Patterico's Pontifications

2/10/2008

Rutten and Lithwick Lie, Providing Propaganda for Terrorists

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Media Bias,Terrorism — Patterico @ 3:51 pm

Add Dahlia Lithwick to the list of people lying about Dick Cheney’s CPAC speech. Compare:

Lithwick:

How can anything shock the conscience after the vice president, in a parody of himself, crowed this week that “it’s a good thing” top al-Qaida leaders underwent torture in 2002 and 2003—”a good thing we had them in custody” and “a good thing we found out what they knew.”

Cheney:

[Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] and others were questioned at a time when another attack on this country was believed to be imminent. It’s a good thing we had them in custody, and it’s a good thing we found out what they knew. . . . We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values.

Tim Rutten has company in his lying. And yes, I’ll say it again: it’s a lie. There’s a difference between saying “Cheney defended actions that have always been considered torture” and “Cheney said torture is a good thing” or “Cheney said he is glad we have tortured people.” By claiming the latter, Lithwick and Rutten are torturing the English language far worse than the CIA ever tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

As Beldar said:

[S]ome substantial number of Rutten’s readers aren’t “clever” enough to guess that Rutten feels licensed, in an op-ed, to put words into a political foe’s mouth that are quite literally the opposite of the words the foe actually used. Rutten knew, or certainly should have known, that some readers would take him literally. The LAT’s editors knew, or certainly should have known, that some readers would take him literally.

The same observation applies equally to Lithwick and her editors.

What I find especially ironic is that liberals like Rutten and Lithwick always argue that our enemies are emboldened by the actions of our government. Yet they never seem to understand that our enemies are also emboldened by exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our government.

Dahlia. Tim. Do you have any doubt that your dishonest smears of Cheney will be repeated on terrorist message boards? Do you doubt that extremists will point to your words as proof that the Vice President of the United States has explicitly condoned torture by name?

After all, it must be true. The people who said it are Americans.

Are you proud of yourselves?

The thing is, I bet you are. I just bet you are.

146 Responses to “Rutten and Lithwick Lie, Providing Propaganda for Terrorists”

  1. Cheney defended actions that everyone who is not an American conservative considers to be torture.

    The “do not torture” line is on the level of a Bill Clinton supporter arguing that Clinton did not commit perjury. Just because Cheney (and you) don’t define certain practices at torture does not mean that they are not torture.

    Rutten’s words may not have been a verbatim quote, but they were well within the ambit of the truth. Cheney thought the torture of certain people was a good thing, and apparently would approve of doing it again and again.

    kishnevi (4cc556)

  2. It’s a good analogy, but you’re applying it wrong.

    The analogy would be:

    Bill Clinton admits giving the testimony he gave but denies it’s perjury. Everyone who is not an American liberal would agree it was really perjury. So I write: Bill Clinton admitted he committed perjury.

    That would be a lie. It would be truthful if I wrote: Clinton admitted giving the testimony, which we all know was perjury.

    But saying that he admitted perjury? That would be dishonest.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  3. #1 -
    “The torture of certain people” is a euphemism for top al Qaida leaders. It just sounds too agreeable and pleasant.

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  4. Are you proud of yourselves?

    The thing is, I bet you are. I just bet you are.

    Of course they are. Which is why they’ll ignore the criticism.

    Pablo (99243e)

  5. You can always count on liberals to lie in pursuit of an argument. It’s as if the truth isn’t convincing enough — it requires that extra bit of false spin that removes any doubt as to the ethics of the writer.

    As pointed out above, they could have quoted Cheney verbatim, in context, and then made their point. Readers would then be free to agree or not with their argument that Cheney is glad we tortured terrorists. It’s as if they know it’s BS and just don’t care. Fake but accurate — the liberal standard.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  6. FWIW, I don’t think it’s quite fair to group these together — yes, the Rutten piece left the impression that Cheney had specifically condoned torture by his own definition, but Lithwick declared that waterboarding=torture from the beginning and simply placed the VP’s words in that context.

    I agree with you that asserting waterboarding to be “torture” is begging the question and not much of a starting point for more discussion; at the same time, though, hasn’t Cheney essentially declared the opposite? Shortly after the CIA admits that the US has used waterboarding, Cheney says “we do not torture.” I don’t see any desire for further discussion or exploration on either side.

    kenB (88b394)

  7. I can only think of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg. These agenda driven pieces are mind-boggling.

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  8. kishnevi…

    You just lied too. Go back and read the direct quote from Tim Rutten’s article:

    “Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Vice President Dick Cheney was addressing the meat-eaters at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He told them that he was glad the administration had tortured people and that he’d do it again: “Would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would.”

    Now, go and find in VP Cheney’s speech where he said he was glad he administration tortured people.

    You won’t find that he said that. And, the quote Rutten used was taken from a paragraph that did not even discuss torture in any form.

    You are a liar. Rutten’s lines were not “within the ambit of truth.” They were a direct lie.

    reff (99666d)

  9. This whole arguments gives me heartburn because there is usually now distinction being made whether they’re talking about “torture” under federal law (and then at what time) or about whatever some legislator of commentator personally happens to think is torture.

    To my mind, waterboarding is torture that should not be used as a general rule, but should be used when necessary. This goes to the argument, “If you knew a suspect had the facts about a ticking bomb that would kill hundreds, etc.,” that is often cited to justify waterboarding. It does, but to my mind that argument justifies whatever it takes in the situation.

    What if you’ve got a ticking bomb and no waterboard, but you do have a hammer and pliers. I’d start breaking fingers and pulling nails and teeth. If I had a weapon, I’d kneecap the suspect. What’s the difference if the danger is so high and the timing so urgent?

    JayHub (0a6237)

  10. Reff: He referred to actions taken which everyone but Cheney and his defenders (such as you)classify as torture. So what if he didn’t use the word torture then? So what if he denied that it was torture? “It depends on what the meaning of the word torture is,” as Clinton would say.

    The intentional infliction of pain on another person is cruelty. The only difference between Cheney and Osama is that Cheney limits the number of people on whom he would practice cruelty. But (referring to Vermont neighbor) that does not make him Osama’s moral superior. It only proves he does not have as wild an imagination.

    kishnevi (bd56f2)

  11. The only difference between Cheney and Osama is that Cheney limits the number of people on whom he would practice cruelty.

    You might also wish to consider whether Cheney was elected twice by the American people, loves America and is dedicated to her preservation, and that Osama bin Laden is a foreign barbarian dedicated to America’s destruction and the imposition of the darkest of Dark Ages on the whole world. You might also ask, “Whose side am I on?”

    nk (141ca4)

  12. The intentional infliction of pain on another person is cruelty.

    Waterboarding as we’ve done it doesn’t inflict pain. It inflicts fear, autonomic reactions and psychic distress.

    Pablo (99243e)

  13. kishnevi,

    Did Bill Clinton admit that he committed perjury?

    Yes or no.

    Patterico (19d708)

  14. “The intentional infliction of pain on another person is cruelty”

    Oh really?

    Lefties have lost the ability to make any but the crudest discriminations. There is a vast range in the intentional infliction of pain, from gently spanking an infant through waterboarding to having a horse pull your ass onto a fence post until it comes out your chest or being stoned or lashed to death. Lefties need to spend some time thinking about the real world and who actually does what to whom and how much it hurts. Perhaps they should have an unmarried sister kiss a boyfriend in a car in Saudi Arabia in view of the police. Then they might shut up. But I doubt it.

    Torture requires at a minimum that the pain or suffering be ‘severe’.

    Cheney and many others do not believe waterboarding is ‘severe’. They may be wrong, and there is room to argue or criticize.

    People who say Cheney approves of or supports torture are not wrong – they are liars. It is not possible to say he supports torture when he believes the acts which he supports are not torture. It is possible and proper to say Cheney supports waterboarding, and that he is mistaken or dishonest in stating that not to be severe enough to be torture.

    BlacquesJacquesShellacques (324683)

  15. There is a vast range in the intentional infliction of pain, from gently spanking an infant…

    So, if I smack my toddler’s hand, hard enough for it to sting, when she repeatedly insists on sticking things into the electric sockets, I’m being cruel to her.

    Point that should be well taken, BJS.

    Pablo (99243e)

  16. So, if I smack my toddler’s hand, hard enough for it to sting, when she repeatedly insists on sticking things into the electric sockets, I’m being cruel to her.

    Yes, you are. Cover the f***ing electric sockets.

    Yours is a horrible analogy, horribly illustrated. We do not treat our enemies the way we treat our children. Wadda!!!! Fuzzy thinking and loss of perspective about who is our enemy and who is part of our family is the insanity of the left.

    nk (141ca4)

  17. “The intentional infliction of pain on another person is cruelty”

    So is reading the LATimes. Whats your point?

    gabriel (180095)

  18. If it’s so clear that waterboarding is torture, why do the moron democrats keep asking people for their opinions about it in front of endless committees in Washington?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. Because the issue has almost nothing to do with an adult discussion of the issue. It is about feeling justified about calling Republicans names. That’s rather obvious from all of the conduct we’ve seen.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  20. SPQR – Mine was pretty much a rhetorical question, but thanks.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  21. Tim Rutten, as i’ve pointed out before, believes not John Miller, interviewed Bin Laden in 1998.
    If he’s that confused about his own reputed first
    hand accounts; he can be about things he had no direct knowledge of. On a wider point, the question should be put to him; how do you effectively interrogate the likes of a Zubeydah, an al Nashiri, a Quahtani, specially when there’s
    evidence of ongoing operation; like that against
    the Library Tower in L.A; going on at the time.
    As they say, they only have to be lucky once.

    The world would be different if that iconic element featured in practically every show that has featured the L.A. skyline in the last 6 years. CNN,Fox, NBC, and countless others as well as programs from Alias to Shark and Moonlight were to have gone the way of the towers. Rolling Stone, is the latest to cast doubt on the virtues of the JTTFs in everything from the JFK plot to the Ft. Dix pizza delivery and roofers.(the last illustrates the glaring gap provided by our tangled immigration system) The August ’04 plot looked ludicrous until Dhiren Barot (aka Essam al Hindi)was charged. Of course, thanks to strategic leak by Pakistani sources around that time; the July 7th plotters were tipped off to our
    surveilance of said operations

    narciso (d671ab)

  22. Cheney defended actions that everyone who is not an American conservative considers to be torture.
    Comment by kishnevi

    Not true.

    Many folks who bothered to actually understand the English language know that “scare the bejeebus out of terrorists” isn’t the same as “inflict great pain and or harm on terrorists.”

    Pardon me for not bowing to massive redefinition of the English language.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  23. The only difference between Cheney and Osama is that Cheney limits the number of people on whom he would practice cruelty. But (referring to Vermont neighbor) that does not make him Osama’s moral superior. It only proves he does not have as wild an imagination.

    This is why we don’t take liberals seriously. If you are unable to come up with a moral distinction between Cheney and Osama that doesn’t favor Osama, you really, SERIOUSLY need to be kept away from sharp or blunt objects.

    In short, you’ve lost the ability to judge. This is a flaw that, separate from the protections of civil society, is fatal.

    Does it even begin to occur to people that motives and goals play a part in the moral worth of an action?

    If Cheney’s motive was to impose his personal beliefs on everyone in the world, regardless of their past actions, and his goals were to create so much horrifying carnage as to cow people into acquiescing, I would agree with you.

    But it isn’t true. It isn’t even close to true. You. Are. Wrong.

    And wrong is such a grotesquely obvious way that, frankly, in my judgement you fall into the same category as Lithwick and Rutten, which is actually terrifying because the BETTER and SAFER alternative is that you are all deliberate liars, seeking political victory at any cost.

    Merovign (bb0895)

  24. kishnevi…

    Take the time to read VP Cheney’s remarks at CPAC.

    Read very carefully, and see if he was “glad” that we tortured.

    Especially since, inspite of your protestations to the contrary, nowhere in our actions has torture taken place. It is only you personal belief that it has. The laws have not been broken, nor the treaties, because, if they had been, the leftist media, and people like you, would already have their scalps.

    P.S. You didn’t answer the question: Did President Clinton ever publically admit to the perjury he was convicted of???

    reff (99666d)

  25. John McCain (who I hope never becomes President of the United States) cannot lift his arms above his head due to the torture he went through as a POW. That means he cant lean back in his chair and lace his fingers behind his head when chatting up someone in his office. Something we take for granted, or least I do.

    I doubt you could find any enemy of the United States who has ever suffered comparable injuries by agents of our country.

    So some of you think waterboarding is torture? Cause it scares the person? They get up after it’s done and walk away. They suffer no physical debilitating injuries that effect their abilities for the rest of thier life.

    Of course Congress could stop playing political games and say it is torture or it isn’t. They have had several opportunities to make it legally clear but instead prefer to brow-beat the AG. Whats that approval rating again? 13%?

    chas (fb7ad4)

  26. Fuzzy thinking and loss of perspective about who is our enemy and who is part of our family is the insanity of the left.

    Exactly the point, nk. The inability to make obvious distinctions (or in this case, the abject refusal) is exactly the problem. And while she’s grown out of that stage, cabinet locks and socket covers were no match for my baby.

    Pablo (99243e)

  27. We need to find out the truth about whether torture is effective or not, with some kind of double blind study. That way we could put this discussion to rest.

    Let’s start torturing more terrorists/insurgents. Not because we are cruel. Let’s do it for science.

    Kevin (3efe14)

  28. Sorry, but that’s too creepy to be funny, because there are people who did just that.

    Patterico (7f1d78)

  29. I have waterboarded myself with beer a couple of times in college. We called it a kegstand.

    LiveFromFortLivingRoom (da9077)

  30. Let me put it simply. It is Dick Cheney who lied. His speech was internally inconsistent. Assuming that waterboarding is torture, as was universally believed before it was authorized by the Bush Administration (I challenge you to find any statement to the contrary pre-dating our use of it), then Cheney’s statement that he is glad we used waterboarding is precisely the statement that he is glad we used torture. The disclaimer that “We don’t torture” is empty mendacity contradicted by the rest of the speech.

    You will be grateful whenever the MSM stops repeating Administration lies uncritically under the next president.

    Or, you could be a complete idiot and write something like

    I doubt you could find any enemy of the United States who has ever suffered comparable injuries [to John McCain's] by agents of our country

    How soon we forget. No, make that, how soon we pat ourselves on the back.

    In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates’ Deaths

    It’s all the more ironic, since McCain is an opponent of waterboarding, and this cowardice </sarcasm> on his part is one reason why he is so unpopular with the heroes populating this website.

    Andrew Lazarus (191fc6)

  31. This post is just bizarre. We used torture. Cheney can say anything he wants, he can call black white and yellow blue, but that means nothing. You call people liars who refuse to accept Cheney’s obfuscatory language.

    “it’s a good thing we did what we did… we do not torture.”

    what we did was torture. The post is just silly.

    blah (cc959a)

  32. I honestly think the people that are screaming that waterboarding is “torture” are so blinded by BDS that any rational means of defending ourselves or even acknowledging that there is a War on Terror is discarded out of hand. Every attorney general or military general he appoints is a lying fascist hell bent on torturing people and spying on us. There is no rational basis to call waterboarding torture or to want to grant enemy combatants caught in a warzone without a uniform on not only Geneva convention rights but Constitutional rights. This has never been done in the history of the United States or in the history of any country. It is completely laughable and should be treated as such.

    LiveFromFortLivingRoom (da9077)

  33. Andrew Lazarus.

    blah.

    Bill Clinton admitted he committed perjury.

    Yes or no.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  34. I should know better than to click on a link supplied by blah, the Master of Deflection. Try sticking to the point, blah.

    It’s all the more ironic, since McCain is an opponent of waterboarding, and this cowardice on his part is one reason why he is so unpopular with the heroes populating this website.

    Bullshit. Show one post here by anyone who listed this as a reason to not vote for McCain.

    Steverino (e00589)

  35. Pat, I’m talking about torture, not lies under oath about a blowjob.
    And I’m not much of a defender of Clinton, except in relation to Bush. And you know that.

    “Yet they never seem to understand that our enemies are also emboldened by exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our government.”
    Stabbed in the back.

    I’m sorry you don’t understand that freedom makes us stronger, not weaker. “Trust our leaders!” you say. I say: trust but verify.
    Move to Russia if you want strong leadership. You and Putin will get along fine.

    blah (cc959a)

  36. Patterico, I think they’ve demonstrated my point directly. All logic is tortured, and overt falsehoods brazenly repeated, to be able to call Republicans names and for no other purpose.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. blah,

    Clearly you need it spelled out for you.

    Assume Bill Clinton gives a speech in which he says: “When I gave my testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit, I was being targeted by radical conservatives out to destroy me. But I did not commit perjury.”

    I summarize that by saying: “Bill Clinton admitted perjuring himself but blamed conservatives.”

    Honest?

    Patterico (9ccdc5)

  38. “When I gave my testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit, I was being targeted by radical conservatives out to destroy me. But I did not commit perjury.”

    He committed perjury.

    blah (cc959a)

  39. But he did not *admit* that he did and that’s Patterico’s point, guys. Rutten and Lithwick are lying about what Cheney said. Yes, we could argue endlessly about what *torture* is just as Billy argued about the definition of *sex* but in either case it is not honest to claim a confession when there was not one.

    nk (b9435f)

  40. “Assuming that waterboarding is torture…”

    Typical lefty argument – assume your conclusion then argue in a big circle.

    BlacquesJacquesShellacques (324683)

  41. I’ll be as complex as you want me to be, but remember the press is not a court of law, so your legalisms are a bit over the top. I’m kind of convinced you’re spending all your time with this crap to avoid having to deal Bush v Gore II: Huckabee v GOP, but anyway…
    Cheney said that what was done was morally correct, necessary etc. etc. But what we did was torture. His opinion one way or the other is irrelevant. He says we do not torture. He’s lying and doesn’t care. Covering his ass in a very half-assed way.
    Lithwick mocked him and laughed in his face.
    Her description might not hold up in a court of law, but in a court of law she would need to be a bit more rigorous, and Cheney and you would be laughed at.
    Cheney parodied himself, and your pedantry isn’t much of a defense.

    blah (cc959a)

  42. In a court of law, Rutten’s and Lithwick’s obvious lies would destroy their credibility immediately, to the trier of fact whether judge or jury, and nothing they said after that would be believed even if they said it was daylight outside. Which, BTW, is your biggest problem here too, blah.

    nk (b9435f)

  43. “it’s a good thing we did what we did… we do not torture.”

    Since you have quotation marks around that passage, one can assume you are quoting directly. But that’s not what Cheney said. His words (at least before your elipses) were:

    It’s a good thing we had them in custody, and it’s a good thing we found out what they knew.

    You’ve deliberately misquoted the speech. How surprising.

    Steverino (e00589)

  44. blah…you said that “…what we did was torture.”

    No, that is not only a lie, but a deliberate attempt to distort the point.

    If “what we did was torture” there is no way that the MSM or the Democratics would not have found a legal way to make that point.

    The law does not exist in our country that makes what we did torture.

    If there is such a law, why has the MSM or the Democratics not used it to bind those charged over to trial?

    reff (bff229)

  45. Wait…I know the answer…

    Must be a right wing conspiracy by the MSM and led by Rutten, Lithwick, Greenhouse, and those who defend and support their arguments….

    reff (bff229)

  46. Steverino: How about

    And as far as what I consider the real war on terror, seeking out and killing terrorists, and pressuring the countries that support terror to back off, neither McCain nor either Hillary or Obama are all that strong. None of them favor harsh interrogation to help our side learn of upcoming attacks.

    Harsh interrogation has a certain Gestapo ring to it.

    There are two competing syllogisms here. One goes (1) Cheney says the US follows its laws and does not torture. (2) The US waterboards. (3) Therefore waterboarding is not torture.

    The alternative is (1) Waterboarding is torture. (2) The US waterboards. (3) Therefore when Cheney says that the US does not torture, he is lying.

    Given that no one has yet found evidence that waterboarding was not torture antedating the Bush Administration’s authorization of it, while we have posted repeated links (1 2 3) showing people convicted of waterboarding as a war crime, the second syllogism is correct and the first is absurd.

    Look at the thread. No small number of posters admit that waterboarding is torture but is acceptable (even commendable) under a heretofore unknown exception to laws prohibiting its use in all cases “whatsoever” when the detainee is suspected of being in Al Qaeda, the torture is done by the Intrinsically Good United States, and opponents of war crimes can be smeared as weak.

    Everyone in the world knows that we tortured detainees. The terrorists know. Our allies and ex-allies know. Patterico’s post is a last-ditch attempt to keep a small audience of the Bush Remnant participating in a shared delusion, rather than acknowledge that the Republican Party is led by war criminals.

    Patterico, besides the bankruptcy of always trying to compare everything to Clinton, your example doesn’t correspond to the case at hand in which the speaker admits (or rather boasts) of certain conduct and then denies it. There is a Clinton equivalent and it would run like this:

    Monica Lewinsky performed fellatio on me, and I’m glad she did, and we would do it again. I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

    I suppose if you really, really tried you could argue that fellatio wasn’t sex so the second sentence isn’t a gross lie, but I’m not going to make that argument. Are you?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  47. Sad fact of the matter is that a combatant that is found in violation of the Geneva Convention is entitles to none of its protections. So you could actually really torture the hell outa them and it would be legal under international law. These people are not in uniform, not part of a standing army, and violate the Geneva Convention by hiding among civilians. So even if Cheney waterboarded them himself it would be a moot point to say that he violated any law.

    US law on the other hand would not apply since they are not US citizens. Also I am assuming that any of this stuff going on was happening abroad and not on US soil. So there for it is not illegal in any sense. Immoral you could argue but to say he violated any law(and that is agreeing that he did it himself or ordered it done which I am not agreeing with) is flatly wrong.

    LiveFromFortLivingRoom (da9077)

  48. Live, we’ve tried to make that “Non-Uniformed combatants” fact stick to them, but they seem to never hear it…

    I mean, we could shoot them via firing squad if we wanted. heck, I think that’s even the prefered Geneva COnvention method of some offenses…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  49. Why are people on here defending Rutten and Lithwick? It is obvious they misquoted Cheney. Even if you hate Cheney’s guts and want him to die in his next bypass surgery that does not change that fact. Changing the argument to what is “torture” or mentioning Bill Clinton does not change that fact. To have a national newspaper lie about a sitting President or vice president’s remarks is disgusting but par for the course in the last 8 years since President Bush has been in office.

    LiveFromFortLivingRoom (da9077)

  50. Scott Jacobs

    Yeah even the fact they hide in churches and use children’s schools as weapons caches does not seem to deter people from defending them or using vapid moral equivalency to compare them to our Founding Fathers.

    “I mean, we could shoot them via firing squad if we wanted. heck, I think that’s even the prefered Geneva COnvention method of some offenses…”

    Hanging is in most instances I think unless the subject requests the firing squad. Imagine if we did that the outcry that would happen?

    LiveFromFortLivingRoom (da9077)

  51. So you could actually really torture the hell outa them and it would be legal under international law.

    No, it wouldn’t. You could look, say, here for dozens of cites otherwise. Or you could refer to the International Convention Against Torture, duly ratified by the United States.

    # Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
    # No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

    Laws prohibiting torture have been enacted by Congress. There is no exception for terrorists.

    Tell me, Patterico, does it bother you that your position is now defended by sick clowns with the legal knowledge and theories of the average tax protestor?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  52. But, Andrew, where in all that is waterboarding, for example, outlawed???

    Your problem here is that your OPINION is being substituted for what may or may not be legal.

    Which is why you ignored #45, like blah does….

    reff (bff229)

  53. Please, everyone stop. How our soldiers treat prisoners, whether in uniform or not, is governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If our soldiers mistreat prisoners, they are subject to court martial. Hope the link works.

    nk (b9435f)

  54. Andrew, does it bother you that your position is defended by people who deliberately misquote their opponents, obfuscate the issue and refuse to answer direct questions?

    Steverino (e00589)

  55. It didn’t. One more time. It’s 893.93. Let’s see.

    nk (b9435f)

  56. I was not refering to UCMJ nk. Any order to torture would be unlawful under that. I was simply refering to the Geneva convention.

    LiveFromFortLivingRoom (da9077)

  57. Just scroll down.

    nk (b9435f)

  58. I was not refering to UCMJ nk. Any order to torture would be unlawful under that. I was simply refering to the Geneva convention.

    Fine, but our soldiers live and breathe the UCMJ. And that’s what governs their conduct. And that’s the conduct we, the people of the United States of America, demand of them. And punish them harshly if they do not obey. And it has nothing to do with uniforms or weapons, combatants or infants. It’s for anyone “under their orders”.

    nk (b9435f)

  59. reff, it is the same law that makes use of the rack illegal. I do not understand your request. Do you mean the US law that prohibits torture? Here. Do you believe that the law must specify that waterboarding is torture, or does it suffice to show that waterboarding has for decades been considered to be contained in the definition of torture? (And if the law must specifically state waterboarding is torture, does that apply to the rack, too?) I repeat, this is tax protestor illogic, where protestors find some reason to claim that money they receive for work is not income within the meaning of the tax statutes.

    nk, JTFR, civilians are no more permitted to torture than members of the military. See link in previous ‘graph.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  60. Oh, one last point. The MSM and the barely-Democratic Congress do not have the legal authority to bind people over for trial. That rests in the Department of Justice, and it is not binding anyone over for trial in this matter because it is deeply complicit. You didn’t see the Serbian Minister of Justice arresting Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes, but he committed them nonetheless.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  61. Patterico, it seems neither blah nor Andrew have any intention of answering your question. What should we infer from that?

    Steverino (e00589)

  62. Steverino, are you referring to Patterico’s 38? What he has Clinton saying there is nothing like what Cheney said. It lacks the internal contradiction of Cheney’s statement. Please re-check my comment 47, which also supplies the example you demanded of a commenter here disparaging McCain’s weakness in the War on Terror.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  63. Do you mean the US law that prohibits torture? Here. Do you believe that the law must specify that waterboarding is torture,

    You link to the code about turture and yet seems to fail to comprehend that there is a section the defines it. How precisely does waterboarding qualify under the defintion of the law? The only part applicable would be 2.c. and since the whole gist of waterboarding is threatening to do it over and over again until they talk that sort of goes out the window altogether.

    Your “everyone thinks it’s torture” is nothing but argumentum ad populum with no bearing on the legality of waterboarding.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  64. OK, since some of the commenters are having a hard time seeing the parallels, I’ll use symbolic logic to make it clear.

    Keep in mind what we are debating: was Rutten honest? We are not debating whether Cheney authorized torture. For purposes of this argument, I’ll concede that the better argument is that he did, in fact, authorize torture. Rutten was still dishonest.

    Person gives speech in which he concedes he took action x.

    He flatly denies that action x constitutes crime y. He also offers excuse/justification z for action x.

    Although partisans debate the issue, the better argument is that, in fact, action x constitutes crime y.

    It is dishonest to say anything like: “the speechmaker admitted that he committed crime y.”

    One could argue that the speechmaker admitted action x, and that most people concede that action x constitutes crime y, so he is a liar for saying he didn’t commit crime y. That would be an honest argument.

    But arguing that he admitted committing crime y is a dishonest argument.

    In the Clinton example, action x is Clinton’s testimony in the Paula Jones case (and his grand jury testimony). Crime y is perjury — which most people agree Clinton committed. Excuse/justification z is irrelevant — it could be “the conservatives were out to get me” or “everyone lies about sex.”

    Now assume Clinton says: “I gave that testimony (admits action x) because I was required to testify in a case trumped up by conservatives (offers excuse z), but I did not perjure myself (denies crime y).” It’s dishonest to say: “Clinton admitted committing perjury (admits crime y) but blamed conservatives (excuse z) .” That’s reporting an admission of crime y, when in fact he denied committing crime y.

    In the Cheney example, action x is authorizing the techniques used against KSM. Crime y is torture. For purposes of this argument — just to show that we are *not* arguing about what is torture — I’ll agree with blah and AJL that waterboarding is torture. Justification z is that we got good info.

    (con’t)

    Patterico (102e17)

  65. Now assume Cheney says: “I authorized waterboarding (admits action x) because it got us good information (offers excuse z), but I did not authorize torture (denies crime y).” It’s dishonest to say: “Cheney admitted authorizing torture (admits crime y) but said it was a good thing we did it because we got good information (excuse z) .” That’s reporting an admission of crime y, when in fact he denied committing crime y.

    Perfect parallel.

    $100 bucks says neither blah now AJL deals with my logic head-on.

    Anyone taking that bet?

    Patterico (a5640e)

  66. You don’t have a comment at 47, Andrew. Which comment do you mean?

    Steverino (e00589)

  67. I’m kind of convinced you’re spending all your time with this crap to avoid having to deal Bush v Gore II: Huckabee v GOP, but anyway…

    Don’t you ever feel embarrassed when you post twaddle like that, blah? Because you should.

    I’m kind of convinced that you’ve got mush crawling with maggots between your ears.

    Pablo (99243e)

  68. Steverino. This one.

    Patterico: I still have a problem with your Clinton hypothetical version. When he says “I gave that testimony”, he isn’t conceding, or boasting, that the testimony was false. That’s why I like my version where Clinton admits to fellatio but denies sex. I do think it would be legitimate to report my version as “Clinton admitted to sex” and it would be much better to do what Dalia Lithwick did, place Cheney’s quote in context in the history of how waterboarding moved from a war crime to American practice. It’s really a very perceptive piece on how to move the envelope.

    I must say, there’s also something remarkable about how much more upset you are about these terrible slanders of Dick Cheney than you are about Cheney’s criminal behavior. Practicing for a stint as defense attorney?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  69. Andrew…thanks for the link….

    Now, show me in the link where it says that waterboarding is illegal. I understand you will state that it does, but, I disagree.

    Why do I disagree? Because other legal minds, including the current AG of the US, says it is not illegal.

    I also took the time to read the link, very carefully, and I interpret that link to say that non-citizens of the US can do this, as long as they do it outside the US???

    (b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
    (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
    (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

    In another post, I believe you may have said that torture makes us no better than Castro, or Chavez…or something to that affect. Yet, according to this, they can do this to people.

    P.S. Just so you know: you really don’t know what I think of torture/waterboarding, or of even putting a gun to the head of a terrorist to gain information….please, don’t ever think you do…

    reff (bff229)

  70. Andrew, again, you say VP Cheney has “criminal behavior,” yet NO ONE is trying to have him charged….

    Why???

    Could the answer be that his behavior is not “criminal?”

    reff (bff229)

  71. “When he says “I gave that testimony”, he isn’t conceding, or boasting, that the testimony was false.”

    No, he isn’t, which is what makes the hypo perfect.

    Cheney isn’t conceding that the waterboarding is torture, either.

    You and I both know Clinton’s testimony was false. But if he concedes giving it, but refuses to admit it was false, we don’t get to claim he admitted it was false.

    Parallel:

    You and I both know Cheney authorized torture. (For the sake of argument, I am conceding that the waterboarding is torture.) But if he concedes giving the order, but refuses to admit it was torture, we don’t get to claim he admitted it was torture.

    We can say he authorized torture. We can call him a liar. But we *can’t* say he *admitted* he authorized torture.

    An intelligent 10-year-old could easily grasp this distinction. But give him 20 years and political views adverse to the person explaining the distinction — he wll once again be powerless to see the logic. Just as you appear to be.

    Patterico (a24502)

  72. This is what I have for comment #46:

    Wait…I know the answer…

    Must be a right wing conspiracy by the MSM and led by Rutten, Lithwick, Greenhouse, and those who defend and support their arguments….

    Comment by reff — 2/11/2008 @ 10:42 am

    That’s comment number 319197

    This is what I have for comment 47

    Sad fact of the matter is that a combatant that is found in violation of the Geneva Convention is entitles to none of its protections. So you could actually really torture the hell outa them and it would be legal under international law. These people are not in uniform, not part of a standing army, and violate the Geneva Convention by hiding among civilians. So even if Cheney waterboarded them himself it would be a moot point to say that he violated any law.

    US law on the other hand would not apply since they are not US citizens. Also I am assuming that any of this stuff going on was happening abroad and not on US soil. So there for it is not illegal in any sense. Immoral you could argue but to say he violated any law(and that is agreeing that he did it himself or ordered it done which I am not agreeing with) is flatly wrong.

    Comment by LiveFromFortLivingRoom — 2/11/2008 @ 10:45 am

    That’s comment number 319199.

    Yours doesn’t show up on my computer, nor does clicking on your link work, for reasons I can’t explain.

    Again, the point to this post is that the reporters have lied.

    Steverino (e00589)

  73. “For purposes of this argument, I’ll concede that the better argument is that he did, in fact, authorize torture.”
    Yes he did. But he refuses to call it torture. Lithwick twists his words to mock him. She’s not in a court of law, and she puts the quotation marks where they need to be. But Cheney deserves the mockery. Please read AND RESPOND to the rest of the article. And remember Pat, I haven’t denied that Lithwick was sloppy, RIDICULE BY DEFINITION IS SLOPPY.

    “Yet they never seem to understand that our enemies are also emboldened by exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our government.”
    That argument is just pathetic whining. It’s absurd and obscene. Mocking the king should be illegal. Off with his head!
    You want o know what’s supporting the enemy? Lying like this. The actions of this incompetent administration, aided and abetted by sycophants like you, that’s what’s weakening this country and strengthening our enemies.
    If mentioned in passing, that Lithwick was too casual for your tastes I wouldn’t have said a thing. But your over-the-top reaction called out for a response. You’re an attack dog, son, for the side of the idiots. You’re a thinker in your own eyes and the eyes of your peanut gallery. You don’t deal with the larger issues of the war, all you do is nip at the ankles of those who do. It’s silly. It’s lazy. It’s pathetic. It’s immoral.

    Here: http://historiae.org/governorates.asp
    Be an intellectual for once.

    And maybe sometime you’ll be up to responding to voter suppression in Washington State. It’s Republican against republican, it’s absolutely blatant and I’m laughing my ass off.

    blah (cc959a)

  74. If mentioned in passing, that Lithwick was too casual for your tastes I wouldn’t have said a thing. But your over-the-top reaction called out for a response.

    And we were all waiting breathlessly for your pearls of wisdom, blah. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the enlightenment you condescended to bestow on us. Praise be to Thee, O Wise and Omniscient, for showing us the path to salvation from the tyranny of love of one’s country and respect for her institutions.

    nk (b9435f)

  75. Steverino, that’s very weird. The post had the words ess-ee-eks and fe—–o in it. Do you have a filter? I gave this comment as an example of a frequent commenter here calling McCain’s torture policy weak.

    Patterico: No, there is still a difference. Cheney’s statement admits of an overt act that (assuming waterboarding is torture, arguendo) contradicts the subsequent disclaimer on its face. In the Clinton hypothetical, the overt statement is that Clinton gave certain testimony, but the fact that he gave certain testimony does not in any way hint at perjury. Heck, some of his testimony was true.

    If you change it to “I gave testimony that I had not had sexual relations with Lewinsky&hellip”, then I think your example is appropriate, because the statement recounts the act that is contradicted later (i.e., that I did not commit perjury). And I think journalists would be correct in summarizing this as a confession of perjury, but it would be even better to say that it was perjury and that he had the temerity to deny it.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  76. Indeed, it had all the classic elements of a blah comment, a strawman, a bare link with no analysis and a complete lack of substance.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  77. 1) Didn’t Clinton admit to perjury when he copped a deal with the Arkansas Bar? To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember if he did admit to perjury.

    2)Cheney was defending actions which a rational person (and sadly, I now have to exclude most of the commenters here form that category) would understand as being torture. Just because he said they were not torture does not mean they were not torture.
    All you are really criticizing Rutten over is a question of semantics.

    3) Why Cheney and Osama are moral equivalents should be obvious: they both believe they are entitled to treat other human beings as subhuman. The fact that Osama includes in this category Euro American civilization, and the fact that Cheney includes in this category only the jihadis, does not change the moral equivalence.

    kishnevi (2dbd61)

  78. OK, reff,

    Because other legal minds, including the current AG of the US, says it is not illegal.

    Actually, I believe the current AG has obfuscated and evaded this rather simple question. Of course, that’s not surprising. On one answer, he says his bosses are war criminals, while on the other, he becomes an accessory to subsequent criminal waterboarding himself. In any event, waterboarding is still illegal if done outside the USA by non-citizens, we merely do not claim jurisdiction. An American citizen who directed or authorized torture would of course be an accessory and/or co-conspirator, and liable under our law even if the foreign agent were not.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  79. That argument is just pathetic whining. It’s absurd and obscene.

    That reply is pathetic whining, blah. It’s just absurd and silly.

    Andrew,

    On one answer, he says his bosses are war criminals, while on the other, he becomes an accessory to subsequent criminal waterboarding himself.

    But we’re not waterboarding, and haven’t done it in several years, So, strawman. Your concern does not exist. Wanna try again?

    Pablo (99243e)

  80. kishnevi,

    1) Didn’t Clinton admit to perjury when he copped a deal with the Arkansas Bar? To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember if he did admit to perjury.

    Was there a deal? I recall him being found in contempt, by way of perjury, and him losing his law license because of it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  81. There’s no strawman, Pablo. If the AG opines that waterboarding is not torture and we resume waterboarding, he won’t be able to vacation in Europe for the rest of his life. As for the other option, it’s obvious that since the bosses who ordered waterboarding are still in place, there’s a disincentive to rule that way.

    The next Democratic AG will, I suppose, set the matter straight. Indeed, both remaining front-runners for the GOP nomination have the the matter straight.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  82. Yes, there’s a strawman, Andrew, and you’ve just repeated it. It starts, and ends, with “If”.

    If my aunt had testicles, she’d be my uncle.

    Pablo (99243e)

  83. Pablo–I remember he agreed made a deal of some sort with the Arkansas Bar to avoid further proceedings. I don’t remember if he explicitly admitted to perjury as part of the deal.

    Frankly, even if he didn’t commit perjury, he did enough other things (Pardongate is the shining example) to show him up as a mendacious greedy egomaniac who is inferior in those qualities only to his wife. And I say this as a person who believed (and still does believe) that the impeachment proceedings were 99percent partisan politics and perhaps 1 percent genuine outrage at presidential criminality (meaning I think that if a Republican president had committed those same acts, the same Republican congressmen responsible for the impeachment would have sat on their hands forever).

    kishnevi (e2d044)

  84. Pablo–I remember he agreed made a deal of some sort with the Arkansas Bar to avoid further proceedings. I don’t remember if he explicitly admitted to perjury as part of the deal.

    Heres’ the deal on the contempt finding, which he chose not to appeal. I’m not seeing anything pop up about a deal with the Bar, but that finding was the basis for his disbarment. He has never admitted to perjury, though he’s clearly committed it. I suppose you could call “You disbar me and I won’t fight it” a deal, but it doesn’t sound like much of a bargain.

    Pablo (99243e)

  85. BTW, I agree with every word of your second para, kishnevi.

    Pablo (99243e)

  86. Ah, here we go.

    In January, Clinton reached an agreement with independent counsel Robert Ray that suspended his Arkansas law license for five years and ordered the former president to pay $25,000 in fines to that state’s bar officials. Clinton also gave up any claim of repayment of his legal fees in the matter.

    In return, Ray ended the 7-year Whitewater probe that shadowed most of Clinton’s two terms in the White House.

    The Arkansas Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Conduct initially called for Clinton’s disbarment last year, saying he lied about his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

    Bit of a plea bargain, that.

    Pablo (99243e)

  87. “Cheney was defending actions which a rational person (and sadly, I now have to exclude most of the commenters here form that category) would understand as being torture. Just because he said they were not torture does not mean they were not torture.
    All you are really criticizing Rutten over is a question of semantics.”

    kishnevi, please address my analogy.

    Clinton was excusing actions which a rational person would understand as being perjury. Just because he said they were not perjury does not mean they were not perjury.

    So. I can listen to a speech of his in which he explicitly denies he committed perjury — and report that he ADMITTED perjury??

    Yes or no?

    Do you understand that WE ARE NOT ARGUING OVER WHETHER CHENEY AUTHORIZED TORTURE OR WHETHER CLINTON COMMITTED PERJURY, but rather over whether we can honestly report that they admitted their conduct was criminal, when in fact they explicitly denied it?

    To ask the question is to answer it — if your mind isn’t addled by your political opinions. It’s a simple question of logic.

    Patterico (8b6fd1)

  88. “Patterico: No, there is still a difference. Cheney’s statement admits of an overt act that (assuming waterboarding is torture, arguendo) contradicts the subsequent disclaimer on its face. In the Clinton hypothetical, the overt statement is that Clinton gave certain testimony, but the fact that he gave certain testimony does not in any way hint at perjury. Heck, some of his testimony was true.”

    You’re being thick. The specific “certain testimony” I referred to was his testimony in the Paula Jones suit and before the grand jury, which every sentient being acknowledges was perjury. (If you disagree, I ask you to assume it for the sake of argument, just as I have assumed the illegality of waterboarding for the sake of argument.)

    Some of his testimony was true? So what? He committed perjury if other parts of it were materially false. A murderer is still a murderer even if some of his actions on the day of the crime were legal. *Some* of Cheney’s orders re KSM were legal, but would be a stupid fucking defense if his *other* orders weren’t.

    “If you change it to “I gave testimony that I had not had sexual relations with Lewinsky&hellip”, then I think your example is appropriate, because the statement recounts the act that is contradicted later (i.e., that I did not commit perjury).”

    Fine. Let’s do that.

    “And I think journalists would be correct in summarizing this as a confession of perjury, but it would be even better to say that it was perjury and that he had the temerity to deny it.”

    Bottom line: Clinton denies perjury, and you think it’s accurate to report that he admitted it.

    Hoo-kay then. I think I’ve made it clear to readers what kind of mindset I’m dealing with.

    My goal here isn’t to convince you. You don’t want to be convinced, and consequently cannot be convinced. My goal is to show readers that you believe it’s accurate reportage to say “Cheney said x” when Cheney actually SAID “not x.” On that, we’ll have to agree to disagree and let readers decide whose logical argument makes more sense.

    Patterico (b0ecb0)

  89. To: blah, kishnevi, and Andrew J. Lazarus:

    Let’s say you admit making the comments you have made on this thread. Pretend that you also assert that your comments have been uniformly logical and persuasive.

    But — assume this for the sake of argument — your comments are, in fact, utterly illogical, wholly unpersuasive arguments that would earn you an “F” in any entry-level logic class. (Again, this is just an assumption I ask you to accept as true solely for purposes of this argument.)

    In my example, may I honestly tell others that you admitted making stupid arguments?

    No. To be honest, I would have to explain that you claimed your arguments had merit, but are in fact sophomoric claptrap.

    See the difference?

    I figured you wouldn’t.

    Patterico (40ec0e)

  90. 2)Cheney was defending actions which a rational person (and sadly, I now have to exclude most of the commenters here form that category) would understand as being torture.

    I’m still waiting for your explanation of how waterboarding fits into the three specific tests in the law. Being the supremely rational person you are you shouldn’t have any trouble with it.

    You can think or feel anything and everything constitutes torture, but the only definition that matters is the one that’s in the law. If you want waterboarding to be classified as torture, write up a bill and submit it to your congress critter. I wouldn’t hold your breath about it going anywhere though.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  91. Going back to that Rutten quote:
    Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Vice President Dick Cheney was addressing the meat-eaters at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He told them that he was glad the administration had tortured people and that he’d do it again: “Would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would.”

    I say it is accurate. Cheney referred to certain actions which fit the definition of torture with approval, and then said the words which Rutten actually marks as a verbatim quote. The parallels you (that is, Patterico) come up with, are not accurate parallels.

    Waterboarding is torture. Any reasonable person,f from the man on the Clapham omnibus downward, would understand it to be torture–the infliction of mental or physical pain for the sake of coercing the will of another individual. Of course, you doubleplusgood people would say no to that–but your violating common sense and commons usage.

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  92. Pablo, thanks for the Clinton info

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  93. The parallels you (that is, Patterico) come up with, are not accurate parallels.

    Grace me with your explanation as to why.

    Waterboarding is torture.

    I concede that for purposes of my argument — a fact you ignore.

    I gave my analogy in symbolic logic, to show how exact the parallels are. If you wish to convince people here that it is inaccurate, explain why.

    (AJL has been trying for several comments now, but every point he makes against my analogy applies equally well to Rutten’s example, as I demonstrated above. AJL is reduced to arguing that when “x says y” it is OK to summarize that statement as “x says not y.”)

    You are arguing against my analogy by asserting the truth of an assertion that I already conceded to be true for purposes of the example.

    Do you understand that this is not a compelling “refutation”?

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  94. Cheney referred to certain actions which fit the definition of torture

    Again, show us how it fits the legal definition… There are three points it must meet to be torture.

    I’ll wait, but not while holding my breath, as I suspect I’ll be waiting a while.

    Waterboarding is torture.

    Make. Your. Case.

    Just saying it does not, in fact, make it true…

    If “mental pain” constitutes torture, prison in and of itself is torture, as is friday night karaoke…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  95. I just read the rest of the comments.

    What I said in #23, with more exclamation points.

    These kinds of “conversations” are becoming literally impossible.

    Everybody thought it was such a joke when President Clinton started arguing the definition of the word “is,” but it’s not funny anymore.

    Merovign (4744a2)

  96. Cheney referred to certain actions which fit the definition of torture with approval

    Could you specify with a quote from the transcript?

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  97. Taltos–
    Here’s the legal definition.

    As used in this chapter—
    (1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
    (2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
    (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
    (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
    (C) the threat of imminent death; or
    (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and
    (3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

    Waterboarding seems to be fall very clearly under 2(A) and 2(C). So clearly, that I don’t see how any person could say it doesn’t.

    Unless you are relying on the paragraph:
    (a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

    Which, if that is how the statute actually reads, could be argued to mean that if the act takes place inside the boundaries of the USA, it’s not punishable. But don’t tell me that’s why you’re saying waterboarding doesn’t meet the legal definition of torture!

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  98. Re: 96: The two long quotes from his speech which you included in your original post on this subject is where he admits those actions took place and which he expresses his approval.

    In the last two paragraphs of the second quote, he then proceeds to declaim against torture. This is rather like Chavez promising to respect the justly acquired property of ExxonMobil.

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  99. Finally, as to Patterico’s supposed parallels–they would have been germane only if Rutten had written something like “Cheny said, “Yes, we tortured people”…He didn’t. He gave the meaning which any reasonable observer would give to Cheney’s words in the context of the information available to the public.

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  100. This is why we don’t take liberals seriously. If you are unable to come up with a moral distinction between Cheney and Osama that doesn’t favor Osama, you really, SERIOUSLY need to be kept away from sharp or blunt objects.
    In short, you’ve lost the ability to judge. This is a flaw that, separate from the protections of civil society, is fatal.

    Well said, Merovign. This kind of ridiculous blather can be traced directly back to Hill/Bill and the meaning of is. With a bright line. When one side can no longer recognize out and out falsehoods, blatant lies like Rutten’s, then politics has been poisoned so severely that we will require an incredible amount of national healing to recover. Thanks, moonbats. This is what you have asked for. Don’t be surprised when you have to play under your own newly created rules.

    JD (4dea4b)

  101. Alice Tim Rutten in Wonderland LaLaLand: “When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean. Neither more nor less.”

    Right, kishnevi?

    nk (b9435f)

  102. “Finally, as to Patterico’s supposed parallels–they would have been germane only if Rutten had written something like “Cheny said, “Yes, we tortured people””

    You mean like: “He told them that he was glad the administration had tortured people”?

    And “any resonable observer” would read that as “Cheney denied that the administration had tortured people, but his denial was dishonest”?

    Bullshit, I say with all due respect. Plenty reasonable people, not having read Cheney’s speech, would reasonably conclude tha Cheney had conceded that the administration had tortured people.

    It is impossible to deny while remaining rational and logical.

    Patterico (db598a)

  103. But Patterico, you notice how often the very point is to call everyone who disagrees with them as irrational ( I lost track of how often kishnevi did it above for instance ) with fake “gotcha” points like Rutten’s – no matter what amount of misrepresenation it takes.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  104. SPQR – but you’re using the old-fashioned dictionary definition of “rational” – how very un-hip of you!

    Merovign (4744a2)

  105. Rational now means being able to follow moonbat logic, subject to rapid change, without notice, should the situation require an immediate reversal of position.

    JD (4dea4b)

  106. No, “rational” is being defined above in an almost Soviet form: if you don’t agree with them, you are mentally ill.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  107. I truly believe that there are going to be long-lasting negative effects from this blatant manipulation of the language. Maybe I am naive, but there has to have been a point where we could all agree on the underlying facts to an issue. Now, the left has so bastardized the language, that actual facts are in dispute based on their ability to make up alternative realities.

    JD (4dea4b)

  108. (2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
    (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
    (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
    (C) the threat of imminent death; or

    Waterboarding causes no pain, and the “threat of immenant death” is only from the body going “ohcrapohcrapohcrap water!!!!”.

    The law means you can’t pull fingernails, hold a gun to their head (that’s the “threat of immenant death), or drug them.

    I mean, if water-dunking counts as torture, then a lot of High School bullies should be brought to trial in the Hauge…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  109. “I truly believe that there are going to be long-lasting negative effects from this blatant manipulation of the language. Maybe I am naive, but there has to have been a point where we could all agree on the underlying facts to an issue.”

    Of course many people have been saying this for years. And the majority of the people in the US now agree. That’s why Bush is so unpopular.
    And Pat, please include me out of your little lecture. I made clear I think you’re quibbling over unimportant points. I accused you of pedantry, not illogic. pay attention and read the words on the screen. But still:
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
    That’s Cheney’s logic, Straight Outta Wonderland.
    So long Hump.

    blah (cc959a)

  110. “blah”:

    I’ll lecture who I like. Right now, that’s you.

    I’m sorry you don’t understand that freedom makes us stronger, not weaker. “Trust our leaders!” you say. I say: trust but verify.

    You’re obviously too dense to realize that it’s possible to disdain exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our leadership, without urging blind trust in our leaders.

    It’s nuance, “son.”

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  111. Which, if that is how the statute actually reads, could be argued to mean that if the act takes place inside the boundaries of the USA, it’s not punishable.

    Kishnevi, the idea is that within the USA these actions are already covered by laws against assault, kidnapping, rape, false imprisonment, murder, etc. The cited law is the “long arm” statute extending jurisdiction overseas for this particularly heinous crime (cf. sex with children).

    Scott J, can you find a single authority holding that water-assisted interrogation is not torture that predates the Bush Administration’s approval of it? If not, and given that we supplied many authorities holding that it is torture, is there some possibility that your post is puerile drivel?

    Patterico, if you can bring four centuries’ of history making it quite clear that our claims are claptrap—as we have four centuries during which waterboarding was believed to be torture—then I’d say your summary was acceptable. In other words, Cheney isn’t just wrong. He’s moving the envelope on what constitutes torture by lying outright, and the journos have, for a change, called him on it and called a spade a spade. (You will appreciate this approach better under the next Administration.) I have no doubt that the Executive Branch was well aware that waterboarding was torture and was illegal (except under the Yoo/Bybee Divine Unitary Executive Führerprinzip theory). In other words, Clinton (on my version of the hypo) and Cheney were well aware of the disconnect between their statements and reality. I think you will agree that kishnevi, blah, and I do not believe we are writing claptrap.

    Andrew Lazarus (1fd8fb)

  112. You’ve just switched gears, Pat; instead of lumping my arguments in with the others as you had, now you respond to my point. I guess that’s something.
    “You’re obviously too dense to realize that it’s possible to disdain exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our leadership,”
    For as long as I’ve been dropping in here you’ve been disdaining any and all substantive criticism of this administration. You cherry-pick what you can, which these days is less and less. Which is why we’re stuck with this crop of shit.
    You defend torture. You think it’s worked. It hasn’t. It’s produced garbage data and made US foreign policy more difficult. I remember your going on and on and on about liberals and torture, daring people to respond to your challenge. And when people did -and they did immediately- you couldn’t even admit it. You couldn’t get it through your head that sometimes it may be necessary, may be the “right thing,” to break the law, but that that doesn’t mean the law should be changed. It was kinda bizarre listening to you.

    And finally, also in the same vein, Atwan notes that pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United States have already resulted in Al-Jazeera completely stopping its coverage of Saudi Arabia and developments there, particularly in the area of activism for democracy, and freedoms, and constitutional monarchy”

    Why include that? For the same reason I included the link to Reidar Visser, above. Just a little more of the issues and information about the US and the world you ignore, in the service of your faith.

    Tschüss!

    blah (cc959a)

  113. “Patterico, if you can bring four centuries’ of history making it quite clear that our claims are claptrap—as we have four centuries during which waterboarding was believed to be torture—then I’d say your summary was acceptable. In other words, Cheney isn’t just wrong. He’s moving the envelope on what constitutes torture by lying outright, and the journos have, for a change, called him on it and called a spade a spade. (You will appreciate this approach better under the next Administration.) I have no doubt that the Executive Branch was well aware that waterboarding was torture and was illegal (except under the Yoo/Bybee Divine Unitary Executive Führerprinzip theory). In other words, Clinton (on my version of the hypo) and Cheney were well aware of the disconnect between their statements and reality. I think you will agree that kishnevi, blah, and I do not believe we are writing claptrap.”

    Oh, I don’t need four centuries of history. Just assume — for the sake of argument! — that your arguments are so patently illogical that no rational person could possibly see them as cogent . . . yet (in the example) you assert that they are indeed cogent.

    So if I understand your somewhat cryptic response (“I’d say your summary was acceptable”), you’re agreeing that you can’t claim someone admitted to crime x when they have denied crime x.

    That certainly would be a rational stance on your part. And it means that, whether or not you think Cheney lied in his speech, you certainly think thhat Rutten misrepresented it.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  114. Of course many people have been saying this for years. And the majority of the people in the US now agree. That’s why Bush is so unpopular.

    I love how points just sail right past your blissfully ignorant melon.

    waterboarding – I love how AJL and his lying ilk portray themselves as some kind of experts on waterboarding. Given the changeyness of their defintiions, it would not surprise me in the least if their current definition of waterboarding and what is commonly referred to as waterboarding are drastically different things, or an amalgamation of all types of interrogation involving water that they so self-lefteously decry.

    You defend torture. You think it’s worked. It hasn’t. It’s produced garbage data and made US foreign policy more difficult.

    Source? Proof? Typical blah school or “argument”. Make blanket bullshit assertions as facts beyond dispute. Tedious, it is.

    Posts like this are good, informative even. We know who is on our team. AJL and blah are decidedly not. Defense of such blatant dishonesty shows a fundamental flaw in your character. I used to at least pay attention to AJL, but today he has proven himself to be no better than the likes of blah and cleo.

    JD (a9751e)

  115. For as long as I’ve been dropping in here you’ve been disdaining any and all substantive criticism of this administration.

    Guess you weren’t here during the Miers debacle.

    You can point to my numerous posts praising Bush’s immigration policy.

    Guess you missed my post from December describing GTMO tribunals as Kafkaesque.

    “You defend torture.”

    Now you’re pulling a Rutten on me. Here is what I have actually said:

    My general view is that we should not be torturing people — and I include waterboarding in the category of actions that constitute “torture” — as a routine matter at all.

    . . . .

    The discussion we have been having is on the margins. It relates to the high-value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or (if we captured him) Osama bin Laden. Rational people accept that these people are indeed terrorists. When captured, they will almost certainly have information relating to ongoing terror plots.

    What do we do with people like that?

    It’s a very difficult question, with enough facets that you could probably write a book about it.

    You could take the view that you torture them mercilessly and extract whatever information you can. But there are serious costs to such an approach, and the bloggers mentioned above discuss some of them. There are slippery slope arguments grounded in reality, arguments about the kind of society we want to be, arguments about the reliability of the information we get, and so on. Any confession you get is going to be unusable in court, and will interfere with any criminal prosecutions that might occur.

    Or you could take the view that we treat them the same as we have treated criminal suspects in the past — read them their rights, and if they invoke their right to an attorney, then stop all questioning. There are serious costs to that approach too, including the fact that innocent people are more likely to die.

    And in this post:

    My bottom line is this: I don’t have a huge moral problem with limited waterboarding in extreme circumstances. I have several practical problems with it.

    It’s somewhat similar, in fact, to my feelings on capital punishment. As a moral matter, I think the death penalty is the correct penalty, morally, for the worst murderers. As a practical matter, because so many innocent people end up on Death Row (a problem I discussed at length in this post), I have serious concerns about how it is practiced in much of the country, and I would like to see much stricter limitations placed on its exercise.

    That’s not completely how I feel about waterboarding, but it’s pretty close.

    blah, you’re a clown who enjoys taking a polemical view of others’ positions, while you are the only informed guy in the room. I have news for you, my friend: you’re not. Based on your commenting history, you’re not particularly good at processing information or responding to arguments in a clear and logical fashion. Your most dominant characteristic is arrogance — which is not to say that you have any reason to be arrogant; you simply are, without good justification.

    Tschüss yourself. Don’t feel any need to hurry back.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  116. I love how AJL and his lying ilk portray themselves as some kind of experts on waterboarding.

    That would be in distinction to, say, Scott and all the others who assume our waterboarding is kinda like their fraternity hazing. But I make no special claim to be an expert on waterboarding, merely citation searching. I point out that, say, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination thinks it is “exquisite” torture. The Jim Crow Mississippi Supreme Court thought it was torture, even when applied to an African-American suspect. The post-WW2 War Crimes Tribunal said it was torture. The Vietnam-era Army thought it was torture. Hundreds of current armed forces officers say it is torture. Faced with this record, look who turns into an expert on torture! JD does! Out of thin air comes magical rescue: the waterboarding we are doing just can’t be that nasty old torture waterboarding those other people did.

    Do you have any sense how ass-backwards that reasoning is? And, by the way, how familiar it would be to, say, American Communists trying to digest the horrors of the Stalin Era once they became undeniable?

    Andrew Lazarus (1fd8fb)

  117. The Vietnam-era Army thought it was torture.

    No, they used it, in addition to things like beatings, pulling of fingernails, and other such actual acts of torture.

    Really. I fail to understand how you can equate us waterboarding with what is done to OUR people, and is done, and was done all through Saddam’s years in power, is absolutely beyond me…

    But if you count swirlies right there next to hanging from hooks and being electrocuted, that’s your deal…

    Remind me to have a bucket of water nearby should we ever meet…

    The idea that I can scar you for life buy dousing you with water fascinates me…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  118. sorry, i read Lazzies’ post wrong… Supplanted Vietnam Army for “Vietnam era Army”…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  119. Andrew Lazarus (who may or may not be Andrew J Lazarus) wrote: Patterico, if you can bring four centuries’ of history making it quite clear that our claims are claptrap—as we have four centuries during which waterboarding was believed to be torture—then I’d say your summary was acceptable. In other words, Cheney isn’t just wrong. He’s moving the envelope on what constitutes torture by lying outright, and the journos have, for a change, called him on it and called a spade a spade.

    Well, if that’s the new rules of “journalism,” I can’t wait for the next time a reporter refers to homosexuality, s/he will not feel pressured to refer to it as an “orientation” or even a “lifestyle,” but as “unnatural,” “abnormal” or even “an abomination,” since that will be in concord with the past four hundred years’ popular opinion of the practice, including that of Thomas Jefferson.

    After all, nobody has the right to start “moving the envelope,” wouldn’t you agree? There should be no complaints, and if there are any, they should be ignored. Right?

    L.N. Smithee (2eff85)

  120. Patterico wrote to blah: You’re obviously too dense to realize that it’s possible to disdain exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our leadership, without urging blind trust in our leaders.

    Amen, brother. Critical thinking seems to be beyond some people. If the sole argument against something that the government says or does is “You can’t trust the government,” you’re only using your head so you’ll have somewhere to put your hat.

    L.N. Smithee (2eff85)

  121. AJL – You are assuming that the “waterboarding” referred to in those various times is the same technique applied in these specific circumstances. Assuming is not a good practice.

    JD (75f5c3)

  122. You are assuming that the “waterboarding” referred to in those various times is the same technique applied in these specific circumstances.

    Pity the videos went missing. Funny thing, that.

    Andrew Lazarus (871b1f)

  123. “My general view is that we should not be torturing people”
    In other words: “trust us to know when”

    “The discussion we have been having is on the margins. It relates to the high-value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or (if we captured him) Osama bin Laden. Rational people accept that these people are indeed terrorists.”
    Then why not torture all high value prisoners of war?
    The difference between the rule of law and the rule of men.

    And of course you’ve criticized the administration from the right, and on questions of competence and common sense once, in the Miers “debacle” as you call it. And it’s nice to see all the criticisms in one paragraph. But there’s a lot more out there. And no, you’re not particularly interested in the data on the effectiveness of torture, or on the history of the war, or the administrations failures. With the discussion of Lithwick you grab on to one hyperbolic sentence, as you did with my paragraph above. That’s fair tactics but elides the other, bigger issues.
    You can say if you want that Cheney’s twisting of the meanings of words pales when compared to Lithwick’s. You’re angry at her, not at him.
    “our enemies are also emboldened by exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our government.”

    That sentence says it all. It lays your priorities out front and center. I don’t have to respond with the avalanche of data that we both know is out there; I’ve posted a few links above already that’s enough.
    “Rutten and Lithwick Lie, Providing Propaganda for Terrorists”
    Cheney has provided so much more propaganda for terrorists it’s not even worth arguing. But you argue it. And you call it reason.
    http://web.mit.edu/humancostiraq/controversy.html
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/todays_must_read_273.php

    enough

    blah (cc959a)

  124. Yup, AJL. Lack of evidence is proof of a conspiracy. Funny how uninterested you and your ilk were in those videos prior to their destruction. Those fools played into the Lib game on this one, and gave you the ammunition to claim all sorts of nefarious motives after the tapes were destroyed. Funny how none of your congressional folks cared too much, until after the fact. The mendacity from you and yours should be breathtaking, but alas, it is predictable.

    JD (75f5c3)

  125. “our enemies are also emboldened by exaggerated and dishonest criticism of our government.”

    That sentence says it all.

    It does, doesn’t it, blah. It nicely sums up how the hyperbole, exaggeration, and outright lying from the left and their fellow travelers in the media has played into the PR machine of the terrorists. Aren’t you proud of the company you keep?

    JD (75f5c3)

  126. The criticism I listed was not all from the right, blah.

    Again you suggest that you are leaving. You’re welcome to stay gone if you like.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  127. For the love of god Pat, please help him leave…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  128. “My general view is that we should not be torturing people”
    Then give it the force of law.

    blah (cc959a)

  129. Funny how uninterested you and your ilk were in those videos prior to their destruction.

    We told the Administration to preserve them, but they were destroyed. Well, most of us didn’t know they existed at all. But some liberal-traitor sneaked in there and shredded them, even though they had the definitive evidence that our waterboarding is just nothing like bad peoples’ waterboarding.

    You know, most five year olds know what’s going on in an episode of Scooby-Doo, but to you it must be the most suspenseful, amazing show.

    Andrew Lazarus (871b1f)

  130. Then give it the force of law.

    Tell it to the Dems. They ARE the ones in charge of the branch that makes the laws…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  131. Then give it the force of law.

    Talk to your Democrats in Congress. They’re in power, you know.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  132. Jinx.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  133. Great minds think alike…

    And so do ours. :)

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  134. It already has the force of law.
    Everybody’s copping out and you and yours reap the benefits, politically at least, and in the short term.
    In the long run of course we’re losing,

    blah (cc959a)

  135. “My general view is that we should not be torturing people”
    Then give it the force of law.

    According to Tim Rutten, this quote is evidence of blah saying that torture is legal.

    AJL – You are tedious. Go did a little homework, and see all of the various things that you and yours have put into this blanket category of “waterboarding” throughout the years. When those tapes existed, and Nancy and Harry had watched them, why no outrage? Why wait until years later? Lying disengenuous political hacks is all you and yours are.

    JD (75f5c3)

  136. The rule of law

    FBI “Clean Team” Re-Interrogated 9/11 Suspects. “FBI and military interrogators who began work with the suspects in late 2006 called themselves the ‘Clean Team,’ and set as their goal collecting of virtually the same information the CIA had obtained from five of the six through duress at secret prisons. [...] Prosecutors and top administration officials essentially wanted to cleanse the information so that it could be used in court, a process that federal prosecutors typically follow in U.S. criminal cases with investigative problems or botched interrogations. Officials wanted to go into court without any doubts about the viability of their evidence, and they had serious reservations about the reliability of what the CIA had obtained for intelligence purposes. …

    “Notably absent from the Pentagon’s list [of those to go military commission trial] are Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein, commonly known as Abu Zubaida, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the detainees who, in addition to Mohammed, are known to have been subjected to waterboarding. Lawyers for the detainees have predicted that courts will throw out as illegal the evidence the CIA obtained in such sessions. …

    “‘There’s something in American jurisprudence called ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’: You can clean up the tree a little but it’s hard to do,’ said John D. Hutson, a retired Navy rear admiral and former judge advocate general. ‘Once you torture someone, it is hard to un-torture them. The general public is going to be concerned about the validity of the testimony.’”

    blah (cc959a)

  137. blah…your link simply continues the discussion that first, waterboarding may or may not be legal, and it may or may not be torture.

    Hear me out…

    The AG has said to Congress that he will not declare waterboarding torture. Therefore, the US Government stance can be interpreted as “waterboarding is not torture.” He has also said to the Congress that he has stopped the practice. That does not make it illegal. That simply is a set of guidelines to be followed by the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, etc.

    Waterboarding does not constitute torture under the rule of law. That has yet to be interpreted by the courts. However, if someone tries to use the evidence obtained in that fashion, it opens that option up for the defense. So, as your link points out, the prosecutors are trying to find the way around what they know, a process I believe is known as “inevitable discovery.”

    The poisonous tree has not been taken from yet, since the evidence has not been used for the case.

    reff (bff229)

  138. reff, two links for you: discussions, not answers.
    http://balkin.blogspot.com/2008/02/dissenting-view-on-prosecuting.html
    http://balkin.blogspot.com/2008/02/under-dire-circumstances-its-not.html

    “The poisonous tree has not been taken from yet, since the evidence has not been used for the case.”
    And if the FBI is spending a lot of time and money on a do-over, maybe it should have been done right the first time?

    And Pat. Heeeeeeere’s Nino:

    In the interview with the Law in Action programme on BBC Radio 4, he said it was “extraordinary” to assume that the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” – the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment – also applied to “so-called” torture.
    “To begin with the constitution… is referring to punishment for crime. And, for example, incarcerating someone indefinitely would certainly be cruel and unusual punishment for a crime.”
    Justice Scalia argued that courts could take stronger measures when a witness refused to answer questions. [The rack maybe?]

    Scalia’s your guy; so damn in favor of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

    blah (cc959a)

  139. Yes, because the rack is EXACTLY what he meant.

    Not harsher and more frequent contemp of court charges…

    dolt.

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  140. blah reads minds, Scott. He’s on to you, and Scalia. He knows!

    Pablo (99243e)

  141. In that case…

    Blah, what am I thinking right now?

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  142. You know, I respect the people over at Balkinization who argue the same crap blah does, because they are sincere. Idiots but sincere. blah is definitely not sincere. His only purpose is to distract, annoy and demoralize.

    The doctrine of exclusion of confessions obtained by torture is around 90 years old now. It’s become part of Due Process independent of self-incrimination. More than that, it’s become a part of judicial, prosecutorial and, dare I say, police ethics. So it’s not likely that the terrorists’ confessions, if obtained by torture, will ever come into court either in the case-in-chief or for impeachment.

    As for “fruit of the poisoned tree”, we are talking about an entirely different question and you don’t need to be a lawyer. Take the case of Jessica Lunsford. I would have put her kidnapper through Hell to make him say where he had buried her alive. Would any sensible society exclude her dead body as evidence, at his trial? Or the location of the “grave” whether she was found alive or dead?

    nk (514d4e)

  143. P.S. No Warden v. Brewer cites from the lawyers. It’s a *different* question.

    nk (514d4e)

  144. “Not harsher and more frequent contemp of court charges…”
    No Scott.

    “I suppose it’s the same thing about so-called torture. Is it really so easy to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the constitution?” he asked.
    “It would be absurd to say you couldn’t do that. And once you acknowledge that, we’re into a different game.
    “How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be?”

    “You know, I respect the people over at Balkinization who argue the same crap blah does, because they are sincere. Idiots but sincere.
    That’s just funny.

    blah (cc959a)

  145. *cough*

    Blah you went to an entirely different issue, jumping from treating people on the witness stand more harshly, to the classic ticking time-bomb scenario…

    Please, pick a point you wish to discuss, and stick to it. For once.

    And NK’s wrong, Blah. You are sincere…

    Well, at least from the perspective of your worldview. from any point outside that small, small little bubble you live in, it’s called rank intellectual dishonesty…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)


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