Torture innocents or suffer the consequences.
April 25, 2007 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Torture innocents or suffer the consequences. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) expounded yesterday on the process of 'extraordinary rendition' where suspects are flown to foreign countries outside of US law, so they can be tortured for information. He's got no problem with it, even if innocents are involved. [more inside]
posted by bitmage (89 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
"if in order to protect the rights of one or two people, or five people or ten people, who are mistakenly abducted because their names were the same or because they went to a mosque that they didn’t know this thing was going on in the back room, if 10 of those people suffer those consequences, but in order for us to take 90 other people off the street who are intent and involved in plans that would slaughter tens of thousands of our citizens, I’m afraid that’s the price we pay in a real world."

Don't like a regime that tortures innocents - then "I hope it’s your families that suffer the consequences. "

Meanwhile, Presidential Candidate Giuliani warns that electing a Democrat will result in another 9/11.

Feel the fear.
posted by bitmage at 9:33 AM on April 25, 2007


At one point, Rohrabacher argued that imprisoning and torturing one innocent person was a fair price to pay for locking up 50 terrorists who would “go out and plant a bomb…and kill 20,000 people.”

From the other direction: n Guilty Men, a historical review.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:36 AM on April 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Does this work in reverse? Like if somebody figures that if somebody in the US guvmint is making plans that would lead to the slaughter tens of thousands of civilians in their country, is it ok for them to abduct 100 Americans with 90% success rate in getting Americans who may be involved? Inquiring minds wish to know.
posted by Firas at 9:36 AM on April 25, 2007 [9 favorites]


"if in order to protect the rights of one or two people, or five people or ten people, who are mistakenly abducted because their names were the same or because they went to a mosque that they didn’t know this thing was going on in the back room, if 10 of those people suffer those consequences, but in order for us to take 90 other people off the street who are intent and involved in plans that would slaughter tens of thousands of our citizens, I’m afraid that’s the price we pay in a real world."


Let's test his resolve. Fly him out of the country and see if he knows anything... or changes his mind about torture...
posted by eatdonuts at 9:39 AM on April 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


(And yes, his numbers/stats/probabilities are totally delusional. I can see how the way he puts it can sound reasonable, but the figures are deranged.)
posted by Firas at 9:40 AM on April 25, 2007


Is there any chance Mr.Rep. Rohrbacher could be extraordinarily redited? Like, maybe for his involvement with the ole
Talibanski?
posted by From Bklyn at 9:41 AM on April 25, 2007 [2 favorites]



sorry,
"rendite-ed"
posted by From Bklyn at 9:47 AM on April 25, 2007


Disgusting. He attacks straw men, makes up with totally unrealistic numbers, and generally comes across as everything that most people think is wrong with the US. And he's from my state. What a POS.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 9:50 AM on April 25, 2007


If we suspect some Congressman are up to no good, can we take Rohrbacher out back and beat the crap out of him until he gives up his colleagues?
posted by junesix at 9:54 AM on April 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


holy hell. this bitch needs waterboarding this instant.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:56 AM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Presidential Candidate Giuliani warns that electing a Democrat will result in another 9/11.

Shit Rudy I really want to vote for you, but you keep playing the GOP man. You are losing my vote.
posted by poppo at 10:01 AM on April 25, 2007


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by chillmost at 10:04 AM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would be interested to hear what number of people protected is small enough that torture is no longer justified. He's willing to destroy one innocent to save 20,000. What about 200? Or twenty? I suspect he'd be fine with just 2, if those two were his whitebread constituents and the one innocent who suffered was brown.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:05 AM on April 25, 2007


Making up statistics? That's a waterboarding. Strawmen? That's a waterboarding. Keep building up the new found culture of fear that helped get us in our current mess? You guess it, that's a waterboarding. Hey, you've got to break a few eggs to make an omlette.
posted by substrate at 10:06 AM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


poppo -
Rudy is a bad man.
I don't say this just as a New Yorker under his mayoralty; he is divisive and racist and psychotic in ways you have never imagined - in fact, imagine Bush Jr. with a modicum of intelligence and even more cunning and you might begin to have an idea...
posted by From Bklyn at 10:07 AM on April 25, 2007


Meanwhile, Presidential Candidate Giuliani warns that electing a Democrat will result in another 9/11.

Let's see. On September 11th, 2001, Mr. Giuliani was the Mayor of New York City. George W. Bush was President of the United States. The Majority Leader of the House was Tom Delay, the Majority Leader of the Senate was Trent Lott.

All four of these men are Republicans.

Funny, if preventing 9/11 is the criteria, I can't think of a better argument against voting for the GOP. They've already proven that they couldn't stop the first one.
posted by eriko at 10:07 AM on April 25, 2007 [11 favorites]


I ALSO enjoy how scumfucks like this go on and on about "reality" and the "real world" and the need for "wake-up calls" while using made-up stats to justify their sick little Tom Clancy/Jack Bauer martial boner fantasy world.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2007


I've got a new rule: advocates of torture are subject to random applications of same.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:10 AM on April 25, 2007


Making up statistics? That's a waterboarding. Strawmen? That's a waterboarding. Keep building up the new found culture of fear that helped get us in our current mess? You guess it, that's a waterboarding.

Simulated drowning? Oh, you'd better believe that's a waterboarding. </jasper>
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:12 AM on April 25, 2007


What he means is that it's okay to torture any number of people like them in order to save any number of people like us. And uh, you know what we mean by "us".
posted by delmoi at 10:16 AM on April 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


my question is how does any Republican in this country have a shred of credibility with any thinking person anymore? Wasn't this guy in bed with Abramoff? Isn't he on record calling Abramoff a "fine man". After that why does anyone listen to a word he says? Shouldn't he be indicted?

poppo - I don't understand how anyone can vote for Giuliani after his shameless fear-mongering at the 2004 Republican convention.
posted by any major dude at 10:20 AM on April 25, 2007


Rudy is a bad man.
I don't say this just as a New Yorker under his mayoralty; he is divisive and racist and psychotic in ways you have never imagined - in fact, imagine Bush Jr. with a modicum of intelligence and even more cunning and you might begin to have an idea...


Can you elaborate? I certainly have a problem with how he keeps towing his party line (the comment above is not the first one, and this is a strong enough problem for me morally not to vote for him already), but in what ways has he been divisive, racist, and psychotic? These are strong words and could use some examples.

My thinking thus far has been this: He is the only one of the candidates at the moment with experience in managing an actual city/state/county what-have-you, and as far as I could tell, did a good job (former New Yorker here). I don't count Senators as having managed jack shit. I am extremely conflicted about voting for Hilary since she is a standard double-talking politician. My only reason to vote for her would be to vote Bill in as First Man and hope he actually runs things. I am attracted to Obama for many reasons, but he's also an unproven quantity.

I do however, have an open mind, so definitely let me know some examples of the bad side of Giuliani.
posted by poppo at 10:29 AM on April 25, 2007


poppo - I don't understand how anyone can vote for Giuliani after his shameless fear-mongering at the 2004 Republican convention.

Indeed, I would count this as more party-line towing and this is why he is losing my vote. See comment above for the rest of my thinking.
posted by poppo at 10:31 AM on April 25, 2007


delmoi: We've met the enemy, and he is us, eh?

And now, my rant:

All these pro-war, pro-torture pussies make me sick. They prance around posturing and acting "manly" without even realizing that they are personifying a hypermasculinized gay archetype a la the Village People. They are blissfully unaware of their repressed homosexuality, as are the bulk of their remaining stalwarts. I dub these idiots "Rob Halford Republicans". [NOT ROBHALFORDIST]

I know that this line of thinking is often trotted out for amusement purposes, but I really believe now that the literal truth is that men who endorse these policies are really, literally, homosexuals who refuse to acknowledge their feelings. I don't mean they're effete, or girly, or some ridiculous 1950s stereotype of homosexuality. We are being "led" by a bunch of people who don't even know who they are.
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on April 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


...we have known all along that at times America has to go it alone, and people will try to find fault with us rather than trying to at least understand our morality.

It's not that we don't understand your morality; it's that we can't find it.
I'll look under the furniture.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:39 AM on April 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


I do however, have an open mind, so definitely let me know some examples of the bad side of Giuliani.

Giuliani is a dyed-in-the wool authoritarian. As such, it is reasonable to expect that he would want more government power, fewer civil rights and lower tolerance for dissent.

Given that all of these variables are already in a dangerous position, a vote for Giuliani is essentially a vote to make permanent the current state of affairs, and then to extend it further.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:45 AM on April 25, 2007


Poppo, I mean you no disrespect, but that's a pet peeve of mine: it's "toeing" or "toe-ing", as in having your toes on the line. /petpeeve
posted by notsnot at 10:54 AM on April 25, 2007


It's working. I'm fucking terrified.
posted by notmydesk at 10:55 AM on April 25, 2007


Torture? It's not so bad. Laura says "No one suffers more than their president and I do."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:57 AM on April 25, 2007


Shit Rudy I really want to vote for you, but you keep playing the GOP man.

Political analysts theorize this may be because Giuliani is a Republican.
posted by EarBucket at 11:01 AM on April 25, 2007


it's "toeing"

Thanks. Looking it at now, i suppose i have just never seen it written. Toe does make more sense.
posted by poppo at 11:04 AM on April 25, 2007


Rohrabacher has been saying this kind of shit ever since he was first elected, and he still wins every election he ever runs in. Who knows when the residents of the 46th District are ever going to get the sense to toss him out on his ass.
posted by blucevalo at 11:07 AM on April 25, 2007


WWJD?:
Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
vs.
You who are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.
The "accursed" part is almost a checklist of how we treat prisoners, with waterboarding and stress positions thrown in at no extra charge.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:08 AM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Operation Yellow Elephant: It's their war. Why aren't they fighting it? A cute little blog.
posted by chunking express at 11:08 AM on April 25, 2007


Metafilter: best of the martial boner fantasy world.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 11:09 AM on April 25, 2007


Giuliani is a dyed-in-the wool authoritarian.

I guess this refers to his war on crime in NYC. That seemed to me to be a plus. I mean, I get where you're coming from, but it seemed to me that Giuliana used his power responsibly, unlike the current administration.

I can see the pile-on is beginning. I would like to make the disclaimer before my website is fire-bombed that I am not a republican, nor do I lean to the right (or even the middle really) on most issues. I was just hoping Giuliani wasn't a party man.
posted by poppo at 11:10 AM on April 25, 2007


Also still interested in how he is divisive, racist and psychotic.
posted by poppo at 11:12 AM on April 25, 2007


mean, I get where you're coming from, but it seemed to me that Giuliana used his power responsibly, unlike the current administration.

I would suggest that even if you think he used his power for good, that it's almost irrelevant.

Bush/Cheney/etc have been greatly restrained by the mechanisms of state. They had to do significant work to expand the scope of their power, and this is power that any other authoritarian will now be granted for free, and will expand upon.

As such, I believe the best candidate in 2008 will be whoever is least authoritarian, most likely to reduce executive power, and least likely to expand it in any way.

Historically speaking, authoritarian regimes do not turn so overnight, nor do they do so through instantaneous evil. Instead, the people support some authoritarians who they like, and because they like the way the power is being used, they grant more.

This expansion of power continues, with noble goals stated publicly and proudly.

Then at some later point in time, somebody else is given all of this power, and they use it in a negative way. But by then, the people can do little about it, because they have given away too much control.

This is my primary objection to Giuliani, Hillary, and any other candidate who seems probable to expand executive power.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 11:20 AM on April 25, 2007 [5 favorites]


EatTheWeak: I would be interested to hear what number of people protected is small enough that torture is no longer justified.

That's up to some debate (the Jeremy Bentham quotation is worth the price of admission), but I think that there's a historical and biblical reason why Rep. Rohrabacher stopped at the number ten (esp. Genesis 18:23-32).

any major dude: I don't understand how anyone can vote for Giuliani after his shameless fear-mongering at the 2004 Republican convention.

I can't make google find it for me now (this comes close), but I heard an excerpt on the radio a couple of weeks ago when Rudy un-ironically said that the war in Iraq was the US doing God's will by exporting his values, democracy namely, across the earth. For some people that's enough of a reason to vote for the guy. What Tacos typed is pretty much it too.

poppo: I can see the pile-on is beginning. .... I was just hoping Giuliani wasn't a party man.

I can't even figure out why Giuliani was included in the post, except to beg for an anti-republican pile-on. It's pretty easy to paint with a broad brush when you look at the short-comings of the GOP in aggregate and/or have an ax to grind.
posted by peeedro at 11:24 AM on April 25, 2007


Tacos, that makes great sense, thanks. Who, so far, is the least authoritarian of the potential candidates?
posted by poppo at 11:26 AM on April 25, 2007


Rudy un-ironically said that the war in Iraq was the US doing God's will by exporting his values

This alone would also be enough for me to drop Giuliani from here on out if true.

In the end, I guess it doesn't matter because he is already doing enough lapdog stuff for the GOP that I don't want to vote for him.
posted by poppo at 11:32 AM on April 25, 2007


Dennis Kucinich.
posted by Mister_A at 11:33 AM on April 25, 2007


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadou_Diallo
posted by interrobang at 11:34 AM on April 25, 2007


Peeedro, you're right, that's close enough for me.
posted by poppo at 11:35 AM on April 25, 2007


The question of executive power is something that should be decided by Congress and the SCOTUS. I don't care who is in office, the US government is built on a system of checks and balances, not voluntary self-policing. While I would respect a candidate that supported executive restrictions, I would not judge their political merit by their intention to do so (as it's not their job).

This Rorbacher person is an idiot, like most other supporters of this "War", who conflates an ideology and/or a socioeconomic circumstance with an actual physical presencethat can either be defeated or not defeated. Rather than Fascism, I would compare this line of thinking to the Inquisition and its determination to stomp out heresy. Weapons cannot defeat an idea or opinion, unless they were able to wipe out every person capable of holding that idea or opinion.

It's been said a million times already, of course.
posted by rockabilly_pete at 11:42 AM on April 25, 2007


Also still interested in how he is divisive, racist and psychotic.

Giuliani cites his role in barring the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization from the city's St. Patrick's Day parade as an "accomplishment" of his "quality of life" program.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 11:47 AM on April 25, 2007


Giuliani cites his role in barring the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization from the city's St. Patrick's Day parade as an "accomplishment" of his "quality of life" program.

Yeah, I forgot about that. He's crossed off my list if he wasn't already.

Thanks for the sanity check from everyone, especially Tacos
posted by poppo at 11:51 AM on April 25, 2007


People like Rohrabacher believe that there are sometimes extraordinary circumstances where torture is justified. The solution is simple: if circumstances justify torture, those same circumstances dictate heroism and sacrifice. Let's allow torture under the condition that the person administering the torture and everyone up the chain of command all the way to the POTUS will immediately be imprisoned for the rest of their life with no chance of pardon or parole. After all, if you believe that torturing someone would save 20,000 people, surely you would be more than willing to give up your life for the same cause, right?
posted by forrest at 11:52 AM on April 25, 2007 [7 favorites]


poppo: This alone would also be enough for me to drop Giuliani from here on out if true.

That was my reaction when it hear him say it; my jaw dropped when I heard him crassly invoke God as the justification to his political ambitions. I'm sorry I can't give a real citation, maybe someone else can find it for us. I think it was at that California GOP speech from the sfgate article or a VFW speech. But my memory is hazy and I can't find the text of his campaign speeches, sorry.
posted by peeedro at 11:56 AM on April 25, 2007


Tacos, that makes great sense, thanks. Who, so far, is the least authoritarian of the potential candidates?

It's too early to even know who will be running, especially for the GOP. It doesn't appear that they have been grooming any obvious successors.

As such, I'm going to refrain from speculation on specific questions like this. It'd take too much work to answer it well, and there's almost no chance that my answer would still be valid in 2008.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 11:57 AM on April 25, 2007


I hope it’s Rohrabacher's family that suffers the consequences of illegal torture.
posted by afx114 at 11:57 AM on April 25, 2007


Thanks for the sanity check from everyone, especially Tacos

It's nice when political discussions are actually active discussions, rather than just partisan cartoons yelling at each other.

Sadly, I am guessing that by late '08, the former will be nigh-on impossible to find.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 11:58 AM on April 25, 2007


forrest, I think you just broke my brain. Your proposal reads like it's tongue in cheek but I can't find the logical fault with it. Whoa.
posted by Firas at 11:59 AM on April 25, 2007


I'd like to nominate poppo for the Metafilter: Golden Pancake award for distinguished achievement in rational dialogue, honest consideration, and re-evaluation of opinions. Well done, sir or madam! Your level head should support it well!
posted by Richard Daly at 12:04 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rudy Giuliani's finest moment. [mp3]
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:10 PM on April 25, 2007


Here's a Giuliani quote that is, to me, a prime example of why he's unfit for the Presidency:
“Let those who say we must understand the reasons for terrorism come with me to the thousands of funerals we’re having in New York City-thousands-and explain those insane, maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers, and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all. Instead, I ask each of you to allow me to say at those funerals that your nation stands with America in making a solemn promise and pledge that we will achieve unconditional victory over terrorism and terrorists.“
His audience here was the United Nations.

I believe the wise move is to understand the motivations of terrorists, so that as much as is possible, we can simply avoid creating them in the first place.

His statement is much more in line with a fascist decree that rather than understanding and preventing hatred of the West pre-emptively, we should simply make sure we capture or kill those who have become sufficiently desperate to adopt terroristic tactics.

It's an example that he does not just advocate the strong use of power against jaywalkers and night clubs, he does so against the whole world.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 12:11 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wish we could just get the plunge into undisguised fascism done with, so we can start the painful process of figuring out what comes next. This dying-by-inches thing is really starting to be too much to stand.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:13 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


ricockulous. bentham would be proud. For that matter, so would swift. Anti-reality is the new reality.
posted by phaedon at 12:15 PM on April 25, 2007


Maybe Rohrabacher has sustained a brain injury.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:15 PM on April 25, 2007


I can't even figure out why Giuliani was included in the post, except to beg for an anti-republican pile-on. It's pretty easy to paint with a broad brush when you look at the short-comings of the GOP in aggregate and/or have an ax to grind.

I put both in the post because they represent a major GOP theme - fear. 'You and your family are going to suffer.' 'Elect a Democrat, see 9/11 again.' 'Innocent deaths are just a necessary cost.' They're beating this drum to stampede the herd. It has worked so far...

It's appalling to see where we've come in less than six years. If I'd posted in August of 2001 that a US Representative would be advocating "abducting" people to be tortured in a foreign land, you'd have classified me as crazy. Now it's ho-hum. Yes, we abduct people. Yes, we imprison without trial. Yes, we torture.

I'd like to return to a government that finds these things to be unacceptable. If that's ax-grinding, then so be it.
posted by bitmage at 12:18 PM on April 25, 2007


I wish we could just get the plunge into undisguised fascism done with, so we can start the painful process of figuring out what comes next. This dying-by-inches thing is really starting to be too much to stand.

They always do it that way. If the Bush people had said the day after his inauguration that they were suspending habeus corpus, initiating eavesdropping on Americans' phone calls, setting up secret prisons in foreign countries so they could torture people, were planning an invasion and occupation of a country that posed no threat to us, would make partisan prosecutions a condition of Attorneys General keeping their jobs, would only obey they laws that they liked, etc., etc. - everyone would have jumped up and said "the hell you are!" So they didn't do that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:56 PM on April 25, 2007


Second Richard Daly's Golden Pancake nomination.

Also, more to the point of this post, are the other things Giuliani said yesterday, with regards to how the people must cede more power to the government if they want to be safe.

I think the GOP candidates understand what a disadvantage they're in for '08. They're losing moderate voters like crazy, and so their hope is to rile the base - especially in the primaries - so they're playing fear and authoritarianism as much as they can. If there is another attack before the general election, count on these same candidates and right-wing media outlets to pin it on A) the democratic congress not giving them the President the unconditional support he requests and B) Bush's general, common-knowledge-by-now incompetence. And it would work for them, mostlikely, which depresses me.

If the '04 election proved anything it's that the democrats can nominate a bona fide war hero and still somehow appear weak on defense. This is because "defense" in this context means"war," and can be simplified in the minds of toomany voters as, "If we're fighting, we're strong, and if we're not fighting, we're weak." Diplomacy, the democratic stronghold, has no such facile simplifications, and can't get the blood thumping the same way. People remember the Alamo. They don't remember the wars that didn't happen (aside from the cold war, I guess, but that's a grey area.)

I do believe that people want to tone down on executive power now, however, that they've seen how grossly misused it has been. Giuliani and McCain will seek to expand it, so that's a no-go. I can't say for sure, but I doubt Mitt Romney would do much of anything to curb it, so he's probably out as well. I don't think Hillary would expand it, per se, but she would certainly enjoy inheriting it, so I don't fully trust her. Hard to say with Edwards, but he might tone it down- I just don't know. Kucinich and Obama are the only candidates I truly trust right now, and being realistic, only one of them has a shot in hell.

Anyone who hasn't yet read Obama's remarks to the Chicago Center on Global Affairs should check them out here. For a guy with no foreign policy experience, he seems to have an impressively comprehensive plan of action. And ofcourse, here's the bizarro spin that the right-wingers are putting on it. Enjoy!
posted by Navelgazer at 12:58 PM on April 25, 2007


thanks for doing the heavy lifting for me, T.A.P.G.: I was looking for something on ferrets, and/or A.Diallo, and St.Pat's day parade, and it's pretty much all been provided for me.

Also to bear in mind is that it was Bratton, Kelly and Brown (as well as an economic boom set in place (arguably) by Royhatyn and Koch) who are responsible for the reduction in crime in NYC, than anything set in motion by Giuliani. And CompStat was the brainchild of a dude named Jack Maple who was cooler than I will ever imagine cool can be.

He, Jack Maple, is who you should think of when you think Giuliani cleaned up NYC.

And lastly, S.Gilliard probably has more good bad things to say about Rudy than anybody.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:03 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


They always do it that way. If the Bush people had said the day after his inauguration that they were...
posted by Kirth Gerson


They didn't even do it slowly, if you think about it. The only reason we know about all these actions is either through fumbles, leaks, or investigations. If they had had their druthers, we'd never know about any of it!
posted by NationalKato at 1:12 PM on April 25, 2007


Not slowly in a historical sense, unless you take into account the fact that Cheney and friends have been working at this since at least the Reagan administration. I'm sure they would have accomplished their goals even faster if they didn't just have so much to do. They had to set some priorities, after all. Making the rich ("our base") even richer, and removing all restraints on corporate greed were their first tasks.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:26 PM on April 25, 2007


... and still Americans wonder why so many people hate them?!
posted by homodigitalis at 1:28 PM on April 25, 2007


... and still Americans wonder why so many people hate them?!

None of us is wondering this, friend. The ones who would support Rohrabacher's sentiments don't care what the world thinks, and the rest of us understand quite well what the world thinks, and why.
posted by poppo at 1:52 PM on April 25, 2007


Holy cow, I can't deal with these people any more. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PEOPLE. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 2:01 PM on April 25, 2007


the rest of us understand quite well what the world thinks, and why.

...and would still ask that you not hate Americans as a group. We have more than our share of idiots, but there are many who are horrified by what has been done in our name, and are hoping to change things.
posted by bitmage at 2:03 PM on April 25, 2007


In an anymous Elizabethan play, King Edward III tries to have his way with a princess, whose husband is a prisoner in a war Edward is fighting. She rebuffs him and he learns that if he can not govern his own home and life properly he can not govern the kingdom. check, then, Rudy's love life. More? ask the firemen what they thought of his 9/11 performance. He looks good on 9/112q becauswe by contrast Bush looks so bad.

As for Obama and experience: a guy who served but two years in congress--not much experience--became president: Abe Lincoln.
posted by Postroad at 2:06 PM on April 25, 2007


@poppo: When well 'the rest' take over your beloved country and remove those nutcases from controlling the world's last superpower? I watched some videos about the Tillman coverup as well as some 'great' news from Afghanistan. Everytime one of these higher up nutters fuck something up - people get in trouble or even die.

No democratic process (like the Dems winning back congress) can repair the anger, death and mistrust people like Rohrabacher, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Rumsfeld etc. have created.

Sorry for the rant.
posted by homodigitalis at 2:09 PM on April 25, 2007


I can support imprisoning and torturing one innocent person to lock up 50 terrorists as long as that innocent guy is Rohrabacher.
It’s always a “who’s turn in the barrel?” argument, innit?

Nah, I wouldn’t want to torture Rohrabacher. (In the first place, is he really innocent?) I’m constantly surprised people this divorced from reality prosper in any way. I’m unclear how he manages to put food on his family.


“I ALSO enjoy how scumfucks like this go on and on about "reality" and the "real world" and the need for "wake-up calls" while using made-up stats to justify their sick little Tom Clancy/Jack Bauer martial boner fantasy world.” -posted by EatTheWeak

Doesn’t suprise me at all that someone who actually does live the the real world of dealing with terrorism like Col. Wright got pissed off.

Roharbacher: “...we knew at that time there were people who were willing to kill tens of thousands of other human beings because they hate our way of life.”

SEAL Commander: “Uh, technically their motivations are based diverse factors from political, economic, religious to personal. Al-Qaida recruits come from middle class backgrounds, their motivations are psychological and they’re looking for respect and a sense of identity and ways to address the humiliation they feel. Torturing them would be counterproductive because very often violence is merely a catharsis for the feelings of disempowerment that...”

Roharbacher: “...in order for us to take 90 other people off the street who are intent and involved in plans that would slaughter tens of thousands of our citizens, I’m afraid that’s the price we pay in a real world.”

Delta Force Col.: “Actually, that’s exactly how Muslim terrorists think. In Islam it’s forbidden to kill civilians so they have to find ways to allay the guilt so they associate everyone with the war and the military and injustices and say their acts are only to protect themse...”

Roharbacher: “We’re not, we don’t, we’re not, we don’t want to torture somebody because he has a bad name. We want to get information from somebody that we think might want to kill our children and kill your children.”

Raven Major: “While terrorists often work on a tactical level by raising public awareness of their goals through violent means, very few terrorists can retain power without setting limits on violence and constructively working through peaceful means. Engagement and diplomacy are the most often used and most often successfull means to fight terrorism and..”
posted by Smedleyman at 2:33 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can support imprisoning and torturing one innocent person to lock up 50 terrorists as long as that innocent guy is Rohrabacher.
It’s always a “who’s turn in the barrel?” argument, innit?

Nah, I wouldn’t want to torture Rohrabacher. (In the first place, is he really innocent?) I’m constantly surprised people this divorced from reality prosper in any way. I’m unclear how he manages to put food on his family.


“I ALSO enjoy how scumfucks like this go on and on about "reality" and the "real world" and the need for "wake-up calls" while using made-up stats to justify their sick little Tom Clancy/Jack Bauer martial boner fantasy world.” -posted by EatTheWeak

Doesn’t suprise me at all that someone who actually does live the the real world of dealing with terrorism like Col. Wright got pissed off.

Roharbacher: “...we knew at that time there were people who were willing to kill tens of thousands of other human beings because they hate our way of life.”

SEAL Commander: “Uh, technically their motivations are based diverse factors from political, economic, religious to personal. Al-Qaida recruits come from middle class backgrounds, their motivations are psychological and they’re looking for respect and a sense of identity and ways to address the humiliation they feel. Torturing them would be counterproductive because very often violence is merely a catharsis for the feelings of disempowerment that...”

Roharbacher: “...in order for us to take 90 other people off the street who are intent and involved in plans that would slaughter tens of thousands of our citizens, I’m afraid that’s the price we pay in a real world.”

Delta Force Col.: “Actually, that’s exactly how Muslim terrorists think. In Islam it’s forbidden to kill civilians so they have to find ways to allay the guilt so they associate everyone with the war and the military and injustices and say their acts are only to protect themse...”

Roharbacher: “We’re not, we don’t, we’re not, we don’t want to torture somebody because he has a bad name. We want to get information from somebody that we think might want to kill our children and kill your children.”

Raven Major: “While terrorists often work on a tactical level by raising public awareness of their goals through violent means, very few terrorists can retain power without setting limits on violence and constructively working through peaceful means. Engagement and diplomacy are the most often used and most often successfull means to fight terrorism and..”

Roharbacher: “Well, I hope it’s your families, I hope it’s your families that suffer the consequences...I’m afraid that’s the price we pay in a real world.”
posted by Smedleyman at 2:34 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree that torturing 1 person in a batch of 100 guilty people to save 20,000 lives is probably morally acceptable. I just don't think the real world ever presents you with a clear moral choice like that. Instead you get these nebulous choices, and the people in power are so busy rationalizing their decisions and defensively justifying themselves that they never realize how villainous they've become.

Fred Thompson is getting a lot of buzz on the libertarian/conservative side for his desire to limit federal power, but he's not running (yet).
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:03 PM on April 25, 2007


poppo, it doesn't matter who the fuck you vote for, or for that matter, if you vote at all. Anybody who's still on the ballot by November 08 is part of this sick fucking corporatocracy that runs what used to be our country. Plus the Repugs have shown themselves to be quite accomplished at stealing elections they have lost (George W. Bush has never once been elected president by the people of this country. In 00 SCOTUS, despite no constitutional authority to do so, ordered that Bush was the winner, despite the fact that Gore actually won the popular vote. In 04, Kerry won in Ohio -- exit polls at 12:30 AM showed Kerry ahead by a wide margin, but somehow the computers went down in the middle of the night and when they came back up Bush was the winner!!! In fact in some precints, they had 1200% voter turnout! We must really love Bush!) So vote for fucking whoever, they're all crooks looking out for their own, not you.

I know this sounds cynical, but name me one fucking politician (at the national level) that truly looks after the interests of the people they are constitutionally obligated to represent. (If you can think of one, what are the chances of seeing him/her on the ballot?)
posted by krash2fast at 4:44 PM on April 25, 2007


For homodigitalis, thanks, we're all quite aware of how fucked up the situation is over here. As you know quite well from your time at metafilter, there are plenty of us who would like things changed, but there are plenty in America who seem blind to what seems obvious to the rest of us, and they get the same vote that we do. I don't know why you are chastising the folks on this board, which are the ones that actually agree with you. Germany has quite an interesting history in just the last fifty years, so perhaps you shouldn't be throwing stones.

Short of an armed revolution, we are stuck with the tools that our constitution allows us, namely free speech and the right to vote (in fact, our constitution also allows us to take up arms to right this situation, but I'm afraid that those of us most upset with the current situation also have the least experience using those arms).

For what it's worth, I do think we had a small victory in our recent election. It has not yet fixed any part of our foreign policy, but there are some small hopes shining through, like the bill to repeal Bush's tax "cuts". This, to me, shows some progress, and we will hopefully correct some of our foreign policy before the next Presidential election, but I have doubts that much progress will be made there until our helper monkey is removed from office and the world sees a fresh face there.

krash2fast, I agree with some of your points. One of the most repulsive parts of our democracy right now is corporate America's increasingly heavy hand in influencing our legislators. That is why I cannot vote for Hillary. She is in their pocket as much as Bush and Cheney are. I hoped that Giuliani wasn't, but I suppose that doesn't even matter to me anymore given some of his social views. Maybe Obama is not, maybe Kucinich is not. Maybe they are, or will be. Nader was not, and I voted for him (MD resident here, don't worry) Yet, I refuse to give up all hope and decide it just doesn't matter, sorry.
posted by poppo at 5:20 PM on April 25, 2007


also have the least experience using those arms (and the least motivation to move to violence as a solution to this problem)
posted by poppo at 5:22 PM on April 25, 2007


the last fifty years

Clearly math is not my strong suit :)

Let's call it seventy-five, shall we?
posted by poppo at 5:36 PM on April 25, 2007


"Germany has quite an interesting history in just the last fifty years, so perhaps you shouldn't be throwing stones."

Sorry, I wasn't alive 1933 to vote and act against Hitler. But I guess you are alive now and take some action in your own country?!

Since I don't know you and your actions I don't want to make this personal in any way.

Let me rephrase this: no matter where you live, when something nasty happens in your society just 'knowing' about it is not enough. A individual can't fight for all unjust causes, but he/she can at least put some power, money, time or lobbying behind one worthy cause.
posted by homodigitalis at 5:49 PM on April 25, 2007


It's not personal. You made some comments about the state of my country, and I just wanted to point out that yours has had a checkered history of its own.

Of course it's nice for you to hope that had you been alive in 1933 you would have voted against Hitler, but you're saying that with the hindsight of a person in 2007.

I also have learned from that valuable history and would want to act against that if I could. I vote, and I protest. I'm as green as I can manage, and try to reserve my consumer dollars for only those companies that deserve it. But I can't resort to violence yet, which I believe you're implying is my (our) only other option. If I could foresee that this country anytime soon would begin a program of mass genocide, I hope I would take up arms to stop it. But like what you might have done in 1933 Germany, this is only theoretical, because we're not there yet.

Peace.
posted by poppo at 6:54 PM on April 25, 2007


To understand how Bush justifies a torture policy that is the bane of our nation, consider the sentimental cowboy art that decks his Oval Office walls
posted by homunculus at 8:38 PM on April 25, 2007


thanks homunculus great link.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:57 AM on April 26, 2007


Interesting that this whole conversation went by with only one participant pointing out that Rohrbacher's basic rationale was null and void: Torture doesn't work.

Good thing Smedleyman's still plugging away or "reality" would hardly have made it into the thread. Though he could have pointed out more directly that torture is quite counterproductive. People in fear for their lives will tell you whatever you want to hear. The most effective interrogation is based on a foundation of trust-through-mindfucking, Stockholm Style.

(I know that seems to miss the moral point, but you can't debate this with Rohrbacher on moral grounds: According to his moral logic, and more importantly to his moral data, he's always going to be right. Period.)

Makes me sad. While I can't say I disagree with the consensus of the thread, it was arrived at in 5 or 10 posts, and never advanced -- and was more or less irrelevant to Rohrbacher's points, because it failed to call him on the errors in his argument.
posted by lodurr at 3:40 AM on April 26, 2007


I know this sounds cynical, but name me one fucking politician (at the national level) that truly looks after the interests of the people they are constitutionally obligated to represent.

Barnie Frank

Bernie Sanders

Marty Meehan

I do agree with the rest of your comment, krash2fast. And none of those three has any chance of getting invited to the White House, let alone elected to it. They might be allowed to take one of those tours, but I wouldn't put money on it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:49 AM on April 26, 2007


“A individual can't fight for all unjust causes, but he/she can at least put some power, money, time or lobbying behind one worthy cause.” -posted by homodigitalis

Or several even. Well said.

“Though he could have pointed out more directly that torture is quite counterproductive” - lodurr

My apologies. Passion, and even knowlege, is no substitute for coherance. I should really take a writing course at some point. (no sarcasm)
Although I have to say there’s often a big blind spot when arguing something you are certain of with someone completely ignorant.
It’s like a Jim Lovell (who’s brother has a great resturant btw) explaining to some conspiracy nut how the moon landing wasn’t faked. Lovell never landed on the moon - but where do you start?
“But you never actually tortured someone yourself - so how do you KNOW it doesn’t work?”
No matter how much experiance or information you have, this kind of “nuh-uhh” logic is nearly unassailable. Most particularly when the most experianced well trained individuals are more than willing to inform someone of the ins and outs of real world applications and failures and politicians refuse to listen.

What’s that bit from 1984? Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.


“I agree that torturing 1 person in a batch of 100 guilty people to save 20,000 lives is probably morally acceptable.”

I disagree on moral grounds. You can’t uphold a principle by violating it. You can’t be “a little bit pregnant.” The government either tortures people or it doesn’t. Torturing “just a few” for “a good reason” doesn’t nullify responsibility.

“I just don't think the real world ever presents you with a clear moral choice like that.”

Having been there myself - yes, yes it does. The “I hope it’s your families” is not only a facile veiled threat, it’s an interogative.
He’s betting that most people lack the moral courage to risk their lives and or the lives of their families. Considering the odds of someone in my family being involved in a terrorist attack are lower than their getting hit by lightning, I’ll take that risk.
But even if the risk was equal to or greater than the risk of being in a car accident I would accept that risk. I would not ever accept the trade off at any price of my families safety for the torture of an innocent man. Ever. I’d die myself first. Nearly all the liberties we now enjoy are predicated on those sacrifices - Patrick Henry “Give me liberty or give me death.”

All that is quite apart from the practical argument that torture is a self-destructive technique and thoroughly corrosive to the inherent rights of the individual.
Apparently we in the U.S. have grown so accustomed to implicitly gaining advantage at the cost of minorities (economic, political, military, etc.) that some people have no problem in making that explicit.

Indeed, in antiquity people practiced scapegoating all the time. Why not simply pick one person and stone them? Or we could hunt witches again?

This is the modern technique. That we don’t call it scapegoating, that we dress it in political rather than barbaric mystic language makes it no different.
We seek to use a technique (torture) that is ultimately as pointless placating the Gods with a blood sacrifice or casting out the devil with some other mumbo jumbo and destroy an innocent to - by some apparatus of which we are ignorant - gain our safety.

Well, I don’t have to have full knowlege that the apparatus doesn’t work in order to call this voodoo security bullshit what it is. And it’s always been a false choice - pray to cast out the devil while we drown this witch or whatever - because the individuals offering it seek to beguile you into their illusionary world.

That’s what makes Rohrbacher and his ilk so insidious. He’s the devil. In fact he’s the beast 666 (add his name up, you’ll see, HE IS THE ANTICHRIST). You know what that number means don’t you? You don’t want him to get you’re family do you?
...Well, why am I a kook when I start asserting subjective Diophantine equations* are a practical method to conduct investigations but Rohrbacher isn’t a nut when he asserts an equally subjective method through which nearly any result can be derived?
(*Nearly anyone’s name can be made to add up to 666 using diophantine equations)

I’ll go further still - any technique which cannot be used in transparancy or with oversight and has replicatable results should not be used by the government. It is for this reason we don’t have star chambers.

Further still - let’s grant that torture does work - let’s say you can get the right information out of the right guy. What then do we do with the wrong guy who confesses to - whatever?
Similarly - do you want an investigating agency to use a technique that will stop an investigation when they get someone who breaks under torture?
What then resolves the investigation?
You see, if you keep breaking people, and they keep confessing, but you have to keep going because you know you can’t trust their confession how do you know when to stop when you have the right guy? How do you know he’s not, like the others, simply breaking under torture?

That is, unless you have some of the information first. In which case it’s far more efficient to focus on following those leads to gain that information than it is to spend time in a room beating on some schmuck.

Unless you want to create a fictional world.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:10 AM on April 26, 2007


(something that doesn’t have replicatable/repeatable results shouldn’t be used by the government, I mean)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:15 AM on April 26, 2007


My apologies. Passion, and even knowlege, is no substitute for coherance. I should really take a writing course at some point.

Well, you were having to carry water for the whole thread. For my part, I could have used more graceful phrasing.
posted by lodurr at 2:18 AM on April 27, 2007


Smedleyman, I liked the way your first post was constructed. I attempted to write a rebuttal of why Rohrabacher was wrong, but I ended up feeling as though I had said nothing new. As such, I stayed firmly on the Giuliani/Authoritarianism sidetrack.

Thanks for expressing well, using essentially inarguable sources, the depth of Rohrabacher's incorrectness.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:15 AM on April 27, 2007


Thank y’all for the kindness.
(also my computer is lousy....poor workman that blames his tools, I know, but y’know)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:05 PM on April 27, 2007


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