Shorter Mark Udall by John Cole| December 10, 20144:23 pm| 152 CommentsThis post is in: Blatant Liars and the Lies They TellFacebookTweetEmail“Shut the fuck up you lying liars.” Bless him for that.
Courage is apparently the prerogative only of those who are not coming back to office.
It’s also a nice symptom of the times when war-monger McCain (who was happy to stir up war but not then deal with consequences like torture prescribed by his own party) is the voice of conscience.
A programming note: Mark Udall may be able to read confidential information from the Senate floor, but you can, under US law, get in trouble for reprinting it.
“We tortured some folks.”
“No we didn’t torture some folks. Real people tortured people.”
/paraphrase from snippet I saw.
“John Brennan has the full confidence of President Obama.”
It’s an interesting twist, and weirdly has an upside, if the number of people involved in torture is “a handful.” Which at first sounds like minimizing, but then as CS is pointing out if it’s a handful of actual people you can do something about _those individuals_. Much harder to do something about it when it’s endemic.
If any of y’all were Breaking Bad fans, this is really well done
“You are not the guy.”
@FlipYrWhig: I, personally, have little interest in those individuals. They should be tried and adjudicated as possible.
As is all but too clear, the policy of political pragmatism that traded away temporary political gains in exchange for looking forward is a fucking stain on our nation.
Why does Brennan still have a job? Why isn’t Hayden on trial for perjury, at the very least? CNN, for dog’s sake, chronicled where his testimony to Congress was a series of flat out fucking lies.
Why did Obama nominate James Comey for head of the FBI?
Stop saying enhanced interrogation, Alex Wagner. It’s torture. It always has been.
So not only is Obama not going to see anyone prosecuted for this, but Brennan’s not going to be summarily and publicly fired for lying to everyone.
Seems fair. Also S.O.P. for Obama.
Why did we think we could outsource torture to Mubarak, Qaddafi and Assad and think the stink wasn’t ever going to stick to us?
What a bunch of arrogant assholes.
Medals of Freedom for everybody will fix this stain on America’s honor.
America is Shock & Awesome
What is it with people in our control and their respective rectums?
RWNJs always carp about Obama shoving things down their throat while these authoritarians are literally shoving things into real peoples’ anal entry.
@Corner Stone: CBS Evening News said the word torture or torture practices then they spent the next ten minutes replaying the aftermath of 9/11 and had Mike Morrell mention how many lives were saved because of the practices. At least be honest about the intelligence that was gathered.
Also.. the rectal stuff is rape imo.
A Dem in Colorado
As a Colorado Democrat, I find Sen. Udall’s loss to an empty suit soundbite spouting android to be heartbreaking. For 3 or 4 years, Udall has quietly been a workhorse on revealing how the CIA and U.S. tortured people during the Bush years, and how Obama has done painfully little to hold them accountable. He done this while show ponies like Rand Paul claim the spotlight for trumped up causes while offering nothing of substance.
I won’t go in to the contempt I have for self-proclaimed civil libertarians who did nothing to support Udall. But I’m sadly mystified he decided not to make his investigations a central part of his campaign. The alleged experts and media pundits say he lost a very close race because he didn’t do enough to define himself and differentiate himself from Obama. But during his single term, he was fighting this hugely important fight all alone.
It’s not a bad legacy for a “one and done” senator who’s not a natural politician. I only wish here were going back to D.C. to continue the fight.
@Corner Stone: It pains me to say this.
Obama knows nothing about the military or LE or intelligence, which is fine. I don’t expect a president to be an SME on everything, or even most things. But when you have been told for six years that the way you are handling/dealing with these people is wrong, and you change nothing, well…the problem is not those people, the problem is the guy in charge.
But Obama “took a stand against torture”. He just doesn’t have any problems employing the people who conduct it.
The entire agency should be resigned, with a flamethrower if necessary. It’s the abode of terminal fuckups and the sort of clowns that make Pennywise seem kind and cuddly.
@Corner Stone: I said the same thing last night! Always with the anus as a site to prove domination.
Yeah, read through this thread where all the hoosh completely backed James Comey as FBI head nominee. Just because Obama.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: It makes you wonder who is in charge.
The rectal stuff is rape according to the FBI too.
So what does Brennan have on Obama?
@Corner Stone: SERIOUSLY. The right wing always seems to go for the ass. I couldn’t possibly imagine any reason for that. None at all.
BHO is an emotionally generous and mature man who doesn’t want to be thought of as being petty or small or damaging to the fabric of the union. I, being much more petty and vindictive, would really like to go VDE on their asses.
Side unrelated note: on the POTUS Colbert episode, the Presidential seal behind the desk says “veritasiness”. LMAO.
Good on Udall.
Jeez that National Journal website is lousy, though. The story is composited as tiny chunks of text broken up by six or eight ads or videos. I realize the role of advertising in paying for content, but that site goes too far.
It’s not just the CIA.
The complete acceptance of arrogance in the intelligence community and their masters.
To indulge some painful nostalgia, would this country likely have gone down the Hell-hole of sanctioning torture – if Al Gore had received another 1000 votes in Florida in 2000? OK, let’s make it 2500 votes to bring it safely past any need to rely on the recount process. His hypothetical administration-that-never-was would hardly have been perfect, and there would still have been many darker doings (e.g. Vietnam, Central America, etc) in this country’s past, but nothing like the radical lasting shitstorm of mendaciously vile stupidity and venom unleashed by the Bush Maladministration.
@Corner Stone: Oh will you look at that! Greenwald was 100% right about Comey all along!
@Richard Shindledecker: Maybe there’s a whole bunch of anti-ISIS stuff going on that a new CIA director would have to (1) manage (2) answer questions about. Keep Brennan in the post and no one has to say things that might get leaked?
We complain and complain about Congress, but we don’t have a great track record of supporting the reps and senators who do good things.
Officially sanctioning it, or do you mean the public thinking it’s an a-OK idea? I think torturing “terrorists” is always going to be something that a majority supports. Same way a majority of police shows and movies presume that the audience wants the cop doing the interrogation to start whaling on the guy who won’t talk or wants to “lawyer up.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Might have helped, but I think it was re-airing ISIS propaganda videos that put Gardnerer over the top, along with his Bush-esque “What record? Don’t I seem like a nice feller?” ads, which were enough for the paste-eaters at the Denver Post.
@Corner Stone: SERIOUSLY. They always go for the ass. I cannot imagine why that is so. I have just no idea in the slightest. None at all.
The problem lies also in the military. Abu Ghraib and Bagram didn’t happen in a vacuum. Those weren’t just a few rogue Privates, even tho we saw only them and a couple of NCOs prosecuted.
The SCSI report addresses only the CIA’s actions.
I wish Udall had read more of the Panetta report into the record. I totally agree that there is a systemic, cultural problem. Obama did stop the torture, but he allows the culture to continue.
Expecting candor from the CIA – at anytime, about anything – is akin to expecting Hamlet from that proverbial roomful of furiously typing monkeys.
A random and vanishingly rare occurrence.
@A Dem in Colorado: I’m still stumped about why so much of the same portion of the electorate who turned out to successfully pass marijuana legalization, either sat on their butts and failed to turn out for Udall or else some who did turn out voted for Gardner (a virulent opponent of legalization). Were they all too stoned and couch-locked to bother? I know that Colorado was once upon a time a red-leaning state, and there is still a residual 40+% of the population fitting that political demographic, but more recent elections prove there is now at least a 5% at least moderately progressive-leaning majority – IF they bother to turn out (as they did in 2012). But, they didn’t.
Another Holocene Human
@JPL: Of course it was. The Xtian right is obsessed with sexual assault of males and they project this neurosis on the world at large. They believe the ultimate humiliation for a patriarchal male is to be anally penetrated by another male so that is immediately what they went for.
We laugh and laugh about fundies talking about anal s-e-x more than teh gheyz but these sadists and freaks actually acted out their stroke fantasies on live victims.
If they had done this shit on Americans they’d be sitting on Texas’ death row.
@Corner Stone: I, too, was watching this morning. As I was getting ready for work, I had CSPAN on.. I thought he was very direct in his criticism of President Obama. I also saw the Feinstein speech.
@FlipYrWhig: Point is: had Gore won in 2000, we’d have likely never have gone down the path where torture was considered an acceptable option for dealing with our Bin Laden/Al Qaeda problem, and it’s much more likely he’d have actually been paying attention in the first place to intelligence reports in the months leading up to 9/11, instead being asleep-at-the-wheel clearing brush like Boy Dubya. The one downside would have been Joe Lieberman as VP, but OTOH we might never have realized what a colossal asshole he is until the post-Gore administration memoirs were written.
Another Holocene Human
@A Dem in Colorado:
He was a weak campaigner in a tough state and it’s clear how much the “expert” advice is worth, isn’t it? Unless you’re getting advice from somebody who can fucking win campaigns, one name that comes to mind is Barack Obama. Anyhoo I share your contempt for the supposed libertarians and civil libertarians. But see they care more about keeping wimmens in their place and poors and mud people down than they care about civil liberties.
Another Holocene Human
@cmorenc: There are plenty of pot smoking Republicans.
It’s better when your single issue isn’t partisan, actually.
How’s the view from under the bus? I hear it’s pretty shitty.
Another Holocene Human
@cmorenc: Bush winning in 2000 was one of the great disasters of history. When Dems in 2000 said this election is the most important election they weren’t lying this time.
Both sides don’t do it. As vile as Clinton-Rubin term II’s State Dept was that shit couldn’t even touch what Bush and Ashcroft unleashed.
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it still has more than a few blind spots.
OK, that I agree with. But I also expect that if there had still been instances of torture that hit the news, the American public would have been fine with it-to-gleeful about it. That’s long been said about the Jack Bauer example: torture the bad guy, even if it’s illegal, and then dare someone to prosecute Jack Bauer for having done it. He’ll be a hero regardless of the legality.
Another Holocene Human
@Suzanne: Dig deeper into their cultural notions about masculinity, domination, and penetration.
Complimentarianism. Biblical marriage. Also, their notions of Muslims’ sexual profligacy. (Being a serial monogamist is just fine in Baptist circles but 3 women at once makes you a polygamist and well, you just know that’s bad.)
I will both dominate you (and metaphorically your whole people) and I will punish you for your excessive sexual appetites (as I perceive them). The routine desecration of religious texts is also part and parcel of this.
@skerry: Exactly. I grew up in a military family. Sir yes sir was the only way I knew to talk to my father (thank god things have changed). There is exactly zero chance those military people didn’t do what they were told to do. By people far up the food chain. You do what you are told to do. That is just the way the military works. When I or you are told to charge that hill, it isn’t up for debate. You charge that hill.
Liberman as VP would’ve been an improvement because we’d have gotten a decent Senator out of CT 12 years earlier.
Another Holocene Human
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Look, firing people en masse is just not Obama’s style. He gets rid of them one at a time.
Also, I think he has a fear of the reactionary overreaction to anything he does. Bush had already gone in there and done some pretty radical, terrible shit to Justice and the last thing Obama wanted to do was to escalate that and then give more permission to the GOP to do it again.
Also, it turns out some of the shitmuffins can’t be fired due to civil service laws, like the guy who refused to forward any cases to the office of the POTUS for presidential pardons. Obama had changed his boss out but the dude himself was pretty much unfireable.
The only cure is to wait them out, that’s why you see so much moving now after 6 years that didn’t happen during first half of first term. If we get good dems in the WH again expect more improvement in exec agencies. If we get GOP again expect reversion to Bush II nonsense and then some.
Remember the coke parties in minerals mgmt? Woo hoo.
@cmorenc: If your campaign strategy depends on potheads being reliable, you are probably doing it wrong. Udall’s ads seemed to be strictly about how bad the other guy would be on women’s issues. And though I am a lady and care about those things, there are other issues besides how much Republicans want legislation to control the vaginas.
I think that he was really great on matters that limit the patriot act and protect freedom, and he was also one of the people who was less old and seemed to have a grasp of technological issues. Seriously, we have a bunch of octogenarians who don’t touch computers legislating this stuff, and this makes me weep.
Tommy, allow me to rebut this assertion and allow an analysis that contradicts your shallow statement.
You recently stated, quite disgustingly I may add, that you may at one point consider taking a screwdriver to another human being for some period of time. But then you’d realize it was lacking efficacy and probably stop.
Well, friend, I have never been a member of our nation’s military but I can assert quite candidly that if given the order to insert a tube into a prisoners ass, under my complete custody and control, for the purpose of rectal feeding…I can assure you that I am fairly confident I would refuse that order.
Another Holocene Human
I hate comments like this. We elect presidents, not kings or dictators. Stalin kept himself in charge by basically murdering his political rivals. And by insisting our elected leaders act like fighting dogs, going for the neck of the “other guy” when in reality we have to be adults and work with the other side even if they are social dominators who lie all the time, is not helping. It sets up unreasonable expectations and heightens status anxieties (which can lead to violence and depression).
Hate cannot defeat hate. Only love can do that. Darkness cannot dispel darkness. Only light can do that.
@Tommy: With all due respect, I don’t think you grew up in a “military” family. I think you’ve said your father was a civilian employee of DoD. In my mind, there is a difference between civilians and active duty military.
I spent my career around and in support of the military. I was not military. There is a difference.
Oh good! Now I don’t have to go over to Sully’s to blame Obama. I can read it all right here.
I heard clips of George Tenet and some guy named Morrell (sp?) on CBS news. Morrell is a CBS national security consultant, but the network had a disclaimer that in the clip he was speaking as a defender as his time as acting director or the CIA.
Both came off worse than Rummy with his blather about WMDs and nukes and missiles and death stars being scattered around Baghdad to the East, North, West and there-a-bouts. Tenet in particular was unbelievably slimy.
Also heard dispiriting news about an SF Bay Area poll. About half the population seems on wrong side of the issue; believe there was a legal basis for torture, it was justified and ‘saved lives’ and mistake to release the Congressional report because Bad Things Might Happen.
Edit: So if that is public opinion in ‘Even the Liberal SF Bay Area’ I fear US public opinion is even more on wrong side. But, then, I think about half of people around here were nuts for invasion of Iraq because ‘we had to do something’, etc.
Not sure about how this is true even remotely.
With that said people in the military do as they are told. If you don’t get that then we have a disconnect that we’ll never even agree to disagree.
@Another Holocene Human: And predictably, with the apologia. It’s either an unaccountable elected executive or it’s Stalin?
No, friend. Obama is the boss. He is the boss.
@Corner Stone: Isn’t that what they always say just before you “decide” to spend more time with your family?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Paste eaters at the Denver Post? You are being way too kind to them for that Cory Gardner endorsement – which was sickening. It was also a game changer.
Napoleon once described Talleyrand as a “silk stocking full of sh!t.” I am thinking something along those lines to describe the Denver Post’s editorial board. They permanently lost me as a subscriber.
I don’t feel strongly about this or anything.
@skerry: True. I’ve never lied about my background. Dad was civil service but spent my entire life as a kid on a military base. Dad might have worn a suit to work and not a uniform, but I can tell you 24/7 I always felt like a military brat in every way possible.
Torture and conspiracy to commit torture are felonies, punishable by 20 years imprisonment under 18 USC 2340A. I’ll hold my breath waiting for anyone to be charged in connection with the CIA program.
That wasn’t you?
Dude. If you are inserting a tube into someone’s ass to “feed” them, be aware that you are doing that of your own volition. You can and should prefer to sit out the rest of your days in a jail cell, if you ever find yourself ordered to commit rape,
No, they do not. They follow a lawful order unless it is immoral or illegal.
They are not automatons, even though their training tries to break down certain barriers of ethical, human behavior. To kill another human being is a hard barrier to breach for most individuals. But the military needs people with the ability to attempt that action against their fellow man.
The military does not need to train individuals who blindly accept shoving feeding tubes up defenseless peoples’ asses.
@Corner Stone: It was me and your point is what?
That I think torture isn’t a good idea. That it won’t get results. Talking past each other. We agree and you don’t even realize it.
One would hope so. But he’s been lying about spying on Congress for some time now, and just flat balls out refusing to follow any oversight or rules.
Yet he remains. Why is that, do you think?
Is it really possible to voluntarily refrain from doing something liberals would oppose? Cleek’s Law is a law, after all.
@A Dem in Colorado: Thank you. I can’t believe my fellow Coloradans voted for a crazy person. It is making me rethink living here.
Good Lord, are there still proponents of no one in the military ever does anything wrong for ever or ever in any circumstaces ever because being in the military ensures that? If those 100% chances were so hard-wired a) why are we even bothering with funding MPs and JAGs or whatever the fuck and b) are all those within-the-service rapes and abuse and harrassment thus official policy because necessarily done as per orders?
Blanket statements about any organizations seem downright silly. There’s likely to be as many bad apples and and sound apples and a few grafted pinapples attached to sound and rotted wood in the military as there are in the police forces. Wonder how they compare with Uber . . . . likely more weaponized . . . .
We do not agree, Tommy. I find you to be a thoroughly reprehensible individual. In thought, and possibly in deed if any of your stories about hazing and other things are remotely true.
Exactly. If you go through all the BJ threads on the Torture Report you see that the two people getting the most criticism are Obama and Udall. That’s how we roll.
We go after the guy who done the most to stop torture, and the guy who has done the most to expose torture.
@ellie: For the first time in 60+ years we elected a Rpublican in my district, This guy:
IMO it would be an illegal order. A soldier has an affirmative duty to obey legal orders and an affirmative duty to refuse to obey illegal orders.
Not sure what I have done to piss you off this much but fine.
Turnout doesn’t discourage itself.
Mike in NC
@jl: After the 9/11 attacks Bush appeared at Ground Zero with a megaphone and was lionized by the media, when in fact he should have been pelted with bricks for his utter incompetence. Americans love them some authoritarians.
@BGinCHI: Really? You do? Boy, that’s some CT bullshit right there if I ever read it.
I don’t wonder at all. Who’s in charge? It’s the current president of the United States, one Barack Obama, and a LOT of these people who did this are continuing to serve in the government at his pleasure.
And apparently, he’s fine with them and the job they are doing.
I am not.
This is one tiny part reflective of a larger issue.
I agree with you that I do not think torture is a good idea. But I find your basis that it is not a good idea because it lacks efficacy, or “that it won’t get results” to be truly disturbing.
I believe torture to be wrong because it is a stain on humanity, and there is simply no argument to be entertained that allows one to make the “results” argument.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: I took BG’s answer to be some seriously thick hoots-paw, but ymmv.
I guess it’s probably not that difficult to decide whether an order is illegal, but how is it determined that an order is immoral? What would be examples of legal-but-immoral orders that you could safely refuse to obey?
No, not quite every way possible.
@Corner Stone: Again a perfect time of talked past each of us. I don’t think if we could get results we should torture a person. Never. But some how you think I think this.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: Obama isn’t a torturer. He’s just number one with torturers.
@Tommy: You keep saying you and others are “talking past” each other. You did it with Violet recently.
We’re not talking past each other.
@Mandalay: Hmmm, good question. Maybe Conscientious Objectors represent the immorality of a legal order to deploy?
I’m not big on armed conflict or ordering others into same, so I may be the wrong person to give a specific example.
It’s all fucked up and bullshit, if you ask me.
@Tommy: CS’s point is that no one should torture, even if it did get results. Because torturing people is wrong on its face. You keep saying that torture is unproductive. That’s true, but not the crux of the issue.
The act of torturing, or being a party to torture, diminishes the worth of our humanity.
@Corner Stone: If your are not mad at me for this, then what?
What did I say that pissed you off. Quote me. But in context.
@Corner Stone: In the US military, the requirement is to obey all lawful orders. Oddly, Israel is one of the few countries that allow a soldier to disobey an immoral order.
@Suzanne: There we go.
I say torture is unproductive. CS says torture is unproductive. That we don’t say it in the same way isn’t clear?
Authoritarians head right for the anus, every time.
I have some friends who told me of the Mussolini days in Italy, where his supporters’ favorite thing to do was beat up suspected leftists and forcibly give them enemas.
@Tommy: No. You say torture is unproductive. Corner Stone says it’s wrong.
@Omnes Omnibus: Ugh,
It is wrong and also wrong. Fuxk how many times to I have to say this.
@Tommy: I’m not sure you type what you are thinking. You haven’t said it was wrong. You said it was unproductive. You used the example of taking a screwdriver to someone, but said you wouldn’t because it wouldn’t give you results. Go back and reread the comments.
When you say things like this, you certainly give the impression that that you think it is unproductive. Same with your screwdriver comment from last night. It leaves people with a distinct feeling that you think torture is wrong because it is ineffective as means of eliciting information not because it is morally abhorrent.
Another Holocene Human
@Corner Stone: Obama is accountable. However you are the one with excluded middle who thinks accountability means giving the executive power to mass fire everyone who defies him and replace them with
invisible pinknonexistent progressive purity pony apparatchiks and send all of the ex-executives to show trials.
Once again Global Business Leader Corner Stone showing complete ignorance of how institutions and rule of law actually work outside of late night drunken bull sessions.
@Tommy: No. CS is saying that torture is wrong. You are saying that it’s unproductive. Those are two different statements.
You are just haggling over the price.
Since when is the President a prosecutor?
Unsurprisingly, Obama getting blamed for the previous administration and Congress by asswipes on the left.
Just like he supported George Bush 100%!
Another Holocene Human
@Suzanne: Why should we not make utilitarian or pragmatic arguments?
As you will quickly find when you talk to people who disagree with you, what is immoral or moral is a matter of opinion.
But practicality can be measured.
I see no reason not to reach for pragmatism arguments and I’m nonplussed by the notion that arguing on a utilitarian or pragmatic basis makes Tommy or anyone else a bad person.
Another Holocene Human
@Tommy: She’s concern trolling you for not arguing on moral grounds. Don’t think too hard about it because your head will start hurting.
Yup, just what I expected from you. Cornerstone, too, but he’s an asshole 24/7.
Par for the course here and at other left-leaning sites.
Another Holocene Human
@Omnes Omnibus: Hold up now, unproductive could be wrong by implication.
Some people argue that acts are wrong per se and others argue that they’re wrong through their outcome.
I don’t think that’s going to be settled here on BJ but even someone who is convinced that ends justify means, which was quite a few Americans after 9/11, I was there and I haven’t forgotten, may take pause if their “any means necessary” don’t actually accomplish the stated ends.
Then you might be doing something horrific.
Another example, there are pacifists and then there are people who think war is necessary in limited circumstances. They disagree hotly but both would object to an unnecessary war.
@Another Holocene Human: In my opinion, there is a difference between say “torture is immoral and it is ineffective” and saying “torture is bad because it is ineffective.” The second version implies that, if one could find an effective method of torture, then torture would be acceptable.
Really, bitch? The man who stopped torture?
Funny how you’re directing all this at Obama and NOT Bush.
And some of you wonder why POC don’t trust you so-called progressives.
Saying that torture doesn’t work is not inconsistent with believing that it’s immoral.
I haven’t read everything you said, but just so you know, you are arguing with a misanthropic asshole whose standard MO is to twist people’s words and call them “reprehensible”.
IOW, as my stepson used to say, “Pot? Kettle. How ya doin.”
A Dem in Colorado
@cmorenc: That isn’t so mystifying. While some pot smokers are Republicans, I think a broader swath of them are the finnicky hippie/hipster types all too eager to believe they shouldn’t sully themselves by picking the lesser of two “corporatist” evils. Seeing it play out in Denver, I know close to a dozen single-issue pot legalization voters.
But mostly the crowd of pro-pot voters that turned out in 2012 overlaps with the types of Democrat-leaning voters who historically don’t turn out in midterm elections (young people, minorities, urbanites, etc…)
@AxelFoley: That’s not a so-called progressive; that’s a full-on emo-troll. Just mentioning so you don’t waste your time on the idiot.
Another Holocene Human
Another example, is it wrong to lie?
Now is it wrong to lie to protect somebody?
These are very difficult questions. I’m uncomfortable with the moral high horse of saying certain actions are wrong per se without any context. It’s a great way to defend all kinds of evil.
I want to see a world in which we minimize harm and that makes me a utilitarian. There are some not very nice people who argue that ends justify means but here’s the thing, investigating more closely reveals that they’re lying about the harm caused by their actions more often than not. So that gut feeling that they’re wrong comes from real experience. Does it discredit the idea of ends justifying means? I don’t know that ends justify means. But I think they definitely inform the relative merit of means.
Take the contrapositive. Do good intentions justify a negative result? I think most would reject the idea that it’s okay if people died if only you meant well.
The way humans construct morality and the way we think about it are complicated.
It’s really unfair and unhelpful to go all morality squad on somebody because they’ve constructed their notion of morals and ethics differently from you, especially when you’ve come to the same conclusion.
I’ll ask what Socrates asked: where do morals come from?
Sorry about that, linked the wrong comment.
Anyway you know I meant CS and not you. Sheesh.
Another Holocene Human
@Omnes Omnibus: Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same poster who used to post as So Cool So Fresh and if not, they’re sharing the same brain.
Which is short a few connections.
I understand dropping acid is a great way to get siloed parts of your brain to talk to each other. It causes permanent changes (which is why they were investigating it for mood disorder before the DEA went freaky on it). Something to consider for Greenwald trolls.
Steve Jobs had NPD and still accomplished stuff in life unlike most people with NPD. Story is he had your usual NPD delusions of grandeur and special powers and this motivated him to trip out on shitloads of acid. The acid rewired his mind and while he was still NPD he wasn’t quite as much of a flameout abusive freak.
@Another Holocene Human: Yes, I have taken Intro to Philosophy as well. As to your point about utilitarianism, I would certainly make common cause with someone who opposes torture because it was ineffective in order to stop torture from happening. I would also be mentally giving the person the side-eye and wondering how a person could not see that it is wrong on completely different level.
In general, I would say that you are right, but there are a few situations, torture is one of them, where I think the line as awfully clear.
@Another Holocene Human: Because I think torture is wrong, even if it gets good intel. I can appreciate what you’re saying, but I can also foresee the reaction of, “Well, THAT torture didn’t get the results we wanted—let’s try this other really fucked-up thing instead! THAT will get us the answers we want.” And that is honestly against everything I believe in.
I understand that the tendency is real to go with what can be measured or analyzed, but just because one cannot measure the worth if a human being’s soul or heart doesn’t mean that those things are worthless.
I fail to see the problem with putting the argument in the terms of who you arguing with. Some people will not find torture immoral. I won’t convince them otherwise, if past experience is any indication. To them I would say ” ok you are a sad excuse for humanity but if you don’t think it’s evil to torture someone, if I prove that it doesn’t work , can we agree not to torture? If you find a way to torture and produce results then we will have to go to knuckle town, you and I, but we will deal with that then”. I don’t know if it would make a difference to all the closet fascists out there but to the chickenshits who sell their honor for a fake security blanket, it might get through. Until knuckle town anyway.
@Another Holocene Human:
I’m sorry, but WTF are you babbling about?
You’re a ridiculous, nonsensical clown.
@tk: I don’t disagree with that. I use that method in the context of the death penalty. I think it is wrong. I think using it diminishes our society. A lot of people do not agree with that. I have used the fact the our system is fallible and the death penalty is permanent to get them to think about it. Sometimes it works. On this thread, I think we have actually been having a version of the conversation you described. I am not sure Tommy would see it that way.
And anyone morally willing to enter into a “results based” argument on torture is a reprehensible individual.
There is no calculus that allows us to distinguish between efficient and inefficient applications of torture. Once one enters into a Devil’s bargain it no longer matters what basis you used to determine the answers you were looking for.
I do not say it is unproductive. I reject entering into any argument where an individual cedes the ground that “is it useful/productive” makes a difference.
There is no “ticking time bomb” in my decision. Once you do that, you have diminished what we are supposed to be about.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
Maybe he has a copy of the “whitey tape”.
I laughed about the “knuckle town” but really, that’s not something I’m willing to fall back on.
Don’t try and tell me torture works. Torture does not work, unless you’re end goal is to torture. then it is imminently effective. Or if you need propaganda to defend some other heinous action. Then it is also effective. The purpose of torture is to torture.
There are no other effective end goals beyond that. And for the clown talking about pragmatism? No, torture is not a pragmatic response to any situation.
It’s a disgusting individual who puts lying to protect someone into context with torturing someone for a certain outcome.
that is the definition of moral sickness, and a loss of humanity if applied.
It’s Corner Stone. It’s a compliment.
If you’re arguing with a torture apologist — i.e., an actual reprehensible person and not just a clearly decent guy who’s had the misfortune to engage with two of the most disingenuous commenters on this blog — you respond to their “arguments.”
You start out with “torture is wrong and immoral, period, no ifs ands buts.” Then, when they respond with something along the lines of “ticking time bomb” or some other “end justifies means” bullshit, you respond by explaining why that’s wrong too, even in their own morally defunct universe — i.e., because torture doesn’t work. Pointing that out does not make your own purely moral position any less valid, moral, or pure.
And that is why the argument here, on this thread, is bullshit. There is no inconsistency between holding a purely moral position yourself, and also engaging the positions of those who do not. None.
@AxelFoley: GFY, ONT.
I understand you have a deep seated issue with morality for the rest of humanity, especially if any happen to be Palestinian – but it’s not that someone says it is immoral AND doesn’t work. It’s that it should be considered as not always giving good, efficient results. And therefore we may consider pulling that screwdriver back from another human being.
Huh. He’s only got one thing to do, in any event.
@eemom: I am honestly curious: have you ever left a comment here that didn’t involve taking a swipe at another commenter? You are the most hostile person who regularly comments here, and you’re not even funny, which would make up for it. All you do is swoop in, drop a load of insults or complain, then flounce out—then call others “disingenuous”.
@SiubhanDuinne: What does that mean.
Just asking, but did you bother to read his recent comments on hazing and the outcomes of being in the frat he was in?
How is this individual considered a “clearly decent guy” at this point?
Good Christ, just read what he writes. If it isn’t a spoof account then we’re dealing with a seriously disturbed individual that should seek help.
@A Dem in Colorado: @A Dem in Colorado:
Your comment inspired a wonderfully cynical idea: EVERY NON-PRESIDENTIAL CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION, PUT A POT REPEAL REFERENDUM ON THE COLORADO BALLOT ! That’ll get ’em off their couch-locked stoner butts and motivated to turn out. It wouldn’t be hard at all to find some right-wing social conservatives to do your dirty work and appear to be the ones behind it.
OK, so if too many stoners are too couch-locked stoned to bother to vote, it might backfire. But if so, they deserve what they get.
I think she’s arguing that when you call someone “a thoroughly reprehensible individual,” it’s actually a compliment because you’re (ostensibly) so “thoroughly reprehensible” yourself.
I might have missed a few steps in the argument — but not because they’re there.
Question for you: What does “ONT” mean? My education is incomplete.
I thought I was incorrigible!
A One Note Troll like AxelFoley is one who has absolutely nothing else to comment on but to come frog stomping (almost always into a dead thread but sometimes just with tips) and declare any less than perfect speech regarding Obama to be heresy.
That’s 95% of what AxelFoley has to say here. He comes in, calls people bitch or other names, declares their lack of fealty to Obama to be the bane of his existence, then disappears to the next time someone isn’t properly deferential.
torture is wrong for both moral and practical reasons. In my life experience it tends to be the case that both apply and disliking the practical is a waste of time because the universe seems to be constructed to put those things in parallel not separate. people who actually think certain immoral acts profit them seem delusional. they overlook things like no matter how super you think you are there is always a faster gunslinger or bad luck or multiples gangue on you or you just get old. a nasty society is dangerous to everyone. I tend to take the moral view for granted my self. I don’t even want to understand how some people can think murder or rape or torture is ok. so I don’t really need to think about this stuff I figured out about 13. then I can’t help noticing how stupid it is. It’s not as obvious and passes the time and I guess it makes me feel good to look down on how stupid it is. it’s obvious too many people don’t know it’s wrong and that frightens me so I try the practical arguments. sometimes it makes an impression. I don’t know how to make a moral argument beyond the flat statement killing rape and torture are wrong. I feel it too deeply to explain why. It just is to me. i don’t think that is persusive even if true. I think I knew that truth too young, I didn’t think through to it, I was raised in that moral culture. so you would hear me make a practical argument and conclude I wasn’t trustworthy but you would be wrong.
@kindness: I wouldn’t mind if President Obama prosecuted those who condoned or allowed the torture to occur. However, I completely understand why he’s decided to leave them alone. He’s made a decision that it’s not worth political capital to go after the last administration. Americans appear to be okay with torturing foreigners (and killing their fellow Black citizens). Not worth the fight.
Some of the people responsible for this stuff are still at their posts, or have been promoted, i. e., they have been working in the Obama Administration.
Thanks. I appreciate the paragraph. You began with:
How should one respond to the following?
(Re being practical: genocide does tend to impoverish the gene pool, after all.)
@Corner Stone: Thanks for explaining.
@Cervantes: Hey, that’s why I’m here.
@Corner Stone: I thought it was because you had been thrown out of all the reputable blogs like the rest of us.
At this point, we are lucky if we can find leaders with a sense of pragmatism. The loud rabble yahoos would (and do) shout down any poor slob who comes along and says torture is terrible because it is just the wrong thing to do to anyone. No, they want to punish someone, severely. They’ll get chub for a week, at least.
Past interrogators said plenty of times on tv that torture just doesn’t yield intel. Shouldn’t that be enough to not do it? What is the point of beating/stressing/raping someone if it won’t help win? Sure, humiliation is a fun fetish, too. Seems like an unforgivable waste of time.
I don’t give a rat’s ass at this point if Tommy chooses to be a pragmatist. And I know full well that most Republicans would just point and laugh at anyone who has the moral objection to torture. They still argue that you get “actionable intelligence” when the only assurance I have of that is from proven liars: Cheney, Hayden, Tenet, W, and all the other ghouls. I find all of them a sh!t-ton more objectionable than the views expressed by Tommy.
Okay. Nevertheless, based on his statements in a number of threads, Tommy’s objections to torture are due its ineffectiveness. I reserve the right to find that appalling. Tommy isn’t one of the major ghouls on this issue but it is because we grade on a curve.
Full disclosure: I have had several disputes with Tommy before and I do not see him as the decent, Candide-like figure that some here do.
@Omnes Omnibus: Fair enough. I have been lucky here, so far, and hope to keep it that way.
Paul in KY
@Corner Stone: I think at least some of them were convinced it was a lawful order.
There are lawful orders given, at times, to kill people.
Paul in KY
@Omnes Omnibus: Correct. I would say that there was a lot of smoke blown from high-ranking people about how ‘lawful’ those reprehensible orders were.
@Paul in KY:
Certainly. But I don’t think the context or calculus is the same. If artillery is ordered down on a position, you’re going to kill someone. I don’t think that’s the kind of discussion we’re having here.
The persons in question are in our complete custody and control. While some people in this “program” might have not questioned the legality of the order, or even just accepted it as legal and authorized, others clearly knew the orders they were giving were wrong. Or else why all the lying? Why all the efforts to skirt oversight? If the people in charge, like Hayden, truly felt they were doing the will of the American people, their actions certainly do not reflect that.
I am much less concerned with the individuals who may have thought the order was legal (although that in itself is an issue to be addressed), and much more intent on the people in charge at the time, or times.
Paul in KY
@Cervantes: That’s true & I really hate that. Pres. Obama should have gotten rid of them (even if they were expressly ordered from on high to do everything they did).
Paul in KY
@Corner Stone: Good points all. I agree that they (Hayden, et. al) certainly behaved as if these orders were not lawful.
Just a stain forever on our nation.
@Cervantes: I don’t have the imagination to know as an American but I think someone in a country where genocide is a recent reality or imminent threat might know and possibly need to use the practical argument on someone persuadable.
In the pre 911 time I didn’t really know much about the practical reasons not to torture although I did get taught some in Americanism versus Communism classes on how it yielded bad info and caused blow back, however I unfortunately know more now. Back then I didn’t know I would see a time when the moral answer it’s wrong would not be enough fairly soon. It seemed fixed and normal and everyone seemed to agree. I really wonder how that eroded so fast. The polls showing how many think torture is sometimes OK is so bad for both democrats and republicans.
Genocide is bad for practical reasons. Noticing that doesn’t make the moral reasons less important though I have seen that reaction before. It seems to offend spiritual religious types on certain issues. Genocide is just murder on a large scale. All the reasons high murder rates are bad for societies and economies would apply to genocide. For that matter selfishness such as libertarianism are bad for societies and individuals (though some don’t notice that till too late for them).
In most cases that I can think of the moral and practical say the exact same thing is the best case behavior. We are still supposed to chose the moral over the practical when the 2 conflict but they don’t very often.
Now people who are sadists and short term thinkers or deluded in specific ways may think their preffered behavior is practical but I think they are wrong.
Take these idiot torturers. I can’t tell if they knew it was immoral. They clearly thought it was practical, that it would make them safer. It yielded tons of false info. First it didn’t yield good info so we weren’t quickly getting after actual dangers. second it polluted the total data set with more false info so we went after imaginary targets wasting time and resources and sometimes getting soldiers killed for nothing (another immoral impact). Then the people who were trying to use the total info to make evaluations had their data polluted without knowing at first that some came from torture and was therefore false, then later they knew that some was torture false but not which so they couldn’t evaluate data correctly. Third there was blow back. Not just from the people in the countries we invaded, but in destroying friendly relationships with “allies” who had trusted us for 70 or more years? Unbelievable. We are less safe than before and easily forseeble result. That is also another immoral impact from leaders.
Where we are is that poll showing a lot of Americans actually don’t have the moral center to know torture is immoral and waterboarding, sleep deprivation, hypertheria, rape etc are torture. It would be best if they actually did get the morality corrected but I don’t see any quick hope of that. The ones that know it’s wrong aren’t the ones who are voting wrong except a little bit if they have wrong info. Its worth saying its wrong loudly, frequently and with examples because we have little kids growing up that we don’t want to perpetuate this nonsense and because the ones who know it immoral need to not feel left out and ignored but if we want to get the current situation improved we need to convince the immoral uncommitted how bad a practical idea it was so we all need to make lots of these types of arguments to whomever we encounter that seem like this tactic may work on.
I am actually really bad at making a moral “argument” because it seems so obvious to me. Like trying to explain something standing right in front of both of us. Just look. In fact I wonder why anybody needs anything beyond the pictures being verified as real.
Paul in KY
@gvg: I do think that fucking ’24’ show influenced a lot of idiots/would-be-goons into thinking it worked and could even be cathartic.
Thanks. Once again, I really appreciate your comment.
I disagree with the premise that (virtually) anyone in the program really thought it was to gain tactical info. All of the experts are in near agreement that torture doesn’t work and has never worked. Those in charge would have known this, certainly.
The purpose of torture is to torture. They then used the generated propaganda as a defense for the actions they wanted to always take.
Did you see that they’ve even “admitted” to torturing people ostensibly to confirm that they knew nothing useful?
I want to say this doesn’t bear thinking about.
Oh, goody. Dick Cheney will be on Meet the Press “exclusively” this Sunday.