Quote of the Day – Torture Trials Edition

“Well, conservative, conshmervative – even Karl Rove would pay good money to see Pelosi handcuffed to Dick Cheney.” – Kate McMillan responding to news that the then-Minority Whip and top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee was briefed on the use of “enhanced interogation techniques” in the fall of 2002 and “gave it her stamp of approval.”

And, no, the fact that this is just corroboration of old news doesn’t make it any less amusing.

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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. Bithead says:

    While the idea of chaining Pelosi to Cheney is somewhat useful to the notion of discrediting her among leftist circles, it seems a far greater effect to me to discredit her, and so much of the left with her, as bald-faced liars over the supposedly high moral ground they’re now taking, when they scream ‘Torture’.

  2. Ugh says:

    Apparently it’s not so clear exactly what the CIA documents show.

    it seems a far greater effect to me to discredit her, and so much of the left with her, as bald-faced liars over the supposedly high moral ground they’re now taking, when they scream ‘Torture’

    Assuming Pelosi knew all about this and enthusiastically approved, why would that discredit “so much of the left”? And why would they be bald-faced liars just because Pelosi knew about this? Are all members of the left charged with knowing what Pelosi knew/knows? If she likes poached salmon in a white wine sauce is that what “so much of the left” like?

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    Hey, if Pelosi was involved and knowingly violated the law on torture, I hope they frog march her along with the other guilty members of the Bush Administration.

  4. PD Shaw says:

    Ugh, your link has some of the worst dissembling I’ve seen for a while. Pelosi received:

    “a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.

    That’s characterized by the blogger as a desription of “some” EITs, when in fact nobody questions that the particular EITs included waterboarding.

  5. Bithead says:

    By way of Ann Althouse, I note a report that most Americans agree with ‘intense interrogations’ anyway.

  6. joannesj says:

    By way of Ann Althouse, I note a report that most Americans agree with ‘intense interrogations’ anyway.

    Does that include instances where it is foreigners subjecting Americans to ‘intense interrogations’ or is performing ‘intense interrogations’ an American prerogative?

  7. PD Shaw says:

    most Americans agree with ‘intense interrogations’ anyway.

    I suppose that’s why Congress hasn’t attempted to pass a law specifically banning waterboarding.

    If I get this straight, a law banning “serious pain and suffering” clearly bans waterboarding. A statement that Pelosi was given “a description of the particular EITs that had been employed” couldn’t mean she was briefed on waterboarding. Sounds like some people like to mount the high ground on a field of ambiguity and plausible deniability.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    By way of Ann Althouse, I note a report that most Americans agree with ‘intense interrogations’ anyway.

    So what? During the early to middle part of the last century, I’m sure most Americans agreed with segregationist policies…did that justify them…

  9. Drew says:

    “During the early to middle part of the last century, I’m sure most Americans agreed with segregationist policies…did that justify them…”

    Right. And I’m sure you will be making the same argument on mob rule when it comes to taxation….

  10. Bithead says:

    If I get this straight, a law banning “serious pain and suffering” clearly bans waterboarding.

    No. As a commentor at Althouses place suggests:

    Have you heard of anyone volunteering to have a battery hooked up to his john thomas just to demonstrate how bad torture is? Well, several have volunteered to be waterboarded.

  11. DMan says:

    Have you heard of anyone volunteering to have a battery hooked up to his john thomas just to demonstrate how bad torture is? Well, several have volunteered to be waterboarded.

    Have you ever watched Fear Factor or Jackass? There is a major difference between voluntarily subjecting yourself to pain and suffering then there is to forcing it upon someone unwillingly. One is called stupidity, and the other is called torture.

  12. Bithead says:

    (Chuckle)

    Jackass particuipants actually get injured for their participation as a matter of routine. Not so with waterboarding.

    Try again.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    Such torture apologists in these parts…I wonder, was it 9/11 that scared you silly or did you always think that torture was just peachy…

  14. An Interested Party says:

    re: Drew at May 8, 2009 12:16

    If people are unhappy with their levels of taxation, they are more than capable of working and voting for political candidates that will rewrite tax laws to suit them…

  15. steve says:

    “Have you heard of anyone volunteering to have a battery hooked up to his john thomas just to demonstrate how bad torture is? Well, several have volunteered to be waterboarded.”

    No one has volunteered to be waterboarded the way that really counts. T do it right, you need to be kidnapped by some jihadists, or someone else who hates you. Then get waterboarded not knowing if they will really stop.

    I hate analogies but, if Bit has sex with his wife, she may or may not enjoy it, but it is probably not torture (giving him the benefit of the doubt). If 5 guys she doesnt know hold her down and force her to have intercourse, it is a much different act. If they are careful, they can do this without leaving any marks. Same physical act.

    Steve

  16. G.A.Phillips says:

    Why do abortionists worry about water boarding terrorists?
    The irony.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Why do abortionists worry about water boarding terrorists?

    Why do people opposed to abortion support the death penalty? Oh, the irony indeed…

  18. floyd says:

    “During the early to middle part of the last century, I’m sure most Americans agreed with segregationist policies…did that justify them…”
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    If the above statement were true it certainly would not constitute justification, nor would it justify using this sort of argument with every passing cause.
    Each issue should be judged on it’s own merit, based on principle.”Changing social mores” is a cowardly excuse for those who constantly hold a damp finger to the “passing winds” of change, then follow the herd. Anyone with a mind of his own would at least occasionally find himself elevating a middle finger to the those passing wind(s) when they blow in the wrong direction.

    I for one oppose the torture of prisoners, yet I have seen no credible evidence that such practices are condoned or practiced by our military.
    Thus far, the issue has only been foppishly paraded with strut and indignation, without true conviction, for political purposes.

  19. floyd says:

    “”Why do people opposed to abortion support the death penalty? Oh, the irony indeed…””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Explain the irony, just why is it that the murder of innocent children is the equivalent to the killing of incorrigible serial killers and mass murderers?

    Before you jump to conclusions, I think there is good argument to oppose the death penalty, but I would certainly see more irony in opposing it for serial killers while supporting it for innocent babies.

  20. An Interested Party says:

    I for one oppose the torture of prisoners, yet I have seen no credible evidence that such practices are condoned or practiced by our military.

    Oh, so then it is a lie that anyone was waterboarded? Or is waterboarding not torture? Or was it only torture when, say, the Khmer Rouge did it?

    Explain the irony…

    Part of that was sarcasm (psst, here’s a hint, abortion and torture are two unrelated issues, but I guess some people don’t know that, as one in particular likes to bring up abortion in seemingly every post he/she comments on)…and of course serial killers and mass murderers are scum, no one disputes that…but killing is killing, whether it is committed by the state or by the individual…

  21. Our Paul says:

    Alex Knapp (May 8, 2009 | 09:58 am)

    You may recall that when the Office of Legal Council memos were released you indicated the following:

    If their actions in crafting executive branch policy is prosecutable under existing Federal laws against torture and ill-treatment of prisoners then yes, I would support their prosecution. (Alex Knapp | April 16, 2009 | 01:17 pm)

    I note you remain consistent in your views, to wit:

    Hey, if Pelosi was involved and knowingly violated the law on torture, I hope they frog march her along with the other guilty members of the Bush Administration.

    The list for the frog march parade is quite extensive, and I doubt, that after all is said and done, Nancy Pelosi will be on it.

    Scott Horton, no slouch when it comes to Constitutional Law, and who has been blogging on the implications of torture since the first whiff of this evil practice surfaced has a careful examination of the interplay between Nancy Pelosi and the CIA memos. To wit:

    I am very skeptical about the ABC report. Some cautions are in order. First, the report does not say, as has been commented elsewhere, that Pelosi “signed off” on the techniques. An argument is being made that her silence can be taken to imply consent. That legal maxim works in some circumstances, but not in this one, particularly because the ground rules of these intelligence briefings require the silence of those who are briefed. That in my mind is a major issue that emerges from the torture controversy: is it appropriate to gag Congressional leaders this way?

    For the mind unencumbered by ideology, it is worth a read. For those unrequited conservatives who for immediately start to search for a bit of mud to heave at the mere mention of Pelosi’s name, Horton’s blog post should be required reading. It is painful to watch how easily this species of Homo politicus embarrasses itself.