I once thought Marxist constitutional law professor Barack Obama was going to abide by the Geneva Conventions and bring back the rule of law, yet Saturday evening found the Republican presidential candidates discussing
bombing foreignersforeign policy, so clearly torture is still practiced in the United States. But just Who Would Jesus Waterboard, according to the candidates who participated in the partially-televised, partially-smoke-signaled South Carolina debate?
According to supposed crazy person Ron Paul, who was allowed to speak for a total of 90 seconds in the first hour of the debate (for how can you allow disagreement in a debate?), not even Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Board deserve torture…
Well, waterboarding is torture. It's illegal under international law and under our law. It's also immoral. And it's also very impractical. There's no evidence that you really get reliable evidence. Why would you accept the position of torturing 100 people because you know one person might have information? And that's what you do when you accept the principle of torture. I think it's uncivilized and has no practical advantages and is really un-American to accept on principle that we will torture people that we capture.
Oh, that crazy uncle Ron. Every real Republican knows our government is incapable of providing health care and education, incompetent at regulating environmental pollutants, ineffective at constructing infrastructure, feckless in its attempts at consumer protection, and inept at conducting basic scientific research, but it's constitutionally impossible for the government to make a mistake when it comes to deciding which person to execute, assassinate or torture. This makes perfect sense. Like when I refuse to let my nephew handle a steak knife, because he's a first-grader, but trust him to conduct open-heart surgery, because what's the worst that can happen?
We diminish our standing in the world and the values that we project, which include liberty, democracy, human rights, and open markets, when we torture. We should not torture. Waterboarding is torture. We dilute ourselves down like a whole lot of other countries. And we lose that ability to project values that a lot of people in corners of this world are still relying on the United States to stand up for them.
That's the worst that can happen, according to Jon Huntsman. Doesn't sound so bad. Maybe I'll get my nephew that scalpel for Christmas after all.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: CBS, Debates, International Affairs, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, South Carolina, Torture
Rick Santorum on John McCain's newly-remembered opposition to torture…
"He doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works."
Isn't that a little bit like saying Rick Santorum doesn't know how enunciating from one's anus works?
Tags: John McCain, Primaries, Quote Unquote, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Torture
* Osama bin Laden, who was able to elude U.S. intelligence agencies for nearly a decade, unable to safely hide his jackoff folder.
* John McCain has change of heart on his change of heart about torture.
* Potential Constitutional debate between Michele Bachmann and high school student seems like unfair match. High school student should probably have to get drunk first.
* Is your governor getting inexplicably stupider? Maybe he's planning to run for president!
* You're doing a heckuva job, Alabamy.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, House of Representatives, John McCain, Michele Bachmann, Minnesota, Natural Disasters, Osama bin Laden, Pork Barrel, Porn, Senate, Torture
There are just so many reasons for people to happy about the news of U.S. military's successful raid on Osama bin Laden's suburban compound, but probably the best reason is that it gives us all a good reason to finally embrace torture as the effective piece of apple pie Americana it actually is…
The head of the House of Representative’s homeland security committee could barely contain himself when asked on Fox News to tell viewers about how the US found Osama bin Laden.
"You mentioned the fact that we obtained vital information several years ago about the courier for Osama — we obtained that information through waterboarding," said Peter King, a New York Republican. For those who say that waterboarding does not work, Mr King concluded with the answer to end all questions: the practice gave the US "vital information that directly led us to bin Laden."
Yep! That seems pretty cut and dry. Not only does torturing prisoners feel good, it's also clearly the right thing to do.
The only problem with this line of reasoning that might mitigate our excitement over adding a waterboarding device to the U.S. Seal is that torture probably didn't have anything to do with the information we received that ultimately led us to bin Laden. I know that's a very minor point, but you know…
More and more evidence suggests a key piece of intelligence — the first link in the chain of information that led U.S. intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden — wasn't tortured out of its source. And, indeed, that torture failed to produce it.
"To the best of our knowledge, based on a look, none of it came as a result of harsh interrogation practices," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a wide-ranging press conference.
But, hey. Baseball and quickie handjobs in the janitors' closet over by the school gymnasium also didn't lead to the capture of bin Laden. We're not planning on getting rid of those American traditions, too, are we?
(Photo via Getty Images)
Tags: Dianne Feinstein, Homeland Security, House of Representatives, Osama bin Laden, Peter King, Senate, Terrorism, Torture