Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: "24", Government — Rick Moran @ 11:13 am

Greg Gutfeld wonders (parenthetically) if Jack Bauer is dead because the Obama Administration released the memos concocted by Bush era lawyers to justify the use of torture.

Earlier today President Obama said charges might be brought against those evil Bush lawyers behind the just-released memos justifying the harsh interrogation techniques used against folks who wanted to blow up our country. Or more specifically, blow up Los Angeles.

Which is why I brought up “24.” Not only is it about this sort of thing, it’s made in Los Angeles, a place that might have been totally screwed, if it weren’t for those evil lawyers. Writing in the Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen refers to a memo noting that “enhanced techniques” led to the discovery of a Second Wave attack determined to crash an airliner into the Library Tower, the tallest building on the west coast. Thiessen writes that the info culled using these interrogations led to the arrest of those in charge of attempting this attack.

Now, Thiessen was once a Bush speechwriter, but that doesn’t take away from his point: that although Obama released memos revealing the interrogation techniques, what those actions actually achieved is blacked out.

And that’s the scary part. Usually what goes on behind the scenes is what keeps us alive. Now we know, however, that not only does our President find that sort of thing distasteful – as a consequence, he’s open to sharing this info with everyone.

Except the part where it says it works.

Jack Bauer is officially dead.

I too am troubled that the Obama Administration decided to play politics with this issue by not placing before the American people all the facts. If releasing information on how torture was justified while detailing the specifics and not worry about the national security implications then it stands to reason Obama could have released the information that showed what breaking the law had accomplished as far as actionable intelligence. Needless to say, any actions taken against the lawbreakers by the Obama justice department would be extremely suspect at this point. And given that Congress knew about this lawbreaking all along (at least the leadership of both parties and the intel committees) and didn’t object, it makes any kind of “truth commission” as proposed by Pelosi an absolute joke.

Her hypocrisy should make her first in the dock.

The entire bleeding government of the United States appears to have lost its collective head and engaged in practices that are both abhorrent to our traditions and a violation of national and international law. The idea that Los Angeles was “saved” by torturing people misses the point. What certainty is there that other, legal means used on the prisoner(s) might not have yielded the same information? This piece by Heather McDonald in City Journal a few years ago that goes into detail about our early attempts to get information from battlefield detainees clearly shows that the real professional interrogators didn’t have to break the law in order to glean excellent, actionable intelligence from al-Qaeda prisoners. They skated quite close to the edge but never went over, according to McDonald. And these interrogations were taking place at the same time the whole torture issue was roiling the Bush Administration - a bureaucratic battle of which the interrogators were unaware.

In short, we’ll never know if using legal methods would have gotten the same results. And that’s one of the things that bugs the hell out of me. Even the Los Angeles plot was not a ticking time bomb scenario for the simple reason we didn’t know about it until the “enhanced interrogation techniques” had already been used. Hence, retroactive justification for their use is a non-starter.

I made my feelings known about the release of the memos here. But it is apparent that Gutfeld, who claims to be a fan of 24, hasn’t been watching very carefully recently because if he had, he would have known that Bauer had come to grips with his guilt in breaking the law and wanted America to know why he did it. He wasn’t evading responsibility. But he questioned whether anyone who didn’t have the full story could judge him without standing in his shoes.

This is the latest attempt to whitewash history on the part of torture advocates; it worked so why get all bent out of shape? I will be the first to make the case that we cannot judge what went on in a vacuum, employing the premise that the law is the end all and be all - a force into and of itself - and that any slight deviation from the spirit and the letter of the law must be punished severely. This is the absolutist position and I am not comfortable with it. The law was never meant to be a straitjacket. Otherwise, the entire population would be walking on eggshells.

In Bauer’s case, the routine, almost casual use of torture (with the knowledge and approval of his immediate superiors), was, at first, portrayed as a moral good. Even Jack’s more extreme uses of torture like kneecapping a subject or breaking their fingers one at a time (or his famous zapping of his rival for Audrey’s affections, using a cut off lamp cord as electrodes) was seen as right and necessary to save America from terrorists. But the last few years as Americans became aware of what the government was doing in their name and people became more skeptical of the war in Iraq, the situations where Bauer tortured to get information played out in a much more morally ambiguous universe. There were even attempts to give both sides of the issue a hearing. Bauer himself never really questioned his tactics but it was made clear that he was cognizant that what he was doing was against the law. This culminated in his kidnapping by the Chinese during the season finale two years ago and torture was applied liberally to him while a prisoner. Needless to say, the experience gave Bauer a whole new outlook on torture and made him, if not more reluctant to employ it, more cognizant of the moral framework he was operating under.

This season, Jack’s reputation for torture has been widely derided in the government with some scenes actually casting aspersions on his willingness to break the law. “The FBI doesn’t torture,” said Special Agent Larry Moss whose girlfriend Renee Walker adopted some of Jack’s tactics and felt miserable about it. Gutfeld fails to appreciate the yin and yang of Bauer and Agent Walker who both employ interrogation techniques that are far outside the law but the sympathetic nature of Walker’s character shows the audience the psychic cost involved in torture and that those who practice it are wrong. Bauer is able to deal with his moral ambiguity by seeing the world in black and white - a consequence of his job where friends are few and enemies are as ruthless as they come. Torture is wrong but so is blowing up innocent Americans and whatever means are employed to prevent the latter takes priority over any moral judgments that are inherent in the former.

This new appreciation for the diameters of Bauer’s moral universe, rather than killing Bauer off has instead imbued him with more humanity. His contempt for people who have no clue what his methods have cost personally does not override the fact that he is fully aware that torture is illegal and that, as he said at the senate hearing in this year’s first episode, he will gladly take the consequences of his actions as long as the people get the full story. That story includes the machinations of people very high in government who turned the other way and didn’t care how the job got done as long as Bauer kept Americans from being killed in large numbers. Each president Bauer served under was fully aware of what Bauer was doing to prisoners in order to glean actionable intelligence and never once remonstrated against him for it. His bitterness is partly fed by the fact that some of those same people are now trying to put him behind bars for what he believes, in essence, following orders.

I said this two years ago:

The moral choices made by characters on 24 do not necessarily shed light on contemporary America so much as they illustrate time-honored thematic constructs from great literature and drama of the past. By definition, these themes are “conservative” in that they reflect a traditional approach to drama while offering a point of view regarding the threat of terrorism that more conservatives seem to be comfortable with than liberals. But at the same time, the show seeks to redefine the moral universe inhabited by the characters who are asked to sacrifice traditional values for the greater good of saving the country.

But we don’t live in Jack’s world. The world we live in is a many layered, textured nightmare of progressively darker shades of grey. What is torture? Is it right to make someone stand for 12 hours straight? Can you “waterboard” someone? Beyond the moral choices regarding torture, does it work? Is it necessary? The rest of the world is appalled at some of our answers. Shouldn’t we be?

I would argue with Gutfeld that rather than killing him off, the release of the torture memos places Jack Bauer in a much more human light. They allow us to understand that Bauer’s actions cannot be considered “rogue” in the sense that he was going off half cocked. Jack’s torturing was not a reflection of anything necessarily wrong with him as it was a reflection of the times in which he lived and the moral choices made by his superiors. It humanizes Bauer to have functioned in this atmosphere and rather than announcing his death, one might argue that he has been reborn and while still willing to use torture in the process of saving lives, is much more aware of the moral dimensions to his actions.


  1. Hey Rick, you need to read this. And Obama didn’t just decide to release the memo’s. It was done to meet a court ordered deadline.

    Sorry but Obama could have gone to court and refused to release them. And the second set of memos he selectively released in an appalling attempt to spin history his way should disabuse anyone of the notion that this guy is anything but a corrupt pol.

    And what’s the point of linking to the Times peice? My calling torture a crime not good enough for ya? Can’t take yes for an answer just like any partisan hack who visit this site.


    Comment by Mr. Stuck — 4/23/2009 @ 11:39 am

  2. Sad that I would put what I read on a corporate bathroom stall wall above the NY Times and Newsweek. At least my bathroom stall wall was written on by professionals. Can you say the same for the NY Times and Newsweek?

    Comment by EBJ — 4/23/2009 @ 12:52 pm

  3. Court ordered? LOL. Unless it was the Supreme Court, the Obammys didn’t have to do it. But that is the koolaid flavor for today. Persoanlly I feel that every captive should be tortured. Tortured until Al Quiada agreed to abide by the Geneva Convention. We didn’t enter that agreement to feel good about ourselves. We did it to protect our captured troops. (Read those last two lines over and over libs).

    Comment by Blue Gums Obama — 4/23/2009 @ 1:03 pm

  4. Rick,

    I would like to take exception to the statement that you wrote to wit “In short, we’ll never know if using legal methods would have gotten the same results.”

    I can respect, though disagree, with your position that water-boarding is antithetical to the traditions of the United States. That is a fair position that reasonable people, I believe, can debate. But to take the position that these methods were illegal is stretching the argument. To my knowledge there is no US law on the books that pronounces these methods illegal. Indeed, it is the legal ambiguities that prompted the CIA to request a DOJ legal interpretation. The legal eagles at Justice rendered their opinion based on US law and the CIA accordingly acted in good faith.

    Comment by Cinabar — 4/23/2009 @ 1:26 pm

  5. And if you didn’t use “enhanced interrogation techniques” and the terrorists succeeded in blowing a huge hole in Hollywood, you could always tell yourself that they would have lied anyway. There’s nothing more satisfying than having a clean conscience. Tell that to the victims of 9/11.

    Comment by oldfeziwig — 4/23/2009 @ 1:54 pm

  6. He may not be totally dead, but for every hour the writers do not kill off that show-soul sucking Jenene Garafalo, Jack Bauer dies inside a little. She is the Jar-Jar of 24.

    Comment by Donkey Punch — 4/23/2009 @ 2:10 pm

  7. Mr. Moran,

    Thank you for the recent articles you have written on the torture issue. I believe you have tried to make a legitimate, logical argument about torture. Too often we like to put the ticking time bomb scenario up as the everyday situation, which it is not. I think we also treat these interrogation methods like they were used on everyone, they were not. When the time bomb scenario occurs, that should be a decision left to the President, then briefed to the appropriate members of Congress. Vince Flynn’s last book also addresses the torture issue. Thanks for making us think.

    Comment by Xander — 4/23/2009 @ 2:13 pm

  8. Court ordered? LOL. Unless it was the Supreme Court, the Obammys didn’t have to do it

    I didn’t say they had to do it. I said it was court ordered and it was. They could have appealed it to the Supremes, yea. The point being, it wasn’t done just because they just up and decided to stick it to Bush/Cheney. If that were true, we would be seeing a lot more evidence of the Bush Crime Syndicate being publicly released out of spite.

    . Persoanlly I feel that every captive should be tortured. Tortured until Al Quiada agreed to abide by the Geneva Convention. We didn’t enter that agreement to feel good about ourselves. We did it to protect our captured troops. (Read those last two lines over and over libs).

    Tortured logic from a tortured mind. This is your party’s current mindset, Mr Moran.

    Comment by Mr. Stuck — 4/23/2009 @ 3:17 pm

  9. As long as Garafolo is on the program I refuse to watch. I wretch whenever I see that filthy skank.

    Comment by CZ — 4/23/2009 @ 4:30 pm

  10. Waterboarding has never been deemed illegal, even though congress had several opportunities to do so. To prosecute or even talk about prosecuting people who give well reasoned and researched legal advice to and at the behest of the POTUS, and especially during a time of war, and even more especially, shortly after we had just suffered the largest attack on American soil in the history of the nation, is absolutely the act of a narcissistic, banana republic, arrogant, and deceitful thug.

    Surely, nobody would do such a thing, Rick. Why even bother speculating on the topic.

    Comment by cdor — 4/23/2009 @ 4:45 pm

  11. CZ, record the show and fast forward through the few insignificant seconds of Garafolo.

    Comment by cdor — 4/23/2009 @ 4:48 pm

  12. When did all this lefty PC bull take over from common friggin sense? geeze, this admin is filled with idiots.

    Comment by Aj Montana — 4/23/2009 @ 4:52 pm

  13. Hey Aj, the previous administration invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Now thats king sized idiots. Bush was a fool, all neo-cons were fools.

    Comment by Joe — 4/23/2009 @ 6:00 pm

  14. I think we’re getting away from the essential point. It’s not how we tortured - its WHO we tortured. Waterboarding is too good for the likes of the animal who personally, slowly, cut off Danny Pearl’s head and planned the attack that incinerated thousand of Americans 7 1/2 years ago. Rick, if you heard that last cell phone call from the woman at the WTC who said she ‘burning up’, would you deny anyone the satisfaction of causing the greatest pain possible to the son of a bitch?

    Comment by ecs — 4/23/2009 @ 6:38 pm

  15. When discussing the American governments use of torture it might prove helpful to keep in mind a few things that are distinct:

    It’s legality. Is torture legal in the United States. Is it prohibited by statute.
    It’s morality. Does it fit within an agreed upon code of right and wrong. Is it outside this code.
    It’s efficacy. Does it accomplish its goals and objectives.
    It’s efficacy relative to other techniques. How well does it accomplish its stated objectives and goals relative to all other available means for accomplishing the stated goals and objectives.
    The costs. Is there blow back that negates the positive effects gained by torturing.

    A wide variety of different conclusions could be drawn depending on how these variables fit together. To look at opposite extremes it could be that torture is legal, moral, effective and the most effective at achieving stated goals and objectives compared to available alternatives. There are no apparent costs. At the other extreme it could prove to be illegal, immoral, totally ineffective or at least less effective than the available alternatives. There are costs and unintended consequences that will work against American interests in the short medium and long term.

    I have even heard a view expressed that torture has some kind of negative soul destroying effect on both the torturer and the society that prefers torture to “remain mysterious” by looking the other way and to just”keep on walking”.

    The consensus Republican position for wide distribution in the media seems to be that it is extremely effective, not really illegal, and morally ambiguous in a post 9/11 universe. Many think “Don’t ask don’t tell should be the order of the day”, because what you don’t know can’t hurt you.

    Imagine that torture is moral, effective, comes at little or no cost to the practitioner or his country but is illegal in that country. What should be done?

    Retroactive immunity?
    Pass laws legalizing torture?
    “Don’t ask don’t tell” ? (keep it a mystery and keep on walkin?)
    Something else?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/23/2009 @ 6:50 pm

  16. ECS:

    No, the question is not who tortured. The question is who we are.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/23/2009 @ 7:06 pm

  17. I find it very hipocritical for you to have a show displaying a member of the CIA or the Mlitary as a guy who “breaks” fingers and then attempt to laughingly compare that to putting a harmless catipillar in a room with someone or waterboarding. The equivocation is laughable.

    To then talk about the “Bauer’s” characters guilt.

    What is going on here is quite simply a Stalinist show trial by a President who is a FASCIST. He is a proud follower of the Third Way who has gleefully stocked and inflamed a recession into a full fledged economic crisus to justify the government takeover of the many key players in the bankng industry but not until having forced the merging and monopolization of an already small oligarchy.

    By the way the line “Jack Bauer is dead” is a metaphor for any reasonable ability of our current intelligence service to defend themselves. No one really cares about you show!

    Comment by Individualist — 4/23/2009 @ 7:17 pm

  18. I someone who believes that society has to ‘take the trash’ out to the curb now and then. Save me you’re cheap moral sanctity. You need us.

    Comment by ecs — 4/23/2009 @ 7:18 pm

  19. ECS:

    Don’t play the tough guy with me. The Army objected to torture. That would be the United States Army. Our army. The FBI refused to participate. You know who supported torture? Fat, pale Washington lawyers and bureaucrats.

    You know who else believed in waterboarding? The Chinese communists. The Japanese Imperial army. You know: the enemy.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/23/2009 @ 7:33 pm

  20. Michael, the ‘enemy’ bombed cities, they shot surrendering soldiers and they killed innocents by the thousands. SO DID WE. Tokyo, Hiroshima, Dresden, (pick any Vietnamese village). And I believe we are still doing so in the two wars this President is pursuing now.

    And yet you separate the righteous from the depraved societies on the basis of who engages in ‘waterboarding’? The absurd level of moral masterbation here is breathtaking!

    And Michael, why do you assume that this policy was initiated by ‘fat’ and ‘pale’ people?

    Comment by ecs — 4/23/2009 @ 8:28 pm

  21. Former Veep Cheney claims that the redacted parts of these memos that Czar in Chief (in charge of all of the czardines) Barack Obama has released, actually state that the information gleaned from interrogating coercively men captured during the course of defending this country from enemies who have stated publicly their desire to destroy this country and have actually successfully attacked and killed 3000 American and other innocent people, uncovered and stopped further attemps to kill thousands more people.

    I, for one, believe this might be slightly relavent. Not that I believe anyone elected and sworn in, under oath, as POTUS, would ever attempt to prosecute patriots who, in a previous administration, saved thousands more American lives without even causing so much as a skin rash to the totally diabolical perpetrators of a massive death provoking attack, even if they didn’t uncover and prevent further attacks. Call me curious. Why was the only info released that which could actually help our sworn enemies prepare defences against us and not info that could gird the American loin against said enemies?

    Oh, excuse me, this would never be done by a POTUS duly elected and sworn to office by the citizens of the greatest country mankind has known. So fergetaboutit…as Gelda Rattner would say, “Never mind.”

    But, just in case something extraordinary happened, and the citizens did elect such a scurrilous person to be their LEADER (Czar in Chief), we should not forget that the previous administration did include ALL of the relavent members of the Czars very own group in the decisions to perform these coersive interrogations. And guess what? All of the current CIC’s buddies said, yea, go for it!

    Well, all I can say is that it is obvious, no Czar in his right mind (that didn’t want to damage his own country’s ability to defend itself) would ever perform such perfidy.

    Comment by cdor — 4/23/2009 @ 8:51 pm

  22. cdor,
    If torture is as effective as Former Veep Cheney claims at saving innocent American lives, why not Legalize Torture explicitly as a matter of U.S law? It would make America safe and it would protect the practitioners of torture from the possibility of prosecution.

    It would immediately become completely above board as a matter of policy. I’d bet it would even make the practitioners of torture sleep better knowing that what they were doing was beyond prosecution. All the legal ambiguity and “mystery” (thanks Peggy) surrounding torture would be gone.

    If torture is necessary for the protection of a free state, then legalize it.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/23/2009 @ 9:30 pm

  23. ECS

    We have always drawn a line between what we do in battle and what we do to a helpless captive. We’ve tried and executed people for ignoring that line. we have court-martialled American soldiers for this. Churchill rejected it. The Luftwaffe rejected it.

    That’s not a line I draw, it’s a line drawn in American law, and in our treaties, and in our differentiation of ourselves from our enemies. It’s one of the things that makes us the good guys.

    You want to wallow in human gutter with North Korea, North Vietnam, the PRC? That’s your business. But stop pretending you’re some kind of patriot. The patriots resisted this. It was the cowards, the panicky, the weak who leapt at the chance to commit torture: draft dodger Dick Cheney and draft dodger George W. Bush.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/23/2009 @ 9:52 pm

  24. cdor,
    If torture is as effective as Former Veep Cheney claims at saving innocent American lives, why not Legalize Torture explicitly as a matter of U.S law? It would make America safe and it would protect the practitioners of torture from the possibility of prosecution.

    Well. I don’t know bs. Are the coercion techniques used on these murderous gruels torture? When given the opportunity, why didn’t congress outlaw the specific techniques used? Do you think, just maybe, that protecting the “practitioners” as you call these patriot warriors defending America, was exactly what the legal team, now scoriated by Czar Obama, attempting to do?

    Comment by cdor — 4/23/2009 @ 10:10 pm

  25. Michael,
    I’m afraid what I’m having to “wallow in” is your never-ending faux-moral preening and sanctimonious pretentiousness.
    Are you condoning our killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in war, but condemning the temporary submersion of a man who fried and tore apart innocent men, women and children on 9/11? I was five blocks away and saw the jumpers and the sickening sight and sound of the collapse- I tasted when it reached my building in Tribeca . And if you want conformation of that - I’ll bring it, sir. I swear, any time, any place.
    It seems you can’t carry on a serious debate on this subject because you have an overriding leftist agenda that compels you to talk about ‘draft-dodging Dick Cheney and draft-dodger George Bush’ or “fat, pale” men in every other post.
    Shouldn’t your moral arguments carry their own weight?

    Comment by ecs — 4/23/2009 @ 10:18 pm

  26. Michael Reynolds, I really hate to go here, but you are truly a contemptible fool. Die with your own sense of honor if you must. That is your priviledge. Just do not expect and demand that others go with you. To castigate and prosecute those doing everything they could to save your bacon…honestly, I am at a loss for words.

    Comment by cdor — 4/23/2009 @ 10:29 pm

  27. I like how Rick juxtaposes a fictitious Hollywood thriller with reality. If torture was the cornerstone of interrogation techniques, why even stop with the previously legalized “enhanced” methods and start surgically removing detainee’s testicles and shoving them down his throat? I mean, after all, the end result justifies everything, right? Why not shove a hose up a suspected child kidnapper, while hung him upside down, have the water flow from his large intestine to his mouth? That should get him talking about the child’s where about, wouldn’t you agree?

    Another fantasy that people usually indulge themselves with is the singularity of action by the protagonist on the shows. From Rambo to Bauer, the movies depict the safety of entire nation resting on the shoulders of one individual while in reality, the process includes if not thousands but hundreds of people, each with the different set of complex psychological construct. If torture was to be allowed, each person in charge would ultimately interpret the definition on its own merit and on top of that, this action, if permitted, would let others to employ torture as a justifiable means in their line of work (law enforcement, et al.). So as you can see, it is not about “them” but rather it’s about “us.”

    And please stop falsely perpetuating the notion that the high ranking congressional officials knew fully what it was going on. They were briefed by the appropriate agency but were not given the exact details of these enhanced interrogation techniques. Another fallacy that is finding its way in the morally bankrupted political sphere is that the tortures employed by the previous administration were vital in keeping us safe. So if there was no attack during any administration that does not condone torture, should we automatically assume the lack of such techniques was imminent in prevention of further attacks in that period? The argument is moot.

    Bottom line, the United States of America does NOT torture, period.

    P.S. I am really interested in seeing an official report elaborating on how the previous administration’s torture saved thousands of lives by foiling a major attack on the US soil. If they had, wouldn’t have we heard about it by now? After all, that would constitute an ultimate PR triumph.

    Comment by Elizho — 4/23/2009 @ 10:35 pm

  28. cdor,

    We have the ability to refer to the torture with any euphemism we choose. Some prefer “enhanced interrogation”. I will simply refer to them as “techniques”.

    The hand was well played by the Bush Administration when they made sure Congress was in on their dirty little secret. Congressional leaders were made aware of the “techniques”. In typical cowardly fashion, Congressional leaders said and did nothing upon finding out about the “techniques”.

    It quickly became about C.Y.A. The Congress was engaged in C.Y.A. by not disclosing what they knew and not explicitly making the “techniques” illegal. The White House was engaged in C.Y.A. when they had their legal team give justifications for the use of “techniques”. The legal team in the White House was first and foremost interested in covering the @sses of the people in the White House. They needed to be protected in case the public found out about the “techniques”.

    The preferred and proper way to legalize the “techniques” so that our patriot warriors are acting within the law is to, well, legalize them.

    We could have called it the “Protect America from Extremists Act”. Both Houses of Congress pass a version. Differences are hammered out in conference. The President signs the bill into law. The law is signed at the White House using several dozen special pens used by other Presidents.

    The “techniques” are now made legal. The patriot warriors are protected from prosecution. Everyone one involved from Congress members, to the patriot warriors, to the President and his council are protected because the process was transparent and sanctioned by the Constitution.

    It is how it could have been done. It is how it should have been done.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/23/2009 @ 10:41 pm

  29. “P.S. I am really interested in seeing an official report elaborating on how the previous administration’s torture saved thousands of lives by foiling a major attack on the US soil. If they had, wouldn’t have we heard about it by now? After all, that would constitute an ultimate PR triumph” - per “Elizho”

    Elizho, Apparently you agree 100% with our former VP Cheney! This is exactly what he’s calling on President Obama to do. To declassify and release THIS part of the story. Good call!

    Comment by ecs — 4/23/2009 @ 10:43 pm

  30. ecs,

    I wonder why his boss hadn’t done that before leaving office! Humility? Doubt it. Cheney has proven himself to be nothing more than a verbal vomitter [sic] with no moral integrity. Moreover, the issue is not about whether the information collected was directly resulted from the tortures but rather the legality of the techniques in its entirety. Unless you spout “whatever president does, it doesn’t make it illegal” argument. In that case, happy God-Wins law.

    Comment by Elizho — 4/23/2009 @ 10:53 pm

  31. Since we live in a democracy where citizens need to know what’s going on in order to execute their civic duties, like inform their representatives how they feel about the things being done in their names, perhaps a copy of the memos with no redaction is in order. A memo with no names redacted would be especially beneficial.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/24/2009 @ 12:30 am

  32. Gee whiz bs, please forgive me. I haven’t yet completed my training in Statist re-education. I still am under the impression that the general definition of all things that are not specifically illegal is that they are, well, they are LEGAL.

    I’ll have to return for my second course.

    Comment by cdor — 4/24/2009 @ 6:00 am

  33. Khalid was waterboarded 183 times!. Yet there was no blood loss, no scars, no permanent damage of any kind. All 5 senses and all body parts worked as well as they did before they started.

    And you call that torture?

    I think we all understand that reagardless of what they say officially, and however they want to define torture, any and all governments will use whatever methods they deem appropriate to get information they think is vital to their cause.

    Obama’s approval ratings have dropped like a rock over the past two months. He is only digging himself an earlier grave by bringing this up. It’s amature hour again. He and his crew haven’t got a clue how to handle power.

    If only we can find a suitable opponent, he should be gone in 4.

    Comment by Bob — 4/24/2009 @ 8:12 am

  34. Bob,
    I’m not sure I get the point of your post but let me try and paraphrase.

    If a person isn’t disfigured or killed as a result of the “techniques” it can not be that bad. Besides, governments will use “any means necessary” including “techniques” usually seen as as “cruel and unusual” to get information that is important and vital. Anybody that does not understand this simple truth is naive at best and a traitor at worst. I that about right?

    Although the following clip is not about the use of “techniques”, it does illustrate the “by any means necessary” psychology.

    See Jack Nicholson take Tom Cruise to school, but suffer as a result here:

    Comment by bsjones — 4/24/2009 @ 5:52 pm

  35. CDOR:

    It has come to this: conservatism now means having no sense of honor, of allying oneself morally with war criminals, with people we ourselves executed as war criminals. It means sinking to the level of our enemies and despising our laws, our treaties and our history.

    You despise the American soldiers who refused to participate in this torture. You despise the FBI who refused to participate in this torture. You despise even those CIA agents who counseled against this torture. Instead you embrace the practices of the Japanese Imperial army, the Chinese communists and the Gestapo.

    You should think long and hard about the line between “conservative” and “fascist.” People like you don’t protect me or anything else about this country. You are far more dangerous to this country, to its traditions, laws, constitution and moral standing than any of our current enemies.

    We can withstand hits from terrorists. We would not survive people like you in positions of power.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/24/2009 @ 5:55 pm

  36. It has come to this: supporting Obama now means having no sense of honor, of allying oneself morally with William Ayers, B. Dorhn.

    Comment by Mike Reynolds — 4/27/2009 @ 11:03 am

  37. I really miss your “24″ reviews. They were the best. Also the kill rates. I can’t keep up. Have you been doing that on the side???

    No - but Jack’s kill count is way, way down this year. A dozen and a half would be my guess. And with four episodes left, it will more than likely mean that Jack will end up with a smaller body count than at any time since I began keeping score.

    I wish I had the time to write about it - I really do. Not to be, I guess.


    Comment by Bob — 4/28/2009 @ 9:29 am

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