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April 23, 2009

Comments

weezie

"Yet we have these 4 pompous freaks wanting to criminalize sticking a guy's head under water in a bathtub?" The show-biz aspect of our new gang of four's outrage has an awful stench.
That Waterboard Mom job sounds like a plum, can you write me a rec?

Mike Rulle

That is funny, weezie

M2

brilliant! i have likened the hypocrisy to something similar to a crazed maniac entering your home, very much intending to rape your girls and boys, and terrorize for nothing more than considering you 'EVIL'. all the while, you are forced to watch your loved ones beaten, cut, psychologically crippled....and yet, rather than reaching for the first heavy object to disable the intruder, we are told we must simply 'talk' to these folks. Are you nuts? Thre is no negotiating with a crazed maniac. The word simply isn’t in their dictionary. They haven’t broken into your house to make a deal with you and your family. They have entered your house with intent to bring it down. Yet again, we are told, 'we' are lacking diplomatic ability......yada yada yada. i am not one to pick on the weak but that is not to be confused with being one who believes, if you throw the first punch / blow, its open season.

i also advocate torture. simply, it gets the job done.

thank you for speaking plainly, it is refreshing - which segways into another favorite topic of mine: political correctness: how to beat a society into submission

m2

ps: the rules of war have changed. 'rules of engagement' still pertain to some and are still honored. for others, a gentleman's war was never known to them.

Law of the Bad Premise

thanks m2. It seems so clear. Yet they refuse to see the obvious; which is what they themselves would feel is right if confronted with your scenario. Very strange indeed.

m2

msr:

i suspect there are many folks out there asking them similar questions as you've put to us on this blog (thank you for that). there are so many troubling aspects of present day thought process it scares me: e.g. a mass murderer is thought to be misunderstood and we should strive to understand him to the degree we have victimized the murderer himself rather than those he has killed. and yet, when we speak about deaths having occurred in seattle during the WTO meetings at the hands of law enforcement attempting to initiate order and calm during a major world event, those law enforcement folks are made out to be monsters. there is an inconsistent method in how 'some' arrive at what is right and what is wrong. unfortunately, i've drawn the conclusion it is not a logical determination why the mass murder should be forgiven because of his mental state and the law enforcement representative hung by his fingernails for protecting the community. it is a matter of convenience and confusion among those who believe such. they inconsistently arrive at judgement and that is where the hypocrisy is realized. the same folks who have become inconsistent in preaching what is right and what is wrong, have authored the original texts of 'political correctness' for dummies.

i'm afraid there may not be an easy answer in this movement.....and only hope we are seeing the much needed sociological shift -- with the banning of such ideology as 'political correctness'. accroding to who, is it political correct? why is it political correct? and will it always be political correct?

thank you again msr. very worthy thoughts....>!!!

JS

Your false premise is that water boarding, a practice we once prosecuted and executed Japanese soldiers for doing to US soldiers, yields valuable information that will save lives. But, it didn't. It yielded false "information" that diverted valuable manpower and resources just when they were needed most in the war on terror. And why? Because the first interrogations, the ones that involved the FBI and didn't include torture - and which did bring forth valuable intelligence that foiled planned attacks on the US - didn't yield a link between the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. In other words, those torture-free interrogations weren't... politically correct. That's why the CIA had to water board Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times. Those first 182 times, well, maybe he thought he knew the end game.

Individualist

These are the same people who wanted tp blow up buildings and put Americans in reeducation camps (The Weather Underground). There is a video on youtube from an undercover officer explaining this last point that I saw.

These "people" are not at war with a group or a country but rather an "perceived" ideology. Capitialism and Individualism is seen by the statist as an iedeology when in fact it is more like "natural" law. It is how we naturally operate. We collect things to take care of ourselves and work to maintain our individual liberty.

These people perceive a world where everyone is equal because some "annointed" authority makes sure everyone else has the same. There is no recongnition that different folk may work more or less harder or smarter than others. They are at law with this "natural" law and will therefore descend to any length to control the world around them to overcome. As Thomas Sowell rights in "Visions of the Annointed" they believe man has total control over his environment and therefore anything that goes wrong is man's fault. IT is the false premise they use to justify the totalitarian torture and murder made by their statist takeover.

Patrick of Atlantis

Water boarding was used in the Philipine Insurrection by the US Army and it was very effective in acquiring information.
I would like to see the quondam Secretary of State Sandy Berger water boarded to learn what it was he stole from the National Archives and why he stole it.

ryukyu

The only time the left would disown a dictator would be if he ran as a Republican. They have been told that you can't just disagree with another opinion, they have to hate them as well. The concept that America is not at the root of all evil is foreign to them. They can't even acknowledge the millions of deaths under communist/Islamic rule. And that's just their own people. Can you imagine how they would have freaked out if America had gobbled up countries like Russia did to secure it's borders? Yet, that's what they eternally want to emulate. We are truely a fat and lazy people in their decline. I don't see a way out of 49% of the population not paying taxes yet being allowed to vote in politicians that will keep them from ever contributing. We have friends in France and Germany now. Maybe they can carry the torch for the next two/four years until we come out of this nightmare.

Jack Marino

I was never really a big fan of Apocalypse Now, visually the film is stunning, the story if in your face anti-American, anti-Vietnam veterans. When I saw the documentary of the making of Apocalypse Now, I realize what an unimpressive film director Coppola was. I could not believe that this was the same guy that directed the first two Godfathers. He shot Apocalypse Now for over 200 days and millions of feet of film, which at that time was unheard of. He lost control of his film using Brando, the entire film is disjointed that is why they have to have narration throughout the entire film. Why he didn't stick with the John Milius, which would have been a much bigger and better film. THis was an LSD trip about Vietnam. The politically left then was out to destroy the image of Vietnam and America's involvement there to justify the anti-war protest. They did this because they added 30,000 more names on that Memorial. They are doing the same thing today with the boys in Iraq. Nothing has change, the fascist left have taken over Hollywood and are pumping out film that attack the foundations of of our culture. We Americans continue to patronized these worthless films of vile propaganda. Why my generation, who had received them most of any generation this country had to offer, turned around in their 20s and began to attack the nation that made them. Today, because of these types of films that changed the pop culture we have grown into a nation that is afraid to hurt our enemies that want to destroy us. We have a President for the first time in history that hates this country,forget what he says, its what he does. The left believe that if we show our enemies we are sincere they will in turn work with us and forget their ambitions of destroy the very thing the hate, America.

None of this is going to work. What will happen is that we will be attack and this time it won't be 3000 people killed, it will be millions. This is the only way we can flush this sick cancer of the left from this Republic. After 80 years of this progressive/socialism and what it has morphed into with the people we have in power today, we are on a road to total warfare. America will survive this and we will destroy all of our punk little enemies and this will be the end of how the democratic party is today. We will have to pay for it in blood, which is unfortunate, but that is the price of having raise a generation of ingrate kids, who felt they can do whatever they wanted and now they are in charge. They hatred for God, Country and all that America has done in the past will come home to roost when this country loses a major city from a nuke. Then all hell will break lose, the world will then learn what hell on earth is really all about. We won't be dicking around with the argument if water-boarding is torture or not, America will vaporize a good part of this ingrate useless planet and clean out the bad blood. This is all because we saved the world from Hitler and Tojo and then Stalin, the ingrates in Hollywood and in parts of the world feel America needs its comeuppance, since we always win. This is the image leftist 60s directors like Coppola present to the world, while they make millions and live like Barons on feudal estates. This all starts with the visual on films, I great up in a time when Hollywood made films that made everyone fall in love with America, today they make films that make everyone hate America. We can change this back. There aren't too many in your face conservative filmmakers out there making A level studio films. Since I make my films outside the leftist bubble I can make what I want. The problem I run into is distribution, the system won't pick up a pro American film. They will blackball you as fast as they can. I know, I was blackballed with a small little independent film called FORGOTTEN HEROES. I show a bunch of Marines in the Vietnam war as heroes. Can you imagine that? I made this film in 1988 over 20 years ago and I refuse to let it go and allow the leftist to win. I am distributing the film myself, through my website and I don't give damn how long it will take. My film isn't the greatest war film, I am far from a Coppola, I didn't have any of the resources that these so called great artist of the day have. However, I have a powerful story about a group of kids fighting in Vietnam and I honor them all. This is my "WELCOME HOME and THANK YOU from one baby boomer who defy's the system and I have paid for it with 20 years of my life. Who are these bastards not to allow another point of view out there. Why isn't there films out there or young 20 something conservative filmmakers out there making films? What are they afraid of? Mel Gibson has proven with Braveheart, The Passion that people want another point of view. Just match the box office of his films to the crap coming out of Hollywood that urinate on America.

I am selling the DVDs of FORGOTTEN HEROES off my website. I am donating 25% of the DVD gross to the AMERICAN VETERANS DISABLE FOR LIFE MEMORIAL FUND. I want to give back to the real heroes in this country and not to the malcontents that run the studio system. I am dealing with the public and I am getting the results that I predicted back in 1990 when I argued with these so called marketing Gods in the studios. People want to see films that make them feel proud of their country and not pay money in a theater to have the likes of Coppola, Sean Penn, Clooney spite on them from the screen after you pay 15 dollars to be insulted by malcontents. Meanwhile they live like Greek Gods on Mt Olympus. This whole thing is a joke and we the people can change this, if we have choices. Hollywood is too chickenshit to give us these choices. It took a guy like me to make a small film with a big message and they shut me out, since I am such a threat to whatever the hell they are selling. The days of these type of films that go after America are beginning to change people get tired of the same old crap, that is why the Passion when through the roof. People are hungry for something positive after 35 years of being told we are all losers. The only losers are the ones in power and the so called artistic geniuses making films that leave you feeling empty, soulless people create soulless things.

JS

Whereas the right has enthusiastically embraced the dictatorships of Chile, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Iran. So much for spreading Democracy and American values abroad.

RS

Keep in mind, nearly every aviator in the United States Navy, Air Force, and Army has been subjected to water-boarding or something similar during survival training. It's mandatory training! If you want to serve in the military as aircrew you have to complete this type of training. The thought that people will be prosecuted for subjecting terrorists to something I did voluntarily sickens me. Also, you are absolutely correct in about not knowing the "end-game" and it's effect on the prisoner. The psychological deception is the key. This administration has rendered that useless.

JS

Why, that's right, nearly every aviator in the United States Navy, Air Force, and Army has been subjected to water boarding during survival training after being stripped naked, shackled to ceiling chains keeping him standing so he can't sleep for days, hosed with cold water, slammed into walls, jammed into boxes and starved. Voluntarily. God Bless.

Pat

A one sided "pragmatic" argument that fails to have any vision. The argument for torture sounds plausible BUT, like Nazi Germany, moral decay once started cannot be stopped. Today it's waterboarding the enemy. Tomorrow it's waterboarding you! Then it's rounding up domestic dissenters and putting them in camps. Sounds impossible. I wish it was. It's a slippery slope that at its end is "horror". Does anyone have any doubt that Bush, Cheney, et al if left in office, would push the US toward fascism.

Law of the Bad Premise

I appreciate the many comments. I do believe we have lost our way when we think water boarding is evil or immoral. This is not done to people just walking in off the street. If it were demonstrated that it did not work and was counter productive, then I guess I would also be against it. But that really is not the essence of the disagreement. The essence is, and should be, whether it is moral to engage in it. The answer to that is always "it depends". Killing a soldier on the battlefield in a just war is not immoral. Killing a captured soldier is. And so on. Context and judgment is everything.

This "Bush-Cheney" obsession is beyond my comprehension. Since the only evidence we have regarding their potential desire to keep power is they did not seek to over throw the constitution, I do not know how this concept of "if left in office" has any meaning.

To be clear, my essay was about the prosecution of legally sanctioned water boarding. One can be against water boarding and also be against the Obama administration prosecuting the prior administration. These 2 arguments can easily be "conflated" as they tend to coexist in one person's mind. I happen to be for water boarding too, but my outrage is saved for the prosecution of what was legally sanctioned and politically open behavior. I would be more favorably disposed toward those who oppose water boarding if they also acknowledged that prosecuting the CIA or its lawyers is a national disgrace.

JS

The administration wanted to torture its prisoners to tie 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. And, they got their lawyers to write convoluted memos to pretend the tortures weren't torture, since torture is a war crime under federal law, a felony punishable by up to life imprisonment. Whether you are "for" or against water boarding is immaterial. The national disgrace is the pretense that anyone is above the law, or ought to be.

m2

"The national disgrace is the pretense that anyone is above the law, or ought to be."

Actually, the "national" (which is exactly the anti-american jargon i question) disgrace is the hypocrisy surrounding those who condemn behavior in any situation they themselves have not experienced. the disgrace is not national but very much specific to those who are more than willing to sit down with questionable politicians / represenatives who do rape, rob, beat and their own believing these same questionable poloticians / representatives would not do the same to us (America) in a blink of an eye. What keeps us safe from these monsters who cause destruction on their own soil?

Again, I put the question: if an intruder came into your house and began to terrorize your family inflicting both psychological and physical harm, would you stand there with your hands folded in a calm manner asking the monster to 'not' please do that? please dont pull the limb from my child's arm? please dont destroy our home? please dont........use the family pet as target practice? (all the while you were chosen because you are somewhat 'progressive' in your thinking.....you know the same progressive thinking which your condemning behaviour of yourself in which your intruder resorts to without blinking their eye? do you think if you continue to speak softly to the terrorist, he will see the 'light' and realize your beliefs are true and correct?

btw, we all seem very hell bent on demonizing waterboarding. as the author stated, waterboarding in itself is not torture....not anymore than an athlete conditions himself....waterboarding can be uncomfortable.....but anyone using waterboarding will not resort to the method to 'kill'. there are much easier methods to 'kill' someone....so it is psychological trickery which can be overcome with understanding and training. our military trains their recruits to not be overcome with the tactic. why so much concern with 'waterboarding'? i am more concerned with the tactics used by the extremists (mutilating their own or exposing to chemical weapons their own). what we do is nothing in comparison to their methods.


JS

"Waterboarding in itself is not torture."

Here's the definition of torture: "the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them to do or say something."

So. Instead of arguing we should legalize torture - which would, at least, not be hypocritical - we should pretend rather that waterboarding isn't torture. The rest of the world disagrees. The FBI disagrees. Any captive subjected to it disagrees. The Geneva Convention disagrees. If you were waterboarded, without recourse to say "stop," you would disagree.

Of course, the US has a long history of sponsoring and directing torture and murder abroad; the war on terror is only the most recent example, and waterboarding is the least of it. Allow me to quote:

"The U.S. is home to its very own terrorist training school, the School of the Americas (SOA), now located in Fort Benning, Georgia. The SOA was formed in 1946, one year before the CIA was created, in order to train Latin American dictators, death squad leaders, and military and police officers. The school has trained such notorious figures as El Salvador's Roberto D'Abuisson, a 1972 graduate and the death squad leader responsible for the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980. SOA graduate Leopoldo Galtieri, dictator of Argentina between 1981 and 1982, was responsible for the death or disappearance of more than 30,000 people. Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, a two-time graduate of the SOA and a CIA "asset," commanded the Guatemalan security force responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 people throughout the course of a four-decade counterinsurgency war. El Salvador's Atlacatl Battalion's leaders were also trained at the SOA. In December 1981, the battalion swept into the northeastern village of El Mozote and systematically killed more than 200 men, women, and children, raping many of the women, beheading many of the victims, and slitting the throats of and hanging children." What keeps the people of South America safe from these monsters who cause destruction on their own soil?

Your concern about intruders in our house would be more creditable with an acknowledgement of all the houses we have intruded upon.

Patrick of Atlantis

Correction: Sandy Berger was National Security Advisor not Secretary of State.

Moriah

The Left always bitches about "it's the law." No-one perverts the law more than the Left. The reason they go into law is to learn how to circumvent the law. I'm so sick of them running the show but we got to this point because we deserve it. Our conservative leaders saw what was working and jumped on the band wagon. Forgive me for saying this but the hippie dippy jack asses took the love your brother, turn the other cheek of Christianty and made it into some sick moral relativistic, non judgemental justification of surrendering morals, common sense and sound judgement. Everyone should like us. If it feels good do it - and now they're doing it to us from the White House. The Torah says if you know your enemy is coming to kill you, get up early and kill him first.

JS

Yes, that's right, the Left goes into law to learn how to circumvent the law, as in the case of laws criminalizing torture.

That show the Left ran for the past eight years - that was really something, wasn't it?

frankie

Mr Davi. SPOT ON! Your very talented acting wise and writing wise. BRAVO!!! It's always been so obvious of the "anti" theme coming out of this movie. Yet it never deterred me from the True Fact. That war is not pretty, but necessary sometimes. And that the American Military is the greatest in the world! The left will always have to fictionalize characters like Kurtz. And even if this story is somewhat based on a real Colonel gone mad...oh well. Shit happens. At least he took out a shitload of Vietcong with him. heeeheee

Robert

"So. Instead of arguing we should legalize torture - which would, at least, not be hypocritical - we should pretend rather that waterboarding isn't torture. The rest of the world disagrees."

Just like the rest of the "world" hates what Bush has done in the War on Teror right JS? Try not to frame your arguments with some false statistical method. The rest of the world does not agree. Some do. Some don't. "Torture" is just a word, a word understood differently from culture to culture and society to society and individual to individual. The important point to come to a consensus on is to understand that some kind of physical discomfort and mental anguish are often necessary to extract information from the enemy. An enemy that kills without conscience anyone that gets in their way. That same enemy who hijacked planes and crashed them into buildings regardless of who was in there.

It is possible to prevent such attacks from our enemy, but not if we hide from the terrible truth that killing and inflicting pain to some degree on our enemies is required. They have no such qualms.

Ask yourself what is the greater morality, Is it better that an enemy with information about future attacks be scared that he is going to die through waterboarding or is it better that those attacks be allowed to happen? Being "better" than our enemies is not some kind of suicide pact. We are better because we choose to debate the limits of killing and pain that we inflict on our enemy. Many of us do not live in a fantasy world where somehow the acknowledgement that some killing and pain infliction is required makes us the moral equivalent of our enemies.

The problem is you leftists have no problem letting others suffer the consequences of your supposed moral superiority.You're fine apparently with the notion in the abstract that terrorists might kill some stranger in Mumbai or Indonesia or England if preventing such attacks might mean we GASP! need to waterboard someone. If the attacks planned on L.A had succeeded, who would you have blamed? If you had a loved one in some highrise in L.A that died as a result of those attacks and information gained through waterboarding could have prevented it would you still be hyperventilating about the immorality of what you call "torture"? Please tell me you wouldn't. It will then be my duty to call you the hypocrite you are.

JS

You miss the point. Everyone knows what torture is. There is no cultural confusion. When Egypt tortures prisioners, when Syria tortures prisioners, when Zimbabwe tortures prisoners, they don't pretend it's not torture, they don't bother getting their lawyers to give them cover to say it's not torture. They just get on with it.

If you think torture yields actionable intelligence, however, you will find most in the US intelligence community -- as opposed to the ideologues of the Bush administration -- disagree with you. They say that torture used in Iraq failed, whereas methods outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual did work, and yielded critical information. They even say that torture led to more American deaths, in Iraq:

"At least half of our losses and casualties have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans." That's from the guy who hunted down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

So, what's your goal? Protecting your loved ones? Torture won't protect them. Do you want to treat bad people badly? Do you want revenge? Fine, but don't pretend you're stemming or preventing terrorism. Look up Blowback sometime.

The Bush administration showed no interest in protecting us from planes flying into buildings when presented with the intelligence brief "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US" over a month before 9/11. The people who died in the attacks on the World Trade Towers suffered the consequences of the Bush administration's indifference to governing, as opposed to, say, cutting taxes for the rich.

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