the question is whether the EITs were in fact torture.

As is widely known by now, waterboarding is done on many troops during their training. Are we torturing them?

If a convicted murdered was given a choice of 15 years in the slammer or two weeks worth of waterboarding, what would he choose? Probably waterboarding. So does that mean jail is a form of torture worse than waterboarding, and that every person on the planet is guilty of approving of toruture?

zefal said...

The only thing randy andy is interested in raising is... nevermind, it's just too easy.

Fred4Pres said...

The key to KSM and Saddam Hussein is carefully working their egos. There is a science to interrogation and you can do it, and be extremely effective, without betraying your own morals.

That said, I am not going to second guess Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush on this and say they should be prosecuted as war criminals. I think some of the "taking off the gloves" and "dark side" approach was a big mistake, practically and politically--but when you consider the evil we are fighting and the potential risks I understand why they went there.

My problem with Andrew Sullivan is Sullivan fails to understand just how evil and dangerous al Qaeda really is or engaged in a balancing test of what Bush was combating after 9/11. And Sullivan was more than willing to abandon Iraq rather than admit a surge strategy (and one that expressly denounced torture under General Petreaus) might actually work. Sullivan cares ulitmately about Sullivan and his ego is so inflamed (or he is so insecure) that issues of truth or balance are routinely ignored.

lucid said...

Andrew is a self-dramatizing, hysterical embarrassment--the sort of person who drives most other people to avert their eyes so as not to experience his shame.

But he is apparently read with approval by Obama.

So, what does that tell us that Obama is?

Michael said...

"the barbarians were at the very heart of the American government for seven years."

And Andy supported them wholeheartedly for three, then spun on a dime and became the loudest ex-whore in the church choir.

Cedarford said...

Fred4Pres - "But Sullivan is right to oppose offical sanctioned torture. I agree with Sullivan on this issue, I think torture is wrong on a moral level and on that basis alone should be avoided."

Why buy into the Left's constantly repeated assertion that the enhanced interrogation 34,000 American soldiers went through in SERE school is "torture"??

And what does a ruler do to balance the lives of thousands of his citizens, protected by law..against the interests of an unlawful enemy combatant..which some argue is protected by law from being interrogated in anything by a voluntary, friendly, trust-building sort of way?

Long before Palin, Sullivan was coming off the rails. From being a good articulate thinker with an interesting background into an ever more hysterical scream queen. And his breakdown started with Sully and what he called "Toooorttuuuuuuurrrrrre!!"

Now when we are finding out, again! how wrong Sully is, naturally he is lashing out again! - irrationally.

Old Dad said...

Here's my late summer Sunday afternoon (gorgeous weather here) take on the Sullivan imbroglio. He loves imbroglios. He relishes them. He invents them. Sully is a drama queen--I renounce myself.

His life is a psychodrama lived "large" through the Dish. After all, he's intimate (I renounce myself) with Ambers, and Hitch, and any other media plebe, mediocrity, superstar that he can glomb on to--there, two prepositions at the end of a sentence.

It's all Andrew all the time. Iraq war pleasures him--bravo. Bush foists DOMA--Iraq is hell on Earth and Bush Cheney are Hitler and Eva.

He's a joke, but mildly entertaining if you like soaps.

VW: flusl--one letter off.

peter hoh said...

Mian, it is possible to be opposed to terrorism and torture. This idea that those who oppose torture must, by extension, love the terrorists, is an ad hominem argument.

peter hoh said...

OldDad, DOMA didn't happen under Bush. It was a Clinton thing.

Is it not possible that someone who supported the war in Iraq would start pulling his hair out after seeing how badly the administration was bungling things? This is an administration that, in an effort to not get into a Vietnam-style quagmire -- refused to plan for an occupation.

Defense had one plan, State had another. The president failed to pick a clear plan, and instead went for some of column A and some of column B in a haphazard manner.

Michael said...

"Mian, it is possible to be opposed to terrorism and torture."

But one has to be thoughtful and sincere about the fact that one's moral stand raises the cost upon others. The argument one inevitably hears-- "Torture is wrong and it doesn't work anyway"-- is a convenient copout. The question one must answer, in honesty, is "Given that torture may work, but you believe it to be wrong, what will you do to keep us about as safe without using it?"

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

If a convicted murdered was given a choice of 15 years in the slammer or two weeks worth of waterboarding, what would he choose? Probably waterboarding. So does that mean jail is a form of torture worse than waterboarding, and that every person on the planet is guilty of approving of toruture?

Actually, keeping a person in an enclosed space for day after day, week after week, year after year and commanding him/her to do the same tasks routinely day in and day out ,to me atleast, a form of mental torture - making that person ask their warden the permission to do the most routine of activities (go to the toilet etc) is nothing short of humiliation for an adult.

But i thought every one knew this or realized it at some level and agreed with the punishment as they regard it to be commensurate to the crime, no ?

A long prison sentence effectively can kill you from inside - Govt officials do realize this and thats why you see some news stories now and then of how they try to keep prisoners somewhat productive etc.. there's a reason for parole offered to those who are on good behaviour.

But hey, all these anti-torture purists have raised the bar so high that it does raise some rather uncomfortable questions that we would not want to face.

Is a prison sentence a form of torture ?

Old Dad said...

Peter hoh,

I'll be plain. W opposed gay marriage. Sullivan hates him for that. maybe he feels like he got suckered by the Bush Cheney Cabal, but suckers get suckered. His outrage is opportunistic--check the timing.

Diamondhead said...

So Obama will probably end up quoting Garage! Wouldn't that be something? Just a few low-grade intellectuals playing internet Telephone...

Fred4Pres said...

Nagarajan Sivakumar, certainly supermax facilities like Florence, Colorado's prison are pretty harsh. I perfectly clean and sanitary room. Everything designed so you can't craft a weapon or kill yourself. No view to the outside mountains. And you get to leave your room once a day (if you are good) for 30 minutes of exercise...alone.

But that is allowed. And frankly I hope many of these terrorists get kept that way for a very long time.

We are not required to treat murderous terrorists like POWs, they are most certainly not the same. That said, torturing them is (in my opinion) wrong and that includes water boarding and excessive sleep deprivation. It is a close call, but we should still not go there.

Fred4Pres said...

Sullivan is being very disingenous, this is all about self promotion. Yes he is against torture. So am I. But Sullivan is far more about promoting Sullivan. Old Dad nails it.

fivewheels said...

I would like to offer my own definition of what a "terror apologist" is: Someone who looks at KSM, then looks at GWB, and says members of the Bush administration are the real barbarians. Sadly, there are many who somehow can do this, including Sullivan.

You can be against the war and against torture and even believe that some of the EITs skirt the line on torture, and still go nowhere near a statement like that.

Anton said...

As I've had to repeat many times, Andrew Sullivan's abuse of Testosterone supplementation (in his case, delivered via a cream rubbed into his chest on daily basis) hobbles his ability to think with clarity and concision.

Sad, really....

nomilk said...

Is a prison sentence a form of torture?

The problem is that in a post-Foucaultian world, where every form of discipline and punishment is suspect, many people are confused and it is very much more difficult for them to distinguish among interrogation, torture, and punishment.

The New Yorker, e.g, recently answered the question--at least with regard to solitary--in the affirmative:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande

I'm not sure what that leaves for the HVDs--short of shooting them like dogs.

VW: ampul--a drug delivery system.

sydney said...

@Jason (the commenter)

What Sullivan doesn't understand about Althouse's blog is that she is not making pronouncements like he is. She has commenters, she tells us what people are saying and expects to see some discussion.

Thank goodness.

Sometimes the discussions go nowhere, but at least you get a good idea of what kind of arguments are out there. And at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if Althouse is convinced by your arguments or not, because you've had a chance to work through things yourself.


That is exactly why I read this blog. Althouse and Megan McCardle have two of the best comment sections in the blogosphere. After reading them, I've been disappointed with the comments at some of the more "highbrow" traditional media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic.

A Jacksonian said...

Hmmm... a pro-torture blog?

Well she does link to Andrew Sullivan, so there is one piece of data in that direction. If that is weekly, then there is some credance to the supposition... any more often and it is definite trend...

Mr. Forward said...

Maybe this is a pro-torture blog. Has anybody seen Titus lately? Somebody should check the sub-basement of the UW Law School.

WV: phythov = the opposite of indephythov

Jim O said...

The mental and emotional deterioration of AS over the years has been sad to watch.

Henry said...

At some point Sullivan is going to have a devastating falling-out with the Obama administration -- and it will probably start with some very small thing. Like circumcision.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's scary to know that the next time we capture a KSM, Obama won't torture him to get information. So when the bombs go off someone somewhere will pay for this policy with the blood of their children and loved ones.

People have abused the term "torture." Torturing someone in order to get actionable information to save lives is totally moral. What is not moral is torturing someone to get them to confess to something for some other purpose, such as in order to improve's the state's prosecution of the person or another. There needs to be a serious "non-partisan" debate on this, otherwise, Democrats will never be trusted to defend the country because the common sense American will never trust them.

Any person with common sense would torture a captive to get actionable information. There are probably thousands of examples in World War II of front line American soldiers torturing captives to get information. Maybe Obama should prosecute them too.

Mian said...

Peter Hoh,
I respect principled arguments against torture and understand where you're coming from. I do not condone torture. Unfortunately I find that the position of many vocal 'anti-torture' proponents is also against the War on Terror (or whatever one chooses to call it these days) and has been since 9/11.
I fervently feel that all methods of intelligence gathering are fair if they will help prevent a future catastrophe such as 9/11.

John Lynch said...

Maybe one of my retarded comments will get quoted. I can be an example of a pro-torture right wing fascist. Would be fun.

dave in boca said...

Sullivan and his "ex-" Glenn Greenwald are frothing at the oral orifice about Jenna Bush and Dick Cheney, anything to take the focus off the plummeting flame-out of ObamaCare which the Dems want to name after pro-Soviet conspirator/MADD poster boy FatBoy TK.

KSM is the sort of fellow that hysterical Andy can identify with, since they both have the same sincere brand of "integrity" in advancing their agendas.

Rob Crawford said...

Sorry, I am not going to put Cheney and Rumsfeld in the dock because Sullivan questions what happened after 9/11.

The sad thing is, that's not what's at the base of Sullivan's hatred for the Bush administration. His hatred stems precisely from the moment Bush signed the Defense of Marriage Act; the hand-wringing about torture is a smokescreen.

So, when you get down to the essence, Sullivan wants Bush and Cheney tried for war crimes over a political disagreement.

It's sad and disgusting, but that's what you've had to come from Sullivan the last few years.

Largo said...

@peter ho

By "terror-apologist", perhaps Mian means something like "objectively pro-terrorist" (in the sense that Orwell considered pacifism "objectively pro-Fascist").

knox said...

garage, YOU'RE PUBLISHED!!!

Jim Treacher said...

Pour water on a terrorist's face: state inquiry.

Leave a woman underwater to die: state funeral.

Big Mike said...

Worse, Sully relied on one of this blog's left-of-center commenters. Sheesh.

chickenlittle said...

What? No garage mahal tag for that?
You are cruel.

bagoh20 said...

Just imagine for a moment that the Bush administration openly refused to use any enhanced techniques and also the attacks prevented (by whatever means) had succeeded.

Would Sullivan and the others be heralding Bush/Cheney for their courageous and moral restraint? Would their position change as thousands die at regular intervals?

I'm not saying that would be the result of not using EITs, but people need to explore how their positions fair under tough conditions.

I would be quite happy to drop EITs if I believed them to have no value. That would prevent the unnecessary suffering of a very few terrible and guilty people.

Would opponents drop their opposition to EITs if they proved to prevent the suffering and death of thousands of innocents?

There are only two questions: Do they work? Are they worth it?