Lott: Unleash the Dogs of Torture

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Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, on Abu Ghraib, and prisoner treatment:

"Frankly, to save some American troops' lives or a unit that could be in danger, I think you should get really rough with them," Lott said. "Some of those people should probably not be in prisons in the first place."

When asked about the photo showing a prisoner being threatened with a dog, Lott was unmoved.

"Nothing wrong with holding a dog up there unless it ate him," Lott said. "(They just) scared him with the dog."

Lott was reminded that at least one prisoner had died at the hands of his captors after a beating.

"This is not Sunday school," he said. "This is interrogation. This is rough stuff."

Link via Kevin Drum.

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  1. Hey guys! I’m back! The guy who plays me on the web feels like having some fun. And a thread about dogs is right up my alley!

    I would second the honorable Senator’s sentiment that there’s absolutely nothing wrong about men and dogs playing rough. I know I’ve fantasized about it from time to time. My descent into bestiality all started after a one night stand with another man…

  2. “Nothing wrong with holding a dog up there unless it ate him,” Lott said. “(They just) scared him with the dog.”

    (Note to Self: Don’t vote Republican this November.)

  3. Inerrogation is “not Sunday school.” But according to a popular radio talk show host, it is just like frat house hazing. This matches my childhood recollection; I don’t remember seeing any hazing in Sunday school either.

  4. I’m sure Lott also appreciated Bull Connor letting dogs loose on Civil Rights protesters too.

  5. “Frankly, to save some American troops’ lives or a unit that could be in danger, I think you should get really rough with them,” Lott said. “Some of those people should probably not be in prisons in the first place.”

    What the fuck is he even trying to say there?

    The likelihood of US Troops abusing innocent Iraqis is perhaps the most outrageous aspect of this scandal.

    Absolutely everybody stationed at that prison should face a courts-martial, and every officer should do hard time. Anybody higher in the chain of command that signed off on this, should also face 20 years at hard labor… I’m looking at you Rummy.

    As for Lott, well we’ve known what an asshole he is for sometime now. Just a question of what level of stupidity must be demonstrated before Mississippians get a clue.

  6. The prison interrogations would have been much better if Strom Thurmond had been elected president.

  7. He’s the Robert Downey Junior of blatant stupidity.

  8. Let me say first that Trent Lott is a dumbass and I do not think American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners is acceptable (except for extreme examples, such as the prisoner knows where in NY the nuclear weapon is going to blow up).

    Having said that, I think you all discount how many Americans completely agree with Lott’s position. What is more, if terrorists are successful in unleashing an attack larger than 9/11, I think a large majority of Americans will agree with his position. Heresy, I know, but how many Americans would have agreed with a policy of fire-bombing German and Japanes civilians by the hundreds of thousands in 1940? And yet, they cheered the deaths of those people in 1944.

    The most important reason that the US must succeed in winning the War on Terror sooner rather than later is that we will win eventually. The longer it takes for us to do so, the more innocent people will have to die.

  9. Tim wrote:

    “The most important reason that the US must succeed in winning the War on Terror sooner rather than later is that we will win eventually.”

    Nothing to add. I just wanted to remind everyone that Tim actually wrote that.

  10. jesus walter, that horse ain’t quite dead yet. can you please kick it again?

  11. “Also, they thought the whole thing was being blown out of proportion… essentially that it wasn’t a big deal.”

    Observe how a government that’s wrong corrupts the ethics of the general population.

  12. Tim,

    When the War on Terror results in the death of innocent civilians, it becomes a War of Terror.

  13. I don’t know what Trent Lott is talking about. I suffered many forced confessions and beatings at Sunday school..

  14. So, if a soldier takes a prisoner and puts a dog collar around his head, there’s nothing wrong with that, in the eyes of Trent Lott.

    But if some adult willingly volunteered to have another guy put a dog collar around his neck in some kind of BDSM thing, Trent Lott would be all over that as an example of immoral and despicable behavior.

    Is it just meor do these people make as little sense as I think they do?

  15. Jason @ 08:35 AM
    “I wish people would stop using the word torture to mean ‘stuff that happened at Abu Ghraib ”

    Jason @ 10:28 AM
    “If pulling fingernails is torture, beating them to death would fall into that category as well.”

    There have been accusations of beating prisoners to death at Abu Ghraib. So you either:

    1. Don’t believe those accusations.
    2. Don’t believe that beating to death is torture.
    3. You do believe that torture took place at Abu Ghraib, but you are arguing for the heck of it.

    So which one is it?

    BTW, You don’t get to define what qualifies as torture. International agreements (such as the Geneva Convention) have already defined the legal term.

  16. anon,
    In Jason’s defense, I believe he was saying that while some of the stuff going on at AG was most definitely torture (everything involving forced sodomy, rape, the dunk tank and beatings), not all of it qualifies as torture (humiliating the prisoners, barking dogs and pictures). I may not agree with him on what specifically he thinks is torture or not and I think that he believes our actions there were deplorable. His beef is with the equation “It happened at Abu Ghraib” = torture, which is a fair point.

    Something interesting is that some (not accusing Jason) have said the water dunking is hardly torture. Geez, it’s like people forgot that one of the oldest, slowest, most cruel tortures ever devised is the famed Chinese Water torture. All that was is having the guy sit under what is essentially a dripping faucet. Doesn’t sound bad at first, but you wouldn’t want to go through it for more than a few minutes (think about how the noise of that alone can drive you nuts). That is why when people say “That’s not too bad,” I become a tad concerned. Sometimes in torture, simplicity is just elegance.

  17. JPC:

    The way to get the pinkos to shut up is to have the dog collar budget line transferred from DoD to the NEA. 🙂

    Lott’s “This is not Sunday school,”… “This is interrogation. This is rough stuff” is damned stupid. If it were Sunday School, I suppose we could repeatedly dunk the detainees under water, right?

    Kevin

  18. anon is not following me; Mo is.

    I can’t follow the logic used to generate anon’s list based on the argument I presented. There is either faulty logic or faulty assumption in there somewhere …

  19. Observe how a government that’s wrong corrupts the ethics of the general population.

    You probably — almost certainly — have this exactly backwards. People of questionable ethics tend to elect governments that are corrupt and venal.

  20. “This is not Sunday School.”

    Says a wimpy ass little ex-cheerleader with polyester hair, who’d probably shit his pants his first five minutes in even a minimum security prison.

  21. Lots of folks agree with Trent Lott in spite of the fact that people subjected to torturous interrogation give the interrogater whatever information that they believe will end the torture the fastest.

    Forget about the morality of it, it just doesn’t work.

  22. What about the torture rational people go through reading progressive bilge?

  23. Jason Ligon,

    You don’t think that using dogs to terrorize prisoners amounts to torture. Have you ever read memoirs of concentration camp survivors. They invariably mention the German camp guards using dogs to terrorize the prisoners.

    I personally was bitten by a dog on the way to school when I was in the second grade, and I am still nervous around large dogs. I am 53 now.

    But when I was bitten, I could at least run. The guards at Abu Ghraib used dogs to terrorize prisoners who were bound hand and foot, with no possibility of escape.

    If Bush had photos of Saddam’s guards using dogs on prisoners at Abu Ghraib,they would have been included in Colin Powell’s presentation to the Security Council when he sought support for America’s attack on Iraq.

  24. I hate to say it, but scaring a prisoner with a dog is not torture. Sodomizing prisoners is torture. Pulling out fingernails is torture. I wish people would stop using the word torture to mean ‘stuff that happened at Abu Ghraib’.

    There are a lot of perfectly good negative adjectives that may apply, use those.

  25. What Trent Lott said was perfectly reasonable. They were using scare tactics, not doing any physical harm. At least as far as using the dogs, as far as we know. Is this such an outrageous tactic? Even the title of this post is a misunderstanding of his statement.

  26. I saw this Monday night on WAPT in Jackson, Ms. I knew it was only a matter of time before some national news.

  27. I saw this Monday night on WAPT in Jackson, Ms. I knew it was only a matter of time before some national news picked it up.

  28. Jason,
    You don’t think that beating someone to death is torture? What qualifies as torture in your eyes?

  29. When did we all become such pussies? It was funny. Taking abunch of homophobes and misogynists and making them jerk off in front of each other and wear women’s panties – that’s funny stuff. Lighten up people.

  30. anon:

    ???

    Let’s see, I said scaring someone with a dog isn’t, sodomy is, pulling fingernails is. If pulling fingernails is torture, beating them to death would fall into that category as well.

    Perhaps you misunderstood my comment about the prison. If you want a terrifying comment from Trent Lott, catch him saying that beating someone to death is not torture. I am complaining about the conglomeration of everything at the prison under the heading of torture – as though some of these acts are remotely comparable to others.

  31. Jason — Asked about abuse of prisoners, Lott said “I think you should get really rough with them.”

    Asked about using dogs, Lott said there was “nothing wrong … unless it ate him.”

    Asked about a possible beating-to-death, Lott indicated that that’s what we should expect.

    In my eyes, advocating “getting really rough,” using dogs for everything but eating prisoners, and accepting homicide as an understandable side-effect of interrogation, add up to accepting torture. And at minimum, it sends a signal to the worst of our troops & interrogators that a senior Republican senator thinks extremism in the cause of interrogation is no vice.

  32. For all of you who do not think that many of the actions that occured at the prison amounted to “torture” would you at least recognize that they were reprehensible? Minimally, since the purpose was to terrorize the captives would you not agree that these were essentially “terrorist” acts.

    Before you raise the objection that forcing these men to engage in homo-erotic acts did not terrorize them let me ask you: how do you know? Are you in their minds?

    If someone put a hood on my head, a gun to my head and said “Suck this guy’s dick” or “Pile up with these other guys” or “Speak out against your heathen idol” etc etc etc I would be pretty fucking scared. In fact, I would be terrorized.

    If you disagree, think how you would feel if someone found fingerprints that matched yours at a bombing site, proceeded to label you a terrorist and started interrogating you in some manner similar to this. Don’t think that could happen – it almost did.

  33. Of course, the information that led us to Saddam was obtained through interrogation. Because it was not volunteered, no reward was paid. $50 Million saved?
    dhex, it ain’t horses I am kicking, it is horse’s asses. here comes another one, brace yourself.

  34. Jason Ligon writes: “I hate to say it, but scaring a prisoner with a dog is not torture.”

    Under the circumstances, when people are being sodomized with sticks, beaten, and generally tortured, what exactly makes you think they only *scared* them with dogs?

    Why show restraint with the dog, when none is shown anywhere else?

    I’d bet the dogs were allowed to bite some prisoners. It just wasn’t photographed.

  35. “This is not Sunday School.”

    Except for the anal rape.

  36. Walter Wallis writes: ” read somewhere that the naked masterbation was an inmate attempt to embarass female guards. We are the ones to be embarassed, having women guards in a mens prison is really stupid.”

    Yeah, I’m sure when naked men in prison are being beaten by men with guns, their *first* inclination is to embarrass the women by jerking off in between pistol whippings.

  37. Come on, Matt Welch. Admit it.

    You WOULD like to torture Senator Lott.

    For all the stupid things he’s said and done.

    Be honest. 🙂

  38. Matt:

    I agree. I am not in any way defending Lott here, I am just arguing for clarity in the criticisms. Scare with dog

  39. Hey, Jon H, they do it in jails here in the United States all the time. Are you claiming it never happened? Run your tin cup across the bars and ask the guard. Or are you just pissed because the evil might not have been all us?
    Or does the saving of millions of dollars and the removal of Saddam from circulation and control matter for nothing in your simple little world?
    Or are you just mad that they won’t give you a prison guard job?

  40. Heh: caught by html. That line was Scare with Dog is much much less than Sodomy, but I forgot and used the old school math symbols …

  41. I think you all discount how many Americans completely agree with Lott’s position.

    Well said Tim.

    The other night I was sitting next door at a neighborhood bar here in Chicago and got wrapped up with 3 or 4 other guys about the prison scandal. Their overriding opinion was, “Fuck those Iraqis…” Also, they thought the whole thing was being blown out of proportion… essentially that it wasn’t a big deal.

    I found my self shruging it off…

  42. Jason Ligon,

    re-read my comment and you will see that I did not say that I would call the actions in quesion (dogs, forced homo-erotic acts) “torture” but I would call them reprehensible and even “beyond the pale” unless the persons being so interrogated had hard evidence against them that they had knowledge that would save lives if uncovered. (I know of no such information being gleaned here).

    As to terror – I think you are finding fault with my seeming equating of the actions of the guards with similar acts by Islamic terrorists against innocent civilians. I wasn’t really. I was trying to get apologists to recognize the severity of what traspired from the point of view of the victims. Yes, victims.

  43. Tim wrote:
    “The most important reason that the US must succeed in winning the War on Terror sooner rather than later is that we will win eventually. The longer it takes for us to do so, the more innocent people will have to die.”

    Maybe you are right, but please tell me how will we know when we have “won” the war on terrorism? Or is it like the war on drugs, on poverty, war on illiteracy, and all of the other “wars” we are in where the goal is vague and unrealistic.

  44. I read somewhere that the naked masterbation was an inmate attempt to embarass female guards. We are the ones to be embarassed, having women guards in a mens prison is really stupid.

  45. Allen wrote:
    Inerrogation is “not Sunday school.” But according to a popular radio talk show host, it is just like frat house hazing. This matches my childhood recollection; I don’t remember seeing any hazing in Sunday school either.

    –something tells me this host was on drugs when he got hazed like this. A futile attempt to muddle the memories of Tri-Lambda hazing rituals.

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