Thursday, November 8, 2007

We laugh to keep from weeping...and sometimes it doesn't work.

Jonathan Schwarz:
If the Nazis could make it work, why not us?
This is an unusual rhetorical gambit from Alan Dershowitz:

Marginal Democratic candidates certainly benefit from moving to the left on national security issues, but serious candidates–candidates who want to have any realistic chance of prevailing in the general election–must not allow themselves to be pushed, shoved or even nudged away from a strong commitment to national security.

Consider, for example, the contentious and emotionally laden issue of the use of torture in securing preventive intelligence information about imminent acts of terrorism…

There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works–it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.

You know, I was on the fence there about torture, until Dershowitz pointed out it really worked well for the Nazis! Color me convinced!

posted by Jonathan Schwarz at 11:35 AM | link

UPDATE: For all of you Compassionate "Christian" Conservatives who are still "confused" about this issue: Yes, waterboarding is torture. To wit:

Waterboarding was torture when it was used during the Spanish Inquisition; it was torture when it was used on Filipino rebels during the 1890s; it was torture when the Japanese Army used it on prisoners in World War II; it was torture when it was used by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; and it's torture when CIA officers or others use it on terrorists.

When George W. Bush was the governor of Texas, the state investigated, indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison for 10 years a county sheriff who, with his deputies, had waterboarded a criminal suspect. That sheriff got no pardon from Gov. Bush.

Waterboarding is torture in the eyes of all civilized peoples, no matter how desperately President George W. Bush tries to rewrite the English language, with which he has only a passing familiarity, anyway. No matter how desperately his entire administration tries to redefine the word "torture" to cover the fact that not only have they acquiesced in its use, but they also have ordered its use.


Waterboarding is torture. Decent people have acknowledged that for centuries. We sent Japanese war criminals to the gallows for using it. We sent a Texas sheriff to prison for using it. One day, an ex-president and those who helped him and those he ordered to torture fellow human beings may have to plea bargain for their lives and their freedom.


Mike Thomas said...

What's up with these people I used to respect?
Dershowitz, Joe Lieberman, Ron Silver (who actually played Dershowitz in the movie "Reversal of Fortune")
It's like they went nutzo after 9/11 and have never fully recovered. You would think by now they would have had time to come to their senses, but clearly not. It's weird!

AnnPW said...

It is weird, Mike. I think it has to do with that faction of neoconservatives with really close emotional ties to Israel. Many of them have liberal roots, but the Israel issue trumps everything for them.

heydave said...

That would make it even more ironic for Dersh. Grudging respect for those that sought out Jews?

One would think that these putzes has some sense right v. wrong as opposed to moral v. whatever.

heydave said...

Uh... make that "have lost any sense of..."

Sorry, I have a cold.

AnnPW said...

Been missing you, heydave! Annti actually dropped in the other day! Hope you feel better soon.

Freewheel said...

Tom Tomorrow is great comic relief!

Ricky Bones said...

"with that faction of neoconservatives with really close emotional ties to Israel."

That relationship is always troubling to me. It's as if, the Evengelical prophecy has bled into them from being in bed with the Religious Wrong for so long. They defend Israel's actions under the argument that Israel is the only Democracy in that region and has a right to defend itself. Imagine if Lebabnon had done what Israel did in response to a radical group living within Israel. We would have sent troops to help them. What did we do for Lebanon? Oh yeah, nothing - I don't remember it even being condemned.

I did notice how a few like Dershowitz and Hitchens, people of high intellect, lost their senses after 9/11 and it was very troubling.

On waterboarding, if it's use is banned by the U.S. Military, WHY are we using it if we are truly in a "war" WTF??!!!

Ricky Bones said...

p.s. I am finally going to do some updated posts on my site.

Ann has said she wouldn't mind me linking her. Mike, do you mind me linking you off of my site as well?

Mike Thomas said...

I don't mind at all. And I'll be sure and reciprocate with a link on my blog.