I’ve always liked his politics and his willingness to speak his mind. This is classic.

“I’ll put it to you this way: you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.”

There’s more.

I would pay to see a Ventura-Cheney debate on torture. A good sum.

Why doesn’t this guy have more influence over conservative policy?

I sure wish he did. He seems to get it, and be a good solid sensible conservative at the same time.

I mistrust (to put it mildly) unchecked power. The Democrats almost have it now. Not good over the long run. Power can’t help it; it always abuses.

With respect to torture, the Overton Window needs to be moved (! Just typing it is a wrist-slasher), and I’m not seeing any effort to do that. I wish The Talking Heads would start asking torture apologists if it was OK to grab the detainees’ kids, and drag them behind trucks on ropes tied around the children’s necks, since that would presumably be “effective” at extracting information. Maybe grab the wives and force the hubby’s to watch them violated by horses and such. It isn’t hard to imagine techniques that would be “effective.” Sadly, I prefer sanity.

Because I think you WOULD find a line, eventually, were these questions posed.

We just don’t seem to want to deal with the one that has been established by both conservative and liberal Presidents since WWII. It’s all very disconcerting.

…as torture since there is such a simple solution to it: Waterboard anyone who claims it isn’t torture, until they say it is or never break. We could even have Dr.’s around for them, and tell them they only had to go through it 183 times, so they felt all safe and secure about it, a luxury I don’t think our prisoners have. If they make it through 183 and never break, their principled stand is good by me.

It would make the case pretty rock solid on either side of the fence. They either don’t break, agree that it was torture, or come out later and say they lied about it to make it stop.

Simple, clean, and decisive! We could even tally up the results!

It makes too much sense to actually happen, of course. I’m torn on the whole prosecution thing. I’m wildly morally supportive of it, because people should be held accountable for breaking the law, but the country is in such a mess I’m afraid it will kill us economically and politically.

Another fine Bush legacy, and another demonstration of Bush’s special skill at putting us in lose-lose situations. Bizarro-genius.

Update: Step up, Sean Hannity! Can I do the questioning? I’ll do it for free.

Update 2: Right on! Keith Olbermann issues the same challenge to Hannity! And puts some money where his mouth is! It’s early in the show, but it will be fun to see how this plays out.

Update 3: MSNBC makes it difficult (OK, I found it impossible) to e-mail Keith the suggested ground rules, which is too bad. It would make for better TV.

Anyone who doesn’t think this idea is a deficit-busting (just kidding, but seriously highly profitable) pay-per-view event, done under my direction, is crazy.

I’m a Republican, I dig torture but not in any way but the make us all safe kind, and you can all go fuck yourselves.


What a terrific wanker. He’s earned his honorary award.

Andrew, who is clearly pissed off, has more.

Andrew is righteously, truly, articulately one angry gay Catholic.

I left out some links. I encourage you to read the whole series.

Economic opinions aside, I think Andrew is a good solid Christian, and I respect him for that, even though I consider being a gay Catholic a bit, well, nutty.

The Human Condition is a complicated thing.

Yeah, sure. Conceptually and demographically, I suppose, but I can’t be the only one who doubts Jesus would have approved of this stuff. And I’m no Bible scholar, but I would pretty much bet the ranch and kids that Jesus wouldn’t have participated.


Yuck squared.

Your country, ’tis of thee.

And for the record, I am honestly not naive enough to believe we’re any different than any other The Man throughout all of history, and that individual circumstances may require some extraordinary methods. I just don’t think you should make it public policy, or especially make it public policy when you’re not telling your represented public what you’re doing.

Plus, just out of personal experience, I can confirm beyond a reasonable doubt that if people like (or at least don’t think are palpably enjoying torturing) you, they’ll be more honest and forthright with you.

They (the policy authors) will all get off easy. I hope that my vision of life after death is closer to reality than their publicly pronounced one, all Jesusy, for the perpetrators’ sake, because if they’re right, they’re in for one long interview with St. Peter.

And I’m sure as hell not talking about the people who carried out their orders, either.

Just because Maddow and Olbermann so far are calling it as I see it, only for a million people instead of three.

I see a lot of possible wins out of the debate about what to do about the war crimes Bush and Cheney are now going around admitting authorizing, where everyone else sees doom and gloom. Which may turn out to be true, but I say is premature.

This is one of those deals where you can really see both sides of the argument, and I think where it all boils down is here: Our emotional impulses desire a sweeping of all these tawdry, embarrassing national-responsibility things about ourselves under the political and media rug…really, who wants to live through the last 8 years again? And any resources, even just pointy-headed intellectual ones or Congressional ones used on the pursuit of justice have the very practical and scary prospect of those same resources not using their collective pointy-headedness on the rather pressing issues of the day, while we are simultaneously bombarded with an almost unanimous conclusion among the media that the drama is real(!) and the window of time in which we have to move our glacial economy is just barely open so time is of the essence, all the way from the top, 44 hisself.

But then there is our rational side, even if it is screaming, that we can’t let it go, really, even a President and Vice President should rightly not declare different laws for themselves, in order for us to be a very healthy country. I mean, we all know what would happen if any of us had committed these kinds of crime outside the walls of power. We know the reality is different for The Man. But do we really just want to come out and say it, in a legal sense? In America? That’s a huge cultural shift, and I think most people could be persuaded a dangerous one.

And how exactly do we get better at preventing it from happening again if we’re not sure how and why it happened in the first place? Meanwhile, the law and rationality itself are pretty clear on the whole thing (fabulous post title bonus!) only adding to our dissonance.

I think people like Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and the left and the netroots can win this debate. If this issue is hammered on long enough, they can all credibly claim they’re not left-wing partisan shills (try THAT, wingnuttia!), despite having left wing attitudes, and put the “what will they do if Obama is elected?” stupidity to rest.

Obama wins because he’s got it right on both counts. It’s everyone’s inclination to look forward and not go there, and some of those reasons are actually good. Obama ALSO said he didn’t think anyone above the law, which also represents a good 65% of the people. So what he’s done is framed the debate in a way most people can relate to, of either opinion. His problem is ours.

So he lets it play out, under his terms. The public has no excuse not to pick the ball up and roll with it now, and neither does the media, particularly on the left. The infrastructure is in place. This one is gonna be about who screams loudest and smartest and longest. It’s a choice between two rationally arguably crappy alternatives. The other side can be worn down.

I think most of us know in our hearts what the right, American thing to do is. But we don’t want to do it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but so far I can see some very cleverly placed chess pieces on the table, and losses for anyone severely mitigated.

So far, so good.

Why this narrative has taken hold in the electorate’s mind is a testament to how bad our Corporate Media masters are in the bag.  It’s very sad to behold.

McCain was against torture before he was for it.  Thanks to the good Dr. at Eschaton.  His own nightmare is very similar to mine.  And I think because of the narrative in question, McCain in fact is no worse than 50-50 against Hillary.

…and the rest of the GOP bigwigs.  How do you sleep?

Executive branch tells Executive branch that anything they green-light is legal?  What have we become?

Emptywheel (a lawyer) and Josh explain.

God save the Republic.

Count this as a tribute to a very highly developed soul.  Long live the lovely named John.