October 4, 2007

Andrew is cute when he's mad.

Alas poor Andrew. It would seem that he has at last hit the ceiling of high dudgeon with War Criminal! "There is no doubt - no doubt at all - that these tactics are torture and subject to prosecution as war crimes." (Translation: "I'm this close -- this close -- to calling Bush Hitler.")

Which is why we won't see Andrew up for attorney general, even in a Dennis ("Strength Through Peace") Kucinich administration.

Myself, I think the Times put out their whole "brutal interrogation" story just to settle an office pool on how high out of his chair Sullivan would self-blast when he read it.

As to the whole issue of torture, I've been to Spain's Museum of Torture and have a bit of an idea of what real torture actually is. As to the uses of torture, I'm with Morgan Freeberg in Things I Doubt
15. Bad information resulting from “torture”

"I’m sure it happens, but any attempt to invalidate or discredit torture through this argument, or any form of harsh interrogation, is assaulted by the Doctrine of Brittle Extremes. Surely it must work some of the time? If it did not, then how long would we be having the discussion about whether to use it or not?"
I don't know what happened to Andrew in his formative years to give him such a wild hair about six of the best here or there, but I shudder to think.

Still, if Sullivan didn't always have torture like Bogart and Bergman always have Paris, we'd have more views out peoples' windows. Hard to think the Atlantic would pay him 25 cents and two Wheaties box tops for that.

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Posted by Vanderleun at October 4, 2007 5:37 PM | TrackBack

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Stop me if I've said this before, but Sullivan puts the "his" in histrionics. His logic is so fellatious that only he could swallow it.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at October 4, 2007 6:37 PM

Why do we still have people using torture when it's been proved to be worthless? Because we have people who insist there has to be something to it, else why would people use it after all the studies showing it's useless? Creationist thinking is not reserved to creationists.

The real drawback to torture is that you get what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at October 4, 2007 6:39 PM

Really? I don't think that's been established at all. Only widely said and widely believed.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 4, 2007 7:39 PM

Ask some officers in Iraq, Vanderleun. They got sick of sending their men into ambushes, courtesy of the "information" extorted from prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The real purpose of torture isn't to get information, it's to intimidate a population. Word was meant to get out about the abuses and humiliations at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. But the idiots who took cell phone pictures didn't know they needed to keep a bit of "plausible deniability." That's why everyone in the military calls them "the six idiots who lost the war."

Posted by: t-rex at October 5, 2007 12:56 PM


While your response to the tone of Sullivan's piece makes for a lively read, I would be interested in hearing a more direct rebuttal to Sullivan's argument. These interrogation methods, when practiced by the Germans, were successfully prosecuted as war crimes, and the interrogators were sentenced to death.

*If* the same techniques are being practiced by American interrogators, it stands to reason that either the American interrogations constitute a war crime, or that the German interrogators were unfairly put to death.

Is it your opinion that the German interrogators should not have been convicted for the specific methods Sullivan cites? Or do you believe that the American interrogation practices are substantially different from the German methods cited -- and if so, in what way?

Thanks in advance if you can find the time to reply.


Posted by: Sam at October 5, 2007 6:06 PM


I would like to follow-up on Sam's comments. Are you aware that, following World War II, the USA successfully prosecuted Japanese leaders for "waterboarding" US prisoners of war because "waterboarding" was torture in violation of the Geneva Convention? I have the same questions as you, and certainly look forward to a factual answer. Thank you.

Posted by: Demosthenes at October 5, 2007 8:11 PM

Once again, the looney Right has to resort to ad hominem attacks because, well, they're out of factual ammunition. Now that the majority of the American public wants U.S. troops out of Iraq, now that the Bushies have paved the way for a stunning GOP defeat in '08, and now that nitwits like many of the posters here find themselves part of the dead-end brigade when it comes to confusing Iraq with terrorism, it seems the Right can only suck its thumb and simper. Tsk.

Posted by: Gulf War Vet at October 8, 2007 6:23 PM
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