Tag Archives: torture

The fine mind of Rick Santorum

Now that Huckabee and Trump are out of the race for the Republican nomination, the real cream is rising to the top. (Today I embrace the cliché.)

He looks so smart!

So here comes Rick Santorum, two-term Senator tossed out by his constituents in horror once they realized what they’d actually elected (he lost to Bob Casey 40% to 60% and it doesn’t get bigger than that in American politics). Naturally, he is running for President and is being taken seriously by the serious people who populate our cable news outlets and their intertubes brethren.

On the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Santorum pushed back against John McCain‘s claim that torture did not contribute to unearthing bin Laden. Transcript via Salon:

HH: Now your former colleague, John McCain, said look, there’s no record, there’s no evidence here that these methods actually led to the capture or the killing of bin Laden. Do you disagree with that? Or do you think he’s got an argument?

RS: I don’t, everything I’ve read shows that we would not have gotten this information as to who this man was if it had not been gotten information from people who were subject to enhanced interrogation. And so this idea that we didn’t ask that question while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being waterboarded, he doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works. I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative. And that’s when we got this information. And one thing led to another, and led to another, and that’s how we ended up with bin Laden.

Got that?

It really depends on what religion you are

Just a few bizarre comments from our political class regarding the Austin Texas suicide bomber who flew into an IRS building.

Texastrailerparktrash at I Tried Being Tasteful brought my attention to this yesterday. She’s especially interested since she lives in Austin and is paying a bit more attention than the rest of us might.

It seems Governor Tim Pawlenty “took up the theme of violence against the State”, wading into it with a comparison to Tiger Woods wife. He said, among other stupid things “[we should] take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government in this country. We’ve had enough.”

Or an airplane if the tire iron doesn’t do it.

Then, we have Rep. Steven King going at it with his own thoughts (He sits in the US House of Representatives.) Try this one on for size:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a crowd at CPAC on Saturday that he could “empathize” with the suicide bomber who last week attacked an IRS office in Austin, and encouraged his listeners to “implode” other IRS offices, according to a witness.

And yesterday Andrew Sullivan pointed to this from a Catholic blogger he follows. The subject was comments by the daughter of the IRS bomber; she thinks her father is a hero and a Patriot.

” . . . if this woman were Muslim, the Rubber Hose Right would be demanding that she be subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques in order to determine who else she may know who might be about to fly a plane into a building as an act of terrorism.”

Spencer Ackerman is a reporter. I cut and paste.

A Cheney (Liz) yesterday:

  • I worry though when we capture these leaders that we no longer have the option of using any of the enhanced interrogation techniques because the president took those off the table. When you’ve got people in captivity we’d like our CIA officials in particular to have the capacity to do more than just ask the terrorists to please tell us what they want.

The Commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and South Asia today:

  • Asked about whether the U.S. ought to torture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy commander of the Taliban, recently captured in Pakistan said “I have always been on record, in fact since 2003, with the concept of living our values.” Every time the U.S. took what he called “expedient measures” around the Geneva Conventions, those deviations just “turned around and bitten us on our backside.” The effect of torture at Abu Ghraib is “non-biodegradable,” he continued, and boasted that as commander of the 101st Airborne in Iraq, he ordered his men to ignore any instruction to use techniques outside the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. Besides, the non-torture techniques that manual has long instructed? “That works,” he said. “That is our experience.”

I betcha ole Liz would like to see Dave stood up in front of a court martial for disobeying orders in a time of war.

Good morning

There’s a noticable change outside this morning. The air is a bit warmer – it inspires, beckons. Of course, get a little hope going and we all know old man winter will be back to blow a cold laugh right in our faces. But it’s February and his strength will fail him. Time is on our side.

But not everywhere. I read an article last night and my heart is breaking again. It’s an account of America’s Secret Afghan Prisons. We’re still doing it, we’re still out there turning friends into enemies and foolishly lying to ourselves. Put lipstick on it all we want; we – and the Afghans – know what this is. These are the methods of  tyranny. This is not what the good guys do. When I hear these stories – and while I weep for what they’re now calling ‘the disappeared’ (Chile anyone?) – I grieve for my country and for myself. I pay my taxes, so they do this in my name.

We’ve snatched Afghans from their homes in the middle of the night. And tell the family nothing. For days, for weeks and longer. Some haven’t been heard from at all. This is brutish. Allies don’t do this. So what are we?

“These night raids have become even more feared and hated in Afghanistan than coalition airstrikes. The raids and detentions, little known or understood outside the Pashtun villages, have been turning Afghans against the very forces many of them greeted as liberators just a few years ago.”

So when I fear for our troops there, should I perhaps care only for some of them? I really don’t know. But I do know it’s the 129th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan. And how long has this been going on?