Torture

Tired: "America is great because she is good." Wired: "America is AWESOME" because TORTURE

|

Via Raw Story comes this pretty amazing colloquy from a couple of days back on Fox News Channel's Outnumbered. That's the daytime show in which four lovely ladies and "one lucky guy" chew over the news of the moment like a pitbull on a raw steak.

The topic is the Senate torture report and the guy is Jesse Watters, the Fox News contributor best known for his reports on The O'Reilly Factor. Watters pronounces that he doesn't even want to know what's in the report because "people do nasty things in the dark." And besides, what is it that Bill Clinton used to say? Oh yeah: There's nothing new here:

"They Senate Democrats, they're just trying to get one last shot in at Bush before they go into the minority!" the correspondent opined. "And they didn't even interview any of the CIA interrogators to do the report."

"It's kind of like how Rolling Stone does their reporting, they only get one side," he added, referring to a controversial report about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. "You know, the Democrats didn't care about transparency when they were destroying hard drives at the IRS."

Watters' whinging is outdone by Outnumbered and Five co-host Andrea Tantaros, who pulls out all the patriotic stops short of singing the national anthem:

"The United States of America is awesome, we are awesome," she said. "But we've had this discussion. We've closed the book on it, and we've stopped doing it. And the reason they want to have this discussion is not to show how awesome we are. This administration wants to have this discussion to show us how we're not awesome."

The lone voice of reason and skepticism toward unchecked government power? That would be The Independent's Kennedy, who pushes back on the pro-torture, pro-opaque members of the panel. She's the real patriot in my book.

The whole segment is worth watching but the fireworks begin around 2.14.

Related: "After torture report, our moral authority as a nation is gone."

And hell, it's awards season, so take a minute to enjoy "Which President Bombed Iraq Best?":

Advertisement

NEXT: New York AG Wants to Take Power to Prosecute Cops Away From DAs

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Your pertinent lunchtime derp

    An excerpt from a letter to my local paper

    I believe that if it saves one American soldier’s life, what ever happens to the enemy of my country is perfectly all right. Does Feinstein really believe that sleep deprivation is torture? Is she so ignorant that she believes that if we play nice with those terrorists they will stop beheading people? If she really believes that she should show up over there in person and see how that works out. Not good for her I suspect, but good for the USA. Oh, yes and send Hillary with her.

    1. Does the letter writer agree to undergo the “not-torture” that he/she poo-poos in the letter? I mean, if it’s not torture, they’d be willing to undergo it, right, just to prove that?

      1. Here is I wrote in response in the comments:

        The people who did the torturing were not risking their lives. They were in prisons far from any battle. John McCain was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War. He said torture is useless because :1) the victim will say anything to make the pain stop, which is what he did and 2) the information gained is useless unless it can be verified somehow. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington instructed his men to treat POWs humanely even though the British did not. Many of these POWs became American citizens because of the kindness Washington showed them. The current casual attitude to torture is deeply disturbing and totally at odds with the principles this country was founded on.

        1. /points, hisses

          1. If only there was some way we could see where these comments and letter were located on the internet…

            1. The article is behind a paywall. You can view the comments for free here:

              http://www.timesrecordnews.com…..r_39567991

              1. Wow. Wichita Falls must be an…interesting place.

        2. In the opening days of Operation Barbarossa several Red Army units surrendered without a fight and towns on the border welcomed the Germans as libertators from the evils of Stalin.

          Then the SS showed up and started torturing and killing all the “prisoners” and once word of that spread the Russians fought tooth and nail for every inch of dirt

      2. If I don’t know anything and I undergo torture, can I get my 72 Virgins?

        How about if I know something and don’t tell?

        What about killing infidels with insane fervor? Can that be on the table as well?

        I mean, I know these people are sub-human animals who behead people without hesitation or compassion, but anyone can lead a horse to water and hold his head under it until it tells you where the bombs are, right?

    2. Here is the entire letter. See how many Team Red Warboner cliches you can spot:

      Feinstein throws troops under the bus

      Looks like the fools in Washington got it wrong again. In an effort to claim the high moral ground, Dianne Feinstein is throwing our troops and our country under the bus again.

      If she is trying to prove what a heroic person she is why not send the fool over to negotiate with ISIS. She might not lose her head. Why, I’ll bet her high moral standards act would have those head choppers eating out of her hand. Or is it just possible she would lose her own.

      If her standards are so high why is she feeding her hubby inside information so his construction companies can make more money rebuilding Iran and Iraq?

      I believe that if it saves one American soldier’s life, what ever happens to the enemy of my country is perfectly all right. Does Feinstein really believe that sleep deprivation is torture? Is she so ignorant that she believes that if we play nice with those terrorists they will stop beheading people? If she really believes that she should show up over there in person and see how that works out. Not good for her I suspect, but good for the USA. Oh, yes and send Hillary with her.

      No one who has never laid their life on the line for their country should ever criticize someone who has. Put that lady on a board with a little water and she would be telling every dirty deal she and her husband ever did. Now there’s a thought.

      1. logical fallacies abound

        ad hominems
        ipse dixit
        false dilemmas
        straw men
        appeals to authority

      2. No one who has never laid their life on the line for their country should ever criticize someone who has.

        Go. Fuck. Yourself. Scumbag.

        The best part is the how the mask slips at the end and the bloodthirsty little chickenhawk coward sneeringly desires his/her political enemies to be waterboarded. Holy fuck these people are pathetic.

        1. It’s amazing how close to identical both sides are when they let the masks slip. Vicious, sycophantic cowards.

          1. Yup. They all want to lick boot, they just pick slightly different boots to lick.

            1. soldier sniffers & cop lovers

              vs.

              teacher fluffers & TOP MEN wankers

              1. All members of TEAM BE RULED

              2. “soldier sniffers”

                GAH! Make that go away!

            2. Left Boot v. Right Boot.

          2. HeteroPatriarch,

            It is uncanny how similar they are. I often wondered if some of them were the same individuals switching sides to promote whatever the Federal government was pushing.

            The mindless drivel was very similar, as was the vitriol.

      3. “No one who has never laid their life on the line for their country should ever criticize someone who has. Put that lady on a board with a little water and she would be telling every dirty deal she and her husband ever did. Now there’s a thought.”

        Wow, that’s some authoritarian shit, right there. This person would have made a good little Nazi.

        “No one who has refused to spill their blood for the glory of the Volk should ever criticize those who die beautifully in service to the Fuhrer!”

      4. No one who has never laid their life on the line for their country should ever criticize someone who has.

        So stop criticizing bin Laden and ISIS then.

        1. Nice.

      5. Looks like the fools in Washington got it wrong again.

        How does it keep up with the news like that?

    3. Here’s one from my local paper. At least this guy is honest.

      I find the decision by Sen. Diane Feinstein to release classified documents on what the CIA did after 9/11 to be unconscionable.

      Enhanced interrogation methods were used to gain information. And apparently this effort did not get any significant results. We have learned from that.

      Releasing this information will most certainly put more lives at risk.

      In times of emergencies we do what we must to protect our country.

      In my opinion, the end always justifies the means. (emphasis added)

      1. Utilitarians are moral degenerates. Their philosophy will excuse any atrocity as long as certain equations end up with more on one side than the other.

      2. “In my opinion, the end always justifies the means.”

        No way. I can’t believe someone would actually say this.

        1. A Master Sergeant, to boot.

        2. No way. I can’t believe someone would actually say this.

          I can.

          For the love of god, we have people who openly support communism/socialism. They let them debate their ideals on television as though they were legitimate.

          Why not people who believe the ends justify the means?

          Maybe people will start advocating gassing jews next, who knows? I give up.

        3. And, apparently, the “end” in this case is that the means are pointless. “We have learned from that.” So torture was justified because it taught us that torture is fruitless.

  2. Apparently, the secret to FoxNews is that people want to see a lot of leg while hearing tired cliches wrapped around every bit of news so that they don’t have to think too hard.

    1. That seems to be the case.

    2. I was going to make a joke about “I bet this program is the only place where they cross their legs,” but (a) that would be sexist and unfair, and (b) it would insult Kennedy.

    3. I confess I watched with the sound off.

      My conclusion: not even with warty’s dick.

      1. I’d bang both of the ethnic chicks. Hell, I’d bang Kennedy too.

        1. It’s not the looks, it’s the crazy.

      2. I’m just saying. MSNBC should consider putting four attractive women in above the knee dresses around Rachel Maddow and having plenty of low angle shots if they want ratings.

        1. And then get rid of Maddow?

        2. “Take some low shots, but don’t make it too obvious. I want to see fur and early morning dew.”

        3. That would just be promoting rape culture.

        4. In fact, forget Maddow and MSNBC!

  3. If it’s bipartisan, it must be OK. When did the two major parties ever collaborate on doing something bad?

    “we’ve stopped doing it”

    So if we’ve stopped doing it since 2009, that means she credits the Obama administration with stopping torture? I think she’s giving Obama too much credit. How on earth do we know what he’s doing when no-one’s watching?

  4. I hold doors for women all the time. Also men. Oh noes what happened to your narrative now assholes!?!

  5. ‘Outnumbered’ was better as a porn series. Maybe these chicks on Fox News do have a higher calling.

  6. That would be The Independent’s Kennedy, who pushes back on the pro-torture, pro-opaque members of the panel. She’s the real patriot in my book.

    I see Nick is gunning for Matt’s co-hosting chair.

  7. There’s three general schools of moral thought:

    1. Deontological: specific acts are good or bad depending on their nature, regardless of who is doing them or why
    2. Consequentialism: it is goals that are good or bad, and acts are good or bad depending on whether the goals they are intended to accomplish are good or bad
    3. Virtue Ethics: people are by their nature good or bad and good actions are those performed by good people.

    The results discussed here are the result of the virtue ethics crowd. The US is good people; good people don’t torture; therefore what we did is necessarily not torture.

  8. Don’t worry, if you need to increase your Moral Authority, just win some Great Holy Wars and burn some infidel temples down.

    Also, it’s (dare I say) AWESOME when your opinion on a torture debate make you sound like a fourteen year old idiot.

  9. Was that editing or was Kennedy interrupted into submission there?

  10. I consider the show Outnumbered to be an immoral abuse of the intellect and should be condemned by any people who respect the sanctity of life and the integrity of the human conscience.

    /DROPS MIC AT THE UN

  11. Boards were watered, sleep was deprived.

    1. If you water a board what grows?

    2. Anuses were rehydrated.

  12. The wingnuttery has responded as they usually do – denial.

    TORTURE DID SO LEAD TO BIN LADENS LOCATION! THE REPORT IS WRONG!

  13. But there isn’t really anything new here.

    The rendition, the waterboarding–we’ve been through all of this.

    And we’ve been through it at length–it was back when the media actually took the president to task.

    Why do we need to re-hash it now? Because Obama needs a distraction?

    1. Because Obama needs a distraction?

      BECAUSE GRUBER-GHAZI!

    2. As much as I’m ready to condemn the government and every fucking body in it on this issue, I must confess that I too find the timing a little odd. That’s the problem with those turds in D.C.: everything they do is tainted with politics, and if it somehow benefits the country that’s purely an accident.

      1. “I too find the timing a little odd. “

        The Democrats are being kicked out of leadership in the intelligence committee.

        its their last chance to use their authority to try and fuck the CIA and make themselves look good

        (despite many of the same characters having been responsible for reviewing and approving CIA activity for the last decade)

        Its not like the CIA/Senate conflict is new

        As noted in that story = it was the senate itself that passed the laws allowing the CIA to run its show with minimum actual restraint. And the Dems haven’t been lovey-dovey by CIA since Benghazi, when no bus seemed big enough to fit the entire agency under.

        I’ve made the comparison of this report to “a recovered Drunk denouncing his Bartenders as the tools of Satan“. I still think its an apt characterization.

  14. Torture is just another tool – like murder, rape, and pillaging.

    Damn I miss the days of a good ol’ pillage.

    1. I missed all three… Guess the benefits were better in Attila’s Horde.

      1. Place your faith in the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah, and maybe the good old days will come a-roarin’ back again.

    2. – Qualifications?
      – Rape, murder, arson, and rape.
      – You said rape twice.
      – I like rape.

      zero chance that movie could be made now. A decent chance charges would be filed if it were attempted.

      1. “Stampeding cattle”

        “That’s not much of a crime”

        “Through the Vatican?”

        “Kinky!”

        1. – We’ll work up a Number 6 on ’em.
          – “Number 6”? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that one.
          – Well, that’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course.
          – You spare the women?
          – Naw, we rape the shit out of them at the Number Six Dance later on.
          – Marvelous!

          The page of quotes reads like a list of charges at a SJW show-trial: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071230/quotes

          1. also, “Number 6 Dance” may have to become my new handle

    1. Horrible scene, excellent movie in my opinion.

      1. I think of that every time some chickenhawk cocksucker tries to justify torture to make us all safer.

  15. You mean the Senators who released the report had political motivations? Give me some time to take my smelling salts and recover from this shocking discovery.

    I thought the key issue is whether, and to what extent, the report is accurate, and what if anything changed when Obama took over.

    1. what if anything changed when Obama took over.

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for that investigation.

    2. And whether anyone will be held responsible for breaking laws and perjuring themselves to Congress.

      I mean, it’s not like they were taking anabolic steroids, but still…

    3. What changed is Obama outsourced it via extraordinary rendition.

  16. If the Republicans want to exploit this, issue a report on Democratic torture, and then we can watch the Ds and Rs trade accusations – the side-effect would be a better-informed public as each side releases information favorable to itself.

    1. That’s probably too much to hope for.

  17. Bad Headline — I thought WIRED was somehow coming out in favor of torture…

    1. Odd, wasn’t it – I kind of thought that for a moment too.

    2. They would if it were necessary to bring about net neutrality

  18. Obama has committed many, many terrible acts as POTUS, but not pursuing criminal charges against the torturers from the Bush years is one of the worst things he has done.

    1. You really think he ever wanted to consider setting THAT precedent?

      1. after 7+ years of “no blood for oil” protesters and a hopey, dopey, changy campaign, I thought he might actually reverse a few prior presidential decrees. Instead, he went directly into gun smuggling.

        I generally come to hate every president that I live under, but Barry has set the bar so low, that it will very difficult for anyone else to get under it.

  19. I’m sorry I just can’t bring myself to be outraged by this.

  20. zero chance that movie could be made now. A decent chance charges would be filed if it were attempted.

    “Up yours, Nigger.”

  21. Screen cap: prefer to see leather jacket with bow tie.

  22. One can criticize torture on moral grounds. I’ll stand up and say we shouldn’t do it and were wrong to. But the claim that it didn’t or doesn’t work is wrong. We put our troops (pilots, SEALs, and many others) through SERE school to show them what they were likely to encounter if captured. It was started in the wake of Vietnam (after the Code of Conduct was changed to save the lives and honor of many men who died rather than talk). Read Everett Alvarez’s “Chained Eagles” (he spent 7.5 years in the hands of the North Vietnamese) or Stockdale’s autobiography, or even “Unbroken.” Fact is, everyone has a breaking point.
    That’s the central lesson of SERE school. You’re eventually going to tell them what they want to know. Do your utmost, for as long as you can. Don’t give up information of immediately tactical significance (troop locations, ship movements, etc.) until it no longer matters. After that, never NEVER betray your fellow prisoners for better treatment.
    But the idea that it didn’t and doesn’t work is a nonsense argument made by people who have no experience with violence in an effort to convince the masses not only is it morally wrong, but pragmatically “it doesn’t even work!”
    Bullshit. Sadly enough, it does. In part, that’s why it’s still being done.

  23. The intel reports from detainee reporting, even if not original, provided valuable corroboration, as well as seeming “throw away” information that helped build out a wire diagram of things like marriages, names, dates of birth, etc. And despite that, we STILL shouldn’t do it.

    I’ve got a better argument for you – it’s horrible for the people who have to do it. It desensitizes our interrogators to human suffering. Note that psychologists have long since figured out that lack of empathy is the hallmark of serial killers and other sociopaths.

    The part about it’s lowering our standing in the world community is also true (sort of). It gives those crummy shithole countries that are all currently torturing their inmates, or political opponents, grounds to see us as on the same level as them. Or better yet, to claim we have no grounds to talk (ditto for the left, by the way). Although the left has been banging that drum with slavery for so long now it’s become culturally acceptable, despite the fact that we were the second country IN THE WHOLE EFFING WORLD to ban the importation of slaves (1807). Vermont abolished slavery in 1777 when it was an independent entity. But I digress…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.