Torture the Crotch Bomber

by: Chris Blask

Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 21:45:34 PM EST

Pat Buchanan and others on the political right are suggesting that the Crotch Bomber should be denied pain medication to extract information from him. Bush-era Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge is suggesting that holding him in prison and trying him in federal courts - as the Bush administration did with the like-minded Shoe Bomber - is a travesty, apparently believing he should be somewhere else where we can use (sic) "more effective means" of extracting information from him.

That's not the American Way, guys, recent evidence to the contrary.  It's the Way of other folks - the ones we traditionally fight against.

Chris Blask :: Torture the Crotch Bomber
I can't bring myself to state strongly enough how wrong this is.  As an itinerant ex-pat who is furiously patriotic to this country, the whole idea that the United States of America should do things like withhold pain medication from prisoners with burns to their testicles makes me batshit crazy with anger.  

One of my failings is an addiction to Dale Brown novels.  They are at best poorly-written and at worst purely playing to prurient fantasies of Righteous Testosterone-induce Justice.  But they're full of damn cool weapons systems and really evil bad-guys that you just can't help wanting to see killed in spectacular ways.  A more gung-ho munitions-packed gratuitously-violent paean to the virtues of American Moral Exceptionalism and the Clear Justification for Killing Its Enemies is very hard to find.

One of the mechanisms Mr. Brown uses time and again to setup the odds-against rescue of captured American Warriors is to make it overwhelming clear that if we don't go in there with rockets blazing and Get Our Man Out those evil fuckers will torture him to death!  The miserable cronies of the narcissistic Dictator will break his limbs and mind while denying him pain medication until the brave lad is a gibbering wreck.

This is why America holds the higher ground over al Qaeda, the Waffen SS, Somali warlords and all the rest of the real and fictional embodiments of the Evil that Lurks in the Hearts of Men.  Because we not only don't do these things but that the mere suggestion that someone would is enough to make us risk everything to stop it.

At what point the moral and ethical people among the political Right (we all know they exist) stand up and call bullshit on the line of ill-reasoning that stands the foundation of American ethics on its head is something we all are waiting to learn.  When does the Newspeak of "torture is freedom" break free from the bonds of political expediency and shatter the glass walls of personal gain?

When will a Senator Joseph Paine break and speak the truth, that there is something special worth protecting about America, whatever the cost?

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This drives me nuts. (2.00 / 8)
Why can't people see that we are playing right into Al Queda's hands when we do things like that? Their actions are flea bites to a country of 300 million. What they are trying to provoke is an overreaction. That's exactly what they got from 9/11.

The other thing I don't understand is why someone would be in favor of torture? Not only is it an immoral act, it is also counterproductive. If we torture we lose the moral high ground. We also give tacit approval for others to torture people, including Americans.

If, 10 years ago, you had told me that in the near future this country would establish secret "black prisons" where torture would be used and that we would build a prison camp at Guantanamo, Cuba to hold people indefinitely, I would have ridiculed you as a conspiracy nut.

Any right-winger that read that last paragraph would accuse me of pre-9/11 thinking. I would reply to that accusation by pointing out that I am the conservative. This country survived and prospered for more than 2 centuries before 9/11/2001. Are we supposed to throw all that we have learned out the window because a few radicals managed to kill 3,000 people? Does the history of this country mean so little to the right-wing?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

The question of why anyone would be (2.00 / 3)
in favor of torture is one I come back to again and again. Part of it is pure ignorance -- people think torture works, despite evidence to the contrary. Also, though I don't believe that people are necessarily basically "bad" (or good, for that matter), I think there are some really ugly innate aspects of human nature -- and those dark parts inspire some people, I think, to want revenge against others who they do not perceive as fully human. The dehumanization of the "enemy" is one of the main problems, imo. I think if everyone fully registered the humanity of these people, harsh interrogation tactics would be less widely supported. Also, if people had to stand in the room with it... watch it.. see and hear it... and come to understand the reality of it... support would disappear almost entirely.

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

[ Parent ]
I wish I could agree with the last part of your comment but (2.00 / 3)
I think there is some segment of people who think that the ends justify the means.  If you've got people like Cheney telling a gullible public that torture prevented further attacks then it is believed.  Anyone disputing that is a "weak-kneed Liberal" who doesn't understand how the real world works.

I also think some people don't care whether torture works or not, the person deserves the treatment because they are trying to kill Americans.  How many people know that some of those detained in Gitmo or elsewhere were caught because someone wanted to cash in on a reward when there's really little evidence the detainee did anything?

It is remarkable that anyone thinks it is okay to continue to hold some of these people for years without charging them and with no release date in sight.  Of course, now that a couple of Yemeni men left detention and helped plot this latest attack is going to make releasing any other detainee darn near impossible.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
It boils down to Chickenhawk mentality (2.00 / 3)
Folks who have never served in law enforcement or the military who want to appear tough. And more, the folks who are its strongest advocates aren't looking at the efficacy as an information gathering tool, but rather, to set themselves apart from those who think it's damn foolish, and even dangerous to our own democracy and the safety of our troops and folks abroad.

What I fear is going to be lost in this, that the fellas who were released, were released in 2007. The retconned narrative put forward by Matlin is that Bush inherited the 9/11 attacks. And it's being pushed fairly strongly by the Keyboard Commandos and the danger is allowing folks to try to put that release onto the current Administration's shoulders. It wouldn't be the first time that folks have attempted a brazen and Big Lie, and the American discourse cannot allow that to happen here.  

[ Parent ]
And besides, it doesn't work. (2.00 / 2)
Like sricki points out, torture is ineffective. The ostensible justification for torture is the need for timely, accurate intel, which it doesn't deliver. I could torture you into confessing to the Manson murders, but that wouldn't prove anything. On the other hand, if the goal of torture is to punish people we hate, it is very effective.

But (to echo others here again) it's worse than unproductive -- it's counterproductive in that it makes a great recruiting tool for those who otherwise would have no bone to pick with us, and it destroys our credibility and moral authority in the world. Who's gonna want to fight on our side once we've become one of the bad guys?

I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people.

[ Parent ]
omg (2.00 / 6)
best title ever.  I'll read the diary when I'm done laughing.  prolly sometime tomorrow.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

Heh. (2.00 / 6)
Wonkette has an ABC News photo of the dude's underwear.  Somehow I didn't need the visual.

As I told a co-worker yesterday, this does give new meaning to the term "strap on."

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Slightly OT, but I need to rant (2.00 / 8)
Thoughout all this, people seemingly forget that when Richard Reid tried to light his Nikes on fire on American Airlines Flight 63 on Dec 22, 2001, President Bush, then on vacation at Camp David, made no public remarks about the incident until Dec 28, because he felt it wasn't a good idea to draw attention to it and make people panic during Christmas, AND NOBODY, NOT I, NOT THE DEMOCRATS, NOR THE MEDIA, FUCKING COMPLAINED! Instead, he was praised for not giving into the terrorists' attempts to ruin everyone's Christmas.

I'm sick of the double standards.  

Balloon Juice has the flip flop that Politico (I know) (2.00 / 2)
has done from yesterday to today.  I think they hurt themselves in the process.

I haven't watched cable news in a couple of weeks other than snippets of CNN International.  Can't see that I'm missing anything.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Maybe we should torture or at least flog the people who seemed to screw (2.00 / 2)
this up. From what I gather, had people done what they were paid to do, this guy should not have made it through airport security. Even with all the apparent issues in State about when to reconsider visa's, or the different departments ability to share information this guy should have been stopped. He was on a list that should have required a full search but apparently recieved none.

 The fact it was security on the ground in Holland that failed really seems to have escaped the critics.

This really does seem to highlight the need for a more efficient security apparatus. But I think it also highlights the limits a free society has in security.

Perhaps in Nigeria they do that (2.00 / 2)
one thing that we don't take into account here is that this guy got on a plane in a foreign country and flew a foreign airline to Amsterdam.

That's got to be relevant somehow here.  

[ Parent ]
Right I'd forgotten it originated in Nigeria. (2.00 / 1)
There is a story out today about a man in Somolia arrested last month trying to board with chemicals. By African peacekeepers.

[ Parent ]
Which is great (2.00 / 2)
but our government has no control over it.  

[ Parent ]
Chris' headline (2.00 / 4)
I invented the term "crotch bomber" yesterday, posted it to FB and my blog, and asked Chris how long he though it would take to go viral. He didn't wait long!!::giggle::

It's too good to hide. (2.00 / 2)
"Eunuch the Crotch Bomber"

All the other fanatics are going to soooo pick on him in the schoolyard...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
You just know Richard Reid is sitting wherever (2.00 / 3)
very happy this guy looks dumber than he did.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Today Wonkette refers to him as (2.00 / 1)
the "Tighty Whitey Terrorist."  I almost spewed toothpaste everywhere.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Maybe I'm just dense... (2.00 / 1)
...but I totally didn't get the video clip. Help?

I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people.

I couldn't find the scene just after that when guilt gets the best of the (0.00 / 0)
Senator and he tries to blow his brains out, then runs into the Senate and confesses to everything.

Claude Rains rocks.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
What puzzles me is why (2.00 / 5)
a supposed grownup would admit publicly and on national television that they have visions of causing someone pain, torturing them.  Sure, if someone is mad enough, they might privately wish bad things on another person, but to admit what a childishly vindictive person you are on TV?

I guess shame is in short supply these days.


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