Watch Them Scream

By
September 22, 2006

The CIA director, General Michael Hayden, praised the deal reached in Congress today that, in effect, would permit CIA interrogators to use harsh techniques critics call torture.

If the CIA likes it, I like it. And when I say watch them scream, I don’t mean the enemy combatants / terrorists, I couldn’t care less about them. It’s the Liberals screaming about the deal that’s fun to watch.

It’s amazing when you think about it, that a political ideology would seem so intent on bringing on its own demise by giving a dangerous and unprincipled enemy a free pass – but that’s Liberalism, folks. No doubt they’re feeling tortured tonight by the compromise. Now all the Dems have to do is try to block it and they will solidify their image as soft on terror. And the netroots will torture them if they don’t take a strong stand.

Poor Dems, they probably thought they’d be cruising toward control of both Houses right about now. Instead they are wringing their hands wondering how to get elected without letting people know what they really believe. At least for today, political life is sweet for conservatives. But will it last?

Time will tell.

StACLU has more. The ACLU is feeling tortured, as well. How bad can it be? ; )

Please consider supporting RiehlWorldView with a small donation
, by shopping at Amazon via our Associate link in the sidebar or by re-distributing our content across the Web with the options below. Thank you.


Comments:
  1. Detainee Interrogation Deal Short-Circuits GOP Division (UPDATED)

    NOTE: Due to the importance of this story we’ll keep this post at the top of this site for some of the day. There are NEWER posts below so keep scrolling.
    News that several high-profile Republican Senators who had stalled Pr…

  2. Detainee Interrogation Deal Short-Circuits GOP Division (UPDATED)

    NOTE: Due to the importance of this story we’ll keep this post at the top of this site for some of the day. There are NEWER posts below so keep scrolling.
    News that several high-profile Republican Senators who had stalled Pr…

  3. Wizbang says:

    Detainee Interrogiation Compromise Roundup

    Well, a compromise on the detainee interrogations is afoot, and bloggers are weighing in. AJ Strata: It seems that I was correct, all that talk about Bush capitulating to McCain and Graham and other lost Republican Senators was pure spin….

  4. Bill Biddle says:

    You think that Liberals “give a dangerous and unprincipled enemy a free pass”? That’s a lie. I’m a liberal, and I’m not giving you (i.e. a dangerous and unprincipled enemy) a free pass.
    In fact I’m calling you on your lie. When you can’t overcome a political philosophy on the merits, you lie about what it stands for.
    One of the problems with torturing terrorists is that who labels them? Does the President identify them? How do we know he’s right? He’s been wrong about everything that matters in Iraq. How did he suddenly get infallible?

  5. workingmom says:

    Before BushWorld arrived and started playing off of everyone’s fears the last thing anyone would have labeled me was a “liberal.”
    If wanting to ensure that my children grow up in an America that supports the same type of moral values that I was raised to value then call me whatever you want.
    Hiding torture behind a supposed war on terror is abhorrent to anyone who has any moral values at all.

  6. jan van flac says:

    the smug satisfaction evident in Right Blogostan proves that all you guys really care about is politics and perception.
    I hope you are proud that our once great country is about to join the ranks of nations who torture. Truly disgusting. Why don’t you just cancel the elections anyway? You have no interest in Democracy or the rule of law.
    But you shouldn’t gloat – I doubt this will affect the midterms one way or another.

  7. tommo says:

    Why do you hate our nation so much? How can you support a cabal that should be in prison or perhaps executed for the damage they have done to our beloved country?

  8. Oh God, wishy-washy bleeding hearts are worse than full-throated moonbats. No-one — NO-ONE — is advocating torture in the treatment of terrorist suspects. What they are saying is that the limits of coercive treatment need to be defined, and that is what Bush is requesting of Congress. Remember, we are talking about techniques such as grabbing someone’s shirt and yelling at him. If that constitutes torture, then half the cast of Cold Case belong in Leavenworth. Using harsh language and insults does not fall anywhere near the same area as beating someone’s feet with electrical flex or boring holes in his kneecaps with a hammer drill.
    Before you can agonise about the kind of America you want your children to grow up in (Jeez, always with The Children) you need to ensure there’s an America left for them. Of course the weasel phrase is ‘supposed’ war on terror. What will it take for you people? A nuke in Manhattan? Of course, whiny liberals like you don’t need to believe we’re at war. All it needs is for our enemies to believe it.
    I’m halfway convinced that Bush and the GOP at large deserve punishment in November for failing to prosecute the War with sufficient vigour (why are Ahmadinejad and Baby Doc Assad still in full possession of all their limbs? Why is that fat Iranian stooge Moqtada al-Sadr not a fading proteinaceous stain on the wall of a bunker?) But the thought of how further you pussies will descend into Bush Derangement Syndrome if they keep the House (the Senate’s a lock, as far as I’m concerned) gives a warm, fuzzy feeling. Come Nov 8th, if the GOP hasn’t been spanked, I expect the chorus of shrieking to reach ultrasonic frequencies. There will be much throwing of toys and hot, salty tears.

  9. Robert says:

    How will the world react?
    Will they sit on their hands and act like appeasers like they did with Hitler in the 30’s, or will they act to help rid the world of the Bush Administration?
    The ball is in their court. Let’s see what we are dealing with.
    BTW, America R.I.P.

  10. Terry Gain says:

    Biddle,
    Do you undestand irony?

  11. workingmom says:

    Of course it about the children. Will it be America if we’re incorporating the same tactics that supposedly led to our deposing of Saddam? I don’t think so.
    I am not worried about some terrorist group somewhere destroying America. That is an over-hyped scenario that was designed to create a fearful constiuency. The mushroom-cloud image obviously found a nice, comfortable home in your head. Doesn’t it bother you that you’ve been turned into a Rove-puppet?
    We’ve already enabled a government that is doing the terrorists’ job for them.

  12. Tim W says:

    The whole problem with this whole debate is that Liberals have defined the word “torture” down so much that its pretty much meaningless. To them, a barking dog is the same as having a dog bite someones nuts off. Standing up for extended periods of time is the moral equivlent of cutting someones ears off. I will admit that waterboarding is harsh and can reasonably be considered torture, but if that is the case, maybe we should stop doing it to our special forces in boot camp. In fact, all of these aggressive interogation meathods are no worse than what the average soldier goes through in training. If we have to use harsh methods on a few islamic facists, so be it. These methods have only been used on a handful of high value people and they have produced alot of info that has led to the capture of other terrorists.
    As to Jan Van Flac, what the hell does this have to do with Democracy and elections? You can go on with your parinoid delusions that Bush is going to cancel the elections and declare himself dictator for life but the reality will be much different. As for politics and perception, that is ALL that the liberals care about, we on the right are trying to protect the contry from further attacks. NEWSFLASH…we were attacked, see lower Manhatten for futher confirmation.
    This whole debate has been so enraging because liberals have so politicized it by screaming torture in order to shut down any discussion. For liberals, its not about protecting the country, its all about hurting Bush polically, Americas image be dammed.

  13. G-Ray says:

    I can’t believe the America has come down to this. The backbone of your society is being washed away, and you are gleefully cheering them on. The terrorist are evil make no mistake about that. But even evil people should be able to defend themselves in a court of law. Otherwise the governmet can say ANYONE they want is a terrorist, including innocent Americans. Isn’t that part of the American justice system? You can say all you want about a mushroom cloud over NY, but the America I remember isn’t about a place it is an idea. An idea that is your constitution, if continue to let your gov’t rewrite your constitution, you will have accomplished what only the terrorist have dreamed of. The end of the idea.

  14. Billy Hank says:

    Robert,
    Mother Sheehan, Hugo Chavez, and Ahmagonnajihad thank you for your support.The rest of us will laugh at your knotty knickers.

  15. ‘Workingmom’ — at the risk of flogging a dead horse: Saddam exterminated entire towns with nerve gas, depopulated Kurdistan and subjected those in his jails to the most unspeakable agonies. If you are in any way suggesting that the US has engaged in such activities, then there is little to be gained in further debate. The ‘job’ of the terrorists is to overthrow the West and install an Islamic caliphate. Their words, not mine. We can disagree on the likelihood of their ever being able to attain their goal, but to flat-out deny that they desire this outcome is to have been living in a coccoon for the past five years. It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from this level of self-delusion to the full-bore Loose Change scenario where Mossad and Halliburton blew up the WTC. That a non-trivial segment of the Democratic base is at or near this standpoint is one of the reasons why I believe the GOP will keep Congress.
    As for my being a ‘Rove puppet': it’s usually the refuge of someone unable to argue a case on its merits to resort to ad hominem attacks. Quite why an Englishman living in Costa Rica (i.e. me) should be a ‘Rove puppet’ escapes me for the moment. Do you actually believe people who disagree with you are brainwashed or on the take, or are you willing to concede that two people can see the same set of facts and come, in good faith, to different conclusions?

  16. Tim W. says:

    G-Ray,
    Our constitution is not being rewriiten..that is a fantasy. In regards to trials, we are trying to work that out right now as to what is the best way to try them. We can not have regular civilian trials because that would expose to much classifed info and would take too long. Nor can we just hold them in legal limbo either. The question being debated in congress is whats the best way without exposing to much info while protecting the defendants rights.
    Personally since they dont were recognizable uniforms, use civilans as human shields, murder civilians with impunity, use schools, mosques, hospitals as firebases, torture (real torture!)and kill their prisoners on the most brutal ways, I think they should be tried for crimes against humanity and taken out and shot.
    Workingmom, The idea that were using the same tactics as Saddam is so stunningly misinformed that it is truely amazing. Saddam put people in meat grinders, industrial shredders, cut off ears, noses, hands, had dogs rip people to pieces, threw them off buildings. You might want to look up the Anfal capmaign where he used chemical weapons on the Kurds and ethnicly cleansed about 3,000 villiges. The Mushroom cloud is a real scenario in an age of nuclear proliferation. Will it destroy our country..NO but it sure will change it and not for the better. You can live with your head in the sand but our leaders do not have that option.

  17. ME says:

    David, I don’t know what world you’re talking about… lots of people on the right are advocating torture… the right has exposed their hatefull and punitive ugliness big-time on this issue.
    A “free pass”? So if our covert special forces get caught in Iran (that would make them non-uniform enemy combatants), Iran should be able to torture them? Why not?
    So, everyone who is accused of being an enemy combatant is a “terrorist”?
    I’m a lefty, and I don’t have a problem torturing terrorists, other than the rank futility of it. The problem is, there are many people it gitmo right now who aren’t terrorists. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or lying/talking our their a**. Actually trying these people (y’know, accusing them of a crime, presenting evidence, then deciding on guilt, then sentencing) might give us an idea of who to torture (though the fact that TORTURE DOESN’T WORK still won’t matter to you).
    It’t just sad to hear conservatives say “They cut off people’s heads, so we can torture, cause it’s not as bad.” I mean, WTF kind of argument is that? Bobby killed John, so I can waterboard Dick because he might know Bobby.
    Do you just like the idea of making a terrorist suffer? Great! Just find out if he’s actually a terrorist first.

  18. G-Ray says:

    The American idea or security?

  19. spike says:

    “You need to make sure there is an America left for them.” Really??
    That is the most histrionic piece of crap, you should be embarrassed to write it.
    You think Osama and his boys can cause America to cease to exist? Really? Who is the one with faith in America, the liberals who think we can beat the terrorists without resorting to torture, or you, who think torture is necessary to protect the Republic from a bunch of losers living in caves in Afghanistan?
    Germany in WWII had an economy, had a standing army, had several conquered countries to their credit, and they didn’t take us down. And we didn’t resort to government-sanctioned torture to stop them, either. But now, you think we have to violate the Geneva Conventions to stop a ragtag group of bums who have done nothing to America since 2001, other than screw them by helping to swing the 2004 electrion to Bush by releasing an 11th hour video proclaiming “favor” to Kerry? Oh… and give Bush a convenient way to get into Iraq, the single worst foreign policy decision in our nation’s history.
    Let alone the fact that the only way bin Laden wins is by recruiting more people to become terrorists. Well what better way than with this headline blared across the world: “The U.S. to continue torturing suspected terrorists.” The idiocy of all of this. It is so counter-productive and just dumb. You don’t get it. You don’t understand the enemy.
    Either you are a coward or a sadist, there is no other alternative.

  20. jan van flac says:

    what the hell does this have with Democracy and Elections?
    Everything…why do you think this is happening now? Commentators right and left see Rove’s fingerprints all over this. Which makes it a purely political, cynical attempt to paint the Dems as “weak”.
    Yeah, just like Vietnam vet and former Reagan secretary of the Navy Jim Webb…No, all hat no cattle George Allen is MUCH tougher than him…right.
    Republicans are brilliant at framing, brilliant at smearing, brilliant at innuendo. And completely, utterly useless at governing.

  21. jay k. says:

    y’all must be downright petrefied of the boogeymen from the middleeast. you have gladly run this country into massive debt which your kids kids will still be paying off. you have willingly done harm to the constitution. and you can’t wait to compromise the very idea of freedom. thankfully there weren’t patriots like you at lexington and concord. hopefully we will survive this dark time in our history.

  22. jan van flac says:

    9/15/01
    Q Sir, are you satisfied that Osama bin Laden is at least a kingpin of this operation?
    THE PRESIDENT: There is no question he is what we would call a prime suspect. And if he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.
    What a loser our President is.

  23. KC says:

    “‘Workingmom’ — at the risk of flogging a dead horse: Saddam exterminated entire towns with nerve gas, depopulated Kurdistan and subjected those in his jails to the most unspeakable agonies.”
    Saddam and nerve gas: Reagan made it happen
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A52241-2002Dec29?language=printer
    You pathetic crybaby right wingers with all your tough talk are just that: talk. Your feckless realpolitik foreign policy decisions haunt us for years and years and years.
    Neocons have NEVER been right about anything from the imaginary communist “domino effect” in southeast Asia to the non existent Soviet mega arms buildup in the 70s and 80s, to the existence of WMDs in Iraq to the notion that radical Islam is a direct threat to our nation (and that our own foreign policy isn’t helping their recruitment effort a million fold).
    Back on the topic though, “defining” the range of acceptable techniques is an absurd proposition on its face. When they say “you can’t drill someone’s kneecaps”, we can then drill into the backs of their knees and claim it wasn’t strictly prohibited.
    Harsh techniques, i.e. torture defined by this administration often yields false confessions and bad information.
    But you kool aid drinkers have already decided, just like the decider. Through the looking glass, indeed.

  24. leagleagal says:

    The notion that Republicans want to torture terrorist suspects in order to gain some vital information is absolute bullshit. The reason Republicans want to torture people is simply because they’re . . . Republicans! The most consequential part of this legislation is that, in polite society and among civilized human beings, this will dramatically reinforce the assumption that Republicans are morally deformed, bloodthirsty savages whose very existence is utterly incompatible with human decency or with a democratic system of governance. That’s why it remains the case that at universities all over the United States, acknowledging that one supports George Bush or the Republcian Party is pretty much equivelent to announcding that one was a charter memeber of the North American Man-Boy Love Association.

  25. happy talk says:

    “It’s amazing when you think about it, that a political ideology would seem so intent on bringing on its own demise by giving a dangerous and unprincipled enemy a free pass”
    You mean “Conservativism” – which now stands for nothing more than “whatever Bush says is good and whatever pisses off liberals is even better”. Whistling past the grave.

  26. happy talk says:

    I thought most Republicans WERE also members of NAMBLA.
    That goes without saying.

  27. americafirst says:

    Dems = soft on terror
    Repubs = opportunistic with terror
    Leiberman = softly opportunistic about terror

  28. torturedmind says:

    My favorite in the whole matter are the Chrstians for torture, our president chief among them. It’s very pornogrpahic in a way, all those born again folks salivating at the thought of drowning someone but not quite, just so they think they’re gonna die and then cough up some juicy terror info. Jesus would be mighty proud. Ooops, he was tortured. Hey, just kidding!! Crown of thorns? No big deal, did it at the frat house. Little bit ‘o flogging? Works for al Queda. Feels good to be saved, hoo-boy.

  29. workingmom says:

    So sheer numerical statistics somehow make torture more unacceptable? They tortured more so it’s OK just so we don’t affect a similar number of individuals with similar tactics?
    Saddam’s use of nerve gas on whole towns somehow justifies our sending an innocent foreign national to Syria to be beaten with electric cables?
    We’re supposed to be better than the terrorists.
    Unbelievable.

  30. workingmom says:

    CORRECTION:
    So sheer numerical statistics somehow make torture more *acceptable*?

  31. OK, one more and then I’m done arguing with you reading-comprehension challenged losers.
    “Who is the one with faith in America, the liberals who think we can beat the terrorists without resorting to torture, or you, who think torture is necessary…”
    Find a single instance in which I have advocated torture of suspected terrorists in anything I have written above. To compare the interrogation techniques used by the US to the genuine, and horrific torture carried out by our enemies is to defame a large number of brave and dedicated men and women. You are so convinced that people who disagree with you are not merely misguided or ignorant but just plain evil that your perceptions have been warped. Why is it so utterly beyond your ken that I might have invested a great deal of self-examination in order to arrive at my worldview? I’ve noticed this infantile inability to cast oneself in one’s political opponent’s shoes on both the extreme right and the extreme left, but I have to say that ‘extreme’ seems to constitute a much larger segment of the left than the right.
    And for what it’s worth, I’m a) not American b) not a Republican c) not a neo-con d) neither right wing nor left wing (in the classical sense). I’m a libertarian minarchocapitalist. I’ll only be glad to see the Republicans hold Congress for the anguish it will cause the likes of people who think everyone who differs from them wants to eat babies. If it weren’t for that, I’d be glad to see the whole gang of Big Government, pork-barreling, soft-on-terror, bluenosed idiots thrown out on their ears.

  32. workingmom says:

    QUOTE: “‘Workingmom’ — at the risk of flogging a dead horse: Saddam exterminated entire towns with nerve gas, depopulated Kurdistan and subjected those in his jails to the most unspeakable agonies.”
    At the risk of flogging an equally dead horse:
    The Kurds were the equivalent of terrorists to Saddam. They threatened his security. They voiced disagreement with his policies.
    I’m sure he felt just as justified in the actions he took as Bush does now.
    How you can vilify one for using the same techniques as the other simply defies comprehension.
    Again: We’ve become the enemy and I’m fairly sure it doesn’ matter where you live or what nationality you are — buy into Rove’s rhetoric and spout it back out = Rove-puppet.

  33. workingmom says:

    QUOTE: “‘Workingmom’ — at the risk of flogging a dead horse: Saddam exterminated entire towns with nerve gas, depopulated Kurdistan and subjected those in his jails to the most unspeakable agonies.”
    At the risk of flogging an equally dead horse:
    The Kurds were the equivalent of terrorists to Saddam. They threatened his security. They voiced disagreement with his policies.
    I’m sure he felt just as justified in the actions he took as Bush does now.
    How you can vilify one for using the same techniques as the other simply defies comprehension.
    Again: We’ve become the enemy and I’m fairly sure it doesn’ matter where you live or what nationality you are — buy into Rove’s rhetoric and spout it back out = Rove-puppet.

  34. KC says:

    “a) not American – then you have no stake in the discussion
    b) not a Republican – yet you support the failed foreign policies of the American repubelican administration
    c) not a neo-con – see above. Were you for the Iraq invasion? If yes, they you’re a neocon.
    d) neither right wing nor left wing (in the classical sense) – OK
    Finally, WTF is “minarchocapitalism”? Only term I’ve ever entered into Google that returned ZERO results.

  35. jan van flac says:

    “I’m a libertarian minarchocapitalist.”
    WTF is that?
    PS Torture has not been shown to be a reliable form of intelligence gathering. Torture is immoral. The Bush administration wants to legalize torture. End of story.

  36. Tim W says:

    Workingmom:
    The whole point that you obviously miss is that Bush and Saddam are not using the same techniques. They are not in the same ballpark, not in the same town, not in the same flipping universe! The fact that you equate waterboarding to extract info to cutting someones hand, ear, nose as punishment shows that you are morally bankrupt and have serious issues. Since in your universe waterboarding is the moral equivelent of mutilating a person with a blowtorch and pliars, shouldn’t we stop doing it to our special forces as part of their training?
    You should read the New Yorker article about the Anfal campaign. After your done throwing up, come back and tell be how Bush and Saddam are using the same techniques.

  37. KC says:

    David,
    You can’t be a “minarcho capitalist” and expect the government to prosecute wars in the ME.
    “I’m halfway convinced that Bush and the GOP at large deserve punishment in November for failing to prosecute the War with sufficient vigour (why are Ahmadinejad and Baby Doc Assad still in full possession of all their limbs? Why is that fat Iranian stooge Moqtada al-Sadr not a fading proteinaceous stain on the wall of a bunker?) But the thought of how further you pussies will descend into Bush Derangement Syndrome if they keep the House (the Senate’s a lock, as far as I’m concerned) gives a warm, fuzzy feeling. Come Nov 8th, if the GOP hasn’t been spanked, I expect the chorus of shrieking to reach ultrasonic frequencies. There will be much throwing of toys and hot, salty tears.”
    You’re a fraud, neocon repugnican. IF you aren’t American, then STFU and stay out of the discussion.

  38. mylena says:

    he probably means monarcho capitalism ? Bush for emperor?

  39. KC says:

    The disingenuity around here could make a person sick.
    Tim said – “The fact that you equate waterboarding to extract info to cutting someones hand, ear, nose as punishment shows that you are morally bankrupt and have serious issues.”
    I’d actually prefer to have my hand, nose, or ear “cut” to being waterboarded. Why don’t YOU read up on what that entails, as you pretend to be ignorant.
    “You should read the New Yorker article about the Anfal campaign. After your done throwing up, come back and tell be how Bush and Saddam are using the same techniques.”
    Again, it is YOU who misses the point, DUMBASS. We’re not comparing techniques of torture, er, excuse me – harsh interrogation – here. This idiotic statement begs some questions:
    1. Does the fact that Saddam tortured people justify an invasion and failed occupation? And what is your knowledge of the American role in assisting Saddam with intel that led to the capture and torture of enemies? After we abandoned his domestic enemies and let him take revenge on them must be when you’re referring to? Who’s next? North Korea?
    2. What the fuck does Saddam have to do with this discussion?

  40. Tim W says:

    I’m a libertarian minarchocapitalist.”
    WTF is that?
    I was wondering the same thing myself.
    “PS Torture has not been shown to be a reliable form of intelligence gathering. Torture is immoral. The Bush administration wants to legalize torture. End of story.”
    Jan,
    Your first two points are right. Your problem lies in point three in that you are absolutely incorrect. In regards to point one, since waterboarding has been shown to be very effective, it must not be torture right?

  41. workingmom says:

    Tim W:
    How do you know what techniques they are using? Did you even see the photos from Abu Ghiraib? Are you reading the news analyses or just skimming to find parts to try to use in defense of the indefensible?
    And not a single one of your torture-advocates has any type of answer for the fact that this “compromise” also does absolutely nothing to ensure that the innocent are not subjected to torture at ANY level.
    I sincerely hope you remember this conversation someday when it is your butt picked up off the street and you’re being waterboarded because someone has mistakenly connected you to some type of subsersive activity. Just try to remember that you aren’t being tortured. You are being humanely encouraged to disclose information you don’t have.
    This is a road we should take even one step down because each step will get easier and easier to justify and it is not American.

  42. A Machine Dream of Virtual Equality

    AMAZINGLY ENOUGH, a room of bloggers is invited to sit with Clinton, they take a happy photo of which no smiling mugs are of a non-White race, and “bloggers of color” around the blogo-cosmos comment and are clearly appalled….

  43. Noodle says:

    I’m so glad we can torture people now. It really makes me feel safer. When The President said they would come into my bedroom and kill my wife and children I know he’s right. When he says that they will attack us in our own streets he must know because the is The President. My son was thinking of joining the army last week but I assured him that he did not have to. I had read where The President is calling up more National Guard and reserve troops to go to Iraq. It’s so nice to know that he cares enough to make them go so my nice boy can stay home and go to junior college. I have heard that we’re going to bomb Iran with nuclear bombs. Is that true? How exciting. We’ll teach those folks not to try and invade us. Oh, well, I have to go now. It’s just SO comforting to know that we have a President that will do absolutely anything and everything no matter what the rest of the world says to keep terrorists from killing us in our beds.
    Praise God and God Bless George W. Bush. I know Jesus is smiling down in appreciation of his Godly work on the behalf of The One True Christian Nation The United States of America.

  44. R.Mutt says:

    This article is particularly for you, David Gillies.
    Torture’s Long Shadow
    By Vladimir Bukovsky
    Sunday, December 18, 2005; Page B01
    CAMBRIDGE, England
    One nasty morning Comrade Stalin discovered that his favorite pipe was missing. Naturally, he called in his henchman, Lavrenti Beria, and instructed him to find the pipe. A few hours later, Stalin found it in his desk and called off the search. “But, Comrade Stalin,” stammered Beria, “five suspects have already confessed to stealing it.”
    This joke, whispered among those who trusted each other when I was a kid in Moscow in the 1950s, is perhaps the best contribution I can make to the current argument in Washington about legislation banning torture and inhumane treatment of suspected terrorists captured abroad. Now that President Bush has made a public show of endorsing Sen. John McCain’s amendment, it would seem that the debate is ending. But that the debate occurred at all, and that prominent figures are willing to entertain the idea, is perplexing and alarming to me. I have seen what happens to a society that becomes enamored of such methods in its quest for greater security; it takes more than words and political compromise to beat back the impulse.
    This is a new debate for Americans, but there is no need for you to reinvent the wheel. Most nations can provide you with volumes on the subject. Indeed, with the exception of the Black Death, torture is the oldest scourge on our planet (hence there are so many conventions against it). Every Russian czar after Peter the Great solemnly abolished torture upon being enthroned, and every time his successor had to abolish it all over again. These czars were hardly bleeding-heart liberals, but long experience in the use of these “interrogation” practices in Russia had taught them that once condoned, torture will destroy their security apparatus. They understood that torture is the professional disease of any investigative machinery.
    Apart from sheer frustration and other adrenaline-related emotions, investigators and detectives in hot pursuit have enormous temptation to use force to break the will of their prey because they believe that, metaphorically speaking, they have a “ticking bomb” case on their hands. But, much as a good hunter trains his hounds to bring the game to him rather than eating it, a good ruler has to restrain his henchmen from devouring the prey lest he be left empty-handed. Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one’s sources. When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists. Thus, in its heyday, Joseph Stalin’s notorious NKVD (the Soviet secret police) became nothing more than an army of butchers terrorizing the whole country but incapable of solving the simplest of crimes. And once the NKVD went into high gear, not even Stalin could stop it at will. He finally succeeded only by turning the fury of the NKVD against itself; he ordered his chief NKVD henchman, Nikolai Yezhov (Beria’s predecessor), to be arrested together with his closest aides.
    So, why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why run the risk of unleashing a fury that even Stalin had problems controlling? Why would anyone try to “improve intelligence-gathering capability” by destroying what was left of it? Frustration? Ineptitude? Ignorance? Or, has their friendship with a certain former KGB lieutenant colonel, V. Putin, rubbed off on the American leaders? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some “cruel, inhumane or degrading” (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.
    Even talking about the possibility of using CID treatment sends wrong signals and encourages base instincts in those who should be consistently delivered from temptation by their superiors. As someone who has been on the receiving end of the “treatment” under discussion, let me tell you that trying to make a distinction between torture and CID techniques is ridiculous. Long gone are the days when a torturer needed the nasty-looking tools displayed in the Tower of London. A simple prison bed is deadly if you remove the mattress and force a prisoner to sleep on the iron frame night after night after night. Or how about the “Chekist’s handshake” so widely practiced under Stalin — a firm squeeze of the victim’s palm with a simple pencil inserted between his fingers? Very convenient, very simple. And how would you define leaving 2,000 inmates of a labor camp without dental service for months on end? Is it CID not to treat an excruciatingly painful toothache, or is it torture?
    Now it appears that sleep deprivation is “only” CID and used on Guantanamo Bay captives. Well, congratulations, comrades! It was exactly this method that the NKVD used to produce those spectacular confessions in Stalin’s “show trials” of the 1930s. The henchmen called it “conveyer,” when a prisoner was interrogated nonstop for a week or 10 days without a wink of sleep. At the end, the victim would sign any confession without even understanding what he had signed.
    I know from my own experience that interrogation is an intensely personal confrontation, a duel of wills. It is not about revealing some secrets or making confessions, it is about self-respect and human dignity. If I break, I will not be able to look into a mirror. But if I don’t, my interrogator will suffer equally. Just try to control your emotions in the heat of that battle. This is precisely why torture occurs even when it is explicitly forbidden. Now, who is going to guarantee that even the most exact definition of CID is observed under such circumstances?
    But if we cannot guarantee this, then how can you force your officers and your young people in the CIA to commit acts that will scar them forever? For scarred they will be, take my word for it.
    In 1971, while in Lefortovo prison in Moscow (the central KGB interrogation jail), I went on a hunger strike demanding a defense lawyer of my choice (the KGB wanted its trusted lawyer to be assigned instead). The moment was most inconvenient for my captors because my case was due in court, and they had no time to spare. So, to break me down, they started force-feeding me in a very unusual manner — through my nostrils. About a dozen guards led me from my cell to the medical unit. There they straitjacketed me, tied me to a bed, and sat on my legs so that I would not jerk. The others held my shoulders and my head while a doctor was pushing the feeding tube into my nostril.
    The feeding pipe was thick, thicker than my nostril, and would not go in. Blood came gushing out of my nose and tears down my cheeks, but they kept pushing until the cartilages cracked. I guess I would have screamed if I could, but I could not with the pipe in my throat. I could breathe neither in nor out at first; I wheezed like a drowning man — my lungs felt ready to burst. The doctor also seemed ready to burst into tears, but she kept shoving the pipe farther and farther down. Only when it reached my stomach could I resume breathing, carefully. Then she poured some slop through a funnel into the pipe that would choke me if it came back up. They held me down for another half-hour so that the liquid was absorbed by my stomach and could not be vomited back, and then began to pull the pipe out bit by bit. . . . Grrrr. There had just been time for everything to start healing during the night when they came back in the morning and did it all over again, for 10 days, when the guards could stand it no longer. As it happened, it was a Sunday and no bosses were around. They surrounded the doctor: “Hey, listen, let him drink it straight from the bowl, let him sip it. It’ll be quicker for you, too, you silly old fool.” The doctor was in tears: “Do you think I want to go to jail because of you lot? No, I can’t do that. . . . ” And so they stood over my body, cursing each other, with bloody bubbles coming out of my nose. On the 12th day, the authorities surrendered; they had run out of time. I had gotten my lawyer, but neither the doctor nor those guards could ever look me in the eye again.
    Today, when the White House lawyers seem preoccupied with contriving a way to stem the flow of possible lawsuits from former detainees, I strongly recommend that they think about another flood of suits, from the men and women in your armed services or the CIA agents who have been or will be engaged in CID practices. Our rich experience in Russia has shown that many will become alcoholics or drug addicts, violent criminals or, at the very least, despotic and abusive fathers and mothers.
    If America’s leaders want to hunt terrorists while transforming dictatorships into democracies, they must recognize that torture, which includes CID, has historically been an instrument of oppression — not an instrument of investigation or of intelligence gathering. No country needs to invent how to “legalize” torture; the problem is rather how to stop it from happening. If it isn’t stopped, torture will destroy your nation’s important strategy to develop democracy in the Middle East. And if you cynically outsource torture to contractors and foreign agents, how can you possibly be surprised if an 18-year-old in the Middle East casts a jaundiced eye toward your reform efforts there?
    Finally, think what effect your attitude has on the rest of the world, particularly in the countries where torture is still common, such as Russia, and where its citizens are still trying to combat it. Mr. Putin will be the first to say: “You see, even your vaunted American democracy cannot defend itself without resorting to torture. . . . ”
    Off we go, back to the caves.
    Vladimir Bukovsky, who spent nearly 12 years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals for nonviolent human rights activities, is the author of several books, including “To Build a Castle” and “Judgment in Moscow.” Now 63, he has lived primarily in Cambridge, England, since 1976.

  45. AntiFederalist says:

    Honestly, I feel sorry for Bush and anyone else who is advocating torture. I know the official Republican spin is that it’s not torture. But that’s the spin game. Everyone knows that is exactly what the issue is.
    I feel sorry for Bush when he has to meet his maker. What will he say to God, who’s son (Jesus) was tortured to death?

  46. Jeremy Bergfeld says:

    The problem with the current bill isn’t what it does to terrorists. This is what the straw man of being soft on terror has done to this debate. It affects all of us. The right of habeus corpus is only a right insofar as it is indelibly applied. Otherwise it’s not a right, it’s a privilege. And this is the part I really don’t understand. If conservatives were so resolute and so brave in the face of adversity, why, oh why are they the first to propose that we need less rights and freedoms instead of bravely facing the cost of those very freedoms?
    Another thing: If I read one more thing about terrorists killing us in our beds, I’ll scream. That’s simply unrealistic. You have more chance of hitting the lottery or dying in a car accident than being killed by a terrorist. It’s not a rational or realistic fear to go changing your life or your liberties around.
    Let’s be honest here. Those of us who demand to see change and protection from terrorists are acknowledging their fear, they’re buying into the terrorist’s proposition that they can take all of this away from us. It’s simply untrue.
    Of course, by referring to ‘the terrorists’ I’ve already bought into the most corrupt, pervasive and awful lie of all debates on this subject so far. There are no ‘the terrorists’. There are some disaffected people, all over the world who can get their hands on the occasional weapon. The international conspiracy that must exist in your mind, is just a figment of your imagination. I can’t believe a thinking person would buy the argument that there is a war on terror that can be fought with guns. It sounds like and is the nut-job imaginings of a precious few, broadcast so you won’t notice the very dismantling of this great country by corporate interests.
    You’re the conservatives, the bastions of values and morality. So conserve something here. Conserve our rights, the values of liberty that made this country great. Torture has always been something evil people did, not this great land. Jesus, while he may have thrown the moneychangers out of the temple, certainly didn’t tie them to a board and half-drown them. Conservatives want to think they own apple pie and mom. Well, can you imagine your mother torturing some person believed to be a terrorist and then baking a pie? Well, maybe you can. But I can’t.

  47. AntiFederalist says:

    I never thought I would live in a country who’s moral standards would be determined by terrorists overseas.
    A sad day for America.

  48. Nell Reece says:

    So, you think torturing alleged terrorists is cool. How unAmerican of you.
    You probably think the war in Iraq is making us safer. How foolish of you.
    You put party above country. How traitorous of you.

  49. Tim W says:

    KC
    I meant to say cut off instead of cut. As far as waterboarding goes, I know what it entails and I know that they do it to our special forces as part of training and that it is very effective.
    1. “Does the fact that Saddam tortured people justify an invasion and failed occupation? And what is your knowledge of the American role in assisting Saddam with intel that led to the capture and torture of enemies? After we abandoned his domestic enemies and let him take revenge on them must be when you’re referring to? Who’s next? North Korea?”
    This makes no sense in regards to the discussion and is not worth a response. If you dont understand why we invaded Iraq, I cant help you at this point.
    2. “What the fuck does Saddam have to do with this discussion?”
    Workingmom brought him up saying that we were doing the same things that he was, which is of course delusional.
    I was responding to an outragous comment that we were doing the same thing as Saddam. To put them in the same moral universe shows a profound lack of seriousness on this issue. Its impossible to have a reasonable argument with people who shriek torture in order to shut down debate.

  50. KC says:

    Believe me, Tim I know why we invaded Iraq. I doubt that you do, though.
    The following is sourced from Jeff Huber’s blog at: http://zenhuber.blogspot.com/2006/05/pnac-paper-trail.html
    June 3, 1997: PNAC issues its Statement of Principles. “American foreign and defense policy is adrift,” it states at the beginning, and goes on to criticize the Clinton administration. This document contains no specific mention of Iraq, but does admonish that, “America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East,” and that “we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future[.]”
    Among the signatories are Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, as well as PNAC co-founders Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan.
    January 19, 1998: John Bolton publishes “Congress Versus Iraq” in Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard. He slams President Clinton for being soft on Iraq, and exhorts Congress to force Clinton into taking more aggressive action against Saddam Hussein.
    January 26, 1998: PNAC sends a letter to President Clinton urging military action to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power. A key passage states that if America continues its containment policy, “…the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard.”
    Keep that in mind the next time young Mister Bush says invading Iraq wasn’t about Israel or oil. (Please note that I have no problem with America keeping Israel under its protective umbrella. But we didn’t need to invade Iraq to do it.)
    And, oh, one of the signatures on that letter belongs to a guy named John Bolton.
    A copy of the letter appears in the Washington Post on January 27.
    January 30, 1998: PNAC founders Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan publish “Bombing is not Enough” in the New York Times. “Saddam Hussein must go,” it says. “If Mr. Clinton is serious about protecting us and our allies from Iraqi biological and chemical weapons, he will order ground forces to the gulf. Four heavy divisions and two airborne divisions are available for deployment. The President should act, and Congress should support him in the only policy that can succeed.”
    There’s no question: PNAC was specifically calling for an armed invasion of Iraq by ground forces. How many teams of lawyers do they need to talk their way around that?
    February 2, 1998: Robert Kagan publishes “Saddam’s Impending Victory” in Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard. Kagan again calls for removal of Hussein by force and compares him to Hitler.
    February 26, 1998: Kristol and Kagan publish “A ‘Great Victory’ for Iraq” in the Washington Post. “Unless we are willing to live in a world where everyone has to ‘do business’ with Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction, we need to be willing to use U.S. air power and ground troops to get rid of him.”
    March 9, 1998: Bolton publishes “Kofi Hour” in the Weekly Standard and criticizes the Clinton administration for working through the UN to deal with Hussein.
    September 18, 1998: PNAC’s Paul Wolfowitz testifies before the House National Security Committee on Iraq during which he condemns the Clinton’s Iraq policy. “The Clinton Administration repeatedly makes excuses for its own weakness…”
    September 28, 1998: Robert Kagan’s “A Way to Oust Saddam” appears in the Weekly Standard. “It has long been clear that the only way to rid the world of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction is to rid Iraq of Saddam.”
    November 16, 1998: An non-attributed editorial in the Weekly Standard titled “How to Attack Iraq” says, “It now seems fairly certain that some time in the next few weeks the Clinton administration will have to strike Iraq. There really are no acceptable alternatives.”
    January 4, 1999: Robert Kagan’s “Saddam Wins-Again” appears in the Weekly Standard. More castigation of UN and Clinton administration efforts to contain Saddam Hussein.
    Skip Ahead
    There’s much more. You can read the entire PNAC literature on Iraq at the group’s website, starting here.
    But let’s take a close look at two key PNAC documents from the 21st century.
    Rebuilding America’s Defenses was published in September 2000, just before the presidential election that brought George W. Bush into power. This neoconservative manifesto revealed that the PNAC’s ambitions in the Middle East were only obliquely related to Saddam Hussein.
    The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Page 14.)
    In other words, Hussein was merely the convenient excuse for establishing permanent military bases in the heart of the Middle East and controlling the flow of the region’s oil.
    But the PNACers realized that the road to achieving their dream of a global American empire was “…likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event–like a new Pearl Harbor.” (Page 51.)
    On September 11, 2001 PNAC got its Pearl Harbor, and a significant portion of its membership held key policy making posts in the Bush administration, some of the most notable among them being Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Bolton.
    On September 20, nine days after the 9/11 attacks, PNAC wrote a letter to Mister Bush that said, “…even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.””
    Finally, if you don’t think what’s happening to detainees is torture, then you’re nothing but a disingenuous idiot and an apologist for the administration that for so many reasons will go down in history as the worst of all time.

  51. TimW says:

    Workingmom,
    Of course I saw the pictures at AbuGharib. That was not related to interrogation, it was the night shift gone wild performing sadistic acts of abuse/torture/perversion of which the perpetrators have been rightly punished. These were poorly trained, poorly led overwhehlmed troops who liked to get thier jollies off by fucking with inmates late at night. This whole debate is over six or so interrogation techniques used on high value people such as the bellyslap, standing upright for long periods, stress positions, waterboarding, face slaps and the shirt grab. Because I may approve of some of these methods does not mean I want to cut their ears off with a rusty knife.

  52. I’ve actually switched from Lib to Rep, because of Bush’s successful efforts at making Americans safer by his invasion of the torture loving Saddam.
    I wish the US military would release more video tapes of Saddam’s tortures.
    Humiliation is not torture. Bush has claimed he is against torture.
    I’m also against torture — but favor firm interrogation.
    Those who claim Bush favors torture consistently fail to say how many minutes of sleep deprivation is OK, and where the border is for torture.
    The Dems remain dishonest about defining what they mean as the difference between acceptable interrogation, and torture — and a brief look on this thread shows no difference.
    To Dan Riehl — good job; I quoted you on the Moderate Voice’s thread as nailing the Dem problem “they are wringing their hands wondering how to get elected without letting people know what they really believe.”
    Sort of like Workingmom here — how many minutes?

  53. KC says:

    “I’ve actually switched from Lib to Rep, because of Bush’s successful efforts at making Americans safer by his invasion of the torture loving Saddam.”
    That statement gets the award for non-sequitur of the year. Just how many Americans were tortured by Saddam? Nevermind that Bush counts among his friends dictators in other countries who routinely engage in torture.
    And Tim along the same old lines – while you *might* be able to debate that what goes on in American run prisons falls *just short* of torture, you can’t speak for the rendition policies we have and the black prisons in other parts of the world, including countries known for torture.
    BUT – let’s just be honest here. The issue isn’t torture vs. harsh interrogation, it’s the denial of habeus corpus or even due process as generally practiced by Geneva signatories. The fact of the matter is, MORE innocent people than not have been “tortured” or “harshly interrogated” or “disappeared”. This without any oversight or chance to prove their innoncence.
    I hope one of your family members has the pleasure of experiencing this one day due to a case of mistaken identity or someone else’s false confession.

  54. Tim W says:

    KC,
    Thats a good history on neoconservatives lobbying both the Clinton and Bush administration on Iraq. I fail to see what it has to do with the debate in congress over torture though.
    Yes there have been real acts of torture and they were soldiers/cia who were not following the rules. Many have been put in jail as they should be. The difference we have is what constitutes torture and what does not.
    You can call me all the names you like but it does not pass for a reasoned debate.

  55. Ofc. Krupke says:

    –“A “free pass”? So if our covert special forces get caught in Iran (that would make them non-uniform enemy combatants), Iran should be able to torture them? Why not?–
    While non-uniformed, they still serve a nation-state that is a signatory to Geneva, and have a clearly-defined chain of command. Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq fails every one of those tests completely.
    And your scenario is a pointless question. Iran would torture our troops regardless. And if Iran’s handling of its own prisoners is any guide, they’d do a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.
    Seriously, are you making the argument that if we signed on to whatever it is you think our policy should be, that our enemies would follow suit? That it would have any effect on their behavior whatsoever?

  56. TimW says:

    “BUT – let’s just be honest here. The issue isn’t torture vs. harsh interrogation, it’s the denial of habeus corpus or even due process as generally practiced by Geneva signatories.”
    I fully agree and that what congress is working on right now.
    “The fact of the matter is, MORE innocent people than not have been “tortured” or “harshly interrogated” or “disappeared”. This without any oversight or chance to prove their innoncence”
    Do you have any backup for such a bold statement other than al queda / jhihadi whining? The fact of the matter is that low level guys get the standard interrogation treatment while the top guys get the rough stuff.

  57. KC says:

    Tim said : If you dont understand why we invaded Iraq, I cant help you at this point.
    To which I replied with the real reasons we invaded Iraq. Side topic, I know.
    Tim,
    You have no answer for what happens at our rendition sites (black prisons) around the world, and pleading soldier/contractor/cia incompetence at American run sites is not an excuse. Furthermore, it goes beyond incompetence as we have learned and often orders for inhumane treatment originated way up the chain of command.
    The soldiers and commanders should be tried as war criminals, and so should Bush and Cheney. If you can’t see this, I’m sorry.

  58. KC says:

    “Do you have any backup for such a bold statement other than al queda / jhihadi whining? The fact of the matter is that low level guys get the standard interrogation treatment while the top guys get the rough stuff.”
    Al Qaeda whining? What have you been smoking. Start here to learn about the abduction of INNOCENT people who are then tortured in secret prisons: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1657839,00.html
    Now, what proof do YOU have that only the “top guys” get the “rough stuff”? How do they identify the “top guys”? By torturing the “low level guys”?
    This hardly passes for a debate.

  59. Ofc. Krupke says:

    –BUT – let’s just be honest here. The issue isn’t torture vs. harsh interrogation, it’s the denial of habeus corpus or even due process as generally practiced by Geneva signatories. The fact of the matter is, MORE innocent people than not have been “tortured” or “harshly interrogated” or “disappeared”. This without any oversight or chance to prove their innoncence.–
    I admit it’s been a long time since my class on Geneva protocols at Parris Island. But if I remember correctly, there is no provision for habeus corpus or due process under Geneva. That’s because those are criminal law concepts, and Geneva governs POWs.
    Remember, under Geneva, an EPW can be held until the war is over. You don’t have to try him or charge him with anything. He’s been captured, not arrested.

  60. KC says:

    “Remember, under Geneva, an EPW can be held until the war is over. You don’t have to try him or charge him with anything. He’s been captured, not arrested.”
    And when, pray tell will this “war” be over? I’m not talking about people rounded up on a battlefield either, making it hard to call them POWs in the first place. The Geneva argument I’m making is just a way to build a framework within which we can call upon international laws that govern the treatment of captives (of whatever type).
    But seriously, when will the war be over? What war are you talking about? See, that’s the problem with this administration, its cronies, and PNAC: they WANT perpetual warfare, and instability in the ME plays right into their desire to permanently garrison the area, control the oil, and keep a stranglehold on power back home based on war generated fear.
    I can’t believe you haven’t caught on yet. Read PNACs OPENLY STATED OBJECTIVES!

  61. tom says:

    Tim sez “The whole problem with this whole debate is that Liberals have defined the word “torture” down so much that its pretty much meaningless.”
    Your relativist definition of torture would seem to depend on our enemies tactics. Its OK if we gouge an eye, as long as they gouge both – just as long as we’re not as bad as them, its OK? What the F*** kind of moral logic is that?
    You cowards claim waterboarding and longstanding aren’t torture? You wouldn’t last an hour. And our Special Forces trained in methods to resist waterboarding, they are not waterboarded. It’s a proven fact that we’ve tortured INNOCENT people. Doesn’t this bother you?

  62. Ofc. Krupke says:

    –And when, pray tell will this “war” be over?–
    Good point. And that’s the crux of the problem. Which is why both Geneva’s POW regulations AND domestic criminal justice procedures are very poor tools to handle Al-Qaeda type threats, at least if you hope to win. Those rules were developed in a world where those threats didn’t exist.
    Still, “habeus corpus and due process as generally practiced by Geneva signatories” is a pretty vague statement. The UK, for example, permits the government to “preventatively detain” people for up to 28 days without any habeus corpus requirement. And I assure you there are any number of countries who are signatories to Geneva, who nevertheless have notions of “due process” that would make your skin crawl.
    –What war are you talking about? See, that’s the problem with this administration, its cronies, and PNAC: they WANT perpetual warfare–
    Actually, I was just referring to whatever war the EPW was taken in as far as Geneva is concerned. Doesn’t matter which one. Pick your favorite.
    One more thing: just because someone has a different view of the world than you, doesn’t mean they “WANT perpetual warfare” any more than someone who disagrees with me “wants the terrorists to win.”

  63. KC says:

    “One more thing: just because someone has a different view of the world than you, doesn’t mean they “WANT perpetual warfare” any more than someone who disagrees with me “wants the terrorists to win.””
    Thanks for the rational response. But unfortunately for your last point, the economic and political systems espoused by the hypocrites who endorse PNAC papers depend on perpetual warfare (military industrial complex), control of the oil (garrisoning the ME after we were kicked out of Saudi), and the use of fear as a tactic for systematically stripping civil liberties and economic aid from those who are already more likely to be disenfranchised. It all goes hand in hand.
    When I asked you “which war”? I meant the ostensible “GWOT” or the “war” in Iraq? How convenient that we don’t have to fight uniformed armies anymore.

  64. KC says:

    One more thing from me too before I go home:
    “One more thing: just because someone has a different view of the world than you, doesn’t mean they “WANT perpetual warfare” any more than someone who disagrees with me “wants the terrorists to win.””
    It should be fairly obvious to the average 5th grader that the implication of saying that the opposing point of view is tantamount to “wanting the terrorists to win” is far more severe than saying “they want perpetual warfare”.
    You see, my “side” isn’t the one known for slandering your “side” with smears like “traitor”, “terrorist appeaser”, “fifth column”, “coward”, etc. The republicans perfected the art of name calling, and by conflating the PROVABLE hypothesis that perpetual war ACTUALLY IS GOOD for certain political and economic interests in this contry with the disingenuous tactic of calling your opponent slanderous names, you have merely taken their tactics down one notch in order to appear more “moderate”.
    But I appreciate the effort.

  65. Ofc. Krupke says:

    KC,
    So you’ve proven that “your side” is less prone to slander by slandering me.
    Well played.

  66. jan van flac says:

    “No one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces. Who would prefer that Saddam’s torture chambers still be open?”
    George W. Bush
    Speech Marking First Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
    March 19, 2004
    “Torture in Iraq is reportedly worse now than it was under deposed president Saddam Hussein, the United Nations’ chief anti-torture expert said Thursday.”
    Manfred Nowak described a situation where militias, insurgent groups, government forces and others disregard rules on the humane treatment of prisoners.
    “What most people tell you is that the situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand,” said Nowak, the global body’s special investigator on torture. “The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein.”
    Associated Press
    Torture reaches new depths in Iraq
    September 21, 2006

  67. johnd says:

    Hooray for alternative treatment definition!
    Yay, Yay. I don’t feel to afraid to go into town anymore!
    Secret agents (unencumbered by the 60 year old Geneva convention’s actual text) coercing nut jobs to say anything that will be believed to be them ratting out their nut ball buddies is the best thing for our county I can think of!
    Great day for America, that much closer to winning the war on terror.
    This is just the beginning of the long war on terror, remember. We’ll need many more “victories” over our political enemies before we actually can start to see the dangerous world we live in getting more safe!
    Lots and lots of bad people to kill and capture, still very dangerous – could take a lifetime!
    Be afraid, be very afraid. Some of us will be playing golf, yachting and passing our untaxed estates along to our heirs, these activities show deep courage in this time of war. Stay ready and keep up the fight!

  68. killjoy says:

    There is no polite way to say this: you are a pathetic cowardly bedwetter.
    Americans have faced British imperialists, rebels, Nazis, fascists, and communists without discarding our ideals. You would toss away the *American* traditions of the right to a fair trial, being able to face all evidence presented against you, and the rules against cruel and unusual punishment for short term partisan gain.
    Instead, you embrace the Stalinist ideologies of torture and secret evidence as documented in the Gulag Archipelago in order to stop a handful of Islamic fanatics holed up in caves. You would turn America into all she fought against for the last 60 years, for the greater glory of George W. Bush. What cowardice! What shame!

  69. J. Peden says:

    The only question I have regarding the cause of Faux Liberals’ derangement manifestations is: are these symptoms due to abject fear of life and self, or merely caused by a low I.Q.? In any case, it would appear that such people are in desparate need of some immediate test[e]s.

  70. J. Peden says:

    The ultimate of “torture” for Fliberals is the effort of their own thinking. And you see the sad results. Torture cannot possibly work. So, I move we ban such torture, since it already is the norm for this sub-species, and it must be “protected” as an integral component of Gaia’s structure and holy desires. [pbuh]

  71. kcom says:

    “You would turn America into all she fought against for the last 60 years, for the greater glory of George W. Bush. What cowardice! What shame!”
    What delusional crap! I literally laughed when I read it! (Hey, these exclamation point thingies are cool. !!!)

  72. americafirst says:

    Y’know, if neocons had called it S&M or something else more politically correct besides the big “T” word we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Except for the previous poster who’s obviously off in his own little Ann Coulter masterbatory world..

  73. Michael Hellein says:

    It is a tragedy for intelligent, well-intentioned people to sell their principles for the ephemeral pleasures of schadenfreude. No matter which side is selling it, torture is a desperate and self-defeating act. Torture doesn’t work; it produces unreliable information, and the energies consumed in attempts to corroborate that information are better applied elsewhere. Beyond its barbarity, its dismantling of the rules that protect soldiers from inhumane treatment, its tarnishing of the already-dimmed respectability of the United States, there remains its complete ineffectiveness. Why embrace a useless tool that costs so much? Joy at one’s political opponent’s failure seems a slender prize.

  74. J. Peden says:

    Well, Michael H., it certainly didn’t cause you much of the torture of the thinking effort to come up with that Parrot’s mantra, did it?
    Dana Priest’s 10[?]/2002 report on the Secret Prisons, produced/referenced right here on this site, virtually proved that “torture” works. She called the Secret Prisons “vital to the war on terror”.
    Obviously, neither the torture of your thought effort, nor the presence of the non-torture of your non-thought effort works.
    So, what’s a Parrot to do? Worship death as the cure-all? How is allowing everyone and their children to be slaughtered so that you can be smug in their deaths, and even feed off them, since your “values” have been preserved, a value? Only through death-worshipping, Michael. You need to inflict some “torture” upon yourself.
    And how is enabling the success of sadomasochist Islamofascists, whose highest value is the torture of others and even their own deaths, a statement against this death-worshipping sadomasochism. You sound exactly like them. Why am I not surprised?

  75. mylena says:

    to J.Peden so torture works ? well then why don’t those killers/rapers and whoever dont get tortured also, so that they confess and can get the punishment they deserve, then they dont need to go to courts either.

  76. mylena says:

    and i mean ofcourse UScitizen killers/rapers

  77. John Pangia says:

    Man oh man, Dan. You really brought out the white hanky [left wing] crew with this post :)

  78. Devil's Advocate says:

    Let’s waterboard Riehl. He might reveal his involvement with some right-wing militia that is planning to overthrow the U.S. government.

  79. beefer says:

    Can I do it?

  80. Randy says:

    What the president is asking for is a situation in which the president can arbitrarily jail any person he sees fit, deny his right to a legal defense and torture him if he wants to. In other words we are becoming a nation of men not laws. Those who have longed for a totalitarian state are very close to seeing their wish come true. True Americans will fight for the constitution with every fiber in their body.
    We know that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was tortured in 2002 with the aim of producing evidence that Saddam had reconstituted his nuclear program. Bush used this phoney intel, induced by torture, as one of the cornerstones of his propaganda campaign for war. This will go down as one of the truly shameful episodes of a horribly shameful administration.

  81. Miss Led says:

    “This whole debate is over six or so interrogation techniques used on high value people such as the bellyslap, standing upright for long periods, stress positions, waterboarding, face slaps and the shirt grab.”
    No, it’s not. That is a straw argument and you know it. If you don’t, you’re ignorant.
    This bill is not only about interrogation. It’s about treatment of prisoners. And it’s about redress and justice for innocents, not terrorists.
    Our interrogators have already used techniques used by the Nazis as described in Bruno Bettelheim’s books. Some US techniques are classified and only 40 or so Congresspeople have been briefed on them.
    Bush wouldn’t even need this bill if our actions were not war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions.

  82. Lindata says:

    “Remember, we are talking about techniques such as grabbing someone’s shirt and yelling at him.” You have got to be kidding. NOBODY is talking about techniques such as grabbing someone’s shirt and yelling at him. If you seriously think that this is what this is about you have lost all judgement.

  83. Dan Riehl says:

    Man oh man, Dan. You really brought out the white hanky [left wing] crew with this post :)
    Like I said, watch them scream. LMAO

  84. gil says:

    Just a few days ago Riehl and all fellow Right Wingers were up in arms agains Senator McCain, Graham and others. Now that they have compromised they are going after “Liberals”. Bad choice.
    Just in case Riehl some how missed the substance of the compromise (He ovbiously did) it turns out that Bush and his rent-a torturer policy, LOST.
    It is really pathetic how in his desperation people like Riehl and fellow Right Wingers will interpret compromise as a “win” for them.
    Have news for you Right Wingers. The Republican Senators that stood up against the sorry likes of you, GOT WHAT THEY WANTED. Or else there would not have been any compromise.
    You can spin it any way you want . God knows that’s the only thing Bush is good at, but in the end Bush had to BEND OVER and take it from behind.
    Get used to it. More is coming.