December 1, 2016

Mattis is Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense.

Mattis is the one about whom Trump said:
"General Mattis is a strong, highly dignified man. I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, 'What do you think of waterboarding?' He said -- I was surprised -- he said, 'I've never found it to be useful.' He said, 'I've always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.' I'm not saying it changed my mind. Look, we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we're not allowed to waterboard. But I'll tell you what, I was impressed by that answer."

66 comments:

Bad Lieutenant said...

W00t!

AReasonableMan said...

Trump is a sly and clever politician.

Mike Sylwester said...

Trump should have asked his CIA nominee that question.

Lem said...

I thought Trump only surrounds with yes men.

Universal low information.

Brent said...

Excellent!!!!

Pennie Marchetti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brent said...

Excellent!!!!

JPS said...

CNN's article has a subtle but important error. They quote Mattis as follows:

"it's fun to shoot people."

I thought quotation marks were supposed to represent exactly what the subject said. General Mattis did not say it's fun to shoot people. He said it's fun to shoot some people. Specifically, as the article does not remind us, he was talking about Taliban who physically abuse women.

I realize there are some, including some I respect, who would find the statement appalling either way, but to the general and to those of us who understand him, there is a world of difference between the two.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Hope he doesn't use his influence to help his friends in duress.

traditionalguy said...

Now when the Army and the Navy look on the Pentagon's scene they will find the hallways are guarded by a United States Marine.

Bob Matthews said...

I'm not sure swapping out waterboarding for smoking free tobacco will endear him to the left.

Virgil Hilts said...

Not big fan of DT, but gotta admit this is entertaining
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/the-best-from-mad-dog-mattis/

FullMoon said...

Perfect Trump quote. He agrees with waterboarding, also agrees with no waterboarding.

AllenS said...

I like Mattis. He once called Obama an unwiped ass. I know some Marines, and the apples didn't fall far from the tree.

mockturtle said...

Mattis is a great choice! Intelligent and well-read, he will be an asset to our nation. They must have figured out a way around the 'seven-years out of the military' requirement.

mockturtle said...

JPS, surely you realize by now that CNN specializes in faux news.

eric said...

This is a reminder that when voting for a President, you aren't just voting for one person. You're getting thousands of other people to run the government as well.

I hope he gets sessions in as AG. And Bolton in anywhere. Along with Sarah Palin, who drives the left crazy.

readering said...

I read that retired Lt. Gen. Flynn said he didn't want anyone on the National Security Council who outranked him (on top of Chair of JCS). retired Gen. Mattis will. So would retired Gen. Petraeus at State. But I kinda assume Trump wouldn't pick two former commanders of US Central Command for NSC, although Flynn served under neither of them there. At least the two serving on NSC with Flynn so far are from a different service branch (Marine Corps). And Ret. Lt. Gen. Clapper will be gone.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"I've never found it to be useful" implies a level of close personal experience.

David said...

"We'll do even more than waterboarding, we'll kill the families of the terrorists!" Eh, not so much, but that's a good thing, no?

I would not count it out, if the circumstances are sufficiently dire.

Unknown said...

Funny how Trump reeled in the dupes during the campaign and then is doing the opposite of what he promised even before being sworn in. "We'll do even more than waterboarding, we'll kill the families of the terrorists!" Eh, not so much, but that's a good thing,

Oh sorry David, I corrected a spelling error.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

I knew a Japanese-American man who was in Army Intelligence and interrogated prisoners captured during the Island Campaign in WWII. He said that they never tortured anyone because it was more effective to "be nice to them."

viator said...

The Gen. James Mattis reading list.

Owen said...

Sounds like a strong pick. With Mattis as Secretary of War, it will be easier for President Trump and his Sec of State to play "good cop." If some foreign leader gets difficult, they can just point, more in sorrow than in anger, to the door where General Mattis can be found.

Original Mike said...

"This is a reminder that when voting for a President, you aren't just voting for one person. You're getting thousands of other people to run the government as well."

Yuge reason I voted against Hillary.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"CNN's article has a subtle but important error."

The word "error" implies they made a mistake. I don't believe that for a second. They lied.

Fake news indeed.

Larry J said...

"Blogger Lem said...
I thought Trump only surrounds with yes men.

Universal low information."

First rate leaders surround themselves with first rate staff. They know bringing in the best people increases the chances of success. Second rate leaders surround themselves with third rate staff. They don't want anyone who might outshine them. It isn't hard to determine what kind of leader Trump is compared to Obama.

JPS said...

Original Mike, mockturtle:

Right. They've now got it correct in an earlier mention, but the misquote persists lower down, where they explain his nickname.

But I'm not so sure it's deliberate. I know people who would not register the difference, and not appreciate it if it were called to their attention.

AprilApple said...

Can we waterboard some of them anyway?

holdfast said...

Mattis is a good choice.

Petraeus would be a bad choice at State. Maybe as DNI?

With Mattis as SecDef and Flynn as NSA, ANOTHER general in a top post like SecState would be a bit much.

Michael said...

I think we waterboard after the cigarettes and beer, after the long drawn out chat, after the Kabuki of false starts and lies, after the truth finally finally emerges. Shake hands. Hot shower and fresh clothes. Then the waterboard. For. the fuck of it

mccullough said...

Mattis' views on political Islam are interesting and deserve widespread attention. He basically says that political Islam is a problem because the ideology of most Muslims throughout the world are incompatible with liberty and equality. In other words, we should not allow them to
immigrate to the US.

Birkel said...

I enjoy watching the Leftists and NeverTrumpers repeat the same mistakes now as they did during the campaign. Trump's detractors take his words literally but not seriously, even now.

Blithering. Idiots.

Paul Mac said...

People keep posting the same list of quotes from him, but I think his reading list should be of more interest.

Lt. Gen Mattis' Reading List

mockturtle said...

He prefers Sun-tzu to Clausewitz.

Bob R said...

"I thought Trump only surrounds with yes men."

I'm hesitant to make any predictions about Trump, but I don't think he is very interested in foreign policy. I think he would PREFER to delegate State and DOD. As Carter and GWB found out, this may not be possible.

Several ex-mil (and ex-USMC) friends like Mattis a lot. Interesting choice. Despite the squealing from the left, this is not a crazy cabinet so far.

Douglas said...

eric - Yes Sarah Palin drives the left crazy, which is very entertaining, but she would be the wrong choice for Dep't of Veteran Affairs. That department is totally mismanaged and needs a strong manager with hands-on skills and a deep worth ethic to fix it. Palin has some skills but not those.

Hagar said...

Allof Trump's nominees so far seem to have something in common in heir approach to life. I think Mr. Obama's "legacy" is going to be under siegeon the whole, wide front.

Phil 3:14 said...

This NeverTrumper likes the choice.

JamesB.BKK said...

"Funny how Trump reeled in the dupes during the campaign and then is doing the opposite of what he promised even before being sworn in." Just shocking. If true, this would surely be the first time such a thing has been done by a U.S. President or President-Elect.

Michael K said...

then is doing the opposite of what he promised even before being sworn in.

Inga never ceases to amuse. You are so far from reality, I worry sometimes about your mental health.

Drago said...

"Funny how Trump reeled in the dupes during the campaign and then is doing the opposite of what he promised even before being sworn in."

LOL

Old lefty talking point: "GWBush won't listen to his generals!!!"

New lefty talking point: "OMG!! Trump has too many generals!!!"

David Baker said...

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

Attributed to Gen. Mattis

Sally327 said...

I'd never heard of James Mattis until the second battle of Fallujah I think it was, read something somewhere and started kind of following his career from that point. He is a fascinating individual. And I think that before the last three weeks happened, I would never have thought or imagined a scenario that included Donald Trump and James Mattis at the same time. They represent such completely different things.

I think there are going to be lots of books written about the year 2016 someday. Like 1968. I hope I'm around long enough to read some of them!

David Baker said...

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

Gen. Mattis

Jim Gust said...

You know who would be perfect to clean up the mismanaged Department of Veterans Affairs? Someone with demonstrated organizational competence—Mitt Romney.

mccullough said...

Romney never had to deal with government employees protected by civil service laws and collective bargaining agreements. No one can do anything about that unless the laws are changed.

Michael K said...

"I think there are going to be lots of books written about the year 2016 someday"

I agree. This is an amazing year. The Cubs won the World Series. I married my ex-wife and Trump won the election.

Only Ghostbusters has the explanation of what is going on.

Birches said...

Are there really any NeverTrumpers upset by this pick?

Matt is a bad a. I think everyone on the right is pleased. I know I am.

Terry said...

Mattis reading list for sargeants and above includes Bernard Lewis's
What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East

This is a highly non-PC pick. Lewis is an Anglo-Jew, an academic orientalist (I think he still breathes). The theme of the book is indicated by its title. First there is a description of all the ways the Islamic world has failed to accommodate modernity, to the detriment of Islamic nations and their neighbors, then several tentative explanations of what it was about Islam (as opposed to the early modern Christian nations of Europe) that was the cause of this failure to adopt to modernism.
https://www.amazon.com/What-Went-Wrong-Between-Modernity/dp/0060516054/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1480651806&sr=8-4&keywords=bernard+lewis

When the book was published in 2002, it was controversial to say that Islam had failed in anything. If it was written today, I doubt the book could be published by a mainstream publisher.

narciso said...

lol, mike k,

if you liked that work, you should read Bernard Lewis's memoir, how he got into the field, from university and british army intelligence into academia,

Original Mike said...

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

Yes, but what is his view on global warming?

Oso Negro said...

For what it is worth, I am sitting in Kiev, Ukraine this morning with my son, a three-tour Marine, and his former sergeant, who enjoyed up close and personal participation in 2nd Fallujah. They are ecstatic.

Clyde said...

Cigarettes? Maybe. A couple of beers? That's about as useful with your average Muslim as a couple of ham sandwiches. Still, I like his approach. If it doesn't work, you can always employ other measures later.

Big Mike said...

After Rummy's "You fight a war with the army you have, not the one you wish you have," followed by Obama's revolving door for Secretary of Defense, it will be great to have a Secretary who actually cares about the troops.

Pennie Marchetti said...

You, know, this Trump guy. He seems to be very good at interviewing potential employees, doesn't he? And at choosing them. I hear he isn't afraid to fire people, either, if they don't work out. Did other presidents interview their cabinet picks themselves like this, or did they assign that to staff?

Rusty said...

AllenS said...
"I like Mattis. He once called Obama an unwiped ass. I know some Marines, and the apples didn't fall far from the tree."

I've known a few Marines and Gen Mattis was being polite.

bagoh20 said...

I think Trump and I are the only ones who understood what he meant by using cigarettes.

Johanna Lapp said...

MSNBC panel mocks the idea of a marine reading Marcus Aurelius. But the chyron on screen spells it "Marcus Surrealious." Team Trump is dum.

Also: Didn't Hannibal Lecter recommend Aurelius to Clarice Starling? Is Trump sending coded signals to the cannibal serial killer faction?

Johanna Lapp said...

Oops. Marine, with an uppercase M.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Nice work, Trump!

Anglelyne said...

Sally 327: I think there are going to be lots of books written about the year 2016 someday. Like 1968. I hope I'm around long enough to read some of them!

Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive...but to be a healthy specimen in late middle age, a hopeful pessimist full of curiosity and free of the illusions of youth, is very heaven.

mikee said...

Michael Fitzgerald, I read a piece once about South Vietnamese interrogators of captured Viet Cong infiltrators. They'd feed the captives, offer them a nice drink, then tell them that unless the communist told the interrogators immediately everything, a news story would be released. That story would detail how the infiltrator had come to Saigon, gotten drunk at a whorehouse, then been run over by a bus. The potential shaming of the entire family of the captive usually turned them immediately.

"There are more ways than one to skin a cat" has been a saying for a long time.

mockturtle said...

Anglelyne mused: Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive...but to be a healthy specimen in late middle age, a hopeful pessimist full of curiosity and free of the illusions of youth, is very heaven.

My sentiments, exactly!