November 9, 2010

According to Bush, Abu Zabeta wanted all "the brothers" to be waterboarded until they broke so they, like him, would get "the chance to be able to fulfill their duty."

I think this is the most interesting thing George Bush said in the interview with Matt Lauer that aired on NBC last night. The topic was waterboarding, which Bush said he believed was legal "because the lawyer said it was legal." The technique was used to get information from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who, they had good reason to think, had valuable information, it worked to "save lives," and his job was "to protect America and I did." Then Matt Lauer brought up "another guy you write about in the book, Abu Zabeta, another high profile terror suspect":
LAUER: He was waterboarded. By the way, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, according to most reports, 183 times. This guy was waterboarded more than 80 times. And you explain that his understanding of Islam was that he had to resist interrogation up to a certain point and waterboarding was the technique that allowed him to reach that threshold and fulfill his religious duty and then cooperate. And you have a quote from him. "You must do this for all the brothers." End quote.

BUSH: Yeah. Isn't that interesting?

LAUER: Abu Zabeta really went to someone and said, "You should waterboard all the brothers?"

BUSH: He didn't say that. He said, "You should give brothers the chance to be able to fulfill their duty." I don't recall him saying you should water-- I think it's-- I think it's an assumption in your case.

LAUER: Yeah, I-- when "You must do this for--"

BUSH: But…

LAUER: …"All the brothers." So to let them get to that threshold?

BUSH: Yeah, that's what-- that's how I interpreted.
What do you think really happened? Was Abu Zabeta's quote fabricated? Was it real, but some kind of sarcastic taunt? Perhaps it was his way to justify himself, after he'd caved to pressure, by saying that under his principles, he'd done his duty. Bush seems to interpret it to mean that the detainees would appreciate being waterboarded until they broke so they could fulfill their duty.

That got me thinking about John McCain. This is from his 2008 speech accepting the GOP nomination:
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.
No one would wish to be tortured/subjected to enhanced interrogation, but, after the fact, human beings find ways to process the experience. It's generally known — isn't it? — that at some point everyone breaks, and the standard answer to the shame of breaking is that you held out as long as you could. Both Abu Zabeta and John McCain understood their experience that way. I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. How much of the rest of McCain's thoughts were mirrored in the mind of Abu Zabeta?

227 comments:

1 – 200 of 227   Newer›   Newest»
Robert Cook said...

So, because Bush says the torture victim welcomed the torture and wanted his comrades tortured, we--and he--are absolved for committing the crime of torture?

No.

Scott M said...

Bush seems to interpret it to mean that the detainees would appreciate being waterboarded until they broke so they could fulfill their duty.

This seems an immensely subjective take on what he said. Frankly, this concept of them having to endure torture only to a point before satisfying some religious requirement is news to me. I'll look into it further.

The problem then becomes...who sets that threshold? Does it require waterboarding to get there quicker? Can the same threshold be achieved by sleep deprivation or 24-7 exposure to The Sound Of Music?

Hoosier Daddy said...

How much of the rest of McCain's thoughts were mirrored in the mind of Abu Zabeta?

Hopefully none as McCain was an honorable soldier and Zabeta is a POS terrorist who only wants to comitt mass murder and destruction.

Meade said...

So, because Robert Cook says we are guilty of the crime of torture, we are?

LarsPorsena said...

"According to Bush, Abu Zabeta wanted all "the brothers" to be waterboarded until they broke so they, like him, would get "the chance to be able to fulfill their duty.""

What ever it takes.

Scott M said...

What ever it takes.

220, 221...

Pastafarian said...

I like the modern definition of "torture": Anything unpleasant that can effectively make someone divulge information.

Because that's really all that waterboarding had in common with the actual bone-breaking torture that McCain endured. They're both unpleasant and effective.

And that's really the problem that the left has with waterboarding: It's just too damned effective. They want to get rid of it for the same reason that the one part of the budget that they want to cut is the defense budget.

I've said it before: If we ever have an Althouse meetup at some tavern, Robert Cook can tie me to the bar and waterboard me til I cry uncle; if, in return, he'll never again claim that waterboarding is "torture".

If it was actual torture, no sane person would voluntarily go through it. And no, I'm not quite sane; but members of the armed forces are subjected to it as part of their training, and I don't think they're all insane. Note that they don't subject them to broken bones or red-hot pokers.

traditionalguy said...

The experience of helplessness in the hands of a cruel enemy is a terrible event that we must process mentally and in our will. Any kindness shown, one as simple as offering a cup of cold water to the sufferer, is never forgotten in this world, and I expect, not in the next world either. That does bond men who suffer together, and is a commonly used training for Special Forces.

The Drill SGT said...

I think he was suggesting that the brothers would appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate their manhood, evn if ultimately they talked. Abu Zabeta knows that dirty little secret. Ultimately, everybody talks. We just don't speak much about that.

In McCain's case, what he did was get over it and after he recovered, he went back to being incorrigible again.

Ann Althouse said...

This post isn't intended to be about the line between what is illegal and legal on the continuum from enhanced interrogation to what is unquestionably torture. I'd prefer to discuss the ideas raised in the post and by the new material presented here and not the old question of whether waterboarding is torture which has been discussed at great length in many other places. Please do me this favor.

William said...

The unstated argument is that torture hardens the resolve of those who are tortured and corrupts the morality of those who torture. Therefore, the use of torture is counterproductive. OK. So how come North Vietnam won?.....Did anyone on the left abandon the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese because of the tactics they used. Did anyone on the left, at the time, oppose the collateral damage caused by our bombing raids against the fascists in WWII?

Scott M said...

So how come North Vietnam won?

Our shitty ROE for starters, combined with the Cold War realities surrounding the conflict. But mainly our shitty ROE. I suppose there are various and sundry reasons that also led to our outcome in SE Asia circa 1975, but it really doesn't need to go any further than our shitty ROE.

Did I mention the shitty ROE? I'm pretty sure I did...

JAY said...

So, because Bush says the torture victim welcomed the torture and wanted his comrades tortured, we--and he--are absolved for committing the crime of torture?


So, because you say waterboarding is "torture" it is "torture"?

Yawn.

VW: undress
!@!

edutcher said...

Zabeta broke and he didn't want all his main men laughing at him (or giving him wedgies), so he wanted it done to everybody, so they couldn't give him a hard time.

Gotta love 'em.

Robert Cook said...

So, because Bush says the torture victim welcomed the torture and wanted his comrades tortured, we--and he--are absolved for committing the crime of torture?

Of course, the lawyer said it was legal.

As opposed to the weaselly Democrats, out for nothing but a partisan political advantage.

Robert Cook said...

Well, then, taken at face value, and assuming he actually said what has been attributed to him, I would agree Abu Zabeta was trying to reconcile himself pschologically to his having been subjected to torture and his having revealed information...however much of it may have been valid and how much invalid.

This is a self-perceived shame all soldiers must deal with.

jr565 said...

Pastafarian wrote:
If it was actual torture, no sane person would voluntarily go through it. And no, I'm not quite sane; but members of the armed forces are subjected to it as part of their training, and I don't think they're all insane. Note that they don't subject them to broken bones or red-hot pokers

That's exactly the point. The reason we waterboard our troops is because it's not torture. We wouldn't use red hot pokers on our troops to teach them about surviving interrogations because using a hot poker would be torture.
What Bush I'm sure discussed with his cabinet and lawyers was, what can we do to break these prisoners (in very rare cases) without having to get out the hot pokers. In other words, come to the line before torture so that we don't cross it. And waterboarding is highly effective, probably moreso than using hot pokers. And it doesn't cause any lasting injuries.
Unless of course you are referring to the waterboarding torture techniques practiced in the Phillipines for example. There they would pour water down your throat till your belly was distended, then they'd jump on your stomach or punch you in the stomach till your insides broke. That WOULD be torturous, yet that's not what we do. Of course because we use water and a board, to the critics, the two are indistinguishable.

JAY said...

I'd prefer to discuss the ideas raised in the post

Ok Ann, Matt Lauer is an uninformed, leftist hack.

Ankur said...

I find it interesting that people in this forum use definitions of left/right that seem to have been ingrained into them decades ago. So much so, that I can't even recognize the 'left' and the 'right' they speak of.

The Cold War is over. There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more

Similarly, overt racism in America is mostly in the past. There is no "Cross burning, sheet wearing right" anymore.

And yet, time and again, these labels are thrown around with the same hackneyed interpretations. Is that a sign of the average age of the commentariat here?

All you lefties and righties - don't you recognize that the extreme labels you are using - you are essentially using for people who are often similar to you, have many of the same values..and are maye just slightly right or left of center?

Christ.

WV: zings - something we've had QUITE enough of.

Ankur said...

And as to the post itself - Ann, very interesting way of looking at a very unusual situation.

roesch-voltaire said...

While you may feel gratitude for the small favors a torturer offers, few will embrace the system that perpetuated the torture. Isabel Allende's stories of torture in Chile reveal the same sentiments expressed by McCain.

former law student said...

The topic was waterboarding, which Bush said he believed was legal "because the lawyer said it was legal."

I would just like to draw a parallel to patent law, in which an alleged infringer's obtaining a "freedom-to-operate" opinion letter from competent patent counsel argues against willful infringement. Obtaining the OLC's opinion argues that W. did not intend to break any laws.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The Cold War is over. There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more

How about nostalgic for? Che t-shirts still are ubiquitous in the more 'artsy' sections of even Hoosierland.

JAY said...

There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more


Could you please then explain this?

There are plenty, plenty, of admirers of Communism on the left today.

There is no "Cross burning, sheet wearing right" anymore.


Um, most of those people wearing sheets were Democrats.

The assertion they were of "the right" is a lie perpetrated by modern liberals.

traditionalguy said...

Danny Pearl is still wondering why Jihadis don't water board, but only saw off men's heads slowly. At least Major Hassan used a pistol to make death come quick. The answer that Obama gives when asked what he thinks about the Jihad is that they are from a superior religion that deserves our respect, unlike the horrible Israelis who build apartment buildings in Jerusalem without getting Barry's permission first.

jr565 said...

Ankur wrote:
The Cold War is over. There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more

Says who? There is certainly a left, no? What do they believe in? By and large it's socialism. Even if the cold war is over and Russia has been diminished it doesn't mean that people cease believing in the ideas of socialism. You can take people out of the country but you can't take the country out of people as they say.

If you went to any liberal rally, or anti war rally, you'll inevitably see the booth with the socialist paraphenelia, not to mention the various communist symbols. Even if people don't even recognize that they are channeling communism, they are doing so. Most people don't delve too deeply into the sources of what they believe, yet if you listen to the arguments of the left, they are the same arguments from the 60's and 50's. The left are basically the postcommunist socialists.

All you lefties and righties - don't you recognize that the extreme labels you are using - you are essentially using for people who are often similar to you, have many of the same values..and are maye just slightly right or left of center?
But hasn't this always been the case? I'm sure if you find a klansman or a communist from the 50's and scratch beneath the surface you'll find a lot of common ground. That doesn't mean though that there aren't profound differences too.

JAY said...

you are essentially using for people who are often similar to you, have many of the same values

Enacting "hate crimes" legislation, higher taxation, more regulation, gay marriage by judicial fiat, and handgun bans are not the "same values" nor are they American values.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'd prefer to discuss the ideas raised in the post and by the new material presented here and not the old question of whether waterboarding is torture which has been discussed at great length in many other places. Please do me this favor.

Good luck with that. Cook and others have their favorite talking points and WILL raise them no matter what the subject of the posts are.

I'm not quite clear what the 'religious duty' is that Abu Zabeta is referring to. The duty to resist to your ultimate limit before caving in? If so then that is probably the same mindset of McCain. Resist until you are 'broken' then there is no shame in divulging information as opposed to just spilling the beans the moment things get tough. (BTW: I'm sure that is what I would do. I would make a terrible soldier.)

The Crack Emcee said...

As somewhat of a religious scholar, this sounds about right to me. Many religious types find "outs" to do what they need or want. (They find "ins" too.) I'm just glad I ain't one of 'em.

And glad we could be of service.

rdkraus said...

AA

Apparently, you are destined to be disappointed, because people do seem to be missing the point of your post.

Tough to get over thinking of the "other guys" as anything but bad, and unlike ourselves. I suspect when you talk about soldier types on both sides there is more in common than we'd like to believe.

Ankur said...

Yes..southern democrats who enmasse migrated to the republican side after civil rights.

I know there have been attempts to rewrite that part of history, but please - try to step out of the labels of the 60s and 70s. It doesn't do anyone any good.

And I am certain I can find current pictures of the extreme right/Aryan Nation/Tim McVeigh style individuals as well. That doesn't mean that they exist in any real numbers, just as hardcore communists don't exist in any real numbers in america any more.

These extreme labels you choose to cling to reveal more about you and your fears than those you seek to expose.

Pastafarian said...

Althouse said: "Please do me this favor."

OK, but here's the thing: Your interesting question, "How much of the rest of McCain's thoughts were mirrored in the mind of Abu Zabeta?", implies at least a parallel, if not an outright congruence, between the experiences of McCain and Abu Zabeta.

And I have to point out that there is no parallel here. One man was starved, had his bones broken and re-broken, had his teeth knocked out. The other got some water up his nose.

One was fighting for a nation dedicated to freedom from tyranny for men of all nations, and the other was fighting for a movement motivated, ultimately, by cowardice and selfishness -- religious fanatics so unable to face their own mortality that they'd commit any heinous act necessary to preserve their myth of eternal life.

So I guess my answer to your question is: Not very damned much.

I think the little ninny Abu Zabeta was ashamed of having been broken, and wanted to spread the shame around a little bit to his comrades.

rdkraus said...

Pasta jumps right in to prove my point.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't think McCain's breaking is the same as Abu's because McCain didn't go into it with any religious zeal - no religious zeal, no calculating mental framework to consider as a way out.

Ankur said...

Anyway - I apologize for hijacking the thread. I was reacting to one comment by William and didn't intend to make it a modern left versus ancient left versus modern right versus ancient right debate.

Ann's original post has plenty of food for thought and discussion.

JAY said...

And I am certain I can find current pictures of the extreme right/Aryan Nation/Tim McVeigh style individuals as well.

Huh?

Please find these photos at a rally for the Republicans, or for conservative ideas.

Thanks in advance.

JAY said...

There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more


Nah, we just have an elected Democratic President, man of the left, who openly favors government run health care and has stocked his Administration full of people believing the same.

The current Democratic Speaker of the House believes the same thing.

Leftist rush to blogs to post data points on life expectancy statistics from countries with government run health care systems.

But don't trouble yourself with all of that.

jr565 said...

Ankur wrote:
And I am certain I can find current pictures of the extreme right/Aryan Nation/Tim McVeigh style individuals as well. That doesn't mean that they exist in any real numbers, just as hardcore communists don't exist in any real numbers in america any more.

Of course when there were HARDCORE communists they denied being hardcore communists and endless literature and movies were written (by communists) about the witch hunts against them. ANd it was a crime to "Name Names", like that was breaking the red wall of silence. And of course there were spies in the states. Of course, nearly all the heroes of the left, lionized at the time for being railroaded by the US as communists, turned out to be soviet spies. Coincidental, that.
But again, they don't have to be hard core communists to speak the communist language. It's postcommunist socialism. Communism fell, but these guys didn't quite get the memo. Or they wound up in schools, and taught the latest crop of youngsters the wonders of communism, without specifically calling it communism. Now they are out spouting socialism. Whether they call themselves socialists or not, doesn't mean that they aren't.

JAY said...

Tough to get over thinking of the "other guys" as anything but bad, and unlike ourselves. I suspect when you talk about soldier types on both sides there is more in common than we'd like to believe.


Um, the other side is bad.

They stone gays to death and blow up women & children in public places.

Further, they are not "soldiers" by any commonly accepted definition.

Your moral equivocation is disgusting.

Scott M said...

I don't recall hearing Islamic

Pastafarian said...

rdkrauss said: "Pasta jumps right in to prove my point."

I think that Althouse's question is a little like asking: "As he chomped down on that cyanide capsule, I wonder how many of Ann Frank's last thoughts were mirrored in the mind of Himmler?"

Two very different people, subjected to two very different fates, for very different reasons, do not necessarily share the same reaction to those fates.

And I'm not sure how we are to suppose that McCain's increased patriotism might be mirrored in the mind of a man with no country, fighting for a multinational movement.

And I'm not sure how my actually answering Althouse's question (whether my answer is well-thought-out or not) proves your point that she'd be disappointed and that people wouldn't address her point.

Robert Cook said...

"Obtaining the OLC's opinion argues that W. did not intend to break any laws."

Not to wander back into territory our hostess prefers not sideline the discussion, but it could as easily (and more likely) argue that they pressured the OLC to provide approval for that which they knew was illegal so they could later claim they abided by appropriate legal advice. This interpretation is supported by the displeasure with which they received Jack Goldsmith's rescinding of most of Yoo's legal directives...a displeasure made known to him such that he resigned not long after he had issued his prohibition of most of what Yoo had allowed. And Goldsmith is a conservative Republican who was in agreement with much of what the Bush Administration believed. He was dismayed at the sloppy and tendentious legal reasoning undergirding Yoo's decisions.

The Nazis certainly were careful to make sure their "enhanced interrogation" techniques--and this was the term they used--were "legal." Stalin's Soviet Russia was certainly mindful of coercing confessions from "enemies of the state" before executing them.

All governments consider themselves justified in whatever actions they take, and they wish to have their justifications confirmed by legal theatrics, not only for the rest of the world that's watching, but for themselves.

former law student said...

There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more


Could you please then explain this?

There are plenty, plenty, of admirers of Communism on the left today.


JAY linked to a banner of the Socialst Party USA.

Socialism is not Communism.

Milwaukee had Socialist Mayors from 1910 to 1960. Were there fifty better years in Milwaukee's history? Five decades in which Milwaukee was better run?

A century before Wisconsin turned Republican, Milwaukee had a Socialist City Council and a Socialist school board.

Scott M said...

I don't recall hearing anything about Islamic thresholds of torture back when torture was a political hot-button. Why is this now news and not then? The existence of such a thing, to me, would have had the possibility of changing the entire texture of the debate.

Sorry for the previous browser-fail post :)

Ankur said...

More "mildly pleasant" forms of torture that I would never wish on any of you, or McCain or Zubeta.

Pastafarian said...

fls -- all the trains ran on time, too.

Ankur said...

Oops. I meant mildly unpleasant.

shoutingthomas said...

So, because Bush says the torture victim welcomed the torture and wanted his comrades tortured, we--and he--are absolved for committing the crime of torture?

No.

What else can be said to this moron?

Got fuck yourself, Kookie.

rdkraus said...

Jay

I did not say they were the same.

Don't be a liar.

You also prove my point, ie. in our need to demonize the enemy, we cannot see that, in many ways, people are people. In particular, soldier types have many similarities. It would not be unusual for soldiers on opposite sides to experience captivity and/or questioning in a similar way. That would not necessarily change based on the severity or on which "side" was right or wrong.

shoutingthomas said...

Can we get Bush to torture Kookie?

I'd pay to watch that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

All governments consider themselves justified in whatever actions they take

Which of course makes it easier when our enemies who murdered thousands of innocents on 9/11 continue send us videos promising more death and destruction.

William said...

In a fight for your life, you use eye gouging, biting, and testes kicking. In a schoolyard fight, you use your fists and fight honorably. The left believes that we are in a schoolyard fight and that our opponents are in fights for their lives. I hope this resolves the seeming hypocrisy of the left in their support of third world barbarities and opposition to American excesses.

JAY said...

I did not say they were the same.


Nah, you just continue using words implying they are:

In particular, soldier types have many similarities. It would not be unusual for soldiers on opposite sides to experience captivity

Like that.

Again, Your moral equivocation is disgusting.

JAY said...

we cannot see that, in many ways, people are people.

I think you should run with that one, clown.

Seriously, the "other side" are just plain ole' people, doncha know!

shoutingthomas said...

Kookie,

You are one of the most detestably evil humans I've encountered in some time.

You are absolutely evil.

You have, apparently, no redeeming human qualities.

Robert Cook said...

"Can we get Bush to torture Kookie?"

Believe me, every time I see his rat's face or hear his smirking, schoolboy's voice and pretend tough-guy talk, it comes close to being torture for me to endure.

Does that help?

JAY said...

Socialism is not Communism

Name me a communist society in the history of the world that did not have a socialist economic structure.

Thanks in advance.

Pastafarian said...

rdkrauss said: "In particular, soldier types have many similarities."

Soldier types?

One guy is a religious fanatic, the other (at the time) not very religious at all. One lived like a monk, the other brawled like, well, a drunken sailor. I could go on and on -- their childhoods, their attitudes, their abilities. You'd be hard-pressed to find two more different men.

One was a member of a military organization, and the other a member of something that calls itself one. The fact that you think this makes these men essentially interchangeable says more about you than it does them.

Waffen SS, USMC -- tomato, tomah-to, huh?

Are we allowed to demonize actual demons? Or is that out now too?

Robert Cook said...

"Kookie,

You are one of the most detestably evil humans I've encountered in some time.

You are absolutely evil."


ST...dude...chill.

At least I never started a war with no purpose or justification or caused the torture and deaths of untold thousands, or caused millions to become homeless refugees in their own country.

I can't be all bad.

k*thy said...

Tough to get over thinking of the "other guys" as anything but bad, and unlike ourselves. I suspect when you talk about soldier types on both sides there is more in common than we'd like to believe.

rd, when I first read the post, those were my thoughts, as well.

A.Worthing said...

Actually, there are interpretations of islam that say that you are not allowed to rat out muslims to infidels, unless under torture. So they do require "torture," at least for a moment, to give them the right to speak under islam. crazy, i know, but it kind of cuts the legs out from under the claim that torture never works, right?

JAY said...

Stalin's Soviet Russia was certainly mindful of coercing confessions from "enemies of the state" before executing them.


Yes, I definitely think you should equate the USSR with dunking terrorists heads in water.

Scott M said...

Ah hominem doesn't become any of us. Don't feed the trolls, regardless of which end of the ideological spectrum they hail from.

Seriously...it harshes one's mellow and, having resided hereabouts for a while now, I know we're better than that.

JAY said...

In particular, soldier types have many similarities."


I love the equivocation.

Marshal said...

Comparing Bush to Nazis and communist mass murderers never goes out of style.

jr565 said...

rdkraus wrote:
You also prove my point, ie. in our need to demonize the enemy, we cannot see that, in many ways, people are people.

isn't that one of the worst cliches? Why wouldn't people be people? By the same token, why couldn't our barbarism simply be attributed to people being people.
In fact, that would be a good rejoinder next time the left accuses the right of being warmongers - hey, people are people.
Now in one respect, you're right. People, no matter what their goodness or evilness, respond to pain in similar matters. So if you have a Zawahari sawing off someone's head, they will respond the same way whether they are Nick Berg or some islamist traitor that need to be taught a lesson. But what does that prove? What is the context of why they're doing what they're doing? That's the more important question than the similarity of responses to stimuli that all humans face.

In the case of Zawahiri, what is the context of him sawing off nick berg's head versus the context of the US waterboarding KSM?

JAY said...

At least I never started a war with no purpose or justification

Hysterical.

I guess that AUMF which Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, and sponsored by Tom Daschle, that passed with greater Democratic margins than did the Operation Desert Storm vote, provided no "justification"

Who knew!?

shoutingthomas said...

I can't be all bad.

Yes, you can be, Robert, and you are.

Your mission in this life is to be a completely worthless prick hated by everybody who encounters you.

You are succeeding beyond your wildest dreams.

shoutingthomas said...

Believe me, Kookie, your pissing here is torture.

It is torture to watch an individual disgrace himself in the way that you do.

JAY said...

ie. in our need to demonize the enemy,

Yes, pointing out that they saw reporters heads off for kicks is now "demonization"

You are disgusting.

Scott M said...

@shoutingthomas

You do realize, don't you, that you've got a big toe in the cold, dark waters of Lake Moby, right?

Ankur said...

"jr565 said

In fact, that would be a good rejoinder next time the left accuses the right of being warmongers - hey, people are people."

Yes! This! You are exactly right here.

Look, clearly there is no moral equivalence between soldiers and terrorists on an ideological/statistical/social level/macro level.

The only place one can draw an equivalence is at the individual level. Recognize the humanity in your enemies - and you will be able to fight them better. Demonize them, and you risk underestimating them.

Scott M said...

The only place one can draw an equivalence is at the individual level. Recognize the humanity in your enemies - and you will be able to fight them better. Demonize them, and you risk underestimating them.

Say, in your best Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I have detailed files."

JAY said...

The only place one can draw an equivalence is at the individual level.

Yes, because a US soldier is the same as someone in Al-Qaeda, who knew!?

shoutingthomas said...

You do realize, don't you, that you've got a big toe in the cold, dark waters of Lake Moby, right?

No, because I don't represent anybody or anything.

It's just me.

I don't really give a rat's ass whether Bush or Obama is in office.

The Kookie character... well, he's vile.

Ankur said...

...and point out their evils all you want - but recognize that these are human beings capable of extreme evil.

I know that it is easier to kill them when you reduce them into a robotic representative of an ideology. But reducing them will make them more dangerous to you.

sydney said...

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for.

Sigh. I wish we had a President who felt like that.

Ankur said...

No, JAY. They are not the same. They are not fighting for the same goals. But they are men and women. hey have families and children. They have mother-in-law drama. A lot of them also hate their morning commute to the battlefield.

The point is - they have to be destroyed DESPITE their humanity.

Marshal said...

"You also prove my point, ie. in our need to demonize the enemy, we cannot see that, in many ways, people are people."

Funny, the left missed this nuance a month ago when even re-enacting the enemy from 75 years ago was enough to justify calling someone a Nazi supporter. But that was only demonizing Republicans, you know, their internal enemies. The left believes demonizing America's external enemies requires much higher standards.

jr565 said...

One of the problems with this whole enhanced interrogation techniques argument is that it always goes to the whole "the nazis used enhanced interrogation techniques too, therefore we are the equivalent of nazis".
THe problem with that is that, if we are to jail someone for commiting murder, we put them in a cell. While there the prisoner may be put into solitary confinement. The nazis also imprisoned people and put them into solitary confinement, therefore imprisonment and solitary confinement are the equivalent of nazi germany. Is there another way of incarcerating people that wouldn't involve putting htem in cells, and is there another way of putting someone in solitary confinement that wouldn't involve putting them in solitary?
Even the best societies still need to have ways to imprison people or especially in war time situations get information from high level targets. And in the case of a group like Al Qaeda, make sure that they aren't planning another attack akin to 9/11.
The nazis also interrogated prisoners, even before getting to the enhanced interrogations. DOes that mean that because the nazis interrogated prisoners (without even getting to the torture side of things) that we are equivalent to them because we too interrogate prisoners?

shoutingthomas said...

Kookie, I've met a lot of loonies like you. After all, I've spent my life in SF, NYC and Woodstock. One of the unfortunate realities of those places is that crackpots like you flock to them.

Tolerance has its negatives, too.

When the loonies carry on like you do, it's a sign that something is seriously wrong in their lives; psychological problems, financial problems, failure with the opposite sex... something,

Please quit externalizing your problem into this universal political issue. There's a reason why you want the mob to chase after you with pitchforks. There's something wrong that makes you want to be tarred and feathered.

It has nothing to do with Bush. Maybe your Mommy or Daddy.

Ankur said...

Marshal, good point.

Clearly, oversimplification and dramatization for political gain is something that crosses political boundaries.

bagoh20 said...

If we did not have waterboarding, a Manahttan Project type effort would have been worth it. It's a miracle for a decent nation to have that tool. No doubt someday in the future there will be a cry of: "Why didn't you idiots use waterboarding to prevent this disaster? All those innocent lives were not worth harmlessly scaring one terrorist?"

Pastafarian said...

Ankur, we all recognize that both McCain and Abu Zabeta are human.

One's a RINO human, and one's a shit-heel murdering terrorist human, but they are the same species.

The question from our hostess is (I think): Do you suppose that the long-term effects of waterboarding on Abu Zapeta were the same as the long-term effects of torture on John McCain?

And my original point still stands: You're subjecting these two (very different) humans to two very different things. So there's no reason in the world to suppose that they'd react similarly.

In fact, it doesn't even make sense. McCain said: "I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people." Can you imagine Abu Zabeta thinking anything remotely like this about his...what? It isn't even a country. His cause? He loved it for its decency, it's faith in the wisdom and justice of its people?

bagoh20 said...

We are prepared to shoot down an airplane full of innocent Americans, killing all on board, to prevent another 9/11, but not pour water on someone's face. The moral confusion is stunning.

Meade said...

Ann Althouse said...
Bush seems to interpret it to mean that the detainees would appreciate being waterboarded until they broke so they could fulfill their duty.

BUSH (to LAUER): He (Abu Zabeta) didn't say that. He said, "You should give brothers the chance to be able to fulfill their duty."

In 2008, CIA Director General Michael Hayden stated that the CIA had used waterboarding on three prisoners during 2002 and 2003, namely Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zabeta and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Bush told Lauer that waterboarding was used only those three times - to successfully obtain actionable intelligence to "save lives" and "protect America."

I believe Bush, unlike Obama, is an honest man and so I take him at his word. Bush had no interest in helping "holy warriors" fulfill their religious duties. After 9/11, his highest interest was in protecting America from terrorist attacks. He was successful and I, for one, am grateful to him.

Scott M said...

We are prepared to shoot down an airplane full of innocent Americans, killing all on board, to prevent another 9/11, but not pour water on someone's face. The moral confusion is stunning.

My relatives and I have discussed this very facet many times. Not only are we prepared to shoot down a plane full of Americans to prevent another 9/11, but the consensus 'round the camp fire is that, were we the ones on the plane, it would be accepted as necessary.

traditionalguy said...

What we have here is a failure to communicate. The Alynsky SOP says to always throw the moral rules of your opponent into his face to weaken him. The "torture is an evil thing" rule is being thrown 24/7 by our enemies, while not winning the fight because of resulting timidity would be a million times as bad as enduring a little Alynski Style Slander coming from The Moral Authority of the world named Cook. He says water boarding is torture, and he dares anyone to challenge that opinion. Simply ignoring him like Bush did is the best strategy.

jr565 said...

bagoh20 wrote:
We are prepared to shoot down an airplane full of innocent Americans, killing all on board, to prevent another 9/11, but not pour water on someone's face. The moral confusion is stunning.

Of course, and well stated.
Think of another example. Suppose we knew that Nick Berg was going to have his head sawed off on friday and we had one of the guys who would most know about it in our interrogation rooms on thursday. And he hasn't broken yet despite our using the army field manual on him.
Is it worse to interrogate this guy, perhaps even harshly and thus save an innocent person who will be actually tortured and murdered, or not touch a hair on his face and let Nick Berg be decapitated. To me, it's a no brainer.

Alex said...

Because that's really all that waterboarding had in common with the actual bone-breaking torture that McCain endured. They're both unpleasant and effective.

Bone breaking = waterboarding. 90% of college students under the thrall of leftie profs believe this.

rdkraus said...

Jay

I can't help you. You are too stupid to get my point or to worry about. You can think whatever you want.

Despite what you think, humans are humans. Some are evil. They must be killed. Certainly, those who seek to kill us must be sought out and killed. All of which has nothing to do with what I was saying.


If an American soldier and a Nazi soldier are each captured, and each subjected to torture, is it not possible that they will have similar reactions? Do you think our enemies are a differenct speciies? Zabeta had evil goals. That would not prevent him from reacting to torture or waterboarding (however you define it, not a pleasant activity - on purpose), in the same manner as one of ours would.

Ankur said...

Pastafarian, the historical roots of islamic terrorism, before it got consumed by the sunni-imam-wahabi influence was a simple people's resistance to outside occupation - against the italians in Libya, against the russians in afghanistan and chechnya, against the british in Iraq and such.

Today's terrorists recruit among disaffected youth, the callow villager who might be poor and jobless and resentful of real or imagine historical injustices. Then these recruits are worked on for years and years until they turn into blind hate machines.

So no, there is no moral equivalence at all. And yet, I can't help but wonder that not long ago we were glorifying the 'noble afghan warlords' resistance against russia, and such.

The problem lies in lack of introspection. A large part of the islamic world resents the west because of historical injustices. And yet, this same historical world turns a blind eye to CURRENT injustices committed against muslims by other muslims - like pakistan's oppression of baluchistan, and the way the Wahabis swept across arabian peninsula, killing, murdering and raping - and Iran. My god, Iran. Is there ANY other country that is a better example of cutting the branch you are sitting on, and then blaming everyone but yourself?

Alex said...

Mead said...

After 9/11, his highest interest was in protecting America from terrorist attacks. He was successful and I, for one, am grateful to him.

Outside of the far-left wing lunatic fringe, the other 70% of Americans are grateful and don't give a shit about torturing Islamic motherfuckers.

Alex said...

rdkraus - Islamoids are not human. Sorry, but try harder.

Marshal said...

bagoh20,

To further illustrate the ridiculous overhyping of this issue, testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee indicates we waterboarded 3 people. That's right, 3.

"On 6 February 2008, the CIA director General Michael Hayden stated that the CIA had used waterboarding on three prisoners during 2002 and 2003, namely Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri."

Marshal said...

"Today's terrorists recruit among disaffected youth, the callow villager who might be poor and jobless and resentful of real or imagine historical injustices."

Ankur,

This is misleading. Terrorists, especially in the western world, are disproportionately educated and well off.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We are prepared to shoot down an airplane full of innocent Americans, killing all on board, to prevent another 9/11...

Actually, I'm not so sure about that.

nonapod said...

I suppose Abu Zabeta believed he was doing the will of Allah (struggling against infidels) by resisting waterboarding to a certain point. I've no idea if there's anything specific in the Koran or the various Hadith about what that point is. In comparing the motivations behind McCains resisting of torture with Zabetes resisting of waterboarding:
One is a patriotic love of ones country the other is religious devotion (however deranged we might find it). Both are forms of faith I guess. Zabetes is perhaps more calculated in the sense that he perhaps believes there is a specific point at which giving in fulfills a religious obligation.

former law student said...

Name me a communist society in the history of the world that did not have a socialist economic structure.

JAY's definitions of economic terms have been idiosyncratic to say the least. I'm willing to let him be his own lexicographer, but he should define "socialist economic structure" for me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ankur,

This is misleading. Terrorists, especially in the western world, are disproportionately educated and well off.


Misleading isn't the right term. Flat out incorrect is more appropriate. Fact of the matter is the goat herder from Whogivesastan turned terrorist isn't a threat to us. The 9/11 hijackers, Christmas Day bomber, Times Square loser, Major Hassan, etc were all, somewhere between financially very well off to comfortably middle class. Fact. End of discussion.

All this tripe about poverty breeds terrorism is just another example of leftist theorycrafting to get more money pumped into another failed social project.

traditionalguy said...

On Anne's desired topic of discussion: The Muslim Jihadis brag that they will win because they welcome death for allah, while the Christian west actually practices Mercy for men's lives when it can to the extent the Christian West will not even do planned suicide missions. They forgot that a Flight 93 type courage will take over the moment the Christian West man sees no other choice. In fact fighting the USA is a known suicidal act. That may be why these jihad leaders chose it.` Therefore, we should have no qualms about hurrying these Moon god worshiping Muslims on to an early reunion with allah the moon god. The greatest generation got their name by hurrying on death for the Sun god worshiping Japs who wanted to die for their Sun god Emperor.

Scott M said...

Actually, I'm not so sure about that.

The various active tactical fighter wings around the country have contingency planning, complete with fail-safes reminiscent of missile silo crews, for just such an event. So, in that sense, we are fully prepared. It would come down to the nerve of the leader tasked with making the call.

Ankur said...

True, Marshal.

My perspective is different, however, because I am from India and we see a different breed of terrorists coming across the border from Pakistan.

The 9/11 terrorists were also of that nature, I believe.

The well-to-do/educated terrorist recruits - are there really so many of them? The SUV/Bomb guy in NYC, yep. A bunch of british muslims, yep. Also, the muslim army shootout guy - is he considered a terrorist? I mean, I know there are plenty of examples. I just don't know if that is where the majority of terrorists are recruited. But, having said that, I am open to being corrected on that count.

Alex said...

JAY's definitions of economic terms have been idiosyncratic to say the least. I'm willing to let him be his own lexicographer, but he should define "socialist economic structure" for me.

The means of production owned by the government. No private capital. No real private property except for small trinkets the overlords allow you to have.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It would come down to the nerve of the leader tasked with making the call.

My point exactly :-)

Rather like that movie Executive Decision when the Chief of Staff remarks that it would need to be done but they'll never be able to prove it was necessary.

Ankur said...

"Hoosier Daddy said: Misleading isn't the right term. Flat out incorrect is more appropriate."

When was the last time you made allowances for an individual whose life experiences might not be the same as yours? Give it a try. You might learn something.

Marshal made the same point as you did, and I acknowledged that he might indeed be right. But he did it in a way that made me rethink what I had just said. And you did it in a way that would ensure I'd get defensive and stick to my guns.

And that's the lesson for the day ;)

Peter said...

In my father's war few of the PFCs and CPLs hated the individual German soldiers. When they had to kill a man wearing field gray, they did it. When they could, though, they captured them and usually passed out some Camels or Chesterfields.

It was different, though, when they were up against a Waffen SS unit, few indeed of those wearing the black uniforms were captured. Mostly they were shot out of hand, no matter if they were shouting "Kammerad!" Pardon any misspelling here, I never served in Europe and my war was on the other side of the world.

Further, no one wearing Uncle's suit during WW2 called German soldiers "Nazis". Mostly they were Jerry or Kraut. The Nazis were the SS. The mostly draftees of the US Army had a kinship with the draftees of the German Army. PFCs did not start that war. Yet some ugly things happened to certain German Army captives during the war, a company commander who caught a staff officer might well have roughed him up a whole bunch
while trying to find out exactly what was behind that next hill.

I'm on the pro torture side here. If an officer like Col. West shot a pistol off by the ear of a bad guy, trying to save the lives of his men, fine with me. My guys are a helluva lot more important to me than their guys. Especially one of their guys pretending he's our ally.

By the same token I'm not for hurting someone once the time for information is past. A PFC has little information, and it's only good for the next few hours. A staff officer, a lot more.

I do not know where these guys are on the line between PFC and staff officer. Some of them seem to be the local village idiot, not even knowing he's got a bomb strapped to his ass. Some are ignorant teens, filled with hate, unable to even read the Q'ran. Others are guys just like me, convinced by someone that "we" are trying to take over their homes.

Me? I'm tired of losing our fine young men and women to the ones who send their equivalent of the PFCs out. I do not understand why the Madrasses of hate still stand. I do not understand why the Mad Mullahs of Iran and that Imadinnerjacket asshole have not had cruise missiles through their bedroom windows while they snore.

Ah, I don't know anything. I was a PFC coming 'cross the bow ramp at Chu Lai in 1965. All I know is that our PFCs and theirs die while the Mad Mullahs live in comfort. LBJ and Ho Chi Minh died in nice hospitals while my brothers died in the mud. It ain't right.

Hoosier Daddy said...

My perspective is different, however, because I am from India and we see a different breed of terrorists coming across the border from Pakistan.

Well I think that's the key difference, yours are right across the border. Then again is it really poverty? India, if I am not mistaken, has a significant level of poverty itself and unless I missed it in the news, there seems to be a dearth of Indian's heading into Pakistan and shooting up hotels.

Methinks there is some other motivating factor.

Ankur said...

And "Fact of the matter is the goat herder from Whogivesastan turned terrorist isn't a threat to us"

Really? I suppose when you use the word "us", you don't include your soldiers fighting in the middle east? Or the people aboard the USS Cole?

former law student said...

Sigh. I wish we had a President who felt like that.

So did I. But it was all over for McCain once Rove told South Carolinans McCain sired a bastard pickaninny.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When was the last time you made allowances for an individual whose life experiences might not be the same as yours? Give it a try. You might learn something.

Terribly sorry but when someone tells me 5+5=127 I don't make allowances for their life experiences, I simply tell them they're wrong.

garage mahal said...

After 9/11, his highest interest was in protecting America from terrorist attacks. He was successful and I, for one, am grateful to him.

Any gratefulness for the current president for also "keeping you safe"? In fact, is keeping you "safer".

Hoosier Daddy said...

Really? I suppose when you use the word "us", you don't include your soldiers fighting in the middle east? Or the people aboard the USS Cole?

I mean us, collectively here in the USA. Once the last doughboy is back home where he belongs, the goat herder in Whogivesastan won't be a threat to him either. Or at least until Al Quaeda runs out of rich and middle class dolts to die for Allah.

Ankur said...

"India, if I am not mistaken, has a significant level of poverty itself and unless I missed it in the news, there seems to be a dearth of Indian's heading into Pakistan and shooting up hotels."

Right. But that 'something else' is a sense of resentment and even jealousy.

India is far more successful as a country and a democracy than Pakistan is. Whereas Pakistan needs the anti-India sentiment to stay together, as a nation. So, we have Pakistani terrorists bombing India (see post above about Islamic terrorism and its lack of self reflection), whereas the poor in India don't have anyone to blame.

If you look at south asia, India is kind of king of the hill. So, Indians don't have anyone to blame for their misfortunes but themselves...(and maybe the british..hah)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Any gratefulness for the current president for also "keeping you safe"? In fact, is keeping you "safer".

From terrorists? Yes.

From economic catastrophe. No.

Scott M said...

In fact, is keeping you "safer".

I'm dying to hear your gauge for this metric, Garage. Kudos to the President for continuing the same programs (indeed increasing some of the more effective ones) left over from that guy he says put the car in the ditch.

Since this administration took office, two very serious attempts at mass casualties have been attempted and were thwarted not by security measures, but by terrorist incompetence.

I give kudos were kudos are due regarding the UPS bombs...not sure where they should all go yet though.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Right. But that 'something else' is a sense of resentment and even jealousy.

India is far more successful as a country and a democracy than Pakistan is.


Really? By that logic we should be reeling from Mexican terrorist attacks but instead we just get landscapers and good restaurants.

garage mahal said...

I'm dying to hear your gauge for this metric, Garage.

Bush 9/11
Obama no 9/11

There was also successful anthrax attacks.

LarsPorsena said...

@Ankur:

"Ankur wrote:
The Cold War is over. There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more.."

Their dreams live on in faculty lounges from coast-to-coast.

Ankur said...

You don't have seriously disputed territory with mexico.

You haven't fought four wars with mexico in the last 60 years.

You haven't undergone a partition wherein millions of peoples died in religious riots in 1947.

Seriously, I wish life was as simple as 5+5=10. But sometimes, 5+5 does equal 127, especially if you're dealing with zariski-riemann spaces.

Hoosier Daddy said...

There was also successful anthrax attacks.

Which of course was less deadly than Major Hassan's killing spree.

Which, if you remember, occured under Obama's watch.

Scott M said...

Bush 9/11
Obama no 9/11


It will be amusing to watch you put out the flames invariably heading your way over that comment.

Marshal said...

"But it was all over for McCain once Rove told South Carolinans McCain sired a bastard pickaninny."

There's really no myth denigrating Republicans you're not 100% in support of is there? If the Greeks wrote in 1000 BC that the war between the titans and gods was caused by Ronald Reagan you'd be here telling us a time machine made it all possible.

That whole story is based one person's remembrance, who had received an email pushing the subject from someone not related to the Bush campaign.

It's pathetic you think pushing propoganda on a blog is a productive use of time.

Meade said...

Bush 9/11
Obama no 9/11


Bush 9/11/2001

Obama no 9/11/2009

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think garage is a pretty funny guy. Several threads back he was bragging on the balls Feingold had voting against the Patriot Act right after 9/11 and against Afghanistan. Now he's bragging on Obama for keeping us safe(er) while using those same tools and operations that idiot Bush forced on us but Feingold opposed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You don't have seriously disputed territory with mexico.

My guess is you're not all that well schooled in American history so I'll be polite and not laugh out loud.

You haven't fought four wars with mexico in the last 60 years.

Probably because we didn't need to after the first one.

You haven't undergone a partition wherein millions of peoples died in religious riots in 1947.

I think you're getting closer to the source of the problem.

garage mahal said...

Meade
So, no thanks? Not grateful?

Terrye said...

I heard what Bush said and he was not saying that people wanted to be tortured. He was saying that fanatical terrorists who wish to die for their religion can not break unless they have fulfilled their duty to that religion. You have to give them no choice, otherwise they are cowards and traitors to their religion.

And I don't really think that water boarding is torture. I think it is creates a sense of physical panic. But then people get up and walk away. When the North Vietnamese got through breaking McCain's bones, he did not walk away. He was carried. Not exactly the same thing.

Also we all know that this saved lives and was only used on 3 people. I think a lot of people made an issue out of it for political and not moral reasons.

Ankur said...

If you really think I am skirting around Islam as a tool/cause of terrorism, you haven't read the rest of the posts I've made on this thread.

And yes, I recognize that California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were all parts of the spanish empire/mexico at some points. You're comparing a territory dispute that was silenced in 1848 against Kashmir, which is still being disputed and fought about?

Please, argue in good faith. Key adjective in my last post - "SERIOUS" territorial dispute. You don't have ANY serious territorial disputes with mexico today.

zeidler said...

I don't make allowances for their life experiences, I simply tell them they're wrong.

You can be a small, small man, Hoosier.

former law student said...

"Ankur wrote:
The Cold War is over. There is no "communist, north vietnam favoring left" any more.."

Their dreams live on in faculty lounges from coast-to-coast.


s/faculty lounges/corporate boardrooms/

The GOP stalwarts, the US Chamber of Commerce, loves Communist Vietnam. They have outposts both in Hanoi and what they unashamedly call "Ho Chi Minh City."

AmCham is an independent association of American and international businesses with the objective of promoting trade and investment between the United States and Vietnam. AmCham has two Chapters, one in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Hanoi. Our membership of about 700 companies and about 1,500 representatives of manufacturing, transportation and logistics, professional services, and travel and tourism is unified by a common commitment to mutually beneficial U.S. – Vietnamese commercial relations. Click on this link to visit our Hanoi Chapter.

The AmCham site touts an outfit that helps so-called American companies set up factories in either Communist Vietnam or Communist China. Also how to avoid buying any materials or subassemblies from America.

Lenin got it twisted. Instead of Capitalists selling Communists the rope with which they will hang us, we are buying rope from the Communists to hang ourselves with. Suicide instead of homicide.

Starting a factory in Vietnam?
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Seamoc Offers:
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This service completes a start-up plan with the cash needed to become profitable. It answers all questions and determines if Vietnam makes sense for your company’s next manufacturing site, and shows savings vs. the United States Location.

2. Start-Up Services:
Seamoc manages the entire start-up process from planning, getting the investment license, hiring the management team, fitting out the factory, and starting production.

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Seamoc gets three reliable builders to quote on new construction and checks the progress of the building at each stage to assure successful completion with specified materials and plans.

4. Sourcing Services:
Seamoc has offices in Shenzhen, China and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to provide sourcing services for clients who need Asian sources for their Asian Factory’s material needs.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

You can be a small, small man, Hoosier.

I have it on good authority that he's 6'1" and 210. Hardly what I would call small, small.

LarsPorsena said...

"The GOP stalwarts, the US Chamber of Commerce, loves Communist Vietnam. They have outposts both in Hanoi and what they unashamedly call "Ho Chi Minh City."

No doubt. But in Madison and Berkley there are those who are livid that the USCC can plant 'poison weeds in the garden of the people'. They stared with sad disbelief as the Berlin Wall came down. They point to Cuba as a paragon of social justice and struggle daily against the cryto-fascist plutocracy that rules the US.

shoutingthomas said...

Bush 9/11
Obama no 9/11

There was also successful anthrax attacks.

No, you've got to judge by the standards of the Obama administration.

Bush had only been in office 10 months.

Therefore, 9/11 was Clinton's fault.

madawaskan said...

garage-

Well Obama was lucky on the Christmas Day attack:

A Dutch passenger, Jasper Schuringa, tackled and restrained him as others put out the fire.

Basically in that case the Obama anti-terror plan amounted to one Dutch passenger taking the initiative.

garage mahal said...

I guess Meade's non-response, is a response.

Ankur said...

Unfortunately, when you'rep playing defense in a game which is incredibly hard to understand - luck does play a huge part. Bush got unlucky that 9/11 happened on his watch. Obama got lucky that the dutch guy jumped onto the nigerian guy.

But blaming bush for 911/ and then Clinton for 911? Are you guys REALLY blaming your presidents for 911? this thread has officially jumped the shark. Wow.

madawaskan said...

garage

Guessing is what you do best.

former law student said...

Which of course was less deadly than Major Hassan's killing spree.

Which, if you remember, occured under Obama's watch.


The timebomb went off after Obama's inauguration, but was built and set duing W.'s. Should Obama have assumed that everything that happened during those eight years was fucked up? Perhaps so.

The Army sent sent him to medical school, which he graduated from in 2003, on GW Bush's watch. Hasan went to Anwar al-Awlaki's mosque all through the Bush Presidency. Again on Bush's watch, in 2007, he presented his beliefs that Muslims in the US military will turn against American comrades-in-arms before they hurt their brother Muslims.

Scott M said...

Frankly, this blame game you guys are playing is, honestly, fucking ridiculous in every measure.

madawaskan said...

Ankur

Scapegoating has become an American pastime, it's less complicated.

Even your third grader can do it!

madawaskan said...

The reverse of scapegoating-the idea that one guy can solve everything is plaguing Obama now.

Unfortunately Obama did not try to disabuse the public of that irrational thought process-and he may have to pay the price.

I don't think there is a politician strong enough to avoid it's allure.

shoutingthomas said...

Frankly, this blame game you guys are playing is, honestly, fucking ridiculous in every measure.

That, I think, is what I was trying to say.

Obama has no statute of limitations on blaming his predecessor.

So, I'm just playing by his rules.

There is no statute of limitations on blaming Bush's predecessor for whatever happened during the Bush administration.

former law student said...

That whole story is based one person's remembrance, who had received an email pushing the subject from someone not related to the Bush campaign.

Did McCain's campaign manager Richard Davis recant his story? "Anatomy of a Smear Campaign," published in the Boston Globe on March 21, 2004?

How about these quotes from Vanity Fair, "The Trashing of John McCain," November 2004? More made-up stuff?

Mark Carman, who owns the Capitol City News & Maps store, told me of going to a candidates’ debate in Columbia, “and when we got back to our car, there was a flyer under the windshield wiper saying something about McCain having a Negro child. My wife is African-American—she just tore it up.”

State representative Jim Merrill, a political operative in 2000 who’d backed Dan Quayle before moving to McCain, told me, “We caught a couple of kids red-handed putting flyers on cars outside a seniors’ center in Hilton Head. One of the kids said a guy had paid him 50 bucks to do it.” Who was that guy? He had no idea.

Kevin Geddings, a prominent South Carolina Democratic consultant now based in North Carolina, told me someone had faxed him “a kind of cheesy Kinko’s pamphlet” with a photograph of the McCain family. “It was just so obvious,” he said. “It was one of the few shots you’ve ever seen of the McCains that so prominently featured that particular girl.”


This blog perpetuates the myth* that GW Bush is a decent, nay honorable man. But he sure benefited from the efforts of people who were not.

*Do we all know what a myth is?

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
Meade
So, no thanks? Not grateful?


To Obama?
Ask me after he's two years out of office.

Sounds like you blame Bush for 9/11 and are not grateful for the decisions he made which protected the American people. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

LarsPorsena said...

"This blog perpetuates the myth* that GW Bush is a decent, nay honorable man. But he sure benefited from the efforts of people who were not.

*Do we all know what a myth is?"

The myth is that the people of SC gave a hoot. They just elected a black R to the House rejecting the fruit of Strom Thurmons's loins and have a Indian female governor. The idea that this 'smear' affected the outcome of the primary back then is the product of the 'race' fevered imaginations of McCain and perfervid D's.

former law student said...

The myth is that the people of SC gave a hoot.

Carolinians don't care if their candidates sired a black bastard? I think they'd care even if a candidate sired a white bastard. If not, that means John Edwards has a shot at a political comeback.

Marshal said...

fls,

The best you can come up with is a 2004 Boston article about the 2000 South Carolina primary?

On the other hand, that is about the right length of time for liberals to gin up outrage amongst themselves, while letting enough time pass that nobody was interested enough to disprove the accusations.

Where is the contemporaneous evidence? One kid who asked McCain a question in a town hall meeting. That's it.

A myth is a fictional story used to explain facts otherwise incomprehensible to the myth believers. It's sad you don't know what "myth" means. Kind of like a devout Christian who doesn't know there's this book called the "bible". If you need any more info let me know, I'm happy to help those less fortunate than myself.

Brian said...

If not, that means John Edwards has a shot at a political comeback.

It wasn't just siring a bastard. It's also being a bastard that's a problem. He cheated on his dying wife, and had a subordinate lie about it.

damikesc said...

He wanted an "out". He wanted to confess and needed a reason to do that absolved him of responsibility.

This isn't exactly a rare thing.

How many people take a stiff drink before a public speech? Lots of people...largely because if they bomb, well, they had a drink and it negatively impacted them.

I've known several women who were sexually aroused by being physically dominated because it, in some small way, made them able to say to themselves that they didn't have total control over having sex, even if it was their idea and they did have total control.

People want an excuse for doing things they are either embarrassed by or concerned about being embarrassed by.

garage mahal said...

Sounds like you blame Bush for 9/11 and are not grateful for the decisions he made which protected the American people. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ask me when his two years out of office are officially up.

Robert Cook said...

"Also we all know that this saved lives and was only used on 3 people."

We know neither of these things.

LarsPorsena said...

""Also we all know that this saved lives and was only used on 3 people."

We know neither of these things.'

Of course, it was just done for grins.

bagoh20 said...

Any gratefulness for the current president for also "keeping you safe"? In fact, is keeping you "safer"."

I'm grateful for that despite the fact that most of Obama's supporters are against the policies he uses to do it, or at least were before he decided to continue them. I thank Obama for recognizing Bush was right, even if he had to lie to his people to get elected. I'll assume he did it to save us.

I guess we should also thank Reid and Pelosi for their support against our enemies. Thanks guys, sorry about that November second thing. We just don't know whats good for us rubes.

roesch-voltaire said...

I am surprised that no one has pointed out that there is little evidence that the water boarding resulted much information. From Suskind's book, I quote:
"The fact is that the history of interrogation shows that you do not do particularly well when you confirm expectations, when everybody plays their preordained role. In this case, al-Qaida operatives are trained to believe that the United States, and representatives of the U.S., are bloodthirsty mobsters who will dismember and disembowel. The fact is, when we use harsh techniques we essentially say, 'We are going to confirm your expectations.'

Scott M said...

Do you suppose the Obama administration would torture someone they suspected knew about mysterious missile fired off the coast of California? I'm hoping so.

shoutingthomas said...

"The fact is that the history of interrogation shows that you do not do particularly well when you confirm expectations, when everybody plays their preordained role. In this case, al-Qaida operatives are trained to believe that the United States, and representatives of the U.S., are bloodthirsty mobsters who will dismember and disembowel. The fact is, when we use harsh techniques we essentially say, 'We are going to confirm your expectations.'

The old "Treat us nice or we'll kill you" argument.

roesch-voltaire, this is supposed to convince us of what?

Brian said...

Now Cook is saying that CIA Director General Michael Hayden's testimony that water-boarding was used on three people can't be known. Therefore, Hayden is presumed to be lying.

He's either lying about the number of people, or he made it up just to answer the question, because he doesn't really know. The thing is, if you're going to conspire to hide the truth on water-boarding, why not go whole hog and say you didn't waterboard anybody.

But now, with Obama, we don't do this horrid practice any more. Instead, we let the Pakistanis use their civilized interrogation methods on captured terrorists.

LarsPorsena said...

"..But now, with Obama, we don't do this horrid practice any more. Instead, we let the Pakistanis use their civilized interrogation methods on captured terrorists."

Just more jobs Americans won't do.

traditionalguy said...

We all voted for W in 2004 to support the Iraq War. He tanked later from bad Iraq War news and budget busting new Rx Drug Benefits all the while he tacitly acquiesced in the FNMA and FHLMC guaranteed overbuilding bubble to maximize tax collections like there would be no tomorrow. Well, tomorrow came the month before Obama used the crisis against McCain and now us. Most Presidents wait until their successor is out of office to write their books. But the Bush's tell all comes out 21 months after the last election and is timed to get the Love for Bush's war time performance whistled out all over the USA like Pavlov dog's signal to remind us how much we love to have Barbara Bush's boys as our Presidents.

chickelit said...

Do you suppose the Obama administration would torture someone they suspected knew about mysterious missile fired off the coast of California? I'm hoping so.

Harvard experts have weighed in to suggest that it's all just an optical illusion. It's just a smokey jet. : link to link.

Whew!!!

Scott M said...

I, for one, welcome our new smoking, airborne alien overlords.

jr565 said...

Garage,
We all know what the left thought of Bush trying to protect this country. It was all Bush trying to implement Nazi Germany. THey contested everything down to the ability to look at who took out library books. Even though many of the laws in the patriot act were already on the books for various types of crimes already, and simply added to the anti terrorism arsenal the argument that these provisions were an assault on liberty were pretty risible.
BUT I'm sure you were amongst the chattering libs demanding Bush be impeached for destroying liberty as we know it.
What is Obama doing to keep us safe other than carrying out the same provisions that Bush put in place? Does it bother you that you liberals are now silent on Obama's use of said provisions to keep us safe?

bagoh20 said...

There have been hundreds of people waterboarded just for fun or effect at colleges all over America in the last few years, and zero lives were saved. It's an outrage, somebody call Olbermann!

roesch-voltaire said...

Shout-- shows that torture doesn't always work or produce the results it is suppose to, and why it may only reinforce the beliefs of Zabeta or McCain.

chickelit said...

Does it bother you that you liberals are now silent on Obama's use of said provisions to keep us safe?

Don't misunderestimate Garage Mahal. I'm sure he'll be on board whatever sort of Putsch it will take to get Hillary back on the POTUS track.

bagoh20 said...

Sorry roesch, I should have said hundreds of people have been TORTURED in colleges...

Even more reason to call Keith.

bagoh20 said...

Ok here is a conundrum: Would you rather be waterboarded or made love to by Rosie O'Donnell? Same time limit, and no lives will be saved, but we will promise to stop both before you are maimed or killed.

bagoh20 said...

Towels will be provided.

Scott M said...

Exit To Eden O'Donnell or the more recent, fatter, XM Satellite version?

bgates said...

In this case, al-Qaida operatives are trained to believe that the United States, and representatives of the U.S., are bloodthirsty mobsters who will dismember and disembowel.

Do you suppose they've noticed that they haven't been dismembered or disemboweled, or are they as stupid as you are?

Robert Cook said...

"But now, with Obama, we don't do this horrid practice any more."

We don't know this, either.

Of course, waterboarding is but one of the torture techniques employed by the Bush Administration. Even if waterboarding has been retired for its bad PR, there are other techniques that may still be in use, and given how much else of Bush's program Obama has continued, we have no reason to assume otherwise regarding torture.

bagoh20 said...

"Exit To Eden O'Donnell or the more recent, fatter, XM Satellite version?"

Anti-terrorism is not for the weak. You'll get what we got, and no showers or porn to help make it "palatable".

If you want we can waterboard you after Rosie so you won't have to carry around that smell. Hopefully you can re-enter the population in few years.

Scott M said...

Is that the, "go to bed with the O'Donnell you have, not the O'Donnell you wish you had" doctrine?

AllenS said...

I'd prefer to discuss the ideas raised in the post and by the new material presented here and not the old question of whether waterboarding is torture which has been discussed at great length in many other places.

No shit?

Nick Berg's body was found decapitated on May 8, 2004 on a Baghdad overpass by a U.S. military patrol.

Berg is seen in the video wearing an orange jumpsuit. He identified himself: "My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael, my mother's name is Susan. I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in West Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia."

The video shows Berg surrounded by five men wearing ski masks and shemaghs. A lengthy statement is read aloud. The masked men then converge on Berg and decapitate him with a knife. A scream can be heard as men shout "Allah Akbar".


Waterboarding? What kind of people would waterboard?

Pakistani Taliban militants released a video tape on Sunday of them beheading a Polish geologist, Piotr Stanczak whom they said killed him because Pakistan’s government refused to release Taliban prisoners.The Islamist militants said on Saturday they had executed the Polish engineer, Piotr Stanczak, who they kidnapped in September, because the government had refused to free 60 captured militants before Friday’s deadline.

Jesus H. Christ! We waterboard? No fucking shit? What terrible people we are!

Maguro said...

In this case, al-Qaida operatives are trained to believe that the United States, and representatives of the U.S., are bloodthirsty mobsters who will dismember and disembowel.

Well then, won't they be relieved when they're just doused with water over some saran wrap instead of being dismembered or dismboweled?

Seriously, though, I don't believe Al Quaida types think of us as bloodthirsty savages so much as they think of us as pathetic, over-civilized weaklings.

JAY said...

JAY's definitions of economic terms have been idiosyncratic to say the least. I'm willing to let him be his own lexicographer, but he should define "socialist economic structure" for me.


Note, you can't answer the challenge.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

Pastafarian said...

garage said:

"Bush 9/11
Obama no 9/11"

So according to garage mahal:

FDR WWII
Nixon no WWII

So garage thinks Nixon was a better president than FDR. Interesting.

And according to garage: Abe Lincoln, worst president in the history of the republic.

You are a complicated and wondrous personality, garage mahal. Layered. A mystery wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in stupid.

garage mahal said...

You are a complicated and wondrous personality, garage mahal. Layered. A mystery wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in stupid.

Not so stupid as having the ability to read. Or follow a simple conversation, that to my knowledge, no one else had any trouble following. Except you.

Hint: the conversation had nothing to do with who is or was a better president.

Pastafarian said...

Why wasn't FDR able to keep us safe from WWII, garage? I just thank FSM that Richard Milhous Nixon protected us from another world war during his 6 (give or take) years in office.

You're grateful to Nixon too, right, garage?

Pastafarian said...

You know who else kept us safe from a world war that caused tens of millions of deaths?

George W. Bush.

You're grateful to Bush, aren't you, garage? I mean, a world war is quite a bit worse than 9/11, isn't it? Maybe you should write him a thank you note.

In fact...you know who has kept us safe from world wars? Every fucking president not named Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson.

Interesting, that these would be the two most liberal presidents, after only our beloved leader, President Wonderful. That's an odd co-inki-dink, isn't it?

garage mahal said...

I thank Bush for not starting WWII. Yes, I give him credit on that.

Jeremy said...

Bush is even creepier than he was when serving as president.

The fact that so many here continue to defend and revere him is disgusting to say the least.

As in: Meade - "So, because Robert Cook says we are guilty of the crime of torture, we are?"

You actually believe waterboarding is not torture?

Really Needy...is that what you believe?

Dunce.

Jeremy said...

Defending little Georgie continued:

jr565 said..."Garage, We all know what the left thought of Bush trying to protect this country."

What was little Georgie doing when the warnings relating to the impending 9/11 attack came across his desk?

Dunce.

Lance said...

I thank Bush for not starting WWII. Yes, I give him credit on that.

Mighty generous of you, seeing as he was born one year after WW2 ended.

Pastafarian said...

Now that's more like it. And on that note of nonpartisan harmony, I thank President Awesome for not initiating another great Depression.

Sure, unemployment is near 10%, even with fudged numbers (and near 15% with real numbers); and real inflation, measured the same way we measured it before the late seventies, is up around 10%; and yes, the deficit is now measured in trillions of dollars instead of hundreds of billions, and the national debt is skyrocketing, and the value of the dollar is cratering....

OK, let me revise that.

I thank Obama for not releasing Cthulhu from his icey tomb, initiating a thousand-year hell-on-earth.

Scott M said...

Mighty generous of you, seeing as he was born one year after WW2 ended.

I, too, thought that was just a typo worthy of being called out, but then I think I recognized Garage-snark for what it was. You have to be careful with GM...he keeps his snark in the heel of his pants. Stinks a bit and is usually short, but potent nonetheless.

Jeremy said...

Pastafarian "Sure, unemployment is near 10%..."

And it was at 7.6% the day little Georgie walked out the door...right after signing the 800 billion dollar bank bailout...and unemployment was at 8.2% within three weeks.

Were you asleep or on drugs during the years leading up to the recession's start in December of 2007...all while on little Georgie's watch?

Why not read before posting teabagger garbage?

Jeremy said...

Scotty - You appear know quite a bit about stinky snark.

Practice makes perfect, huh?

Alex said...

Notice how Robert Cook has torture on the brain for like years now. He's conflated this issue in his own mind to the level of genocide-awareness or something like that.

Jeremy said...

Here's the idiot many here are defending, responding to a logical questions relating to waterboarding:

LAUER: I'm just asking. Would it be okay for a foreign country to waterboard an American citizen?

BUSH: It's all I ask is that people read the book. And they can reach the same conclusion. If they'd have made the same decision I made or not.

So, if you read the book, you'll understand why waterboarding an American is...what?

Jeremy said...

Alex - You don't believe waterboarding is torture?

bagoh20 said...

"Were you asleep or on drugs during the years leading up to the recession's start in December of 2007...all while on little Georgie's watch?"

Some of us were asleep, others were on drugs, but we all had a Democrat Congress. That's them people who guard the purse strings.

Alex said...

Alex - You don't believe waterboarding is torture?

Not the way breaking bones, shocking genitals, cutting off body parts is. But go on dumbing down the definitions of everything. That's what you lefties are so GOOD at.

bagoh20 said...

Jeremy, What method of interrogation is not torture? That should be a shorter list for you.

former law student said...

Want to take a guess as to why that is?


I have no idea what you would consider a "socialist economic system" to be. For all I know, you think Italy has one.

bagoh20 said...

breaking bones, pulling fingernails, drilling holes, cutting flesh, beating, hanging by limbs, waterboarding.

One of these things is not like the other.

One of these things just doesn't belong.

I bet Sesame Street viewers would get it right, but not most liberals. Embarrassed?

former law student said...

Sure, unemployment is near 10%

Sure, the GOP's supporters would rather open factories in Vietnam, and stock them with raw materials from Asia, than put Americans to work.

The United States Chamber of Commerce hates Americans.

Ralph L said...

William, DoD told the Vietnam POW wives to keep low profiles, although they knew about the mistreatment in Hanoi, they were told it might get worse. In 1969, some of the wives got fed up and went public anyway. Soon after, the treatment of the POWs improved markedly, partly because the NV realized they were a valuable bargaining chip. The wives probably saved some of their husbands' lives but may have lengthened the war a bit.

Jeremy said...

A former British government minister who also led the House of Commons Intelligence Committee threw cold water on claims made by former President George W. Bush that waterboarding saved British lives.

The ex-minister, Kim Howells, all but accused Bush of lying in a radio interview. He said he wasn't convinced that waterboarding produced intelligence that helped foil terror plots at Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf, in London, though he agreed that the plots were real. Howells is currently a Labour MP and served as a foreign minister of state from 2005 to 2008.

“I don’t think there was any doubt there were real plots,” Howells told the BBC Radio 4 Today. “Where I doubt what President Bush has said is that this, what we regard as torture, actually produced information which was instrumental in preventing those plots coming to fruition. I’m not convinced of that.”

He also said, without qualification, that waterboarding was "torture," and that Bush simply wanted to "justify what he did to the world."

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