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-   -   Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2973)

uncle ebeneezer 04-30-2009 06:03 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
MM, you seem to be on the same page so I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but just for the sake of pointing it out to others:

Quote:

1. After 9/11, we were all freaked out. We over-reacted. There's no benefit to dragging the nation through a giant traumatic debate to discuss whether this was a mistake. Of course it was a mistake, but we meant well and simply wanted to protect the country.
The problem is too many people using this line of argument are clearly unwilling to admit the final sentence, and are in fact, using a permutation of this argument to claim that it was NOT a mistake.

mmacklem 04-30-2009 06:10 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 112116)
The problem is too many people using this line of argument are clearly unwilling to admit the final sentence, and are in fact, using a permutation of this argument to claim that it was NOT a mistake.

Omitting the last sentence is not intended as a defense of the Bush Administration. That's a defense of torture. I consider that part of argument 3.

mmacklem 04-30-2009 06:52 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 112109)
Yeah, there's no doubt about this point. I used to have great respect for Glenn's moral sense, and I said after several of his early diavlogs that Obama could do far worse than to hire Glenn to be the conscience of his Administration. This feeling has been ebbing lately, and mmacklem pretty much just let all the rest of the water out of my pool with that one clip.

Wow, that's too much power for one dingalink to have...

I'll make a defense of Glenn's position then, as my last comment on this point: in the context of the time of the DNC, the 2004 election was viewed as having one of two possible slants: if the election was a referendum on Bush, then McCain didn't have a chance; if the election was a referendum on Obama, then McCain at least had hope. The lack of discussion of torture at the DNC indicated that the course of making the election a referendum on Bush would focus on incompetent governance (Katrina, Iraq, etc.), but that the torture policy was still viewed as being off-limits -- not a property of incompetence, and thus unpredictable in the impact it would have on the electorate, since it could turn away from being a debate on torture and into a debate on national security. The decision to shy away from an issue with clear moral dimensions because of the possibility of unpredictable politics is clearly offensive and indicative of rank cowardice, and thus could be as repulsive as Loury clearly believes it to be in that clip. (I remember, but am unableto find a link to, Andrew Sullivan's first post-2004-election blog post, where he marvels at the utter absence of torture in any of the debates, or really the entire election. The fact that this was still the case in 2008 seemed to be the target of Loury's wrath.)

After the election, none of that is the case: the election was a referendum on Bush, he was roundly rejected, and that could arguably settle the question. The problem for me, and I suspect for others in this thread, is the fact that you cannot simultaneously take offense at the absence of torture within the election campaign and interpret the outcome of the election as being an in-part public rejection of the policy of torture.

And one last point: Glenn and John seem to think there are two choices, investigate or don't investigate. The problem is that the latter choice has extremely unpredictable consequences, because the lack of an investigation by the U.S. opens up all sorts of issues regarding international law and universal jurisdiction, as we're seeing now with the actions of the courts in Spain in recent days. The choice seems to be to investigate in the U.S., or to cede jurisdiction of any investigation to the international community. The question of investigating or not seems to be closed, there _will_ be an investigation somewhere. It's just an issue of what statement is made to the international community by the degree of American involvement.

And in the meantime my previous comments to John still hold.

halfers3 04-30-2009 07:05 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
If you are not advocating for torture but proclaiming its efficacy then would it not make sense, if you disagree with its usage, to advocate against it? To argue that torture works without any rejoinder statement repudiating its usage would, at least to me, seem like an argument in favour of the use of torture. It would seem counter-intuitive to me to argue that something works while disagreeing with its usage and remaining silent on that last point. Maybe I misinterpreted the position and if that is the case I apologize.

I can understand any number of practical and pragmatic reasons as to why criminal charges and/or truth commissions would not be beneficial for the U.S. at this point in time -- none by the way pointed out by either Glenn or John. However, although the real consequences of both criminal trials and truth comissions to the U.S.'s foreign and domestic interests must be taken into consideration,the argument that they are warranted on moral grounds stands, and thus both of these devices must be seriously considered if Americans are serious about reclaiming the perception of moral superiority in the global system. As you pointed out uncle eb, the government is in essence an agent of its citizenry. Repudiating the Bush administration's policies by throwing its party out of office is a start, but I dont know if that goes far enough and I am not entirely convinced that the negative consequences of holding people criminally responsible for actions and policies made illegal when the U.S. signed the Geneva convention outweighs the positives.

cragger 04-30-2009 07:54 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Regarding the question of letting bygones be bygones, or just letting folks argue indefinitely over what constitutes the truth in the inevitable partisan loop -

The issue of precedent and consequence seems significant. With this climate, and the precedent of the Bush admin folks skating over their various offenses, can you imagine a future Nixon being forced to resign over a future Watergate? Or did Ford's blanket pardon and an appreciation of the increase of partisanship and decline of ideals embolden a view that not only would there be no post-office repurcussions regardless of conduct, but that there would be no consequences while in office either? What limits on executive conduct remain?

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 08:06 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 112136)
Regarding the question of letting bygones be bygones, or just letting folks argue indefinitely over what constitutes the truth in the inevitable partisan loop -

The issue of precedent and consequence seems significant. With this climate, and the precedent of the Bush admin folks skating over their various offenses, can you imagine a future Nixon being forced to resign over a future Watergate? Or did Ford's blanket pardon and an appreciation of the increase of partisanship and decline of ideals embolden a view that not only would there be no post-office repurcussions regardless of conduct, but that there would be no consequences while in office either? What limits on executive conduct remain?

I think it's arguable that in retrospect, the way Ford handled it turned out pretty well in the long run. Nixon had already had his reputation ruined in the eyes of mainstream Americans by Woodward and Bernstein and his resignation, his legacy was further diminished by the fact that his Presidential Library was made ineligible for public funding, and he lost his government pension. That many in the country thought Ford let Nixon off the hook was resolved by their voting him out of office. Finally, I think succeeding presidents were made well aware the risks that they take by going down the same road Nixon did.

That said, you make good points, and it's also easily argued that the Bush Administration seems only to have learned from Nixon that you have to do a better job at the cover-up and building plausible deniability. I agree that it will be very bad precedent if this entire torture thing is just swept under the rug. And ideally, whoever looks into the whole mess will not overlook the connections between the Bush Administration's torture policies and their use of them to try to justify the invasion of Iraq.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 08:13 PM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmacklem (Post 112126)
[...]

Noted. I have nothing left to add.

Lyle 04-30-2009 08:27 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Atrios or the Huffington Post are more respectable than Thomas Friedman? Haha.

Everyone should read the New York Times editorial pages since so many people read it. Not all of them are good, but they're something to reference and start a conversation with.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 08:36 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 112149)
Atrios is more respectable than Thomas Friedman? Haha.

He is to me, for at least three reasons: he is more often correct in his assessments, he's a lot more morally consistent, and he does not feel compelled to go along with the crowd. Atrios was from the start opposed to George and Dick's excellent adventure in Iraq when Friedman was falling all over himself to root for it and then later being an apologist for it.

Also, lest you think Atrios is just mindlessly partisan, he has not hesitated to register his displeasure with aspects of the Obama Administration that he does not like.

If you're interested in hearing critiques you may not have thought of yourself (and not just of Obama), you'd do far better to spend the time it takes to read Friedman over at Atrios's place instead.

bjkeefe 04-30-2009 08:44 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 112149)
Atrios or the Huffington Post are more respectable than Thomas Friedman? Haha.

Everyone should read the New York Times editorial pages since so many people read it. Not all of them are good, but they're something to reference and start a conversation with.

I see you have modified your post since I started responding to the original version. My response regarding Atrios still stands.

As to the HuffPo, a comparison between that giant site and Friedman doesn't have any meaning to me. I suppose if you ask me the question, "If you had to give up reading Friedman or all of the HuffPo, which would it be?", that would be easy enough to answer, but there are so many different people writing for the HuffPo that I am not about to go down some road where you can hold up an Aston Kutcher or Jim Carrey post and triumphantly squeal as though you've made some sort of point.

Agree that it's good to know some of the CW, and that talking about what's on the op-ed page of the NYT is an easy way to start a conversation. Don't agree that all the people who write there are worth reading. I no longer care what Thomas Friedman (or MoDo, or Nick Kristof, to name two others) have to say about anything. If someone tries to start a conversation with me about one of those people's recent columns, I'll listen for a bit and then ask to change the subject to something less banal.

Unit 04-30-2009 10:36 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 112090)
I didn't get very far. These two are usually really interesting but this time they were just arrogant jerks.

Glenn was talking about people getting on their high horses for wanting to prosecute torturers. Do you really need to explain incentives to an economist? If you let people get away torture, you're going to get more torture. And Glenn should really get off his own damned high horse. He's doing a hell of a lot of mind reading here, assuming that everybody who wants to, you know, enforce the god damn law is on a partisan witch hunt.

The last thing we need is congressional hearings or a truth commission. How much truth are we going to get out of these liars? And it was hearings that turned Oliver North into a hero. Getting those creeps in front of the cameras explaining why torture is teh awesome is just going to make it more partisan and further debase our standards. It ought to be prosecuted like the crime it is, with the plain old law and plain old prosecutors.

I would add that since the US has such an overwhelming military superiority, all the arguments to the effect that war times are special times and require special rules should be somehow weaker.

Lyle 04-30-2009 10:39 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Perhaps you're right about Atrios, but Thomas Friedman is still Thomas Friedman. He writes for the New York Times, not just a blog (not a slight to blog, love the blogs), he's constantly traveling the world, and all kinds of important people listen to him. Just because he was not averse to seeing Saddam Hussein's regime end, is not a reason to stop reading him.

In fact if you don't agree with him, the more you should read him in my opinion. Andrew Sullivan and I have had a falling out, and I still read his blog everyday.

I don't mean to criticize Atrios or the Huffington Post either (they both have things to offer), but their credentials just are not the same as Friedman's. They're G.W. Bush to Friedman's Barack Obama. Hehe.

Lyle 04-30-2009 10:40 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Why are you so bothered by modifying one's posts? I change mine all the time. My grammar is an abomination. I write a post, publish it, read it and then I change things I don't like about it. I don't change it to correspond to how you or anyone else replies. You should have figured this out by now if you really paid close attention.

I like Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman the least. They're hyper partisan and I don't care for that. Kristol doesn't belong at the Times and I don't really think of him as a Times guy, but a Weekly Standard guy (very good read, by the way). Dowd is entertaining, but juvenile. Kristoff is hit or miss, i.e., right half the time, wrong the other half of the time, imo. Friedman and Brooks are my favorites. Douthat, I read, although he's not a favorite of mine. I'm interested in how he'll write for the Times though. He'll have to modify his style from his blog at the Atlantic.

What Progressive bloggers/columnists do you read the most? Who are your favorites?

bjkeefe 05-01-2009 12:03 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 112168)
Why are you so bothered by modifying one's posts?

Calm your guilty conscience, Lyle. All I did, in this case, was observe that you had, as an introductory sentence to my next comment.

bjkeefe 05-01-2009 12:26 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 112167)
Perhaps you're right about Atrios, but Thomas Friedman is still Thomas Friedman.

I agree.

piscivorous 05-01-2009 01:23 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
I thought that you might like to see this article The secrets of the London Cage
Quote:

Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most exclusive, and expensive, addresses in the world: its stately row of 160-year-old mansions, built on land owned by the crown, is home to ambassadors, billionaires and princes. One property bought by the Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal for a reputed £57m is said to be the most expensive house in London. Down the road, a pair of Manhattan tax lawyers are renovating No 6, while next door, No 7, is the London home of the Sultan of Brunei. Over the years No 8 has housed its fair share of dowagers and dukes.

Between July 1940 and September 1948, however, these three magnificent houses were home to one of the country's most secret military establishments: the London office of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, known colloquially as the London Cage....

...The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. The brutality did not end with the war, moreover: a number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948.
Perhaps we will need to go back through all our wars and prosecute those that made some hard decisions in some very hard times.

Lyle 05-01-2009 02:00 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Yeah, it's just not Bush administration people that would have to be prosecuted, but British officials, Iraqi officials, and many others to be really fair.

Obama is will be prosecutable once he's out office as well. I'm pretty he's killed civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in his first 100 days in office.

Lyle 05-01-2009 02:02 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Guilty conscience? Haha. I've been honest about changes from the get go. You just like to use it to distract from the substance of my posts.

Jelperman 05-01-2009 02:09 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
The only thing more repulsive than the typical right-wing torture enthusiast is the smugly stupid gasbag who thinks it sounds "cool" to be nonchalant about war crimes:

"Nuremberg? Ha! Those trials showed a lack of imagination by people on their high horses!"

Of course their fatuous argument could be applied to any serious crime. According to what passes for logic with McWhorter and Loury, we really shouldn't prosecute anyone for anything, since it's better to let murderers, rapists and other thugs free than to see anyone on a "high horse".

I don't know what rock these two morally stunted characters crawled out from under, but they ought to slither back under it.

Jelperman 05-01-2009 02:20 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 112136)
The issue of precedent and consequence seems significant. With this climate, and the precedent of the Bush admin folks skating over their various offenses, can you imagine a future Nixon being forced to resign over a future Watergate? Or did Ford's blanket pardon and an appreciation of the increase of partisanship and decline of ideals embolden a view that not only would there be no post-office repurcussions regardless of conduct, but that there would be no consequences while in office either? What limits on executive conduct remain?

None whatsoever. Torture is about as vile as it gets, so if that can be pooh-poohed away by hack journalists and hack politicians, then anything (and I do mean anything) goes. We can probably look forward to cannibalism and human sacrifice, after which the hack media and hack politicians will gloss over those crimes, too:

Look, eating human flesh isn't really cannibalism if you use a dinner fork. Besides, prosecuting government officials for eating people shows a lack of imagination! I'm so much cooler than those dirty hippies who think the laws against cannibalism should be enforced.

claymisher 05-01-2009 02:20 AM

Re: Confusion about clip comparisons
 
I had kinda forgotten about Tom Friedman until the New Yorker profiled him a couple of months ago. The last three paragraphs:
Quote:

One afternoon, the director of Copenhagen's Royal Library, wearing sandals over socks, gave Friedman and his wife a tour of the institution. The tour ended in a room where four treasured documents had been laid out, including Hans Christian Andersen's diaries, in tiny brown type ("They'd call it a blog today," Friedman said); a manuscript of Kierkegaard's "Either/Or"; and the diary of Jorgen Bronlund, the Arctic explorer, which was found with his body after his death, in Greenland, in 1907. "In my case, they'll find my memory stick," Friedman said.

The fourth document was a typewritten draft of "Out of Africa," the memoir by Karen Blixen (who wrote in English), and this was the text that excited Friedman. "My all-time favorite movie," he said. Crouching over it, he asked if he could touch the pages, and then began looking for a passage. After several long minutes, he found the melancholy description of the death of Denys Finch Hatton, Blixen's lover, and began to read aloud: "When he had started in his car, and had turned the drive, he came back to look for a volume of poems that he had given me, and that he now wanted with him on the journey." Flipping ahead: "Suddenly the aeroplane swayed, got into a spin and came down like a bird swooping." Friedman kept reading, for several minutes. The archivist stood stiffly beside him, and the director looked a little awkward. Friedman's eyes had dampened.

Afterward, I asked Friedman about the appeal of Blixen's story. "I would have liked to have been a district governor in Africa or India during that interwar period," he said. Friedman, accustomed to speaking in the exact form previously used in print or speech, noted that he hadn't thought this through before. "Science and industry were developed enough that there were trains and planes--that is, you could get places relatively easy--but they were still totally unspoiled and cultures hadn't been polluted. That period, I've always loved." Some personal nostalgia seemed to be mixed into his rhapsody, some weighing of a reporter's life against a life in opinion. "There was that sense you could explore. There was a sense of discovery. Who can discover anything anymore?"
Ye gods.

Salt 05-01-2009 12:58 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Watching you feckless libs toss two of your favorites under the bus is awesome. Keep it up!

bjkeefe 05-01-2009 01:35 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 112213)
Watching you feckless libs toss two of your favorites under the bus is awesome. Keep it up!

Are you sure that word means what you think it means?

If so, I don't understand what you mean by it. Seems to me John and Glenn are being criticized for having views on this torture issue that we libs object to. How does that make us "feckless?" And how is it "throwing them under the bus?" Seems to me like a fairly considered and intellectually honest response on the part of the commenters, whether you happen to agree with the views expressed or not.

You just being a wingnut, gloating because you think you see dissension in the lefty ranks? Or is there something more substantive to your comment than your use of the world's stalest political cliché would suggest?

uncle ebeneezer 05-01-2009 01:45 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
I would also add that it's a good indicator that the critics (myself included) actually believe in the principles we are talking about. The earlier dingalink showed Glenn outraged because he didn't believe his fellow Democrats were treating the issue properly (raising it at the convention.) We're just doing the same now that Glenn has apparently thrown morality under the bus as it were. At least we are calling him out early. Would you rather we say nothing, wait 8 years and when the party is in shambles then declare that he was never a Liberal? We are questioning Glenn's logic, based not only on his chosen political positions, but also on his very own history of questioning others' motives, priorities and morality. Turn-about is fair game. And when Glenn takes positions like Michelle Bachman, he's gonna hear about it.

AemJeff 05-01-2009 02:01 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 112175)
I thought that you might like to see this article The secrets of the London CagePerhaps we will need to go back through all our wars and prosecute those that made some hard decisions in some very hard times.

Or maybe we should just look to our own house. Is your argument any better than "the Brits did it?" I don't think so.

graz 05-01-2009 02:01 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 112223)
I would also add that it's a good indicator that the critics (myself included) actually believe in the principles we are talking about. The earlier dingalink showed Glenn outraged because he didn't believe his fellow Democrats were treating the issue properly (raising it at the convention.) We're just doing the same now that Glenn has apparently thrown morality under the bus as it were. At least we are calling him out early. Would you rather we say nothing, wait 8 years and when the party is in shambles then declare that he was never a Liberal? We are questioning Glenn's logic, based not only on his chosen political positions, but also on his very own history of questioning others' motives, priorities and morality. Turn-about is fair game. And when Glenn takes positions like Michelle Bachman, he's gonna hear about it.

Well we can't blame it on insobriety.


privatepress wrote on 05/26/2008 at 07:41 PM
Re: Class of 2008 Commencement Edition
Whiskey? Apple juice?

graz wrote on 05/26/2008 at 07:46 PM
Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I really loved the joy and respect that these smart guys shared today.
McWhorter was gracious in allowing Glenn his mourning for Hillary.
Glen was respectful, if sceptical of John's optimism for the inevitability of America dealing with and moving forward. Even if it is incremental - it will be significant.
John had the allergies and Glenn commiserated by washing down his own coughing with some bourbon or scotch. I applaud that form of empathy.:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11372
My apologies.

Salt 05-01-2009 02:41 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
To BJ: Without skill, ineffective, incompetent; Lacking the courage to act in any meaningful way; Lacking vitality . . . That sums it up very well.

You don't think the commentary above was throwing Glenn under the bus? Okay. Paint it however you want.

bjkeefe 05-01-2009 03:04 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 112229)
To BJ: Without skill, ineffective, incompetent; Lacking the courage to act in any meaningful way; Lacking vitality . . . That sums it up very well.

Sounds like an unsupportable assertion to me as far as competence, skill, and vitality go. I thought a number of the comments were quite eloquent and energetic.

Not sure how you're measuring courage -- people are speaking out and standing up for what they believe in. What else would you suggest, in this context? You want us to go throw teabags at their houses or something?

If you mean ineffective in the sense that neither John nor Glenn will change his mind, well, that remains to be seen. If you mean that the consensus view of the liberal commenters here (as representative of that part of the overall population who want the Bush Administration's torture policies investigated) will be unable to affect the national debate, that also remains to be seen, but I would point out that things are looking more hopeful from our point of view now than they did a month or two or three ago.

Quote:

You don't think the commentary above was throwing Glenn under the bus? Okay. Paint it however you want.
No, I don't. I thought he was called out on a legitimate point.

Maybe your problem lies in your far right mentality: it's overly binary, only capable of seeing things in "with us or against us terms," and that's why you're unable to conceive of the possibility that people (on the left) can strongly disagree without it being required that purging of the impure take place by dawn. Sound about right?

Salt 05-01-2009 03:37 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
To BJ: If you were a soldier or a commander on some foreign battlefield and, instead of lining up every non-uniformed combatant against a wall and shooting them as permitted under the rules of war (as they Americans did at the Bulge), you decide to allow them to surrender so you can interrogate them to obtain information to help you in the war. If the administration subsequently flies the non-uniformed combatants to DC and hires them lawyers, that course of action would be feckless because it would ensure the administration would never get the information it requires. This is the course of action that most liberals would prefer. Liberals are feckless.

Another hypothetical scenario: the CIA and FBI go to great lengths to capture KSM, but obtain no information because they lack the will or skills to motivate him. That exercise would be feckless.

Have fun with with that, but try to keep it under ten sentences.

BTW, how can liberals continue to rail about torture with a straight face when all the memos revealed was waterboarding and caterpillars? It is farcical. I know all these words are wasted. Nothing can damp the libs' ardour and ecstasy, except the negative consequences of your own policies.

uncle ebeneezer 05-01-2009 03:47 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

If you were a soldier or a commander on some foreign battlefield and
you get captured. What argument do you have for why your captors should not torture you in the most savage ways possible?

bjkeefe 05-01-2009 04:27 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 112234)
To BJ: If you were a soldier or a commander on some foreign battlefield and, instead of lining up every non-uniformed combatant against a wall and shooting them as permitted under the rules of war (as they Americans did at the Bulge), you decide to allow them to surrender so you can interrogate them to obtain information to help you in the war. If the administration subsequently flies the non-uniformed combatants to DC and hires them lawyers, that course of action would be feckless because it would ensure the administration would never get the information it requires. This is the course of action that most liberals would prefer. Liberals are feckless.

Sounds like you've conceded the point about the general reaction to Glenn and John. Thanks for that.

Sorry to see that you still have not learned a little grace, and remain unable to acknowledge when someone else says something of worth, and that all you can think to do is change the subject. Sorry, too, that you evidently have nothing else to offer besides parroting of the stereotypes that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have filled your head with. Pretty sad.

Quote:

Another hypothetical scenario: the CIA and FBI go to great lengths to capture KSM, but obtain no information because they lack the will or skills to motivate him. That exercise would be feckless.
If you knew what you were talking about, you wouldn't be talking about lack of will or lack of skills. Professional interrogators can do a great deal without torture; in fact, many of them argue that torture is counterproductive. Have a look at the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency memorandum linked to from this post, for example. Read Ali Soufan's recent op-ed, for another.

Quote:

Have fun with with that, but try to keep it under ten sentences.
I'm also sorry to hear that your brain is evidently so shallow that you have to beg for a length limit in responses. Not sure why you bother to post here in the first place, though, if all you're interested in is sound bites.

Quote:

BTW, how can liberals continue to rail about torture with a straight face when all the memos revealed was waterboarding and caterpillars? It is farcical. I know all these words are wasted. Nothing can damp the libs' ardour and ecstasy, except the negative consequences of your own policies.
Clearly, you don't know what you're talking about here, either. I suggest you read the Senate Armed Services Committee report. Here's an introduction and here's a post with links to the full report and an HTML copy of the executive summary.

I should warn you that all of the links I provided point to sources more than ten sentences in length. I know how you like to be spoon-fed the easy answers, but there are none in this case. Now, man up and go and read those documents.

Or, just sputter out a few more sentences of wingnut boilerplate, and then you can go back to wanking to your collection of Jack Bauer DVDs. Makes no difference to me.

Salt 05-01-2009 04:28 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Ebeneezer, Good point! If your captors are non-uniformed there is no reassurance at all. In fact, they just might, so don't get captured. Witness the beheading videos. Whereas, if they are uniformed, they will be somewhat deterred from torturing you. The fact that they have uniforms signifies that they have something tangible they are defending that they don't want to lose.

This is why Afghanistan is such a pointless objective in the conflict formerly known as the war on terror. There is no there there.

The whole torture theme is a gigantic red-herring. There is no level of compulsion that Bush-Cheney could have used on the captives that would have been acceptable to liberals. Equally, there is no level of compulsion that Obama could use (especially if it happened to be on the persons of Bush or Cheney)that would not be justified by liberals. The entire debate is rhetorical noise.

opposable_crumbs 05-01-2009 04:44 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 112234)
Another hypothetical scenario: the CIA and FBI go to great lengths to capture KSM, but obtain no information because they lack the will or skills to motivate him. That exercise would be feckless.

Couldn't the same be said for assasinating KSM from the outset? Eitherway KSM is removed from the fight and no information is obtained.

Salt 05-01-2009 04:48 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
To crumbs, I don't get your point. They captured KSM and they water-boarded him (he didn't manage to die after 180 sessions?) and they got the intelligence that apparently foiled some plots. That was a better outcome than assasinating him. Of course, the cost was the outrage of a few million feckless liberals, but so what? They'd be outraged in any event.

opposable_crumbs 05-01-2009 04:57 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 112246)
To crumbs, I don't get your point. They captured KSM and they water-boarded him (he didn't manage to die after 180 sessions?) and they got the intelligence that apparently foiled some plots. That was a better outcome than assasinating him. Of course, the cost was the outrage of a few million feckless liberals, but so what? They'd be outraged in any event.

On the feckless meter, where capturing KSM and not waterboarding is a 10, and capturing KSM and waterboading is a 0, were does killing KSM with a drone rank?

(By the way you are replying to the wrong threads)

Salt 05-01-2009 05:23 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quoting crumbs: On the feckless meter, where capturing KSM and not waterboarding is a 10, and capturing KSM and waterboading is a 0, were does killing KSM with a drone rank?

I believe part of the etymology of feckless is rooted in the word "effectiveness" or vice versa. Whatever is most effective to the objective (winning the war in the quickest possible manner at the lowest cost to yourself without degrading yourself against existing benchmarks of humanity) is least feckless.

piscivorous 05-02-2009 01:43 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
I have no problem looking to my own house, but I do have a problem when our President shall we say misspeaks.
Quote:

...Churchill said 'we don't torture' when the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat," ...

..."And the reason was Churchill understood if you start taking short cuts over time that what's corrodes what's best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country."...
Yes indeed Mr Churchill said this but it is lifted out of context and is somewhat at odds with history.

piscivorous 05-02-2009 01:49 AM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Your argument is moot unless you can give me an example where they haven't done this to our service personnel.

Salt 05-02-2009 12:21 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quoting BJ: Sounds like you've conceded the point about the general reaction to Glenn and John.

You wish! You libs piled on Glenn as if he were the Pope trying to give a speech at Berkely, or Madison, or Austin, or Boston.

Professional interrogators can do a great deal without torture; in fact, many of them argue that torture is counterproductive.

No crap. Really. The first point is: is waterboarding really torture if you do it to someone 180 times and they don't die? Is caterpillaring or false-wall slamming torture? It's not like they pulled fingernails out or crushed them. Is solitary confinement torture? Is prison torture? You can move the goal-posts wherever you like. Especially if you're Jane Fonda or Sean Penn.

Maybe your problem lies in your far right mentality: it's overly binary, only capable of seeing things in "with us or against us terms,"

Pat yourself on the back a little harder. Is this your oscar acceptance speech or something? Feckless liberals love talk and circumlocution. (How's that working out so far for Obama with Sarkozy and Medvedev?) They rarely take action, risk or responsibility. (Truman would be an exception). They skillfully avoid it. That's why you don't find too many in business or the military (Colin Powell, an exception, but he's not exactly Petraeus either, FAR from it). Soros is an excellent risk-taker, but one of his key tenets is his willingness to flip-flop and reverse his position 180 degrees in the markets. That doesn't work too well when you're talking about longstanding commitments like national security, business plans, or fixed asset capital expenditures. (BTW, how do you libs sleep at night with what Obama is doing to the Chrysler bondholders? Pathetic. Another reason why the only thing I own in the USA are TIPS).

I'm also sorry to hear that your brain is evidently so shallow that you have to beg for a length limit in responses. Not sure why you bother to post here in the first place, though, if all you're interested in is sound bites.

More of that liberal grace we see so often from Olberman, Maddow and Matthews. Newsflash BJ, normal people have better things to do than to follow your logic and your posts into the tall weeds. If a point can't be made succinctly, it's probably not worth the time to read. I post here because I like to see you get emotional and sputter. I can't do this with Olberman or Maddow, but who knows? They might be reading.

AemJeff 05-02-2009 12:43 PM

Re: Non-Bloodthirsty Edition (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Salt (Post 112324)
Quoting BJ: Sounds like you've conceded the point about the general reaction to Glenn and John.

You wish! You libs piled on Glenn as if he were the Pope trying to give a speech at Berkely, or Madison, or Austin, or Boston.

Professional interrogators can do a great deal without torture; in fact, many of them argue that torture is counterproductive.

No crap. Really. The first point is: is waterboarding really torture if you do it to someone 180 times and they don't die? Is caterpillaring or false-wall slamming torture? It's not like they pulled fingernails out or crushed them. Is solitary confinement torture? Is prison torture? You can move the goal-posts wherever you like. Especially if you're Jane Fonda or Sean Penn.

Maybe your problem lies in your far right mentality: it's overly binary, only capable of seeing things in "with us or against us terms,"

Pat yourself on the back a little harder. Is this your oscar acceptance speech or something? Feckless liberals love talk and circumlocution. (How's that working out so far for Obama with Sarkozy and Medvedev?) They rarely take action, risk or responsibility. (Truman would be an exception). They skillfully avoid it. That's why you don't find too many in business or the military (Colin Powell, an exception, but he's not exactly Petraeus either, FAR from it). Soros is an excellent risk-taker, but one of his key tenets is his willingness to flip-flop and reverse his position 180 degrees in the markets. That doesn't work too well when you're talking about longstanding commitments like national security, business plans, or fixed asset capital expenditures. (BTW, how do you libs sleep at night with what Obama is doing to the Chrysler bondholders? Pathetic. Another reason why the only thing I own in the USA are TIPS).

I'm also sorry to hear that your brain is evidently so shallow that you have to beg for a length limit in responses. Not sure why you bother to post here in the first place, though, if all you're interested in is sound bites.

More of that liberal grace we see so often from Olberman, Maddow and Matthews. Newsflash BJ, normal people have better things to do than to follow your logic and your posts into the tall weeds. If a point can't be made succinctly, it's probably not worth the time to read. I post here because I like to see you get emotional and sputter. I can't do this with Olberman or Maddow, but who knows? They might be reading.

The big problem Salt seems to have in this debate is asymmetrical credulity - claims made by members of the former administration (e.g. "slammed against a fake wall" - even if true in the particular case in which it was mentioned, what does it prove?) coupled with skepticism bordering on ridicule of just about every other opinion. He doesn't seem to have much room for an opinion at odds with what he's been told by the people responsible by the acts we're debating, so far as I can tell.


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