Hit Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 Times with a Baseball Bat!

Stacy McCain offers a rejoinder to those of us queasy about the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in his first month in U.S. custody.

Look, we hanged Saddam Hussein and sent the 101st Airborne to kill Saddam’s sons, Uday and Qusay. What is “waterboarding” compared to violent death?

Who could possibly give a crap about the “rights” of terrorist scumbags like Abu Zubahdah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed? Their “rights” would not have been infringed if they had gotten a 9mm slug through their skulls the day they were captured. Excuse me for not being surprised that, having mercifully allowed Abu and Khalid to continue breathing, the CIA doesn’t treat these vermin like guests for Sunday dinner.

He follows with a delightful hypothetical scenario in which President Robert Stacy McCain sends terrorist suspects for some Texas justice while simultaneously working down the national debt.

What surprises me here is Stacy’s absolute confidence in the competence — nay, infallibility — of the federal government.

FILED UNDER: General, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. John425 says:

    I find it strange that waterboarding is considered so terrible given that he survived it 183 times in 30 days! The press would have us believe that waterboarding reduces you to a blithering idiot after one experience. What gives?

  2. PD Shaw says:

    The fallacy here is the notion that what is permitted, authorizes all acts of a lesser quality. I don’t that that’s true. The circumstances matter.

  3. Michael says:

    What is “waterboarding” compared to violent death?

    The “violent deaths” references were actually rather quick deaths that induced a minimal amount of pain and suffering. The whole reason torture is bad is because it’s worse than a quick death. That’s why our constitution outlaws cruel and unusual punishment!

    Who could possibly give a crap about the “rights” of terrorist scumbags like Abu Zubahdah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed?

    Yes, he was a scumbag. Drug dealers are scumbags. Madoff is a scumbag. There’s lots of scumbags out there, should we waterboard them all 183 times?

    On a separate but related note, did we waterboard KSM because he was a scumbag, or because he had information? If the latter, does it really make a difference if he was a scumbag or not? To use the ticking bomb scenario, if the only person who knew where the bomb was is an innocent girl scout, and she’s refusing to talk, should she be waterboarded?

    I find it strange that waterboarding is considered so terrible given that he survived it 183 times in 30 days! The press would have us believe that waterboarding reduces you to a blithering idiot after one experience. What gives?

    The fact that he was waterboarded 183 times doesn’t mean he wasn’t a blithering idiot after the first experience.

  4. No we didn’t waterboard anyone… oh wait, maybe we did. But it was just 3 guys, and we only did it once because they broke right away and told us everything… okay, well, they didn’t tell us everything, so we kept waterboarding them until we got the truth. Well, okay, it turns out they didn’t tell us just the truth… they told us some truths and then some other stuff they thought we wanted to hear and also some other stuff they just made up because in addition to being waterboarded, they were sleep deprived, forced into stress positions, slapped, kept nude, douced with ice cold water… Oh, and it wasn’t just three guys, it was hundreds of guys who were beaten and abused, including a bunch of guys who were just rounded up by bounty-seeking warlords in Afghanistan (oops, sorry, democracy-loving allies in the War on Terror) and a bunch of people grabbed due to mistaken identity.

    But, anyway, that’s all water under the bridge. The real threat to our democracy is that Obama raised the marginal tax rate on people making more than 200k from 36% to 39.6%.

  5. FranklinTest says:

    What surprises me here is Stacy’s absolute confidence in the competence — nay, infallibility — of the federal government.

    Worked out great for Khalid El-Masri.

  6. LaurenceB says:

    I was going to comment, but then I read Bernard Finel’s comment. I can’t top that. Well done Mr. Finel!

  7. Steve says:

    If it worked, why the need to do it 183 times? Maybe we could have spent that time on more effective interrogation techniques.

  8. cian says:

    Ditto Michael. The idea that something terrible can only be used once shows a particularly dumb kind of innocence.

  9. Bithead says:

    Yes, he was a scumbag. Drug dealers are scumbags. Madoff is a scumbag. There’s lots of scumbags out there, should we waterboard them all 183 times?

    That depends.
    How many lives are we talking about hanging in the information they’re witholding?

    Oh, yeah. You forgot, huh?

    If it worked, why the need to do it 183 times? Maybe we could have spent that time on more effective interrogation techniques.

    Heh. Well, there is that, but can you imagine the posturing sure to occur over that?

  10. dutchmarbel says:

    Heh. Well, there is that, but can you imagine the posturing sure to occur over that?

    Methinks you are not quite up-to-date on which interrogation techniques are most effective.

    Does this mean that the people who don’t have a problem with Khalid Mohammed being waterboarded also don’t have a problem with Americans being waterboarded if they are held in other countries?

  11. Michael says:

    That depends.
    How many lives are we talking about hanging in the information they’re witholding?

    I didn’t see that being used as justification for waterboarding him. It seemed him being a scumbag was justification enough. I also don’t recall them getting any information about future events from KSM, so how many lives did this interrogation save?

  12. Proud Christian says:

    You know, it seems that R.S. McCain describes himself as a “Christian” on his website, but giving it a quick peruse he seems awfully pagan to me. He possesses a love of vengeance, he’s quick to judge, and he’s an admirer of violence. “By your fruits ye shall know them,” and this one is not of Christ.

  13. Bithead says:

    Does this mean that the people who don’t have a problem with Khalid Mohammed being waterboarded also don’t have a problem with Americans being waterboarded if they are held in other countries?

    Same question: How many lives are at stake?

    I didn’t see that being used as justification for waterboarding him.

    Ah, to take a long vacation. I mean, how long have you been out of pocket, anyway?

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Ah, to take a long vacation. I mean, how long have you been out of pocket, anyway?

    Don’t you people understand!? 9/11 changed everything!!! Those crazy Islamofascists are going to kill you, rape your wife, and shoot your dog! They must be stopped by any means necessary!!! So what if we have to torture a few, or, hell, even a bunch of unsavory characters? Freedom ain’t free! Although I do wonder if Islamic terrorism has become a convenient way for some people to openly get in touch with and flaunt their blood-thirsty sides…how pretty to observe…

  15. Michael says:

    Ah, to take a long vacation. I mean, how long have you been out of pocket, anyway?

    I was referring solely to the linked article, which made no mention of the waterboarding be justified because of lives being at stake. The only reason given in that article was that he “deserved it”. Nobody’s lives were saved if the only reason we did it was punishment.

  16. Michael says:

    You know, it seems that R.S. McCain describes himself as a “Christian” on his website, but giving it a quick peruse he seems awfully pagan to me. He possesses a love of vengeance, he’s quick to judge, and he’s an admirer of violence.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but how does the second sentence corroborate the first?

  17. Crust says:

    Michael:

    You know, it seems that R.S. McCain describes himself as a “Christian” on his website, but giving it a quick peruse he seems awfully pagan to me. He possesses a love of vengeance, he’s quick to judge, and he’s an admirer of violence.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but how does the second sentence corroborate the first?

    Proud Christian’s point is that a love of vengeance is somewhat in tension with “turn the other cheek” and being quick to judge with “let he is without sin throw the first stone”, etc.

  18. I must confess, I have surfed over to Stacy’s site several times and he has never come across as especially impressive. Indeed, he seems to be consciously cultivating the type of persona that you (James, that is) discussed in the “Fox News Not Conservative” post.

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    But, anyway, that’s all water under the bridge. The real threat to our democracy is that Obama raised the marginal tax rate on people making more than 200k from 36% to 39.6%.

    It’s must be nice to be dumb, but I’m poor and I have to roll my own cigarettes because I can’t afford packs because of the monstrous tax on them, so I go get my 9 dollar bag of tobacco, but wait 2 months after Obama also known as 666 makes my 9 dollar bag of tobacco into a 30 dollar bag of tobacco.

    Now not only can’t I afford my rent or my food, Heat, eclectic, gas, charitable donations, but now as a recovering addict I can’t even have a smoke to slow my cravings for other things, so you can stop your bullish-t about taxes now.

    Maybe we should have a fag party next time.

  20. Same question: How many lives are at stake?

    For purposes of argument, let’s say a lot. Suppose that if it weren’t for ignoring the civil liberties of detainees, there would be a 9/11 scale attack every month. Just think, every year 36,000 Americans dead, all because we insist of sticking to that silly Constitution.

    Of course, every year 42,000 Americans die in driving accidents. If I suggested the lives saved justified holding people suspected of being bad drivers in indefinite detention, torturing people to find out who was responsible for hit and run accidents, etc. I’d probably be considered a complete nut.

  21. It’s must be nice to be dumb, but I’m poor and I have to roll my own cigarettes

    Hehe… a smoker calling other people dumb.

    Oh, and by the way, if you are so poor you can’t afford cigs, then you won’t be affected by Obama capping charitable giving deductions since that only affects higher tax brackets. But you probably wouldn’t know that since you were too busy tea-bagging to actually read the proposals.

    Or did I just get trolled?

  22. Joey Buzz says:

    183 Times! Thats a lot of water. I hope they recycled it. Green interrogation techniques are a must.

  23. G.A.Phillips says:

    Oh, and by the way, if you are so poor you can’t afford cigs, then you won’t be affected by Obama capping charitable giving deductions since that only affects higher tax brackets. But you probably wouldn’t know that since you were too busy tea-bagging to actually read the proposals.

    Ya I’m dumb cause I smoke, so then what does believing what this Chicago crack dealer tells you make you?

    And I have done some weird stuff but I’ve never tea bagged any one, well that I can remember.

    So then you what to know if you’ve been trolled?

    If that means making fun dumb liberals when I see them posting Doneypoop, then yes.

    My whole point is that 0bama is a Nazi/communist, a complete loser as a human being, who like all liberals in politics whats to steal all my money and control my life, ya just like a crap load of so called Conservatives, and is already raising massive taxes on the poor.

    FROM 9 DOLLARS A BAG TO 30 DOLLARS A BAG OVER NIGHT!

    do you understand that a lot of his voters will now shoot you dead for cigarette money instead of just doing it for drug money now.

    but of course the real problem is the educated people of this country PEACEFULLY protesting even higher taxes and the lose of millions of jobs by way of social engineering.

  24. My whole point is that 0bama is a Nazi/communist, a complete loser as a human being, who like all liberals in politics whats to steal all my money and control my life,

    Meds… forget to take em?

  25. Splendid One says:

    “but wait 2 months after Obama also known as 666 makes my 9 dollar bag of tobacco into a 30 dollar bag of tobacco”

    Obama didn’t propose this legislation, he just signed what Congress had initiated before he was president.

  26. Anderson says:

    Robert Stacy McCain’s only value, AFAICT, is to give Daniel Larison fodder for great blog posts.

  27. davod says:

    “The “violent deaths” references were actually rather quick deaths that induced a minimal amount of pain and suffering.”

    New Abu Ghraib Torture video

    The video is not pretty

    What does DNA have to do with torture?

    “Two U.S. Army soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker of Madras, Ore., have been found dead at the hands of the still-potent terrorist insurgency in Iraq.

    Not just dead, but tortured, we are told. Their unrecognizable bodies dumped at a roadside that had been wired with bombs. According to an Iraqi military spokesman, the soldiers “were killed in a barbaric way.”

    The two young soldiers – both had been in Iraq but a few months – had been captured at a checkpoint on June 16 in an attack that killed a third comrade, Spc. David J. Babineau of Springfield, Mass.

    If we are to properly understand – and fairly condemn – the revolting moral equivalencies that have sprung up regarding “violence begetting violence” in Iraq, the shocking deaths of Pfcs. Menchaca and Tucker would seem a proper place to start.

    It is not the policy of the U.S. military to torture enemy combatants, certainly not to the point that DNA tests become necessary to determine which disfigured corpse is which. It is not the policy of the U.S. military to behead captured enemies. Water-boarding and sleep deprivation strike us as bad and likely unproductive policies. Disfiguring torture and beheading strike us as the acts of barbarians and monsters. There is equivalence in this?”

  28. Grewgills says:

    davod,

    The violent deaths referred to were those of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay; not the acts of torture committed by insurgents or terrorists.

    We should not let the bad acts of others be the driver of what we find acceptable as a society otherwise we will be left with no standards at all.

  29. davod says:

    “We should not let the bad acts of others be the driver of what we find acceptable as a society otherwise we will be left with no standards at all.”

    I did not write my post for this reason.

  30. davod says:

    Did you watch the video?

  31. Grewgills says:

    I did not write my post for this reason.

    It seemed to jibe with much of the well our enemies do horrible things so we should not criticize our people for doing bad things meme that is perpetuated by people like Bit. Sorry if that was not your intent.
    As for the videos, I have no doubt that they are horrific and have no interest in watching them at this time.

  32. DRM says:

    I think it is also important to remember that the Hussein sons were killed in battle/resisting arrest, while Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced to death in a country where this was legal.

    This means they are not very apt comparisons for a secret torture regime with an ill-defined relationship with the law.

  33. An Interested Party says:

    My whole point is that 0bama is a Nazi/communist, a complete loser as a human being, who like all liberals in politics whats to steal all my money and control my life, ya just like a crap load of so called Conservatives, and is already raising massive taxes on the poor.

    It’s nice to see that ZR III has some competition on this blog for most ridiculous parody…