Patterico's Pontifications

2/10/2008

Tim Rutten Lies About Cheney’s CPAC Speech

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:52 am

Tim Rutten:

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 found it curious that Cheney would say he was “glad the administration had tortured people.” That doesn’t sound like something he’d say. And I don’t really trust Tim Rutten, since he has lied to me so many times in the past.

So I checked the transcript.

I first searched for the word “torture” and found that Cheney had used it only once in the speech:

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values. We’re proud of our country and what it stands for.

That doesn’t quite sound like Cheney saying he was glad we tortured people.

So I decided to look up the context of the Cheney quote: “Would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would.” Here it is:

Our new strategy in Iraq has succeeded by careful planning, and by close attention to changing conditions on the battlefield. The same will be true of any drawdown of troops. On behalf of the President, I can assure you that the decision will be based on what is right for our security and best for the troops — without regard to polls, elite opinion, or flip-flops by politicians in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

From the very morning our nation was attacked on 9/11, the President of the United States has had to make some immensely enormous decisions. Every day he faces responsibilities that others would pale before. I’ve been there with him. I’ve seen him make the tough calls, and then weather the criticism and take the hits. President Bush has been tough and courageous. He’s made the right decisions for the right reasons, and he always reflects the best values of the American people. I’ve been proud to stand by him and by the decisions he’s made. And I would support those same — and would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would. (Applause.)

The important thing to remember, six and a half years after 9/11, is that the war on terror is still real, that it won’t be won on the defensive, and that we have to proceed on many fronts at the same time. For those of us who work in offices and sit at desks in Washington, the sacrifices required are pretty small compared to those of Americans serving in the Iraqi desert, or in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the public servants who work day and night, with little margin for error, to detect a secret enemy before it’s too late.

That doesn’t sound like Cheney was supporting torture either.

I’m not great at mind-reading, but I’m going to guess that this is the passage Rutten was referring to:

Just as we’ve monitored the communications of enemies at large, we’ve also gotten information out of the ones that we have captured. The military has interrogated terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. And in addition, a small number of terrorists, high-value targets, held overseas have gone through an interrogation program run by the CIA. It’s a tougher program, for tougher customers. (Applause.) These include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11. He 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. (Applause.)

The procedures of the CIA program are designed to be safe, and they are in full compliance with the nation’s laws and treaty obligations. They’ve been carefully reviewed by the Department of Justice, and very carefully monitored. The program is run by highly trained professionals who understand their obligations under the law. And the program has uncovered a wealth of information that has foiled attacks against the United States; information that has saved thousands of lives. (Applause.)

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values. We’re proud of our country and what it stands for. We expect all of those who serve America to conduct themselves with honor. And we enforce those rules. Some years ago, when abuses were committed at Abu Ghraib prison, a facility that had nothing to do with the CIA program, the abuses that came to light were, in fact, investigated, and those responsible were prosecuted.

I suppose Rutten would argue that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was, in his view, tortured — and that Cheney, by praising his interrogation, is supporting torture. Fine; if Rutten wants to make that argument, let him make it.

But that’s not what Rutten said. He said Cheney told people he was “glad the administration had tortured people.” And Cheney didn’t tell people that. At all. Cheney said: “We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values.”

Rutten has told a lie. And he should be called on the carpet for it.

If you feel like beating your head against a wall, here’s the address: ReadersRep@latimes.com. Me, I’m not bothering. At the L.A. Times, if it’s an opinion column, anything goes — and the facts be damned.

That goes double for Tim Rutten.

But if you write them, copy me on the e-mail. If I like your letter enough, I’ll publish it.

100 Responses to “Tim Rutten Lies About Cheney’s CPAC Speech”

  1. It’s pretty easy living in a society that actually believes it’s against the law to protect “yourself” and your family, (remember that means “the children”, with deadly force to understand where such herbage could come from.

    Seems that Rutten defoliated his own drawers.

    So it seems that Russert is just ANOTHER lying pos of the msm.

    News at 6 and 10 film at 11. Cept this is not news and nobody, wil lhear abut it, unless they tune into Patterico!

    TC (1cf350)

  2. I’m not so surprised anymore — the MSM lies in order to remain relevant…Rutten, you’re a liar, plain and simple.

    Richard Romano (3df804)

  3. What a bunch of typical “screw the facts” leftist manuer. Typical.

    Mark (7aa6f5)

  4. My email to Rutten:

    Dear Mr. Rutten:

    I am no fan of Dick Cheney, but I am an American and I do value truth. The way you manipulated the Mr. Cheney’s words, stripped them of their original context and supplied your own in order to libel him is disgraceful.

    I’ve seen enough “Bush Lied, People Died,” bumper stickers to understand, if I had not already, the consequences of perceived dishonesty. It erodes national confidence and undermines America’s standing in the world.

    But what about outright dishonesty by the news media? One could argue that given the media’s watchdog role, dishonesty such as yours also kills. It mires our political discourse in invective, prevents an honest exchange on the issues, and eliminates all possibility of reform.

    You, sir, are a disgrace to the proud journalistic tradition in this country which exposed wrongdoings and brought them to the light of truth. You have eliminated truth as an element of journalism, eroded the public trust in the fourth estate, and left the public to fend for themselves amidst a constant storm of angry accusations with no basis in fact. You have sewn confusion. You have stabbed your fellow Americans in the back.

    Rutten lied, the truth died.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Rush
    Los Angeles

    Kevin Rush (b31bd9)

  5. Pisso, just chill, The ends justify the means! What till the left/socialist get power. They’ll start cracking a whole lot of eggs to make one HELL of a big omette!

    Mac-101 (2ec364)

  6. Mr. Rush: Very well said.

    Old Coot (1fcc3a)

  7. Hey, great catch Patterico. I posted this over at Newsbusters… making sure not to mention you at all, of course (LOL).

    Warner Todd Huston (5dcd8a)

  8. Heh.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  9. Kevin Rush

    Few could say it better than you -what a magnificent job of not only calling the leftist lying press on what they do – but you held them to the consequences of what they do as being harmful to the country.

    The first amendment has been abused so much by the press -they have taken that privelige and contorted it to spread leftist lies and prevent truth from being heard. Satan – the father of lies – would be proud of their skills.

    Don L (2b4e7c)

  10. Apparently, Rutten is sad we prevented more attacks after 9/11.

    See? It’s easy being a sloppy (or worse) journalist.

    SteveMG (eb8e19)

  11. So, it isn’t torture until Dick Cheney says it is?

    Do the same rules apply for Castro, Chavez, et. al.?

    Should it have been, “Under the definition of torture used by the civilized world and by the United States prior to the Bush Administration, Dick Cheney said he would torture again.”? Would that make you happy?

    Andrew Lazarus (49cebf)

  12. Andrew, in America it is not a definition, it is a law.

    Show us the law that says waterboarding is torture.

    It does not exist.

    There may be Executive Orders, but no law.

    But, on a more important note, that is not what Dick Cheney said in the speech, is it? You choose to twist what he means also, don’t you?

    reff (99666d)

  13. While Mr Cheney may not approve of torture in the speech mentioned, once again he tries to tie 9/11 to the Iraqi regime and continues to spread the notion that we are in Iraq due to 9/11. “The important thing to remember, six and a half years after 9/11, is that the war on terror is still real, that it won’t be won on the defensive, and that we have to proceed on many fronts at the same time. For those of us who work in offices and sit at desks in Washington, the sacrifices required are pretty small compared to those of Americans serving in the Iraqi desert, or in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the public servants who work day and night, with little margin for error, to detect a secret enemy before it’s too late.” Is it too much to ask that the Vice president to quit tying 9/11 to the Iraq war. It is already well documented that the intelligence used to support the relationship was enhanced.

    A Harris (7696cc)

  14. Oh, and Andrew…

    The same rules do not apply to Castro, Chavez, etc, et. al. Exactly the opposite is true. They do what they feel like doing, and no one in the world gives a damn. Remember, that et. al. includes all those who maim and torture, including those who beheaded Daniel Pearl, shot and threw overboard Leon Klinghoffer, abused John McCain (and no, I’m not for him, I voted for Romney even though he dropped out in before the Louisiana primary) and the thousands of other REAL cases of torture that go on each year, none of which we ever seem to hear complaints about from people like you…

    reff (99666d)

  15. AHarris…

    Please show us in the quoted text above where Vice President Cheney tied 9-11 to Iraq.

    Explain your answer.

    reff (99666d)

  16. Reff, your argument is vacuous. The laws prohibiting torture do not single out the rack, but if it turned out that we were using the rack, it would be no defense to say “Show us the law that the rack is torture.”

    Would you like to defend that proposition? That the rack isn’t torture because Congress hasn’t passed a law saying that “The rack is torture.”? Or would you agree that the rack is torture because it fits the definition of torture provided by law. (I don’t know what you mean by Executive Orders; the International Convention Against Torture is a treaty we ratified and there are other laws prohibiting torture.)

    So the only question is whether waterboarding satisfies the definition of torture, not the ridiculous red herring of whether it’s mentioned as torture in a specific law. While the Bush Remnant buries their head in the sand saying they aren’t sure and they haven’t made up their minds, waterboarding was considered torture in the past (see previous link).

    Why not come clean: our practice of torture makes you feel safer, and you just love it when Cheney announces he’s a war criminal and would do it again.

    Andrew Lazarus (49cebf)

  17. (I don’t know what you mean by Executive Orders; the International Convention Against Torture is a treaty we ratified and there are other laws prohibiting torture.)

    Ignoring all opther points, I have to take this moment to point out that the international community can do/say whatever it damn well likes, US law is what we go by around here. An “international convention” is not, I’m afraid, something I’m willing to base my decisions on.

    Because, you know, they aren’t actually in charge here.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  18. Scott, when we ratify a treaty, it’s the law. Our law. US law.

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;

    So get out of your black helicopter and understand that torture is illegal under American law. (When did ignorance of the Constitution become a conservative value?)

    Andrew Lazarus (49cebf)

  19. Patterico;

    Were you present for that speech? I think Rutten was present, and his notes reflect what was ACTUALLY said, not the sanitized version found on the WH website. The WH is scrubbing and editing?

    no way…….

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/2/25/153120/172

    http://www.appletreeblog.com/?p=1821

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  20. Andrew L:

    Waterboarding is not at all like the ‘rack’ — you are making a false extrapolation. Waterboarding has been used sparingly and only on those who were planning large scale attacks on innocent civilians.

    If you disagree with this, then I have to wonder if you even have a moral compass.

    Richard Romano (3df804)

  21. There is no Love in lying. So where is the “love” generation coming from. What insanity is so common to those who feel they have no power and that lying will change the outcome.

    Jer Garcia (94e526)

  22. Waterboarding is not at all like the ‘rack’ — you are making a false extrapolation. Waterboarding has been used sparingly and only on those who were planning large scale attacks on innocent civilians.

    In what way does being used sparingly differentiate waterboarding from the rack? Could we not also be using the rack sparingly and only on those who were planning large scale attacks on innocent civilians? And if we were using the rack in such a manner—you would be defending it in the same way, wouldn’t you?

    Doesn’t the total illogic of these defenses suggest another dynamic at work? Say a primal desire to injure and maltreat those who wish to harm us?

    Andrew Lazarus (49cebf)

  23. semanticles

    what you’ve done is to say,your evidence is unacceptable to me,But,many people,myself among them,would protest,because semanticles doesn’t like something doesn’t mean it didn’t occur.Let me illustrate using Patrick’s and my professions.let’s say a woman claims she was raped.I’m unfortunate enough to be in the ER,do the vag swabs,send for polymerase,do a pregnancy test(let’s make it negative as well as the STD tests.I take the pics showing her bruises.
    patrick is the prosector.He establishes the guy was seen running from the woman’s apartment;that she identifies him in a line up.That he has a conviction for rape on his record,scratches on his faace when arrested,etc.
    Now,let’s stipulate,’sematicles’ said there was no evidence it happened .Do you think ths defense attorney is going to try to use that as a defense?
    “In the Beginning,there was the Word,and the Word was ‘semanticles’.See?it just doesn’t work.Idiot.

    corwin (5c8013)

  24. PsI’ve been reliably informed(by my oldest and toungest brothers0 that the imginary rapist’s previous would not be admissable.But,what do I know?

    corwin (5c8013)

  25. Were you present for that speech? I think Rutten was present. . .

    Really? Notice how Rutten does not claim that he was present? “Meanwhile, in an other part of the city. . .” I would bet that Rutten either read the transcript provided by the White House, or (perhaps more likely) read it on Kos and drew his conclusions from that.

    But I am sure that Rutten wants you to believe that he was present, and that is why he constructed those paragraphs accordingly. Looks like he duped you, Semanticleo. Do you also think that Maureen Dowd is hanging with Hillary in New Hampshire when she is in fact in Israel (and I used a HuffPo link just so you won’t try to claim that it’s a right-wing hit piece)?

    JVW (b03dfa)

  26. PsI’ve been reliably informed(by my oldest and toungest brothers0 that the imginary rapist’s previous would not be admissable.

    It would be, were he to take the stand, to impeach his credibility. And in his sentencing. Not to mention at his bail hearing.

    nk (315ffd)

  27. Andrew, while I know little of what legally constitutes torture, and I accept your premise that is illegal, I also accept the idea that our government interprets laws. The AG recently went before Congress again and stated that waterboarding is not illegal under our laws. For that matter, the rack may not be illegal under our laws. Your argument ignores that point. So, yes, it is possible that your forms of torture are not “torture” under the law. If you want to assume that this idea gives people like you some moral high ground, so be it. But, I’ll stick by the rules as they are presented to me by those who know the law better than I do. And, as you pointed out, while it may have been considered torture in the past, that changes as interpretations of laws change. I have a personal definition of torture: I make you tell me what you know, without killing you. That may not be legal, but my morality says that I can only have the moral high ground if I am alive, not dead. Dead men have no morality. They are only dead. And, please note, in my past, I followed the law when I had to deal with it. I have no fear of the law or my God when it comes to my actions on this area.

    At the same time, the AG also said he will not allow waterboarding to be used again. Ok, good for him. If he is vacillating between legality and morality, so be it. That is the human process we all live by.

    As for your last comment, I’ll simply ignore stupidity. You’ve got better points that that one.

    reff (99666d)

  28. To me, Andrew Lazarus displayed his real atttude about torture when he told us above that he believes merely asking terrorists questions in a harsh tone of voice constitutues “torture” because it “satisfies the definition of torture.”

    That tells you all you need to know about his priorities.

    Why not come clean, Andrew: our practice of asking terrorists harsh questions bothers you, because you actually *want* to see us get attacked again.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  29. Stand by for sputtering.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  30. “Few could say it better than you -what a magnificent job of not only calling the leftist lying press on what they do – but you held them to the consequences of what they do as being harmful to the country.

    The first amendment has been abused so much by the press -they have taken that privelige and contorted it to spread leftist lies and prevent truth from being heard. Satan – the father of lies – would be proud of their skills.”

    - Don L

    Oh… geez. Gimme a fucking break.

    You wanna talk about the First Amendment? Let’s talk about Buckley vs. Valeo. Let’s talk about the implications of interpreting “freedom of speech” to mean “freedom to bribe government officials”.

    Have I got the right case, lawyers/legal scholars?

    Leviticus (2098b0)

  31. “Stand by for sputtering.”

    No need for that. Just let my comment stand.

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  32. levi…that’s a legal case…where rulings will be made, and some sense of justice will emerge…

    What Rutten does is simply lie, distort, misquote, misapply…and there is no justice, no rulings, infact, there is usually some pitiful defense from the paper…

    So, yes, the press does abuse it’s First Amendment privilage….

    reff (99666d)

  33. “What Rutten does is simply lie, distort, misquote, misapply…and there is no justice, no rulings, infact, there is usually some pitiful defense from the paper…

    So, yes, the press does abuse it’s First Amendment privilage….”

    - reff

    Huh? How do you get from “Tim Rutten lies” to “The press” – in general – “abuses its First Amendment privilege”?

    And how can you say that “there’s no justice” for someone like Cheney? Think you’ve got a case, Dick? Sue him for libel.

    Leviticus (2098b0)

  34. Being locked up by infidels constitutes mental suffering, and is therefore torture. And thus, we should free every last one of those we have detained.

    Right, Andrew? Leviticus?

    Pablo (99243e)

  35. See, Andrew, what I did up there was, I divined what I thought you were *really* saying in your comment — and then I explicitly ascribed that statement to you.

    See how much fun that is?

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  36. Oh, and then, for good measure, I made a ridiculous accusation against you, saying that you supported something that I know good Goddamned well you don’t support — but that it made me feel good to say.

    That little trick, I didn’t learn from Rutten. I learned it from you and your cohorts.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  37. I think Rutten was present, and his notes reflect what was ACTUALLY said, not the sanitized version found on the WH website.

    ‘cleo, do you have any reason to believe (make that any reason for anyone rational to believe) that this is anything other than a verbatim transcript of Cheney’s speech? A link showing that the WH website rolls off old content is not such a reason. Care to try again or retract?

    Pablo (99243e)

  38. Semanticleo,

    If you have proof that the transcript for Cheney’s speech is inaccurate, let’s hear it.

    If you don’t, please don’t pretend that you do.

    Also, where do you find support for your assertion that Rutten was present for the speech? He doesn’t say he was.

    You seem to be very proud of a comment that has no substance.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  39. If anyone wonders why the Tribune Company’s bonds are now rated as “junk”, Tim Rutten just provided the answer.

    Mescalero (13d307)

  40. For that matter, the rack may not be illegal under our laws. Your argument ignores that point.

    Yes, it certainly does. I also ignored the possibility that Auschwitz is legal under our laws, or that the Oklahoma City bombing was legal under our laws, and that hijacking the planes on 9/11 was legal under our laws, because every one of these examples, including yours, is absurd.

    The rack is illegal under our laws. Maybe you should review that before posting.

    The real force of your argument is that the “War on Islamofascism” provides an excuse for you to let your id run free. You said it yourself:

    Dead men have no morality. They are only dead.

    Every butcher in history has an excuse that runs more or less that way; only whom they fear and can therefore mistreat—the Communists, the Fascists, the Jews—changes.

    It is now, perhaps, a conservative idea that the definition of torture changes depending largely on who is doing it and how scared they are (although in Dick Cheney’s case, more likely perverted than scared). I must say, such moral relativism has not been associated with conservative thought in the past. I liked the old version better.

    As for Patterico’s example: the journalists are doing us something of a favor by placing Cheney’s remarks in the context of the actual practice he defends, which is torture (under the pre-9/11 definition). Good journalists do similar service when they expose the euphemisms of Chavez and Mugabe. Whose ox, I guess.

    Andrew Lazarus (49cebf)

  41. I continue to be baffled that Andrew Lazarus explicitly supports journalists lying to their readers. I can understand someone wanting journalists to go behind people’s assertions, but Andrew wants more. Andrew says that columnists like Rutten “are doing us something of a favor” by lying to people, because the lies further the greater good of supporting policies that Andrew likes.

    I guess we all knew liberals thought that way, but it’s rather shocking to see Andrew admitting it so openly.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  42. What I am doing to Andrew here is different from Rutten’s technique only in this way: you can easily look at Andrew’s comment to see if I am representing it accurately. (I am representing it as accurately as Rutten represents Cheney’s remarks.) The reader of Rutten’s column, by contrast, has to go look up Cheney’s speech to verify Rutten’s characterization.

    Why do you love lies, Andrew??!!

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  43. If I can be serious for a moment:

    Andrew, I say in the post that Rutten has an argument that he could have made, that would have put Cheney’s remarks in the light in which Rutten believes they should be viewed — yet still would have been honest.

    There is a difference between saying:

    In his speech, Cheney claims to be against torture — but in reality, he supports it, because he praises the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. That interrogation included waterboarding, which any rational person sees as torture.

    And saying:

    Cheney said the U.S. has tortured people, that he is glad we did, and that he’d do it again.

    I might not entirely agree with the first argument, but it would be honest.

    The second argument s just a goddamned lie.

    Why do you defend the lie? Why not instead concede the fact that Rutten worded his argument in a dishonest way, and argue that, had he worded it differently, he would have had a valuable point?

    By insisting on supporting a lie, you cost yourself valuable credibility.

    I’m probably wasting my time trying to explain this to you. But it really mystifies me how so many partisans (on both sides) will tolerate rank dishonesty if it supports their political position. And, oh yeah, that description fits you to a “T.”

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  44. “where do you find support for your assertion that Rutten was present for the speech”

    I don’t know if he was present, but I do know
    you were not.

    Are you saying it’s impossible the speech
    was’nt ‘tidied-up’ by legal?

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  45. Mr. Lazarus: An intellectually honest advocate for a position acknowledges and then grapples with his opponents’ positions.

    In this issue, definitions are important. The issue cannot be meaningfully or honestly discussed without acknowledging that there are fundamental underlying disputes about what the meaning of “torture” is. Even when there are international agreements, statutes, or regulations that purport to provide definitions, the application of those definitions to specific practices can still be grounds for legitimate controversy. Sometimes even the practice itself is poorly defined: I’m reasonably sure that the degree of discomfort and inherent risk of permanent injury can be ratcheted up or down very substantially within the confines of what you and others are referring to here as “waterboarding,” and those differences may be hugely significant from the subject’s point of view — being “dunked” may not equate at all to being effectively drowned and then artificially resuscitated.

    Rutten’s piece obscures all this. One in his position of responsibility, with his unarguable exposure to the issues, cannot plausibly claim to have done so innocently. His more sophisticated readers (which probably include most readers and commenters here) probably would guess that when Rutten writes (in an op-ed) that “[Cheney] told [his audience] that he was glad the administration had tortured people and that he’d do it again,” without using quotation marks himself, that Rutten’s own strong opinions have already been factored into his choice of language — and those readers are unlikely to be deceived, regardless of whether they approve and agree with Rutten’s value judgments and hidden spin.

    But some 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.

    This issue is indeed a troublesome one that deserves careful thought, and that demands careful language. By defending someone like Rutten who purposefully (or inexcusably) uses misleading language, you turn yourself into a non-serious advocate.

    If you care about your credibility, I seriously recommend that you re-think, and that you do what Rutten refused to do — i.e., be honest and careful with your own language, and be forthright in admitting when your political ally (here, Rutten) hasn’t been.

    Beldar (3df1f4)

  46. Semanticleo,

    You affirmatively described the transcript as “sanitized.”

    You now admit that you don’t know that to be true.

    Your argument would have been more effective if you had stuck to things you could prove, rather than making assertions you can’t support.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  47. Beldar,

    Very well said. Much better than I said it, actually.

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  48. ” 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.”

    A good lawyer would recognize the ‘flip-side’ of this purported argument; that Cheney believes his ordination justifies torture when the ends justify the means. Simple deduction, my dear Dr.

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  49. A question, for anyone defending Rutten: Suppose I write the following paragraph on my blog:

    On the campaign trail yesterday, Hillary Clinton defended the practice of murdering babies by smashing their skulls and sucking out their brains, so long as their mothers might arguably be able to live happier, more carefree and stress-free lives by virtue of eliminating their parental obligations. The junior senator from New York expressed glee for the idea that such victims’ fathers might be deprived both of any advance say in the murder or any right to complain about it afterwards. (This is consistent with her views that fathers’ contributions to child-rearing are negligible and that instrumentalities of the state, a/k/a “a village,” ought to have superseding rights and responsibilities even as compared to married parents.) Clinton particularly cackled while relishing the thought that some teenaged girls might be persuaded to cooperate in the murder of their babies by the prospect of being able to keep secret from their own parents their decisions to murder their babies.

    Izzat okay? Objections cured because it’s only an “op-ed” on my blog? How about if I add some (fake) quote marks, would that be okay?

    Beldar (3df1f4)

  50. Izzat okay?

    I dunno. But it would auger well for those single-issue voters to practice the Agape Love
    they espouse by exerting every effort possible to secure sound christian adoptive homes for the unwanted children clogging our prison system, not to mention our morgues.

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  51. So, it isn’t torture until Dick Cheney says it is?

    Do the same rules apply for Castro, Chavez, et. al.?

    Should it have been, “Under the definition of torture used by the civilized world and by the United States prior to the Bush Administration, Dick Cheney said he would torture again.”? Would that make you happy?

    Comment by Andrew Lazarus

    Wow, you managed to squeeze in a non sequiter, an ad hominem, and a straw man into 4 sentences. You’re hitting almost a fallacy per sentence. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s impressive.

    burke (489061)

  52. The “controversy” about waterboarding as torture shares much with the artificial “controversy” over evolution created by advocates of Creationism. Up until the moment that the Bush Administration authorized waterboarding, it was considered torture. Had the Administration instead authorized the rack, an identical “controversy” would have arisen, with all manner of gobbledegook about Article II powers, about the danger posed by the detainees who were racked, about the brevity and rarity of the use of the rack, extraterritoriality, and the rest of the fig leaves.

    Beldar’s point is comparatively well-taken.

    On the campaign trail yesterday, Hillary Clinton defended the practice of murdering babies by smashing their skulls and sucking out their brains, so long as their mothers might arguably be able to live happier, more carefree and stress-free lives by virtue of eliminating their parental obligations. [etc]

    I object to two words here, namely “murdering” and “babies”. A fetus is not a baby in any standard definition, and describing abortion as “murder” is, as you would say, highly controversial. (Equating abortion with “murder” is a largely post-Roe development, as far as I can tell.) However, I think a journalist should indeed explain that “pro-choice” means legal elective abortion, and to decode whatever other euphemisms are out there. I also think that even if “murdering babies” is replaced by “aborting fetuses”, the Beldar comment is distinct from Rutten’s. For example, I don’t think HRC has ever defended abortion using words that would justify ascription of “glee”, while Cheney’s defense of practices-that-used-to-be-torture uses “glad”, itself. However, I’m not familiar with all of HRC’s speeches, and perhaps there’s something she said that would warrant the paraphrase above.

    As far as Cheney saying the opposite of what Rutten reports, let me put it this way: I wouldn’t expect journalists to repeat speeches about “guided democracy” or “democratic centralism” without making clear their anti-democratic nature. And Cheney’s waterboard-not-torture-ism is the same quality of oxymoron.

    Andrew Lazarus (49cebf)

  53. Are you saying it’s impossible the speech was’nt ‘tidied-up’ by legal?

    You said it was sanitized, and that Rutten had the real deal. Defend that assertion, or retract it.

    After all, it’s possible that you’re posting from the nurse’s station in a sanitarium. Shall we assume that to be the fact of the matter?

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. I object to two words here, namely “murdering” and “babies”. A fetus is not a baby in any standard definition, and describing abortion as “murder” is, as you would say, highly controversial.

    Ah, but that’s by YOUR metric. I can find you many, many others who vehemently disagree and who can make eloquent credible arguments for their positions. In fact, they can document it with photographic and scientific evidence. And I can quote them and link to their statements as you did in your # 11.

    How is that any different? Except, of course, that there’s a corpse involved here and not in waterboarding.

    Pablo (99243e)

  55. As far as Cheney saying the opposite of what Rutten reports, let me put it this way: I wouldn’t expect journalists to repeat speeches about “guided democracy” or “democratic centralism” without making clear their anti-democratic nature. And Cheney’s waterboard-not-torture-ism is the same quality of oxymoron.

    Comment by Andrew Lazarus — 2/10/2008 @ 3:36 pm

    Rutten had every opportunity to argue against what Cheney actually had to say about waterboarding. Instead he decided to demonize Cheney by lying about his remarks. He’s not doing any favors for those of us who think waterboarding goes too far. Neither are you.

    burke (489061)

  56. andrew,I’m not an OB,but during residency years,I’ve delivered 34 wk gest age infants who did just fine.No iv’s,no incubator,not even any nasal oxygen.Now,according to you a 34 EGA in utero is fair game.What makes the post partum 34 wk EGA infant a human?Shifting of the heart from right sided to left sided circulation? Going from Hgb F to HgbA?Give me a reason why in utero it’s OK for me to kill.
    And,you know Andrew,I really don’t care about the first tm proceedures.But there should be a limit.

    corwin (5c8013)

  57. Tim Rutten displays a style which has become current. Sloth displaces deliberation and weak arguments are fortified by vigor and emotion. The prospect of searching for the truth has a chilling effect and thus the goal is to say what he wished were so at the expense of truth. Such people frighten me for they have not the grit it takes to think with clarity and lack the courage to face their own prejudice.

    William Prueter (5ab9ee)

  58. I can also point to people who are doing life in prison for killing fetuses or are even on death row for killing a fetus. So, if it’s ever happened and it was murder, it’s got to be murder anytime it happens! Especially now that people have decided that the act is murder and people have been punished for it.

    That’s basically your waterboarding argument reapplied, isn’t it, Andrew?

    Pablo (99243e)

  59. For example, I don’t think HRC has ever defended abortion using words that would justify ascription of “glee”, while Cheney’s defense of practices-that-used-to-be-torture uses “glad”, itself.

    Time’s Nina Burleigh picks up that slack.

    Pablo (99243e)

  60. (although in Dick Cheney’s case, more likely perverted than scared)

    Wow. Is there no depth of ad hominem to which you won’t sink? We’ve already witnessed your well-established habit of overstatement and mischaracterization, now you stoop to gross and unsupported insults. Nice job!

    Are you saying it’s impossible the speech
    was’nt ‘tidied-up’ by legal?

    It’s not up to us to prove a negative. Unless you want to prove that it’s impossible that you don’t have sex with goats and steal money from widows and orphans.

    Steverino (3cbef4)

  61. “Being locked up by infidels constitutes mental suffering, and is therefore torture. And thus, we should free every last one of those we have detained.

    Right, Andrew? Leviticus?”

    - Pablo

    Since I know you’re an intelligent individual, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re being ironic on this one (although the fact that such a comment could be considered anything but ironic speaks ill of the general state of political discourse in which we find ourselves). That said…

    When did I make any attempt to excuse Rutten’s actions? Obviously, he contorted Cheney’s statement – lied about it, even.

    My sole intention was to deride Don L’s hysterics.
    I’ve got nothing at stake here.
    It’s not like anyone’s planning on having a major change of heart in re: What Constitutes Torture.

    Leviticus (f22d17)

  62. Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, said “it’s a good thing” that top al Qaeda figures underwent the harsh interrogation tactic in 2002 and 2003

    http://cbs3.com/topstories/cheney.waterboarding.defense.2.649475.html

    So there’s a vast difference between being “glad” and “it’s a good thing.” Good one Patterico. Everyone’s falling for that one.

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  63. Psyberian,

    I gave a link to a transcript. Why are you relying on CBS’s distortion of his remarks, when I have provided a link to the actual remarks?

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  64. So CBS is lying too, I see. It’s a full-fledged conspiracy now then?

    But Aw… Poor little Cheney-poo is being misunderestimated. The truth is, he is glad that we tortured. He’s just that Machiavellian. He’s one evil, black-hearted soul in my book.

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  65. Fake but accurate?

    nk (315ffd)

  66. Psy,

    Look at the transcript.

    As I have said an incredible number of times, Cheney’s remarks COULD BE INTERPRETED as SUGGESTING that he approved of waterboarding.

    That is quite different from his SAYING that he APPROVED of TORTURE.

    CBS distorts less, because CBS doesn’t make the leap to calling KSM’s treatment “torture.” But I urge you simply to put aside your partisan eyeglasses and read the transcript.

    He said it’s a good thing KSM was in custody and it’s a good thing we found out what he knew.

    That’s what he said was a good thing.

    He did NOT say it was a good thing (or that he was glad) KSM was “tortured.”

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  67. Leviticus, my comment had little to nothing to do with Rutten. It has to do with the declaration that waterboarding is torture as declared in Andrew’s link in #11, because it induces mental suffering. Ergo, anything that induces mental suffering is de facto torture. By that logic, you should agree. Ironic though it may have been, I’m mocking that position, and asking you to defend it. Will you?

    Pablo (99243e)

  68. The truth is, he is glad that we tortured. He’s just that Machiavellian. He’s one evil, black-hearted soul in my book.

    …and I weep for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubayda, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. May Gaia bless their tender souls.

    You’re a prince among men, Psyberian.

    Pablo (99243e)

  69. Patterico,

    He did NOT say it was a good thing (or that he was glad) KSM was “tortured.”

    And what he did say was:

    The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values. We’re proud of our country and what it stands for. We expect all of those who serve America to conduct themselves with honor. And we enforce those rules. Some years ago, when abuses were committed at Abu Ghraib prison, a facility that had nothing to do with the CIA program, the abuses that came to light were, in fact, investigated, and those responsible were prosecuted.

    If Rutten was there, he must have heard that, right?

    Pablo (99243e)

  70. Well Patterico, Cheney’s rep. precedes him. We all know who is and what he stands for, so it’s too late to play games with this.

    Pablo, you my friend, are uncivilized. How can we ask other countries not to torture when we do it ourselves?

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  71. The exact quote is “we don’t torture.” Factually untrue, the Administration did order torture and does actively cooperate with torturers although we no longer do it ourselves (as we did on at least 3 occasions we have, at a minimum, waterboarded — near universally — save for administrative apologist & the right wing echo chamber — condemned as torture).

    So when the LA Times states

    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.”

    Perhaps a more accurate quote would be waterboarded, however, in light of the fact that up to 1/20/2001 we defined waterboarding as torture ……

    sef (c52282)

  72. Pysberian, you my friend, are an idiot. But KSM loves you. Wanna ask him not to torture? I’m sure Danny Pearl will appreciate your efforts. Or at least he would have if KSM hadn’t hacked his head off with a knife.

    Pablo (99243e)

  73. I won’t claim to know, for certain, whether waterboarding violates US law. AG Mukasey seems to demur on the specific question — and he spent a fair amount of time as a federal judge. So did DHS Secretary Chertoff.

    It would seem, at least, that reasonable and qualified people can and do disagree on the matter. So to say that it’s, de jure, positively either legal or illegal seems a stretch.

    I, personally, think it’s a disservice to the debate to call it torture — the same way we’d call putting somebody in hot oil ‘torture’. There are clearly degrees to how bad coercive interrogation tactics can be — and those degrees would naturally correspond to our willingness to accept them.

    Saddam Hussein tortured people. Vlad the Impaler tortured people. Whether it’s legal or not and whether it should be allowed or not, it just doesn’t serve much purpose to lump waterboarding in with things these guys did.

    That said, Rutten’s obviously a hack.

    Contrarian_Libertarian (23c9f7)

  74. Pablo, you keep on believin’ in our government’s torturing program. Because our government can’t get squat done right, but it when it comes to torturing and killing, we’re top notch right?

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  75. …and I weep for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubayda, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. May Gaia bless their tender souls.

    Nice company you’ve got on your high horse, Psyberian.

    Pablo (99243e)

  76. ““Being locked up by infidels constitutes mental suffering, and is therefore torture. And thus, we should free every last one of those we have detained.”

    Right, Andrew? Leviticus?”

    - Pablo

    “Since I know you’re an intelligent individual, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re being ironic on this one… When did I make any attempt to excuse Rutten’s actions? Obviously, he contorted Cheney’s statement – lied about it, even.”

    - Leviticus

    “Leviticus, my comment had little to nothing to do with Rutten.”

    - Pablo

    Aha. Ummm… wow. In a post about how Tim Rutten’s a liar for putting words in other people’s mouths, you go and… put words in other people’s mouths.

    I didn’t say anything about releasing detainees because waterboarding constitutes “mental suffering”. You must have *misinterpreted* my words in a horrible way to draw that meaning from them…

    I suggest a post decrying Pablo for putting words in the mouth of an unsuspecting innocent. How about it, Patterico?

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  77. Aha. Ummm… wow. In a post about how Tim Rutten’s a liar for putting words in other people’s mouths, you go and… put words in other people’s mouths.

    No, I was responding to Andrew’s link, and offered a logic extension of the argument made I asked a question, nitwit. At no point did I attribute any statement to anyone, let alone one they did not make. If you feel I did, please go ahead and quote me. If not, why don’t you try answering the question, or debating its premise?

    Pablo (99243e)

  78. Actually, I’d now suggest a post accusing Leviticus of putting accusations and false quotes in my mouth, but that would be boring as hell because his silly little games are just not that interesting. And no one that reads him is buying it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  79. Patterico:

    I don’t know if you noticed this (or if other people noticed this), but Cheney’s words – ““Would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would.” – are the exact same as Rutten’s, when he was caught inserting falsehoods into his articles about the Bush administration. It’s in one of your other posts.

    Geez… I really hope I’m not the last person to notice this.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  80. “No, I was responding to Andrew’s link”

    - Pablo

    By challenging me to defend an indefensible premise in a debate I had nothing to do with? That’s fair…

    “At no point did I attribute any statement to anyone”

    -Pablo

    Oh, OK… Just because you asked a rhetorical question followed by a pointed specification (“Andrew? Leviticus?”) doesn’t mean you “attributed any statement to anyone”. I mean, who could possibly even think that?

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  81. Levi:

    Uh, you do realize my post was a parody, right?

    Did you read the post that explains it??

    Patterico (fb3ab8)

  82. What is shown here by the leftists in residence..Leviticus, Psyberian and Andrew Lazarus, Semanitico.. is that any amount of lying is okay.

    Reordering and misrepresenting direct quotes is okay since they all know certain persons are evil.

    How do they know? They read it in the LA Times, of course. Didn’t you read the column by Rutten where he proved that Cheney told CPAC that he was glad that we torture innocent people? But that isn’t what he said? It doesn’t matter because they know that Cheney is evil and they know what he “really” meant. How? Haven’t you been paying attention? They read what he told CPAC in the LA Times.

    I give liberals and leftists credit for one thing, they have so completely destroyed our education systems to where stupidity is rampant in this country.

    God help us!

    LogicalSC (09bfe1)

  83. By challenging me to defend an indefensible premise in a debate I had nothing to do with? That’s fair…

    You can feel free to decline to do so, and you can debate the premise of the question, but you can’t accuse me of putting words in your mouth, because that would be lying. Which is what you just did.

    So, this may be pointless now that we’ve established that you’re a liar, but let’s get back to the premise of my post: Infidels imprisoning a jihadi creates severe mental suffering in the jihadi, ergo it is torture and therefore we should let them all go.

    True or false? Feel free to expand.

    Pablo (99243e)

  84. Oh, OK… Just because you asked a rhetorical question followed by a pointed specification (”Andrew? Leviticus?”) doesn’t mean you “attributed any statement to anyone”. I mean, who could possibly even think that?

    An idiot could. Or Tim Rutten. But I repeat myself.

    Pablo (99243e)

  85. “Uh, you do realize my post was a parody, right?

    Did you read the post that explains it??”

    - Patterico

    Whoops. I just got the order wrong.

    I thought that the parody post was much older than it was, for some reason.

    Leviticus (3c2c59)

  86. And I didn’t read it. Minor detail.

    Leviticus (07729d)

  87. “So, this may be pointless now that we’ve established that you’re a liar”

    - Pablo

    The only thing we’ve “established” is that you’re a whiny little bitch when you stick your foot in your mouth. You did something stupid. It’s not the end of the world. Just grow a pair and admit it.

    There’s still hope for you, son. I would hate to see such vast potential go to waste over the inability to admit one little mistake.

    Leviticus (07729d)

  88. Psyberian wrote:

    Pablo, you my friend, are uncivilized. How can we ask other countries not to torture when we do it ourselves?

    Pablo responded:

    Pysberian (sic), you my friend, are an idiot. But KSM loves you. Wanna ask him not to torture? I’m sure Danny Pearl will appreciate your efforts. Or at least he would have if KSM hadn’t hacked his head off with a knife.

    At this point, I knew the response from Psyberian — if there was one — would be issued without acknowledging KSM’s murder of a non-combatant journalist after torturing him brutally. And so it came to pass:

    Psyberian:

    Pablo, you keep on believin’ in our government’s torturing program. Because our government can’t get squat done right, but it when it comes to torturing and killing, we’re top notch right?

    This is a pattern when it comes to the reality between the differences of “torture” as it is practiced by al-Q and their ilk as opposed to waterboarding.

    I am sure there are some who throw away all their pennies and $5 bills because they bear the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, who in the process of uniting the country (eat your heart out, Obama) suspended habeas corpus rights, and every time they travel across the Mason-Dixon line, they bemoan that the Confederate States of America didn’t survive. Boo-frickin’ hoo.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact, and neither should international law or the Geneva Conventions. But some disagree, and think that if terrorists contort their ways through the loopholes that liberty pokes through security, we should all just smile and say, “Ohhh, you sunk my republic!” and endure a nuke holocaust.

    L.N. Smithee (b048eb)

  89. The only thing we’ve “established” is that you’re a whiny little bitch when you stick your foot in your mouth. You did something stupid. It’s not the end of the world. Just grow a pair and admit it.

    When your back is against the wall, and you’ve run out of argument, go ad-hom. Typical leftoid.

    On the bright side, I’m not seeing any wasted potential here. Sewage rising to its own level at best.

    Pablo (99243e)

  90. Self-righteous moralizing from a conservative… that’s original.

    Since you seem to have selective amnesia, I’ll remind you (and the court of public opinion, which will no doubt fail to back me up, even though It knows I’m right) that you sank to the level of name- before I did (you called me a “nitwit”, remember?).

    So quit your disingenous fucking preaching. It’s a tired schtick.

    Leviticus (1029f6)

  91. Levi drops bombs all over the place, yet is outraged when Pablo “compliments” him (nitwit).
    Why are we not surprised?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  92. Tim Rutten Lies About Cheney’s CPAC Speech

    That, my liberal friends, is an accurate, and purely factual statement. Compare and contrast to the mendacity that spews from Rutten’s vile pen.

    JD (4dea4b)

  93. Perhaps I did, Leviticus. But you went with the lying, which I haven’t done at all, whereas I tacked that highly descriptive noun onto an argument. And you’ll note that when i did it in #77, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were just stupid and not an outright liar.

    Ad hom is a tired schtick, Levi. Why don’t you try something fresh, like making an actual, fact-based argument?

    Pablo (99243e)

  94. “But you went with the lying, which I haven’t done at all, whereas I tacked that highly descriptive noun onto an argument.”

    - Pablo

    I “went with the lying”? What the hell does that mean?

    Here’s our exchange in brief:

    Leviticus: Don L needs to take a Valium (#30)

    Pablo:”Being locked up by infidels constitutes mental suffering, and is therefore torture. And thus, we should free every last one of those we have detained. Right, Andrew? Leviticus?” (#34)

    Leviticus: “I’ll assume you’re being ironic… that said, my sole intention was to decry Don L’s hysterics” (#61)

    Pablo: I’m not being ironic (#67)

    Leviticus: Wow. You’re putting words in my mouth, then: “I didn’t say anything about releasing detainees because waterboarding constitutes “mental suffering”. You must have *misinterpreted* my words in a horrible way to draw that meaning from them…” (#76)

    Pablo: “No, I was responding to Andrew’s link… At no point did I attribute any statement to anyone, let alone one they did not make.” (#77)

    Leviticus: “Oh, OK…just because you asked a rhetorical question followed by a pointed specification (”Andrew? Leviticus?”) doesn’t mean you “attributed any statement to anyone”. I mean, who could possibly even think that?” (#80)

    Pablo: “An idiot could” (Ad hominem, hypocrite)
    You’re a liar (Ad hominem, hypocrite) (#83)

    Leviticus: “You’re a whiny little bitch when you stick your foot in your mouth” (#87)

    Pablo:”When your back is against the wall, and you’ve run out of argument, go ad-hom. Typical leftoid.” (#89)

    Leviticus:”Self-righteous moralizing from a conservative… that’s original. Since you seem to have selective amnesia, I’ll remind you (and the court of public opinion, which will no doubt fail to back me up, even though It knows I’m right) that you sank to the level of name- before I did (you called me a “nitwit”, remember?). So quit your disingenous fucking preaching. It’s a tired schtick.”(#90)

    Pablo: “I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were just stupid and not an outright liar [AD HOMINEM, HYPOCRITE]… Ad hom is a tired schtick, Levi.” (#93)

    ///

    Seriously, Pablo… get over yourself.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  95. I “went with the lying”? What the hell does that mean?

    Here it is, Leviticus.

    Wow. You’re putting words in my mouth,

    And you damned well know it, as you did when you then wrote this:

    Oh, OK… Just because you asked a rhetorical question followed by a pointed specification (”Andrew? Leviticus?”) doesn’t mean you “attributed any statement to anyone”. I mean, who could possibly even think that?

    You know exactly what I did, and you completely misrepresented it as “putting words in your mouth”, your silly “Who could possibly look at an apple and think it’s an orange” ploy notwithstanding. That is a lie, you are a liar. Period.

    I’m already over myself and have been for years. But are you over me?

    Pablo (99243e)

  96. BTW, since you seem incapable of comprehending this, let me type this slowly: Insults themselves are not evidence of a weak argument, unless all you have are insults without any real argument at all. That’d be you.

    Pablo (99243e)

  97. Everyone who disagrees with Pablo is a liar, and Pablo never does anything wrong. Insults are okay, as long as Pablo’s the one the dispensing them… but any retaliation will be (predictably) decried as an “ad hominem”.

    I never wanted to “debate” your ludicrous (and indefensible) logical extension. I know you’re not going to change your mind about what constitutes torture; what’s the point?

    On the other hand, I wasn’t going to let the fact that you tried put words in my mouth go unnoticed in a post condemning that very act. So I pawned you.

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  98. PWNED

    Leviticus (e87aad)

  99. I wasn’t going to let the fact that you tried put words in my mouth go unnoticed in a post condemning that very act. So I pawned you.

    No, sweetie. you made it up. because I never did such a thing, and your own description of it makes it perfectly clear that you know that. Oh, and l33t is for children. You can just be a loser, and a liar.

    Pablo (99243e)

  100. I wonder if any of you guys noticed that Ruttan isn’t claiming that Cheney said any of those things at all. He’s claiming that’s what Cheney MEANT. It’s an editorial. It’s commentary. Take the trouble to read the first paragraph and tell me it’s supposed to be taken fro straight reporting.

    You can argue that people might be fooled by it anyway, but if so then you have to admit that Fox News is trying to fool the nation with 90 percent of its programming.

    Daniel K (4d5a58)


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