June 19, 2017

"When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable – almost anguished."

"Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed – he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that."

50 comments:

Michael K said...

Poor kid. Bad choices are made by lots of kids his age and most, thank God, don't have to pay the price he did.

California Snow said...

I'm assuming the Norks did this to give a big middle finger to the US. Otherwise I'm not sure what value they got out of torturing a kid and sending him home in a coma.

Saint Croix said...

his "crime" was ripping a poster off a wall

Bay Area Guy said...

The Obama administration took an odd, somewhat devious approach with Otto. It decided to ignore Otto's plight, not exert any pressure on North Korea, not publicize it, and hope that NKorea would let him come home safely.

Didn't work out well.

Not blaming the Obama administration -- the first blame goes to those Commie bastard North Koreans.

But, silence in the face of evil, in my experience, does not work out too well.

Maybe, Obama, behind the scenes, acted very courage about Otto. But he hasn't publicized it, and, of course, the media didn't and won't ask him.

Oso Negro said...

Never visit North Korea with less than a full armored division

mockturtle said...

I had read somewhere that he got botulism poisoning. Anyone know anything about that possibility?

Saint Croix said...

no, sorry

it was a banner

15 years in prison

and when they got there, they beat him into a coma

and now he's dead.



gspencer said...

Expected headline in NYT, WP, Huffpo,

“Otto Warmbier lived when under Socialized medicine; dies within days under Capitalist medicine”

Saint Croix said...

sorry

poisoned him into a coma

California Snow said...

The Norks' story is the botulism and sleeping pill put him a coma. Medical professionals here in the U.S. say there was no evidence of botulism.

David said...

Horrible. Heartbreaking. I hope they are right that he experienced some relief at the end.

During this whole event, until slightly before the end., the American media had something else to do, it seems

Ann Althouse said...

"and when they got there, they beat him into a coma"

I thought the tests at the Cincinnati hospital showed no signs of head trauma.

Jack Wayne said...

Trump should try Kim Jong Un in absentia for murder. Get a verdict and then arrest the guy if possible. He's the same as any murdering terrorist.

California Snow said...

A report I read (I can't remember where now) said his brain experienced oxygen deprivation consistent with a heart attack.

David Begley said...

The Norks didn't want to ship a corpse back to Ohio so they did this.

I have great confidence in Secretary Tillerson on this matter.

Michael said...

Oh, well. The kid went to a commie country and broke an idiotic law for which he received an idiotic sentence and now he is dead and we are just fine with the fact that he was "at peace" when he got back to Ohio. Jesus fucking Christ.

madAsHell said...

Otto Warmbier?

It sounds like a character from a Vonnegut novel. RIP Mr. Warmbier.

David Baker said...

"I thought the tests at the Cincinnati hospital showed no signs of head trauma.

That is, except for the severe brain damage.

David Baker said...

"Bad choices are made by lots of kids his age..."

In this case it was not his choice alone. He was part of a tour group, "The Young Pioneers," who were largely responsible for leading young Otto down the garden path.

William said...

There's a worthwhile documentary, The Red Chapel, about two Danes--adopted from a Korean orphanage while infants--and their visit to North Korea. One of them has cerebral palsy. All of the North Koreans look at him in stunned wonder. In North Korea there are no disabled people. You can guess why .........The North Koreans try to use them for propaganda purposes. One of them resists but gets kind of scared. He has gone to North Korea on a lark but doesn't want to die in prison for indulging in post modern irony......The capital is more like a stage set than a place. The people are extras, chosen for their looks and ability to project enthusiasm for the leader. It's a scary place.

Sebastian said...

Multiply by a couple of million and you got the horror of NK. We all sleep well at night while those bastards do their evil deeds, at times aided and abetted by Americans (Jimmy C., I'm looking at you).

Bad Lieutenant said...

Michael, obviously nothing is fine. Let the parents have what peace they can get from whatever rationalizations they can find. Should they cry for vengeance, who would listen? Martha Raddatz? Pinch Sulzberger? Stephen Colbert?

I'm fine with going downtown on the DPRK. Seoul will burn but that doesn't affect me. Really though, what fire on earth could burn hot enough for this regime? No justice this side of eternity. All we here can do is comfort the afflicted and act to stop further harm by the Norks.

If you want a minor kind of street justice, find the people who sent Otto Warmbier to North Korea, capture them and their families, and cycle them one by one through either a hyperbaric chamber, or a giant paint mixer, while the others watch.

It won't help though. NoKo delenda est! Now go do it.

Inga said...

Sounds like diffuse anoxic brain damage. I took care of a young man who experienced a near drowning and was without oxygen for long enough to leave him cortically blind, deaf and in a vegetative state. Tracheotomy, feeding tube, urinary catheter, oxygen but no ventilation. Very very sad case, his family was devastated.

Big Mike said...

The kid made a number of bad choices, starting with going to North Korea in the first place. Do I understand correctly that he went with a group that was organized through the University of Virginia? Did the people who organized the tour not brief the young folks carefully? Did they not impress upon them the potential consequences of their actions? I firmly believe that somewhere along the line there was an adult who was so excited about taking the students to North Korea that the downside risks were not sufficiently emphasized.

Unknown said...

I'd like to ask ARM and the rest of the gang: What, precisely, if anything, is wrong with this story? After all, they all hold that there is no God but the state, and that the State is the source of morality.

In North Korea, the State decided to torture this guy. Did they do anything wrong? Might makes right and all. Nothing is truly evil except Americans and specifically Christians. And the North Koreans did nothing that Islamic types do every day; and we are told how barbaric we are for not wanting millions and millions of Muslims here in America, doing the same thing.

Just to be clear: what North Korea did is evil, it's wrong, it's horrible. But for those of you who say there is nothing outside the State, and certainly no God or Christ: Was North Korea wrong, and if so, why?

--Vance

Big Mike said...

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the tour operator, Young Pioneers Tours:

"Founded in 2008 by British expat Gareth Johnson, the company caters in particular for the adventurous traveler on a budget. Its motto is 'providing budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from', referring to the fact that at present all foreign tourists in North Korea must be accompanied by a guide.

More recently it has branched out to international travel, developing on the theme of 'tours to places your mother wants you to stay away from' to include other politically tense or off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Iran, Iraq, Eastern Europe and Russia (Eurasia), Armenia, Antarctica, Cuba, Burma, Tibet, and Xinjiang."

Michael K said...

"I thought the tests at the Cincinnati hospital showed no signs of head trauma."

Probably hypoxia, either asphyxiation or some drug reaction.

I could imagine botulism as a cause of asphyxiation, maybe some sort of experiment. I can't find anything on asphyxia in humans associated.

Michael K said...

"a near drowning and was without oxygen for long enough to leave him cortically blind, deaf and in a vegetative state. "

Yeah, that sounds right but botulism would be a very rare cause.

guest101 said...

"Do I understand correctly that he went with a group that was organized through the University of Virginia? Did the people who organized the tour not brief the young folks carefully?"

The tour operator had nothing to do with UVA.

Big Mike said...

The symptoms are consistent with mishandled waterboarding. His brain was denied oxygen too long -- which would be the case if the wet towel was left on his face for a longer period of time than it should have been.

Big Mike said...

@guest101, you've reversed my question. Did the UVa connect him and other students with the tour operator.

Fred Drinkwater said...

I have just designed a device which causes traumatic brain injury without anoxia and which causes no skull or external damage. Low tech, inexpensive.
I always knew my interest in mechanical engineering would come in handy.

Birches said...

Oh, well. The kid went to a commie country and broke an idiotic law for which he received an idiotic sentence

Does anyone actually believe he did the crime? I'm skeptical.

Birches said...

I just went to the Young Pioneers' website.

Mindboggling. Such a bad, bad idea.

D. said...

How much blood is on Baracky's hands? From the Arab "Spring" to BLM to Fast and Furious.....

Etienne said...

The kid's brain was dead. Nothing he did was from the brain. His family was just reacting emotionally. It's all right. All he had left though, was the brain stem.

All that can do is regulate the heart. There is no more thinking or dreaming, seeing, or hearing. He was technically dead, but his heart is still beating.

Once the doctors said he was bain dead, the best thing for him was to die. It's a terrible thing to have a feeding tube and no brain.

The Koreans murdered him.

We need to bomb the shit out of their government bureau of prisons building, and also bomb the USS Pueblo while we are at it.

This requires more than a letter of protest. If it starts a war, so be it.

Achilles said...

Hopefully this puts some first world problems in perspective.

Clyde said...

Very sad, but hopefully a teachable moment: North Korea is a dangerous place and NOT a tourist destination! "Don't be that guy!"

JAORE said...

"How much blood is on Baracky's hands? From the Arab "Spring" to BLM to Fast and Furious....."

Scandal free for the entire eight years per my Face Book feed.

Fernandinande said...

HuffPo blogger [racist black woman] is gleeful that a privileged white man was severely punished in North Korea

Jim S. said...

Everyone seems to be assuming that North Korea is being completely truthful in its reasons for imprisoning him even though we don't believe their reasons for why he was in a coma. I don't know why they arrested him. Aren't there alleged accounts of Americans being kidnapped by North Korea and forced to teach English or something?

George Leroy Tirebiter said...

How is this different than those dopes in the 80s who were warned "DO NOT GO" to Beruit or the West Bank, but did so anyway? Then of course were kidnapped and became media fodder for the enemy. The lucky ones were ransomed out, I guess one could argue. Sheesh.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

Harry J. Kazianis said...North Korea, through this senseless act of what can only be described as terrorism...

He is director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest.

Terrorism (wiktionary): The word first appears in English in 1795 in reference to the Jacobins of France, who ruled during the ‘Reign of Terror.’

1) The deliberate commission of an act of violence to create an emotional response through the suffering of the victims in the furtherance of a political or social agenda. (check)

2) The use of unlawful violence against people or property to achieve political objectives. (check)

3) A form of psychological manipulation through warfare to the purpose of political or religious gains, by means of deliberately creating a climate of fear among the inhabitants of a specific geographical region. (check)

We must expand the War On Terror™.

MayBee said...

This breaks my heart..

I hope we can find a way to make North Korea pay.

A few people on Twitter have retweeted things Salon and HuffPo said at the time he was kidnapped by North Korea. They basically made fun of him for being privileged That's right. The people who think they are living under tyranny with Trump sided with the real tyrant when a college student was detained for specious reasons. And then NoKo did whatever it was they did, without our President even speaking of it.

SteveGW said...

Hello Vance. You make an interesting point, though I think you exaggerate the socialist/collectivist position of anyone on this forum.

You seem to be arguing that without God there can be no morality. There are, however, a vast range of ethical theories people have proposed that attempt to justify moral behaviour without God. Aristotle had a virtue ethics that aimed at 'happiness;' Bentham and Mill tried to justify a Utilitarian ethics that prized the greatest happiness of the greatest number; and Kant argued for a system of moral rules that were binding upon any rational being just because it was rational. And those are only the highlights.

All of the proposed theories have problems, but so does your proposed solution. In fact, the idea that God could be the source of all morality has been questioned ever since Plato's time.

Do you think that what is good is just what God wants? Suppose that's the case. Suppose also that God asks you, for example, to sacrifice your child to show what an obedient follower of God you are. Would that be a good thing to do? It would have to be, because that's what God wants. You can't reply that God wouldn't do that because God would only want to do good things, because that is just begging the question: that is saying that what is good determines what God wants, and not vice versa.

In any case, just because God wants something isn't a good reason for me to want it. There are several significant steps between the two that it has proven difficult to supply.

Richard said...

SteveGW,
Missed part of the point. Among other things, without a separate authority--God, perhaps--ethics and morals are no more than firmly-held opinions.
The other part of the piece is that, if the State is all, then anything the State does is, by definition, good.
Someone may not like it, may be inconvenienced by it, but without a separate authority to whom to refer the question--God, perhaps--it's all about opinions unsupported by anything but opinions.
So, by inference, progressives have no standing to complain about this atrocity, not that they're likely to since it wasn't the US doing it, as they admit of no separate authority and believe the State is all.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LilyBart said...

Richard said...So, by inference, progressives have no standing to complain about this atrocity...

Why would they complain - They really don't care about this young man. Have you been listening / reading?

LilyBart said...


I wonder what progressives think was Otto's worst crime? Allegedly trying to steal a $5 banner, or being a white male?