We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, January 6. 2015
'Girls,' 'Mad Men,' and the Future of TV-as-Literature
The rise of the honeybee business
Why We Love the Pain of Spicy Food (h/t Hot Air)
Archaeologists find possible site of Jesus’s trial in Jerusalem
Kudlow: Forget the Naysayers: An American Renaissance Is in the Making
The Pope’s Mistaken Moral Calculus On Global Warming
What leading feminists want to accomplish this year (h/t Insty)
Health Care Fixes Backed by Harvard’s Experts Now Roil Its Faculty
Malanga: State of Disunion - The growing conflict between public and private labor
Bernie Kerik: 'Opportunist' Sharpton Would Take Hush Money
Leslie Gelb: Countering the Neocon Comeback - The neocons are back, and they’re trying to get Hillary Clinton’s ear. Which makes this exactly the moment for Clinton to forge her own distinct path.
Democrats lose the ‘torture’ debate
"Now There’s Not Even Soap” Maduro Heads To China To ‘Save’ Socialist Utopia Venezuela
In China and Cuba, Totalitarians Trump Capitalist Engagement
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I was unimpressed by fairy tales, except the recorded ones by the Great Gildersleeve.
Marc A. Thiessen: Democrats lose the ‘torture’ debate
He means America lost the torture debate.
America doesn't think so. You like to get down in the weeds, so here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2014/12/16/National-Politics/Polling/release_376.xml (Text added to fool the smaminator.)
Exactly the point. A majority of Americans think torture can be justified.
I think it's refreshing that Americans are interested in self preservation more than whether somebody who wants to kill them is uncomfortable or scared.
I agree with you entirely. On the other hand, I think the problem with torture is not whether our enemies are uncomfortable or scared. I'd rather they were dead, personally, and I'm not very concerned with how they got that way. What I am concerned about is what it means to us when we treat people a certain way after they are completely in our power and no further threat to us.
Nevertheless, I wouldn't hesitate to waterboard them, or worse, to extract information about upcoming attacks. In that case, they fail the "no further threat" test.
Given that many folks here at MF just L O V E
Microsoft and by extension Bill Gates, I am writing to ask just what do you think he and his crowd in Seattle will be doing with these new technologies?
Of the many thousands of terrorists captured over the last 13 years only 30 were subject to enhanced interrogation and 3 were actually waterboarded. None were "tortured". Interestingly during that same period in time more then 10,000 American servicemen were waterboarded as part of their training. None of them were "tortured" either.
If you are a criminal or for that matter an innocent person taken into custody for a serious crime in almost allof the other countries in the world you will be "tortured" as part of the interrogation process. If you are taken into custody by Mexican policemen you can expect to be repeatedly slapped/hit with an open hand in the face; hit in the head with a thick telephone book and punched in the stomach repeatedly. Ditto for about half of Europe and all of Asia, South and Central America and you don't even want to hear about Africa and the Middle East. All of these countries will make water boarding look like a church picnic. Ironically spokesman from many of those countries have gone on record to criticize the U.S. for water boarding those three mass murderers in their efforts to prevent even more murders. Were they really outraged and filled with horror and shock at what the CIA did to save lives? Bwahahahaha! No, they were, like Zach, expressing their dislike of America and taking this opportunity to poke it in the eye.
The survey indicated that a large majority of Americans say torture is justified at least some of the time, your evasions not withstanding.
For years now, we have been told by the left (including John McCain) that we have been torturing terrorists and that the most egregious form was water boarding so it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that the poll participants were thinking in those terms.
But if you want to claim that by "torture", the participants were really envisioning gruesome techniques that are routinely used by the terrorists and their ilk, fine. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that if you can't get the information you need to stay alive by being polite to someone, then more persuasive methods might be appropriate.
And if America's enemy's torture Americans, would they be subject to criminal sanction?
No, they are already sanctioned. We're at war with them!
Wars end. If they tortured American soldiers, should they be punished under the law?
You gave Japanese soldiers during WWII below for examples of some sort of equivalence. I find that pretty lame. Got anything better?
Hand waving. Though it would apply to any American prisoner in any war. Is it legal to torture Americans for information? If you capture the torturers, perhaps at the end of hostilities, would they be subject to prosecution?
We understand this is understandably difficult for you. There is no doubt Americans would prosecute people who tortured American prisoners, even if it were for military necessity.
While we're at it, should past criminal convictions for torture be overturned?
What was the nature of the "torture"? Who did they "torture"? Why? Under what conditions and policies was the "torture"? How was the prosecution conducted? You're going to have to provide more information before I can give my opinion.
mudbug: What was the nature of the "torture"? Who did they "torture"? Why? Under what conditions and policies was the "torture"? How was the prosecution conducted? You're going to have to provide more information before I can give my opinion.
After WWII, Japanese soldiers were tried, convicted, and punished for torturing American soldiers. They claimed military necessity. To save their own troops, they would torture Americans for information. Were these conviction in error?
Giving a reason does not make it so. You're not saying things like the Bataan Death March and the Rape of Nanking, for example, were legitimate military necessities, are you?
No, that was slave labor for military necessity, to build bridges and so on. As supplies were in short supply, that meant meager rations for the prisoners. You certainly don't think the Japanese people thought the American prisoners should be coddled while their families were hungry at home.
In any case, there were cases that were interrogations for information that involved torture.
Then there's the promise America has made concerning torture.
The Bataan Death March was because of short supplies? No examples of the torture to which you allude? No response to my comment that the public was probably envisioning water boarding...
BillH was right. Very good footwork!
If Hil did pull it off, it would be the first thing she ever did right, and then she would probably muck it up thereafter.
re Study says fairy tales too bleak for kids — but that’s what they need
Mrs feeblemind doesn't think fairy tales are suitable for children, too violent and depressing, but I liked them as a small child.
Recently I have reread a few of them. There is a lot of death. misery and anguish in them, but to me, the most striking thing is how desperately poor many of them are. In many stories bread seems to be the entire meal. Fairy tales are an interesting reflection of a world long gone.
Some fairy tales here:
Hans Christian Anderson
re The Pope’s Mistaken Moral Calculus On Global Warming
I intended to write something similar, but the quote from the article below says it better than I could:
"I plan to ignore the Pope and its science panel, as many are likely to do given their track record on getting science wrong in almost every case where science and religion have collided through history."
Ditto. I'm much more concerned about his apparent desire to "evolve" the Church's stance on marriage. [Url] http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/defending-truth-marriage[/url]
"Where else are they going to see depictions of honor in the face of tragedy, of independence, of true compassion, of bravery? "
I'm feeling really cynical today. There are certainly few and far between in real life.
Good news Zach. France just reaped the benefits of the unwillingness by the West to take radical Islam serious. Imagine if France or the West had decided to take this threat serious instead of argueing back and forth over who is the better liberal? Good news! Yes this is what you get against a terrible 7th century enemy who wants to kill us while we want to make friends an give them free stuff. Maybe we didn't give them enough "free stuff" and that's why they kill us. So should we resort to the liberal solution and France raise their tax bracket from 75% to 100% so they have enough money to give all the disgruntled muslims more free stuff in the hopes they will then leave us alone? Or should we actually act as though we are at war with them and also actually name who we are at war with rather then dance around it. I will bet money that in a few weeks or so we will discover that this latest terrorist attack was plotted in and with the help of a mosque and with the help of a radical imam who was known to the police. I feel confident that we will also discover that the police already knew some of the actors in this attack. But we cannot and will not call it what is is therefore we must either continue to accept terrorists to attack us OR seriously engage them as the enemy.
But it's good news for the Liberals. No one was interrogated or deprived of sleep in order to prevent this attack.
You didn't actually address the issue that was raised. Should torture be legal as an adjunct to interrogation? You presumably say yes, which means if we capture enemy torturers, they are not criminally liable. Should U.S. police be able to torture to catch a murderer?
Oh, I addressed it but you are unable to respond to it so you keep beating the same dead horse. Water boarding as the CIA did it to those three mass murderers is not torture. Think about it at least a dozen news reporters have eagerly undergone water boarding on TV, would they do this if it were torture???
By the way this is not a military issue it was the CIA.
Personally, I would torture a murdering terrorist if it would provide information that would save innocent lives. If I were the president I would authorize the CIA to do it. That is my own opinion on this issue. But it isn't relevant because there was no torture.
GoneWithTheWind: Water boarding as the CIA did it to those three mass murderers is not torture.
That wasn't the question.
GoneWithTheWind: Personally, I would torture a murdering terrorist if it would provide information that would save innocent lives.
If Americans were tortured in order to get information, say, to save the lives of soldiers in an upcoming battle, would it be a crime?
mudbug: No examples of the torture to which you allude?
Still avoiding the question. If it is legal for the U.S. to torture people for military information, does that mean it is legal for America's enemies to torture Americans for military information.
This is hard for you, understandably, but the implication is clear.