Michael J. Totten quotes Rush Limbaugh:
You know, if you really look at these pictures, I mean I don’t know if it’s just me but it looks like anything you’d see Madonna or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe you can get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean this is something you can see at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City: the Movie. I mean, it’s just me.
Says Michael, “How embarrassing is it that Rush Limbaugh is the most popular conservative in the media?” It is rather amazing. Limbaugh’s show is essentially unscripted and he goes out of his way to be provocative. He’s primarily an entertainer rather than a serious analyst. Still, this is a really stupid thing to say.
I caught a couple of minutes of Sean Hannity’s show yesterday and, while he didn’t go nearly that far, he did allow as how these abuses were being overblown, weren’t actually torture, and weren’t that big a deal in the Arab context. He then degenerated into the “why isn’t the media this upset about Saddam’s mass graves and the killing of Americans in Iraq” drivel, at which point I switched stations.
Anyone who’s read much about this scandal should know better. Yes, there have been far worse and certainly more institutionalized torture regimes. Certainly, the abuse of a few prisoners pales in comparison to mass slaughter. But that’s hardly the point. The reason to be outraged by this conduct isn’t so much that the acts themselves were notorious–although they went far beyond simple “hazing” as some have suggested–but rather that they were done under the color of American authority.
Update: Spoons reports Little Green footballs and others are going much further.