Rand Paul

Bravo to Rand Paul for Saying President Trump Is Wrong, Torture Doesn't Work

'It's currently against the law and I hope it will remain against the law.'

|

Paul
Screenshot via Mediate via CNN

Sen. Rand Paul stridently rejected the notion that American intelligence officials should resume the use of torture on detained combatantsā€”something President Trump favors.

Trump recently declared that torture "absolutely works," and U.S. officials should use any and all legal means to extract intelligence.

Paul took the opposite view, telling CNN's Jake Tapper that "it's currently against the law and I hope it will remain against the law."

He pointed out that incoming Defense Secretary James Mattis is also against torture and believes that it doesn't work. He also argued that U.S. intelligence officials have previously detained the wrong people, casting additional doubt on the idea that enhanced interrogation methods were justified.

"The CIA detained 119 people, 39 of them were tortured, and the conclusion of the Senate committee's report was that it didn't work, but there was also something very alarming," said Paul. "Of the 119 people that the CIA detained around the world, 26 of them were mistakenly identified, sometimes with people who had similar names, but they detained the wrong people. I think most Americans would be alarmed if 22 percent of the people we picked up and tortured were the wrong people."

Paul went on to say that Mike Pompeo's support for torture was one of the reasons he voted against his confirmation as CIA director.

Watch the full video here, via Mediate.

Paul is one of just a handful of people in Congress consistently representing the interests of Americans who are concerned about big government, no matter which team is running the government. He has supported Trump on the (rare) occasions that Trump has staked out a libertarian position on an issue, but is not afraid to go against the president.

If more Congressional Republicans were as principled as Paul, they would actually have the numbers to force Trump to hew closer to the Constitution.

NEXT: Insane Clown Posse's Juggalos Will March On Washington

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. Where are you, FoE?

  2. Torture may not work well for gathering intelligence or preventing attacks, but it works great at radicalizing people. That’s the part Paul doesn’t get.

    1. Done right though, it will bond people into an effective team.

  3. Rand Paul, just the latest to be goaded by Trump into talking about what Trump wants to talk about. And I like Rand, very much.

    1. I can’t be the only person already getting sick of the “if you criticize something Trump says he’s playing you” meme. He’s not an underdog candidate any more, he’s president of the United States. When he says things, people are going to pay attention, and some people are going to criticize him for it (and some of those criticisms will be more reasonable than others). That’s just the way it works.

      1. Trump is playing everyone like a fiddle, the more it happens the more obvious it is. Rand is still correct here.

        1. I’m not saying Trump never plays those games or never has success at it, but that doesn’t mean this line is applicable or meaningful in every circumstance.

          It’s become a sort of last resort failsafe defense of Trump. No matter how stupid or bad he looks, people will just say “He’s just saying that to get attention and you’re giving him attention therefore he’s still winning!” It’s one thing when he was hogging media attention en route to winning the presidency. But he’s actually in office now, there’s no reason he’s not going to be the center of attention and criticism.

      2. One of the unofficial powers of the President is to set the agenda for national policy conversations, and they exercise that in different ways. People who still claim that Trump is some kind of brilliant puppetmaster are clearly retarded.

        1. Pretty much this. Unfortunately with the direction of the commentariat, it’s going to be a long 4 years here at H&R. The amount of deflection for every negative article about the Hugo Chavez of the right is embarrassing. We’ve become a few notches better than Breitbart at this point.

          1. Yeah, I am also getting a little annoyed. There has been too much retardery in the comments lately. Where mah libertarians gone?

            1. To our Somalian safe space

            2. Some of us are still here, but watching John and the other Trumpeteers throw shit gets tiresome after awhile.

            3. People are just enjoying watching the traditional propaganda arm of the state get worked like a cheap hooker in Buenos Aires. After 8 years of watching the media give Obama a slow sloppy blowjob, I think they’re just happy to see the media get slapped around a bit.

              IOW, get back to me when Trump does something illibertarian (and I’m not talking about rejecting the idea of open borders) and people on here defend it.

              For example, I don’t see anybody defending Trump on this thread. I see some people talking about how Trump’s strategy is working, but everybody seems to be on Rand’s side on this one.

              1. Speaking of Rand, I sure wish Reason would devote a bit more attention to covering his proposal for replacing Obamacare.

                You’d think Suderman would be all over that.

        2. I don’t know about puppetmaster, but I do think that he fully realizes that talking about inauguration crowd size or losing the popular vote due to illegal immigrant voting will keep the opposition talking about nonsense while he pushes his agenda through.

          I agree with Calidissident that it’s foolish to think every single thing he says is part of some mind game. But it would be equally foolish to underestimate the man’s abilities. He accomplished something that most people thought was impossible, and did it in a very unorthodox way.

        3. I’m at least hopeful that some good will come from this government, but this idea that he’s the ULTIMATE JEFE is both disturbing and largely wrong. I think there’s some strategy mixed with a hefty dose of winging it. In any case, Congress is going to be a big part of whatever does–or doesn’t–happen. An interesting possibility is a somewhat libertarian opposition developing, but it’s way too early to tell.

      3. At least he didn’t just screech “TDS! TDS!!!! SCREEEEEEE!!!!!!1!!!!”

      4. Why do we care at all what a president says? Shouldn’t the primary concern be what a president actually does? Politicians say shit all the time, rarely do they ever do what they say.

        1. I don’t think we have to hang on their every word, but if they’re signaling an intent or desire to do something, it can be worthy of discussion. Part of being concerned about what the president does is trying to prevent him from doing things you don’t want him to do (or conversely, convincing him to do things you want him to).

        2. Our track record on torture is that it just happens behind the scenes with no actual laws saying “HAY GUYS WE TORTURE TERRISTS NOW” on the books.

          So Trump talking about it is already more of a hint than we got the last time we actually started torturing people.

      5. Let’s look at this case specifically. The topic is torture, as wielded as a security tool of the government. It is illegal, the Supreme Court has said so (as applied to non POWs), the Geneva Convention prohibits it, and the Congress has passed laws prohibiting its use. Trump, in that interview acknowledged this, but went on to say that torture works, i.e.; accomplishes its objective. Some former intelligence people agree, see: Brennan statements in 2014. Pompeo and Mattis, when asked about torture in response to Trump’s comments, both say they don’t believe it works, that doing it is illegal, and affirm they have no intention of using it. Trump acknowledges all this, says he trusts his people and will listen to their advice.

        So why does Rand feel a compulsion to say anything? How does Rand advance the discussion or argument? The use of torture is illegal, his complaints about it can most charitably be characterized as virtue signaling, less charitably as an overwrought reaction to an irrelevancy.

    2. So what is Trump trying to distract us from criticizing, and would Paul be criticizing it? Around here at least, the line is this is to stop people from talking about Trump’s alleged regulatory cuts, which Paul presumably is very happy about.

  4. What is love?
    Baby, don’t hurt me
    Baby, don’t hurt me no more
    What is love?
    Baby, don’t hurt me
    Baby, don’t hurt me no more
    What is love?
    Baby, don’t hurt me
    Baby, don’t hurt me no more
    What is love?
    Baby, don’t hurt me
    Baby, don’t hurt me no more

    1. I don’t like you Crusty clone.

      You know what it is that you don’t have that the real Crusty has? It’s that ‘It’ factor.

      1. I’m pretty sure that’s real Crusty, and the 2 is just to indicate his status on the Hihn Reason Fascist List.

        1. *ahem*

          Crusty I take it all back! Forgive me, I was only trying to protect you from identity theft.

        2. Where is your number, Tutor? I am numberless, but Hihn has attacked me in the past for outing him as a toothless vampire.

          1. I’ll never have a number.

            I haz a sad. šŸ™

            1. But Enough About Me,

              I’ll never have a number.

              There are those who claim that at the moment of realization of Ipso facto , one also accepts one’s true independence.

          2. I’m only #4, I didn’t metal, so what’s the point? I’m boycotting the Hihn Olympics, they’re clearly rigged, I’m a way bigger fascist than Tonio.

          3. I was in the supplement- How do I number that?

            1. Participation trophy.

              1. BULLY!

                1. I’m sending a screenshot of this to Charles Koch! He cares!!

    2. +1 Swedish disco 1993 in Helsingborg – I was there.

  5. Rand is right, Trump is wrong. Hihn is totally fucking bonkers.

    1. I missed his latest example. There was a list of some sort?

        1. I thought that the other 15 were presumed to be Tulpa socks.

          1. I had always assumed that the only users on this site were John and SugarFree and that everyone else was a Tulpa sock.

        2. I enjoyed that he posted his favorite “small minds discuss people” quote in the same article after he revealed he kept a list of the Top 10 Reason fascists.

          1. Link, please!!!

            1. *Looks up*

              Fuck me. I hate Reason mobile. Why does the screen jump?

          1. Yeah, get over yourself

            *starts thinking of ways to get on the list*

        3. Well, give that he accused me of stalking him when I simply mentioned his abortion obsession a long while back, I guess I’m in the #11-#25 portion of his list. Suppose I feel honored. Didn’t think I was an active enough member here to be on such a list.

          1. Or is that Hank Phillips I’m thinking of? Damn, I’m not special again.

            1. Did he rant and rave about the 1930’s and the Hoover administration? If so, that would be Hank.

      1. He’s makin’ a list, he’s checkin’ it twice
        He’s gonna find out who’s fascist or nice!
        Michael Hihn is comin’ un-glued.

    2. He’s become unhihnged.

      1. Niiiiiice.

      2. Pretty sure he’s been a leaf short of a knuckle for a while now.

  6. If more Congressional Republicans were as principled as Paul

    And if I shit fireworks, every day would be the Fourth of July

    1. And you’d need a 55 gallon drum of Preparation H.

      1. Yo, don’t be stepping on Jesse’s toes.

        1. Jesse runs the lube cartel, I don’t think he has branched out into Prep H yet.

          1. Oh, he doesn’t run the cartel yet. That is a few seasons down the line. Right now he is perfecting his blue lube recipe in an old RV.

          2. That’s usually for a lot later in a person’s lifecycle. Unless you were really addicted to the lube early on.

  7. Robby Soave is tied to a timebomb.
    You have the terrorist. He tells you you have 1 hour.
    Do you torture him to find Robby or let him die?

    1. I torture him for an hour and 10 minutes, have a bourbon, and call it a hat trick.

    2. Is torturing Robby an option?

      1. Would shaving his head be considered torture under the Geneva Convention?

    3. Neither.

      I make a deal with the terrorist to split the proceeds from harvesting Robby Horse’s organs and anything else we can scrap from his scrawny carcass, then trick the terrorist into accidentally detonating the bomb. Thus leaving all that tidy, tidy profit for us. I’ll even pay you a Finder’s Fee, HM

      1. This is the just the plot of the next Liam Neeson film, isn’t it?

        1. Yeah, did I FAIL to mention that Robby will not be receiving any anaesthesia during the organ harvest? That one should make the screenplay, at the very least.

          1. I am no longer comfortable with this thread.

            1. Oddly enough, I’m surprisingly comfortable with it.

          2. Anesthesia adds an unpleasant chemical flavor to the organs. You are right to eschew it’s use.

        2. Sadly, PZ, it seems to me that movie producers, scriptwriters, and a surfeit of other individuals involved at key points in the movie industry have decided that the most money to be gained is realized by reproducing a story with just enough variation to sell it again.

      2. Hypocritic oath?.?

    4. Depends on how recently Soave tried to convince me that SJWs are my best friends…

    5. I wasn’t trained in interrogation, not my job, call me if you need some records kept of the many pieces of Soave.

    6. I use this as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of timely publishing of the afternoon lynx.

    7. Better scenario. Robby is strapped to a barber’s chair. The terrorist’s accomplice is plugging in the razor. You have the terrorist He tells you you have one hour or the locks get shorn.

  8. Straight up: Who’s more likeable, Rand or Trump?

    One guy did not drive multiple business entities to bankruptcy, the other did.

    One guy did not sue New York Times reporter Tim O’Brien for libel regarding O’Brien’s assertion that Trump was not worth several billion dollars but only 150 million or so.

    One guy did not admit to having lied, THRITY TIMES, in a deposition in connection with the O’Brien suit, the other did.

    One guy did not get fined $250,000.00 for lobbying New York legislators and regulators to prevent an Indian casino in the Catskills because he feared competition for his Atlantic City gambling operations, the other did.

    One guy has fathered children with at least three women, the other has not.

    One guy has consistently run to big daddy government for eminent domain because he could not negotiate a deal upon a voluntary and consensual basis, the other has not.

    Kind of hard to like one of those fellows.

    1. I don’t know. Does Rand drink?

      1. He does, but only when he’s doing eye surgery on poor kids.

      2. You probably know that Trump claims he doesn’t.

      3. In my experience, yes, wine and Kentucky bourbon (as if there’s another kind)….

    2. Libertymike,

      There is quite a lot that I do not like about Rand Paul… and I do not need to like him to have arrived at the idea that he could have been a president quite superior to Donald Trump.

      Also this – get ready for calls of “tds” if you weren’t already prepared for them.

      1. Also this – get ready for calls of “tds” if you weren’t already prepared for them.

        Some of it is a bit TDS. Or at least, as someone who wouldn’t be misclassified as an exceedingly weak socon, he holds up some of Trump’s flaws up as some of manner of deficiency that only a niche Neo-Puritan/Victorian could care about.

        Trump sued somebody for saying something about him? Get OUT! Multiple children with multiple wives? All of whom he married and supports or cares for? Scandal!

        Not that I think Trump is more/less likable, but the guy kicks a handful of the deadly sins in the teeth every morning and LibertyMike seems worried that somebody somewhere will not like him because he doesn’t say his prayers every night before bed.

        1. Clearly your impression of Libertymike is very different from my own, mad.

          1. I wasn’t being exactly clear. Myself, as someone raised in a church and from a community where people won’t do business with others because of sin, the notion that three relatively serial wives and five supported kids would cost him votes is an idiotic non-issue. You would want to be sure to wash your hands after nailing him to that cross.

            Not that there aren’t any teeth in his points, but that not all the teeth are sharp and there are some gaps in between.

        2. Nobody has ever confused me with being a “Neo-Puritan/Victorian” or with being social conservative, writ large.

          However, there are none as blind as those who choose not to see. Trump is a carnival barking crony capitalist with a narcissistic personality disorder.

          1. If the choice is down to electing a capitalist or electing a socialist, I’ll take the capitalist irrespective of how unlikable personally.

            1. My guess is that you also understand that we did not have that option.

          2. I wasn’t being perfectly clear. I’ve made it clear in the past and continue, unequivocally, to support Paul over Trump. Paul leaving the election was when I gave up on getting the candidate I wanted and Trump beating Cruz (and Gary Johnson’s consistent bungling and fecklessness) pretty much cinched my vote as “NOTA”.

            I’m not saying the points you make aren’t exactly wrong but that standalone or in absence of other factors, they don’t mean anything. Trump’s had 11 or whatever bankruptcies vs. Paul’s had, essentially, one job/business his whole life and that business employs, what 20 people? I wouldn’t go so far as to legitimately assert that Paul’s business has enjoyed as much protectionism as Trumps except to be sure libertarians aren’t insensitive to the notion. But the point would still stand that Trump has “effectively” commanded more business and more power than Paul and for longer.

            I didn’t mean to indicate that you were Socon or Neo-Puritan as much as the only way I could make sense of some of your points is if you were under the impression that large portions of the population would gasp and fan themselves at the scandal that Trump has lied! The more ‘True Scotsman’ Socons and Neo-Puritans I know and grew up around would either be far more outraged at a blowjob, while married, and in the White House, or not care at all because Team.

          3. Trump is a carnival barking crony capitalist with a narcissistic personality disorder.

            More or less than Teddy Roosevelt? If he rose from the dead and ran for a third term with the GOP would you expect RP, DT, or TR to walk away with the nomination? The case is probably exceedingly similar for JFK.

            I don’t like Trump nor do I like crony capitalists, but I think carnival barker and narcissistic personality disorders go with the territory and aren’t, intrinsically bad or evil things. The only people I could understand caring one iota about his narcissism would be exceptional SJWs, moralists, and similar pedants that don’t represent the electorate in any real or pragmatic way.

    3. Too bad America, like pretty much all women, only wants Bad Boys right now. Nice Guys finish last.

      I am still 100% convinced that only Troomp could have beaten Shrill-bot, and as pointed out in another thread, to enact the kind of change we are wanting, being nice doesn’t cut the mustard. To even try to make a one way go back, teeth will have to be broken. Let Troomp do all the heavy lifting, then Rand can come in and pick up the pieces in 20/20.

      As the great and thoughtful GILMORE(tm) has succinctly pointed out, “Life isn’t a popularity contest. Until it is.”

      1. First, Leo Durocher can go fuck himself.

        Second, Rand and Ted could have beaten the Hildebeast. Let us not forget, that Hill-shrill was arguably the most arrogant, corrupt, vile, and unlikeable major party candidate ever to secure the nomination and SHE STILL OUTPOLLED THE ORANGE BLOB by almost three million votes.

        Third, Rand’s failure to be more forceful in his presentation and defense of hard-core libertarian values cost him. I will agree that he was too wishy-washy and that will not beat a Trump.

        1. Second, Rand and Ted could have beaten the Hildebeast.

          No, she would have beaten both of them, and by a convincing margin. I’d bet everything I own on that, Mike. Both ran traditional campaigns, and Shrill-bot based her entire strategy on facing someone running a traditional campaign, even with Br. Ted using Obumbles’ own strategy of using carefully sifted voter data to isolate the best places to reap the most concentration of votes within each in play state.

          Shrill-bot was truly utterly unprepared for Troomp, as we all were, sans SIV.

          1. Did you think that she was going to outpoll him by three million votes?

            Keep in mind that more white people cast ballots for the Mittster than Trump. Are you of the opinion that even fewer white people would have cast ballots for either Rand or Ted?

            1. Did you think that she was going to outpoll him by three million votes?

              Yes, I did. I am on record here for years predicting a convincing and thorough Shrill-bot presidency. I am very happily proven wrong. I didn’t vote for anyone for Pres via absentee, but I did not want Shrill-bot to win, as she is terminally unfit for the office. Yes, I would rather have Troomp than Shrill-bot, and on a do-over, I would have voted for him, albeit begrudgingly (Cruz supporter).

              Are you of the opinion that even fewer white people would have cast ballots for either Rand or Ted?

              Yes, because the Rust Belt “deplorables” would not have come out for either Br. Ted’s esoteric “Lincoln Debate! REAGAN!” and Rand’s “Modus Ponens! Elegant fiscal matrix theory! MISES!” stuff.

              They wanted a simple, targeted message and presentation. Troomp gave them one. Marketing.

              1. Groove, your last paragraph is pretty much unassailable.

            2. Libertymike|1.26.17 @ 6:33PM| block | mute | #

              Did you think that she was going to outpoll him by three million votes?

              Out of curiosity – why do you keep citing this like it matters?

              our system of government is designed so it doesn’t.

              1. It’s meant to be an indication of how close the race was. Whether you actually agree with that or not is another matter.

                1. It’s meant to be an indication of how close the race was

                  in terms of electoral votes – which are the only votes that mattered – it wasn’t really that close, nor was it a blowout.

                  the fact that millions of people in NY, CA, MA etc. came out overwhelming for Hillary is meaningless. every vote beyond the ones necessary to win that state were basically “wasted”. It is ‘support without significance’

                  She could have won 100% of the voters in California, and taken an even higher ‘popular vote’ count…but the election results would have been exactly the same.

          2. Hillary ran a traditional campaign, but it doesn’t change the fact that she was a terrible candidate in any circumstance. Not even just in the general election. She let Obama pull off a huge upset in the 08 primaries and Bernie had way more success than he should have given all of her advantages.

            Her public image was consistently poor throughout the campaign. She was getting outpolled by people as uninspiring as Rubio and Kasich. And unlike Trump, she doesn’t have the charisma to reverse that IMO. She had trouble getting people out to vote against Orange Hitler, I don’t think her operation would have necessarily been successful against everyone else.

            1. It bothers Trump that three million more people voted for Hillary than him. This is reflected in his narcissistic ranting about the five million illegals who cast ballots for her.

              1. I honestly think he doesn’t give a flying fuck about the vote difference. He won. And he’s using this nothingburger as a “Shiny Object” Laser pointer distraction while the other stuff is going on. Whether or not his claim has merit (I think it does in many locales), he’s Bre’r Rabbit, daring TEAM Blue and the MSM to follow him into the Briar Patch.

                And you’re chasing that laser dot into the patch just like they are. What bugs you most is “The Wrong Guy is Doing It”(tm) more than anything else.

                1. “I honestly think he doesn’t give a flying fuck about the vote difference.”

                  I strongly disagree with this. He may also be doing it to distract people (though it’s not like there aren’t a million other things people are talking about regardless), but I think he’s definitely demonstrated enough insecurity and narcissistic, egotistical behavior for me to believe that he really does care about it.

                  “What bugs you most is “The Wrong Guy is Doing It”(tm) more than anything else.”

                  What exactly are you basing this on? (I know this was intended for Libertymike, not me, just to be clear)

                  1. What exactly are you basing this on?

                    Libertymike’s laundry list of “Why Troomp Sucks!” TEAM Redsters and Deplorable Blues didn’t want Rand this go around. I’m convinced with most of you, that Troomp could accomplish 80% of what you want, and you would *STILL* bitch, piss, and moan it’s not perfect, modus ponens, Mises & CATO approved, Gillespie sanctioned and sanctified Libertarianism.

                    I was told over and over and over to disregard GayJay’s impurity, that it wasn’t important and he was adequate. If you get a demonstrable amount of that with Troomp, why bitch so much? It appears to me it’s more important who is implementing favourable policy than the actual policy itself, letting the perfect be the enemy of any good that can come about.

                    1. You seem to be battling a construction of your own mind more than anything Libertymike has actually said.

                    2. You seem to be battling a construction of your own mind more than anything Libertymike has actually said.

                      I just quoted him. Furthermore, his post encapsulates, in toto, why most people around here find Troomp objectionable. His laudry list data points intersect with a goodly chunk of the commentariat’s repeatedly stated views.

                      This is not Groovus mentally shadowboxing imagined opponents, as John is oft accused of doing, but actual points of contention brought up over and over on these threads, even by you (if you recall we have debated in the past).

                      I get it. Troomp stinks. He’s a neophyte, a boor, a vulgarian, a crass opportunist, PT Barnum gilded. He’s also President, and I’ll take whatever good, positive, and long term beneficial policy I can from a guy, that I know for a fact, who can run a lemonade stand.

                    3. I was told over and over and over to disregard GayJay’s impurity, that it wasn’t important and he was adequate. If you get a demonstrable amount of that with Troomp, why bitch so much?

                      I just want to step in and defend Groovus on this post (not quoted in its entirety).

                      Libertarians tend to be proud of their ability to stay “above the fray” and out of TEAM politics, but it’s all based on a lie. At the end of the day, we each have our priorities, and we each have our pragmatic compromises we’d accept. It’s the basis for all the cosmo v. yokel bullshit.

                      Just like the left has the upper hand in the MSM, the left-leaning libertarians have the upper hand in what the LP and libertarian outlets (Reason included) consider priority (see gay marriage). It isn’t some vast conspiracy (at least for the libertarian part), it’s just that social inertia is in a leftward direction, so many leftish priorities are more feasible.

                      The thrashing against Trump around here seems to me to be a reaction to the social inertia changing direction in a more rightward way.

              2. Narcissistic or not, it’s likely true.

            2. Her public image was consistently poor throughout the campaign. She was getting outpolled by people as uninspiring as Rubio and Kasich. And unlike Trump, she doesn’t have the charisma to reverse that IMO. She had trouble getting people out to vote against Orange Hitler, I don’t think her operation would have necessarily been successful against everyone else.

              Polls didn’t mean shit in this election cycle, to be perfectly frank. Besides, she would have won those Rust Belt States that Troomp won for an EC victory. Neither Rand nor Br. Ted would have won those margins that Troomp did.

              Troomp was willing to say the things Rust Belt people wanted to hear and market to the states he needed to win the EC vote.

              1. Groove, do you think that I will not be paying attention “to the other stuff going on?” Like his predecessor, Trump seems to be okay with murder by drone.

                Perhaps, you are right about the distraction angle, but, given all the evidence, I need to see more to be convinced that losing the popular vote by three million to her does not rankle him. Same with the size of the inauguration crowd vis-?-vis Obama and vis-?-vis the protests on Saturday.

                1. Like his predecessor, Trump seems to be okay with murder by drone.

                  I’m not OK with it. You’re not, nor is just about everyone who constent posts here. Most Americans aren’t OK with it.

                  However, in the hierarchy of Single Issues (and EVERY voter is a Single Issue Voter, without exception), murder droning got and gets Troomped by:

                  1) Do I have a job?

                  2) Is money coming into my household?

                  3) Do I have reasonably predictable, reliable financial security?

                  4) Am I safe?

                  5) I’m sick of being called a [insert whatever cultural issue]-ist; who’ll stick up for me?

                  That’s what people cared about this election. Troomp marketed to that. He won.

                  To put this in perspective, both my wife and I nearly got shot in Donets’k during the Donbass; Let’s say it was a near murder drone. What takes precedence?

                  1) Your immediate needs, wants, and desires and that of your family and clients?

                  2) Dr Groovy and Dr. Groovova, two real, flesh and blood people halfway across the world, whom you’ve never met, suddenly murder droned?

                  You might care about 2) for a day or two, max. Then 1) kicks in the other 363 days. THAT’S real, and that captures in a nutshell why Troomp won.

                  1. Groovus Maximus,

                    Until this post of yours I did not understand the extent to which you and I disagree.

                    Should you and your Dr. Groovova, get suddenly murder droned as you wrote it, your simultaneous murders will very much reinforce the necessity of a responsible government. That being a government composed of sufficient numbers of individuals who are willing to adhere to the rule of law (in our case, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, et cetera).

                    You and your wife would be dead, along with the individuals nearby. This is true. Here we are in agreement. And President Trump, like his predecessors, would still be the president of the two of you.

                    1. That’s fine Charles.

                      My point is: NO ONE WOULD ULTIMATELY CARE ABOUT US. Not you, not Mike, Not Cali, or pretty much anyone else around here for more than a day or two.

                      And neither would Reason, nor the press, nor anyone of consequence within the government(s) short of whoever is processing our death certificates.

                      Individuals will care about their next paycheck, meal, sexual encounter, high, and whatever else floats their boat before the murder droning issues of us WRT Rule of Law take precedence. And yes, that includes you, too. It’s not meant to be an insult, but a cold, hard, fact.

                    2. My point is: NO ONE WOULD ULTIMATELY CARE ABOUT US. Not you, not Mike, Not Cali, or pretty much anyone else around here for more than a day or two.

                      I suggest to you, Groovus Manimus, that if you and the individual you have chosen to name “Dr. Groovova” were to be murdered by any method, there are individuals who would very much indeed care.

              2. I don’t see Clinton strongly overperforming the polls like Trump did (in key states – nationally, they weren’t off that much). Where is that support coming from?

                I think Kasich could have won the Rust Belt (Trump only needed one out of MI, WI, and PA to win), he’s a popular governor in the heart of the Rust Belt. I don’t think it’s impossible that others could have won too. They may have drawn from different voting bases, though. In Wisconsin, Trump didn’t even beat Romney’s vote total but he still won because Clinton fell over dramatically from Obama’s numbers.

                In any case, the Republicans could have lost all three of those states and still won by picking up 10 electoral votes elsewhere. I think Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Virginia could have been in play with other candidates.

                1. Cali, I don’t care about the polls. The rest is academic at this point. And had Kasich run as the Blue Dog he is, we would be celebrating Pres. Kasich’s squeaker victory, very likely.

                  The only reason Shrill-bot #’s fell is the amount of melanin in her skin. Face it, to get Obumbles’ #’s with Progressive blacks will take another Obumbles. Or Booker. Or Harris.

                  1. I mean that first part is true, but that’s the nature of things when you venture into hypothetical territory.

                    Regarding the second paragraph – I think that’s partly true. Obama, for all his faults, is also a more charismatic and likeable person than Hillary is, and I think that helps bringing in marginal voters, especially young people. Wouldn’t have had as many Bernieorbust types. In any case, she would have been equally not-black against any GOP opponent, so I don’t think it’s relevant to the question here.

                    1. In any case, she would have been equally not-black against any GOP opponent, so I don’t think it’s relevant to the question here.

                      It’s not only relevant, it’s central. Her #s dropped overall, and with Black voters in particular. Had she looked more like Obumbles, they would have come out to vote. Last time I checked, Identity Politics is still alive and unwell in the USA.

                    2. /checks calendar

                      Hey, guys, election’s over.

                    3. /buys (((Renny))) a magnum of Ukrainian akvavit.

                    4. I could definitely drink that.

                    5. The discussion we’ve been having is about how she would have fared against candidates other than Trump. She is equally not-black regardless of her opponent. That’s why I said it wasn’t relevant.

                    6. Pretty much. If I had a gun to my head and had to pick one of those tools to spend an entire death with, it would be Obama, hands down.

      2. Groovus Maximus,

        So… Donald Trump is like Rabban Harkonnen and Rand Paul is to be a kindler, gentler successor?

        1. Leto Atreides was not gentler, though he did inspire loyalty by being fair and just. The Rabban comparison is apt to a point, though I would submit Troomp is more like C.H.O.A.M., since:

          1) Troomp, for all his faults not only understands markets, but much more importantly, marketing. It’s wonderful to proclaim one has the greatest widget that is so awesome, no one can live without it, but if no one is buying, and you refuse to either tailor the product and message to your potential customers, then useless doesn’t even begin to encompass.

          2) I have read for years and heard on Jerry Doyle’s show that America needs to ditch professional politicians, and a businessman is just what the USA needs to streamline government and fiscal policy.

          Guess what? The Literal Genie who granted that wish, did so in spades.

          1. Groovus,

            You and I disagree on many points, of course, including that Trump “understands markets” – I would claim that he understands how to use the government to benefit himself, as do many other successful businesspersons.

            Now that Trump is an “inside” participant of the Federal government we’ll get to see how he reacts to others using the government to benefit themselves.

            There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery? I propose in the following discussion to call [the first] the “economic means”, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.”

            I agree with Oppenheimer here, and would point out that in Trump’s case (as in many others’) he has made use of both means.

            1. Charles, I wanna print your comment out and frame it. Well said.

            2. Trump “understands markets”

              i have no idea what that’s supposed to mean…

              …. but what it would *imply* to me is that he at the very least realizes “politicians don’t accomplish everything in Washington“.

              iow, that the majority of “good stuff” that happens in america happens because the economy has a life of its own, and the best thing that the govt can do is try to reduce obstacles.

              That’s not exactly suggesting that a person has some intimate appreciation of the forces of Macro-finance and global-capital-flows…. just a sort of core-understanding that the powers of Govt are, at best, ‘one influence out of many’…. and simply passing a law (like the ACA) isn’t what makes shit actually happen.

              1. Trump “understands markets”

                i have no idea what that’s supposed to mean…

                Let me be more succint:

                Let’s say Libertarianism is now able to be juiced and sold like lemonade. Troomp is supposed to sell it on the corner. He has and will display:

                1) Demand Recognition
                2) Product Creation
                3) Product Delivery
                4) Customer Satisfaction
                5) Feedback Acknowledgement

                This is understanding how a market works, in it’s purest form. If you are going to suggest to me that Troomp does not solidly grasp this, then you have been fooling me with earnest, and incredibly dishonest bullshit in your posting.

                You’re a very smart man GIL, and you and RC duke it out daily for the Top Spot on the Groovy List of Commentariat Excellence. However, you are suffering from the exact same blind spot that you pointed out Chait: You are going through all sorts of small factuals, expecting customers to hang on to those every little words, and then you swoop in and sell them Fiscal Libertarianism expecting them to just throw money and panties at you.

                Most don’t care about, “Macro-finance,” and, “Global-capital-flows.” They care about simple, immediate, and convenient wants, desires, and needs, both perceived and real.

                Remember when you said, “It’s not important what audiences think?” That shocked me, especially from someone with sales experience. It’s imperative to know what your client thinks before you can sell a product or message.

                1. Groovus Maximus,

                  Is it not likely that Trump can sell products for which he has no affinity or products which he personally dislikes? Is it not possible that he has sold/is still selling these products?

                  To me, you and many others seem to be willing buyers.

                  1. Charles,

                    My wife and I recently bought a minivan for our family. The salesman who sold us said minivan, I don’t care if he likes minivans or not. I care that the one we bought isn’t a lemon and the warranty will be honoured (if necessary). That has yet to be determined via day to day use.

                    I was and am still told to not care about so-called, “Social, Cultural, and Medical,” issues. Guess what? I do. Given my profession, especially Medical. Nick Gillespie was on Jerry Doyle’s show for years saying, “Just focus on fiscal, and Repubs will clean up in elections!” Neal Boortz screamed, “SHUT UP ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES! Dammit!”

                    Reason traded in its “Fiscal First, Cultural Second,” Mantra years ago, it seems, leading with a Social Issues chin. Donations are down.

                    Troomp employed the initial advice, hardly even mentioning the so-called, “Cultural Landmines,” at best giving lip service, in favour of the message people wanted to hear.

                    People took notice of what was being sold, regardless of whether or not the seller personally cared about the product. But since he’s not a Purity Messiah, clearly any successes are preemptively invalidated.

                    1. Groovus, why are you still on this idea that Trump somehow won because of his message? Trump won because a few tens of thousands of Democratic voters stayed home, because Hillary sucked that much. The only smart strategic thing that Trump did was to campaign in the rust belt states. He won there. Barely.

                      And, despite what they might say, almost everyone cares about social issues more than fiscal issues when it comes to the elections, because the social issues define tribal allegiance.

                    2. Trump won because a few tens of thousands of Democratic voters stayed home

                      And maybe a few million former Democratic voters who came out in force.

                      data throughout 2015 and 2016 showed a large share of his strongest supporters voted for Obama in 2008. Van Jones called it “Whitelash”, but it was just the Democrat party bleeding what used to be part of its core.

                      as this Democrat analyst put it =

                      Critical to the GOP victory was this small, but crucial fraction of Obama voters who switched their support. These voters may be comfortable enough with racism to elect Trump, but they enthusiastically supported a black President when they thought he was going to drop a hammer on Wall Street banks. When he failed to do that, they began to drift away. Combined with softening enthusiasm from black voters who turned out in lower numbers than expected, these white swing voters doomed the Clinton campaign.

                    3. Groovus, why are you still on this idea that Trump somehow won because of his message?

                      To paraphrase the execrable Harry Reid, “He won, didn’t he?” As opposed to Shrill-bot.

                      The only smart strategic thing that Trump did was to campaign in the rust belt states. He
                      won there. Barely.

                      Had Troomp not campaigned in the Rust Belt, selling his….wait for it….message, he would have lost. In so far as, “Barely,” either one wins, or they don’t. Period. Full Stop. End of Story.

                      Notice I made no claims about mandates, or disaffected voters, nor anything of the sort. He won the EC and a plurality of the vote. He’s been sworn in. He appears to be at least attempting to implement much of what he ran on (he’s been in office less than a week, is being stonewalled on his cabinet whereas Obumbles got everyone he wanted almost instantly, and still hasn’t been provided an official phone).

                      Apparently somebody voted for the guy, and they may not have taken his message literally, but enough took him seriously. Yes, it’s too bad he’s not reciting Spooner, and lecturing on Mises, and conducting logic seminars pointing out every logical fallacy in the USA, as opposed to streamline some government, which is more than I’ve seen in years in the USA (UKR dissolved theirs, and I promise you, revolution isn’t as glamourous as you might think).

                    4. Groovus Maximus,

                      As I wrote, you and I are in great disagreement. Let us two not discuss the matter further.

                    5. As you wish, Charles.

                2. He has and will display:

                  1) Demand Recognition
                  2) Product Creation
                  3) Product Delivery
                  4) Customer Satisfaction
                  5) Feedback Acknowledgement

                  This is understanding how a market works, in it’s purest form.

                  Yeah, that’s pretty much what i got from it. I was agreeing with the basic premise, not trying to contradict you.

                  My own restatement was basically that Trump likely possesses the sorts of bare-minimum awareness that ‘counterparties’ are what make transactions (and economic growth) happen – not Laws.

                  I think he’s probably trying to do as much “delivering goods to his customers” as he can right now, and i think – at least the perception of it – is working.

                  (e.g. the fact that he nixed the EPA website on climate change is a tiny, trivial detail which i think still probably pleased millions of his supporters, even if very little else truly changes as far as ‘climate policy’. )

        2. So…2020 is knife fight of Rand vs Booker*, both in tight leather pants?

          * who is the Democrat Muad’dib?

    4. Not a bad list. Didn’t know some of those things. Just points up what a crap campaign Hillary ran, that some actual negative facts weren’t used so they could run garbage attacks on him.

      This one, though, may not belong on the list:

      One guy did not drive multiple business entities to bankruptcy, the other did.

      Trump has had literally hundreds of businesses. The fact that some failed proves almost nothing, without more. Businesses fail all the time. Hell, Apple damn near went under at one point and to be bailed out by Bill Gates, if memory serves.

      1. Writ large, R C, I agree.

        Applied to Trump and his narcissistic personality disorder, not so much. Remember, he has bragged about using Chapter 11 to leverage concessions from creditors (yes, it is a tactic that others have used).

        1. he has bragged about using Chapter 11 to leverage concessions from creditors

          Isn’t that essentially the entire purpose of Ch 11? You still have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for Ch 11, and if you do, the whole purpose of Ch 11 is to reorg and adjust the payment plans you have with your creditors.

          Perhaps I misunderstand the process, but as a company is preparing for the specter of a Ch 11 filing, they’re on the phone 24/7 with their creditors trying to negotiate concessions so that they can avoid Ch 11. If they can’t come to an agreement that is suitable for the company, Ch 11 will force concessions on the creditors.

          I get that bragging about it makes Trump a dick, but that’s kinda par for the course for this guy.

          1. But TRUMP used it, so it’s bad, right? Even though it wasn’t.

    5. One guy wears turtlenecks.

  9. Of the 119 people that the CIA detained around the world, 26 of them were mistakenly identified, sometimes with people who had similar names, but they detained the wrong people.

    That doesn’t actually mean that the information obtained by torture was inaccurate, just that the CIA is incompetent.

    One thing people aren’t doing is defining “works”, when they say torture does or doesn’t “work”. I think it works in the weak sense that you get more info if you torture and have a reputation for doing so. Whether torture gets you quality info, eh, probably not. Even if it did, of course, there are still reasons not to do it.

    1. Torture is wrong for a gubermint. If you want to beat the shit out of some dude who is holding your family somewhere I’ll gladly participate, but don’t let our gubermint agents have that power. Ever.

      1. Whether it works and whether it’s ethical are separate arguments. I think some people desperately want to believe it doesn’t work because they think it’s unethical.

      2. At the very least, restrict it to non-citizens.

  10. If more Congressional Republicans were as principled as Paul, they would actually have the numbers to force Trump to hew closer to the Constitution.

    But if few are as principled as Paul, then Paul is going to stand out, again and again, and become a darling of the media.

    Rand Paul is like bidding 4 no trump — an invitation to slam.

    1. “Rand Paul is like bidding 4 no trump — an invitation to slam.”

      Contract bridge talk. My dad would get into that.

  11. But we can still kill their families – right?

  12. I think most Americans would be alarmed if 22 percent of the people we picked up and tortured were the wrong people.

    Maybe. Are they alarmed at intergenerational debt?

    1. Yeah, I kinda wondered about that “most” Americans. Read the cop blogs some time and see how worked up the commenters get about probable cause and due process and allegedly and reasonable force.

  13. I am not pro-torture, i think the Yoo memos were bullshit, the UCMJ should always apply to anyone captured by the military , yadda yadda yadda….

    …that said = the whole virtue-signaling surrounding the hurrumphing about how “WE DONT DO TORTURE” and the pearl-clutching about how awful we are for waterboarding and blacksites and etc etc etc. is complete horseshit

    Basic facts =

    – The total number of people the US applied these “enhanced interrogation methods” to could be counted on both hands.

    – the number of people we REALLY put the screws to can be counted on one hand.

    – the likelihood of this stuff being used again in any official way is near-zero

    And here’s the thing = we could sign the UN convention against torture, and we could pass all sorts of self-congratulatory laws banning everything from waterboarding to playing Celine Dion too loud.

    And you know what we would do after that? We’d do what obama did, which is just done assassinate these suspects from 20,000 feet and kill their families and friends and neighbors while we’re at it. And if we didn’t do that, and we actually “caught” them? we’d never officially catch them, and we’d hand them to the Egyptians or the Saudis. and THEY would torture the shit out of those people in ways we don’t even have the capacity to imagine.

    in short = nothing we do will ever be “more humane”. it will just be different. Dunking some guys heads was never some huge sin compared to the range of shit we can still do.

    1. further =

      probably the most significant human rights abuses that occurred during the WoT (still ongoing) is the stuff that happened with “detainees” in iraq and afghanistan – think Baghram Airbase and Abu Gharaib, etc.

      none of the stuff that happened there had anything to do with the ‘enhanced interrogation’ memos or any legal recommendations made in DC. they were entirely just based on the permissive attitudes of commanders re: their subordinates in those theaters, and the unwillingness to police their own. unlike the CIA prisoners, people routinely died in US military custody. Was it preventable? maybe. and you could argue that the Bush admin policies helped encourage people into believing that ‘anything goes’ with the bad guys. But as i said – that time is past and there’s little likelihood of it repeating itself, and the laws these people are discussing really have little/nothing to do with that sort of stuff. Frankly, there’s nothing stopping the CIA from doing what they’ve always done, which is to simply “Aid” foreign intelligence services and let them do the torturing for us.

      What bothers me is the pretense by some that politicians in washington are somehow superbrave or super-shameful for voting X or Y on these sorts of things, when the reality is that they represent nothing more that some minor technical change regarding practices that were never particularly significant to begin with.

      1. A Consequentialist Argument against Torture Interrogation of Terrorists

        Jean Maria Arrigo, Ph.D.

        Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics

        1. i’ll- look at that if you think its interesting, but again – i’m not arguing either that the stuff we did called “torture” was either good, necessary, useful, or anything like that.

          I’m pointing out that the hullaballo raised about what was actually done far exceeds its significance.

          put another way =

          1 – I don’t think KSM should have been waterboarded.
          2 – The fact that he was isn’t something that even remotely approaches the sort of inhumanity that we routinely conducted against detainees @ Baghram – which nothing has ever been done about

          Everyone is getting all sanctimonious about opposing a practice that was rarely used, not that big of a deal, and far less of a “problem” in both scope and severity than the plain-old-military detentions which WERE conducted under the auspices of the UCMJ

          I’m willing to hear someone try and explain to me how waterboarding KSM was somehow worse than, say, “tying people by their wrists to ceilings and letting them suffocate“… but i doubt it will ever amount to more than some “America Must Maintain The Moral High Ground” handwaving, pretending that citizens of the world are clearly far more aghast by ‘fake drowning’ than they are by Drone-Assassinations.

        2. btw, just glanced at that, and scanned the introduction and conclusion

          the argument is basically based on the idea that if the practice is officially sanctioned, it consequently undermines all sorts of basic social institutions …. that the (extrapolated) ‘costs’ basically far outweigh the gains (*even if it worked, which it mostly doesnt’)

          This isn’t at all different from my own POV. As i said above, i think the UCMJ should pretty much apply to anyone we’re at war with , and i don’t think there’s any particularly special category of ‘non-combatants’ who lie outside those rules. Either they’re military prisoners (UCMJ) or they’re civilian prisoners.

          My case above is not that torture should be ‘ignored’ or treated like its no big deal – but rather that the current emphasis it is given is entirely misplaced.

          I don’t think the US govt has somehow washed its hands clean and demonstrated institutional moral commitments by “banning torture” …. while it continues to (as an example) drone-assassinate crowds of people in Somalia who present zero threat to the United States.

          Basically, banning torture long after you’ve finished doing it (and learned of its limited utility)…is an empty symbolic gesture, at best.

          1. For Frith’s sake, GIL, you scanned something despite the likelihood that the information would undermine your “confirmation bias”.

            Also this – I provided no link. You (and perhaps other individuals looked for the document yourselves).

            Basically, banning torture long after you’ve finished doing it (and learned of its limited utility)…is an empty symbolic gesture, at best. We disagree here. Banning it for the purpose of affirming that it is and has been illegal, and punishing individuals who engaged in torture, is not an empty gesture.

            I am currently reading this book, written by Aleksandr Isayevich. I do not now recall the exact sentence he wrote, yet it seems to me that his opinion, having been tortured and incarcerated for many years, was that the citizens who overlook and excuse the torturers of their society are complicit in living in a society without accountability or ethics.

            1. We disagree here. Banning it for the purpose of affirming that it is and has been illegal, and punishing individuals who engaged in torture, is not an empty gesture.

              Maybe you misunderstand me

              Torture has been “Banned” under the UCMJ since the Taft commission, over 100 years ago.

              My point was you don’t need to additionally (like Obama did) ban something as Verbotten if you’re already accepting that all military prisoners must be protected under the UCMJ

              Failing to create some ‘new’ ban would not somehow magically make its prior ‘bans’ go away.

              what the Yoo memos did was establish a new, 3rd category in which these terrorist people were basically given a title of ‘Unlawful Combatants’, and no longer subject to existing law.

              I would have read that paper in more detail, but i felt i got the jist of it. if there was something you’d intended to flag, let me know.

            2. citizens who overlook and excuse the torturers of their society are complicit in living in a society without accountability or ethics.

              I think that’s correct, and also captures the ideas in that white-paper you suggested. basically, that it creates all sorts of conflict-of-interest across social institutions

              (*military, medical, judicial etc. are self evident, but i’m not sure how she extended to others)

              and again, i think you misunderstand the thrust of my point –

              do you think we live in a society WITH accountability and ethics when we passively accept that the president maintains a “Kill List”?

              My point was that the “dozen or so” people who were waterboarded does not rise to the sort of society-rending ethical conflict of interest you might imagine.

              I think, by contrast, the way we basically ignored systematic abuses in the military detention system was a far greater humanitarian crime… and yet it remains widely undiscussed.

              As does the use of drones to mass murder “suspected” insurgents in countries we’re not even at war with.

              This idea that unless we create new laws and have politicians start grandstanding, that our country might slip into some kind of mass-torture-regime is a bullshit fantasy. It is a simply solved issue = reinstate the application of the UCMJ to all military prisoners.

              And I object to that bullshit fantasy because we have very very real issues which are of far greater significance.

              1. and again, i think you misunderstand the thrust of my point –

                do you think we live in a society WITH accountability and ethics when we passively accept that the president maintains a “Kill List”?>

                I think you want to live in a society different in the one in which I want to live.

                Is “this what you are referring to?

                The Uniform Code of Military Justice should be, of course, utilized. Would you agree that the government of the United States should likewise be subject to the laws which defined it (as amended)?

                I’m away and will check back later.

                1. I think you want to live in a society different in the one in which I want to live.

                  not sure what that means.

                  look, if you really feel it imperative to pass new laws/send ‘signals’, etc., by all means = pass an “anti-torture bill” which further clarifies/codifies that any sort of detainee abuses are banned in every form, and erases any future legal black-hole categories like the ‘unlawful combatant’ designation.

                  But for gods sake, stop pretending that it solves anything, and stop ‘celebrating’ people who stand up for the banning of something that was largely already abandoned as useless.

                  use it as an opportunity to draw attention to other things – instead of what it seems to be now, and endless patting-ourselves-on-the-back session that pretends that the Bush era mishandling of a dozen plus jihadis was the worst thing America has ever done.

                  1. *basically, go back to my first post where i made the same basic point =

                    sign the UN convention against torture, and we could pass all sorts of self-congratulatory laws banning everything from waterboarding to playing Celine Dion too loud.

                    And you know what we would do after that? We’d do what obama did, which is just done assassinate these suspects from 20,000 feet and kill their families and friends and neighbors while we’re at it. And if we didn’t do that, and we actually “caught” them? we’d never officially catch them, and we’d hand them to the Egyptians or the Saudis. and THEY would torture the shit out of those people in ways we don’t even have the capacity to imagine.

                    in short = nothing we do will ever be “more humane”. it will just be different

        3. These models expose the rational, mid-level social processes that lead from an official program of torture interrogation to breakdowns in key institutions?health care, biomedical research, police, judiciary, military, and government.

          LOL

  14. I have a hard time believing torture never works. I am against having it officially sanctioned. But if a patriotic employee feels like breaking the rules is worth the risk of his career in the name of national security, torture away, but the employee must be willing to pay the price if that tortured person is not guilty. yeah, i know. Not a great solution as that might tempt people to cook evidence to avoid getting punished if torture goes wrong. But I have a hard time believing torture never works even if I do believe there are times where you get wrong confessions.

  15. Rand Paul is racist, so he holds no moral capital.

    1. I’m a racist, Rand’s a racist, wouldn’t you like to be a racist too?

      Could be a good ad campaign in there for Dr. Pepper.

  16. 90% of the value of torture (Enhanced interrogation) is the threat..Dimwits like Paul obama and the other leftist whack jobs make sure captured terriorists will never disclose anything.
    Trump, as a great negotiator, knows you never take any potential strategey off the table.

  17. Eh, waterboarding seems to have worked on KSM. Though if scalping someone is just bullying according to Reason (that BLM kidnapping in Chicago), pouring water on someone’s face, well….

    I think it’s like the death penalty. It should be reserved for extreme cases where there is no possibility of error regarding guilt.

    And it’s hilarious to think that people really think torture, not Islam, radicalizes people in the ME. Because Islamists are so against torture.

    1. Yes if were honest all of us would break within a few minutes if somebody started pulling off our fingernails and started smashing our balls like Casino Royale. With waterboarding some of us will last a while longer but we would all break. Torture works but it is wrong and it is dangerous to allow the government to use it as a tool.

      1. The real utilitarian argument against torture isn’t that people won’t break; of course very few humans have the courage to stoically endure immense suffering.

        The problem is that people will start blabbing anything they can think of to make it stop, especially if the interrogator will not accept “I don’t know” as a legitimate answer. Then it’s actually counterproductive as you produce bad intelligence instead of good.

        1. The problem is that people will start blabbing anything they can think of to make it stop,

          I thought of three solutions to that problem while reading the sentence.

  18. Gotta appreciate the tactical turtleneck on Rand here

  19. This is stupid. Torture works, but torture is morally wrong. Society has lost all values and has become all about utilitarianism and efficiency so people feel they’ve got to fight against an immoral action by saying it is inefficient which is dishonest. Instead we should argue it does not matter whether it works it is unethical. So don’t lie to yourself fellow libertarians its such a proggy thing to do.

    1. Yeah, progressivism is all about using the coercive power of the state to force individuals to make sacrifices (often of their individual rights) for the greater good–and utilitarianism is a huge part of that.

      Meanwhile their “greater good” is mostly about qualitative criteria–personal preferences about polar bears being more important than coal miners, access to birth control being more important than the religious principles of nuns, etc.

      1. You know, “Ken,” your definition of “progressivism” can just as well be applied equally to “conservatism,” as it is all very subjective contingent upon what the issue is. Not to sound hackneyed but, it all depends on whose ox is being gored. That is, “conservatives” obviously like to use the power of “guv’ment” to limit personal freedoms just as much as “liberals” do. Ah, why am I even apologizing for sounding hackneyed, because most of you, who are merely Faux News/Trump The Hump-loving, faux “libertarians,” are very accustomed to triteness, anyway.

        Oh, and sexually active women wanting access to birth control are more important than prudish, religious women who “marry” an imaginary figure. They’re certainly not as crazy, either. See, I think that normal women are more important than freaks, and you think coal miners are more important than polar bears.

        1. “Oh, and sexually active women wanting access to birth control are more important than prudish, religious women who “marry” an imaginary figure. They’re certainly not as crazy, either. See, I think that normal women are more important than freaks, and you think coal miners are more important than polar bears.”

          Going to cover that one first. As it is a phony strawman argument. There is no significant conservative force denying access to birth control in the US, so just stop. Some of us don’t think government should pay for it, along with a lot of other things that are not government’s business.

          “That is, “conservatives” obviously like to use the power of “guv’ment” to limit personal freedoms just as much as “liberals” do.”

          Bullshit. Not even close. That is a completely false equivalency. As someone in these forums said before, the worst case of conservative social control is that life in America would become like it was in the 1950’s. If progressives had total control, life would be like it was in the Soviet Union during the 1950’s. Which is just about right.

      2. ‘1984’, the one with John Hurt (RIP) was on last week. I happened to tune in during the part where Hurt, as Winston Smith, was on the rack being told that 2+2=5 if one believes in the State.

        Which is all really what progressivism is all about. I’m sure the progs would have little problem with torture if it involved Trump and abortion ‘rights’.

    2. it can work…that’s an important distinction. but that inherent unreliability is part of the problem. i agree with the rest of what you said though.

  20. Saying that “torture doesn’t work” is problematic.

    The problem with torture is that it requires you to make some unwarranted assumptions 1) that the victim has information and 2) that the information is useful.

    Torture victims will eventually tell you what you want to hear. If they give you useless information, you can keep torturing them until they give you useful information–but if they really don’t have any useful information, they’ll make it up. What are you going to do at that point, keep torturing them until they give you information they don’t have?

    Again, you have to assume they have the information you want, and you have to assume that the information is useful–especially in the ticking time bomb scenario.

    If they falsely tell you there’s a sleeper cell or a ticking time bomb somewhere, you have to assume they’re telling the truth. Again, that’s probably an unwarranted assumption unless it’s confirmed by independent evidence, but then if a ticking time bomb or a sleeper cell has already been uncovered by other means, why wait for a torture victim to tell you about it?

    1. Derp, shoulda read til the end

      1. You should have read to the end of what?

  21. All that being said, saying that “torture doesn’t work” is false if it has worked and provided actionable intelligence. If making those unwarranted assumptions provided actionable intelligence, then saying “torture doesn’t work” is factually incorrect.

    I see torture like I see our Fifth and Eight Amendment rights. If getting rid of the Fifth Amendment and Eighth Amendments makes it easier to find and convict arsonists and rapists, that doesn’t change my opinion. Utilitarian concerns are just one part of the equation. Justice requires due process, that people can’t compelled to testify against themselves, and that their punishments be neither cruel nor unusual.

    1. Trooper Tiller of Seneca deliberately shot a kid in the back several times in a premeditated ambush over some alleged victimless enjoyment. Then Solicitor Chrissy Adams lied to get the case no-billed, so it never even achieved the status of a mock trial complained of in the Declaration of Independence. Same thing in the Salt Lake extrajudicial murder of Dillon. If this were unusual there wouldn’t be so many graphic iterations of much the same thing recorded all over Youtube. So if jackbooted terminators still shoot kids in the normal course of prohibition enforcement, as in 1929, does that make it usual and therefore OK?

  22. clearly paul just needs a little torture and he’ll be all better.

    1. Just strap him down and make him listen to the collective speeches of all those progressive bitches from last weekend. Ending with a repeating loop of Madonna and Ashley Judd.

  23. This is a bit of a silly issue for this simple reason. Regardless of US public policy on torture or any number of other distasteful practices, US military intelligence will continue to do as they please. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t take their marching orders from the President. “Commander in Chief” is much more ceremonial title than it is an indication of chain of command. Behind closed doors, the Pentagon snickers at the back and forth blustering in Washington.

    President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Turns out it was a bit premature. Under Obama’s watch more US service people died than during the previous administration. The US had “boots on the ground” for his entire tenure as President. The constant “droning” of enemy combatants became public knowledge and a well armed and funded ISIS emerged as the “big threat” in the ME. These were not Obama’s policies. This was the Pentagon and US intelligence in action. The President sat by and did nothing because, as a practical matter, that was all he could do.

    The biggest threat to American safety and liberty comes not from abroad, but from within. Sadly, this is a situation unlikely to change during the Trump administration.

  24. Torture s illegal.

    It is not sanctioned nor should it be.

    People will use torture if they feel they need to.

    Torture ALWAYS works

  25. It’s silly to stand on the claim “torture never works” as that has been proven extensively through history and recent experience. By all reports, waterboarding was very successful.

    Isn’t the issue primarily of asking the right questions and using the answers with corroboration with information obtained elsewhere?
    Heck, law enforcement uses psychological ‘torture’ to extract information all the time. If you don’t think plea bargain deals isn’t a form of torture, you haven’t been paying attention.

    The statements should be, “we choose not to torture”, rather than “torture never works”. Makes Rand look like un-adult.

    1. Isn’t it just easier to use truth serum?

  26. I like all the laws we put in place after WWII. Basically if a German or a Japanese person partook in any type of torture. Even if they were merely in the same room. They were immediately executed. Those are the international laws. Now lets round up everybody in America who has tortured or even been present during the torture… And execute them like we did with the Germans and Japanese.

    1. Yes waterboarding was considered torture. Japanese were executed for waterboarding our troops. Even those Japanese that were not directly involved in the waterboarding but did not actively attempt to stop it. Anybody can do a quick google to find many references to this. Basically America has become the evil empire. Going about the world committing war crimes. We now even have a president who prides himself in his evil ways.

      Here is a link, one of many:
      http://www.politifact.com/virg…..se-war-cr/
      That you can find by simply googling: “war crime waterboarding”

  27. The best part of work is from comfort of your house and get paid from $100-$2k each week. Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. For more info Check the following link

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.moneytime10.com

  28. Do who did Randal torture unsuccessfully? A Planned Parenthood doctor?

  29. If one of your loved ones was captured and beheaded should I assume you would feel torture in any form as restitution is harsh?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.