The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Marvin Nash

In watching John Ashcroft on The Daily Show this week, I was struck by how easily he dodged the torture question. Jon made a comment about how Ashcroft was in favour of "tough questioning" (i.e. torture) and he basically said that if the United States had to, "yell in the face" of someone to get the answer to a question that may save lives/protect freedom & liberty, then they should do it as long as Americans were putting their lives on the line.

Does the United States use, say, waterboarding? Not the military anymore, certainly not since September of '06 when it was disallowed. Does the CIA use waterboarding, however? They certainly did against Khalid Sheik Mohammed who "begged to confess" after an interragator-impressing two minutes or so of resistance.

What is waterboarding? You are strapped to a board with your head lower than your feet, cellophane/plastic wrap or a towel is placed over your face and then water is poured over you. (ref.)
Waterboarding image from Tuol Sleng Prison, Phenom Penh, Cambodia
This painting is from Tuol Sleng Prison in Phenom Penh, Cambodia. Waterboarding was also used by the Khmer Rouge, in case you were wondering.

I realize that Ashcroft was talking about military use of the technique and about torture in general. It just sounded so evasive and slimy, to refer to a need to "yell in the face" just demeans the conversation, like a kid who you know stole something steadfastly blaming the cat.

Torture just doesn't work. To quote Nice Guy Eddy from Reservoir Dogs when he bitches out Mr. Pink and White for "questioning" the cop, "If you beat this prick long enough, he'll tell you he started the goddamn Chicago fire, but that don't necessarily make it fuckin' so!" Will you get the occasional bit of information, yes. Are you willing to trade the ability of foreign governments and secret organizations to use their worst and most terrifying means of confession on your troops/sons/daughters in return?

2 Barbaric Yawps:

At 22/10/06 8:07 pm, Blogger Bruce said...

Are you willing to trade the ability of foreign governments and secret organizations to use their worst and most terrifying means of confession on your troops/sons/daughters in return?

Well, you have to actually give a fuck about the troops in the first place before you can care about them and the Bush administration definitely does not care. Also, almost no one in Congress or the White House has any sons or daughters in the military, so again, they just don't give a fuck because it is not their own kids who will be harmed.

 
At 22/10/06 11:00 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Exactly, Bruce. Agreed in full.

 

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