Patterico's Pontifications

2/1/2009

Andrew Sullivan tortures himself for Obama

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:25 pm



[Posted by Karl]

The L.A. Times report that Pres. Obama has preserved renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the US in the war on terrorists — and may expand them — had bloggers like Moe Lane chuckling that Obama-supporting pundits like Andrew Sullivan were now “pro-torture.”

Sully rose to the bait, claiming that:

It is not the practice of “extraordinary rendition” that the Bush-Cheney administration pioneered to supplement its own torture program. It is the practice of capturing terror suspects and rendering them to non-torturing foreign governments for detention, interrogation or prosecution.

In reality, as everyone from Al Gore to Richard Clarke to more honest lefty bloggers knows, is that Obama  is continuing the extraordinary renditions pioneered by the Clinton-Gore administration.

Sully avoids the charge leveled by critics that such renditions are illegal kidnaping, regardless of whether they result in “torture” however described.  He also avoids asking why we would be keen to snatch someone in country A and hand him over to country B, as opposed to bringing him to the US, aside from avoiding legal problems here and the probability that the target may cough up info when left to the tender mercies of the authorities in country B.

Sully, relying on Hilzoy, quotes section 5(e)(ii) of Obama’s executive order, under which a “Special Task Force” is established, among other reasons:

to study and evaluate the practices of transferring individuals to other nations in order to ensure that such practices comply with the domestic laws, international obligations, and policies of the United States and do not result in the transfer of individuals to other nations to face torture or otherwise for the purpose, or with the effect, of undermining or circumventing the commitments or obligations of the United States to ensure the humane treatment of individuals in its custody or control.

Clearly, neither Sully nor Hilzoy knows much about Chicago politics.  The establishment of “blue-ribbon commissions” to make nasty problems vanish into black holes for extended periods of time is a well-established tradition in the Windy City.  To note two prominent examples, Mayor Richard J. Daley did it after the 1968 Democratic Convention; his son did it regarding allegations of police torture in the 1970s and 80s.  A task force is a great way to move an issue onto a back burner, in hopes that people will stop paying attention.

What happens while all that studying is going on?  Obama’s executive order directs everyone to comply with the law.  Of course, so did Pres. Bush’s EO.  To Sully, the difference seems to be that the evil Boosh was a lying liar with flaming pants, while Obama is full of Hopeyness and Changitude.  To maintain that illusion, Sully really must avoid reading about Obama’s classified loopholes, which may secretly allow enhanced interrogation tactics in “extraordinary cases.”  Sully claims his past opposition was out of a concern for “ensuring that intelligence is not filled with torture-generated garbage,” despite the former CIA official quoted by the L.A. Times as noting that renditions were largely unproductive and less effective at protecting the rights and health of the targets.

Andrew Sullivan’s contortions to keep his lips planted firmly to The One’s posterior may qualify as a new entry for the Kama Sutra.

–Karl

82 Responses to “Andrew Sullivan tortures himself for Obama”

  1. Instead of going Smoot-Hawley on torture like he is on trade, Obama is going to outsource it through rendition. The actual bugaboo of torture, however, still remains a mystery with respect to size and scope during the Bush administration. The left is convinced it included enough people to fill a dozen Cecil B. DeMille films, while people living in reality and normal definitions of the word “torture” believe enhanced interrogations were very limited.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  2. Mr. Sullivan is either sad or amusing. Maybe both. He is dealing with the equivalent of the chess club geek falling in love with the prom queen. He simply cannot believe his man-crush Obama is doing the same things that he, Sullivan, pilloried the Bush administration for doing.

    At least he is pretty quiet about Trig Palin. Let’s take our good news where can find it!

    Eric Blair (53ab22)

  3. My daughter just recently got back to Texas after spending 15 months as a prison guard in Iraq. Prisoners she was guarding in March told her they would rather spend years in a US military prison than a day with IP.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  4. daleyrocks is the first commenter in a post featuring cameos from the Daleys. Heh.

    Karl (2491e1)

  5. John,

    Sully might want to check out the conditions in French prisons, while he’s at it.

    Karl (2491e1)

  6. John,

    They probably wouldn’t want to spend time in rat-infested, disease-ridden French prisons, either.

    Karl (2491e1)

  7. LMAO… new entry for Kama Sutra

    J. Raymond Wright (e8d0ca)

  8. Karl, someone other than me might suggest that, in regard to your last sentence, Mr Sullivan might prefer to rotate President Obama about 180º before performing said action.

    Am I supposed to add NTTAWWT at this point?

    I think I may have set myself up top be denounced at this point.

    The politically incorrect Dana (3e4784)

  9. Dana: Too busy laughing to denounce you.

    Old Coot (529757)

  10. It appears that SUlly is at least technically correct. It won’t be “extraordinary rendition” because under Obama it will be ordinary.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  11. Is the blog the Andrew Sullivan Monitoring Post or something? You seem to have an … obsession… with Sullivan.

    jack (1f4d17)

  12. If you don’t read left wing blogs, you have no idea how much credibility clowns like Sullivan and Glen Greenwald have on the left. There, they are taken seriously. Sometimes, you have to look periodically to convince yourself that they are really that gullible. It’s a bit like having Hiltzik write business columns.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  13. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” George Orwell

    I am not sure if Sullivan’s double standard for The One is intentional or self induced hypnosis, but it is somehow linked to his over the top attacks on Sarah Palin.

    Joe (17aeff)

  14. A perfect example of the double standard of Sullivan is Obama and the Democrats proposed spending stimulus. Sullivan spent almost eight years criticizing Bush for similar, albeit far smaller, spending proposals. And rightly so, Bush should have been more conservative on government spending. But when it comes to Obama going far and beyond anything vote buying Rove and Bush would have dared…nothing. Crickets chirping at the Dish.

    Someone at Commentary suggested that Sullivan will be needing a prescription to Prozac in a few years.

    Joe (17aeff)

  15. Sullivan’s not interested at this stage in his life in arguing facts or logic or consistency. His only goal is to destroy – morally, intellectually – the American conservative movement or cause.

    This is because he sees it as the obstacle to the creation of his vision of a gay America.

    Somewhere along his life, Sullivan changed from being a writer who was gay, a Catholic who was gay, a conservative who way gay into a gay person where every other aspect of his life was secondary. Yes, his homosexuality was a significant part of the “old” Sullivan. But it was balanced off somewhat by these other qualities or views (Catholicism, conservatism, anti-rationalism).

    No more. Sullivan’s obsession now is to establish a America where gay people have every right or privilege that non-gays have and where gay people are viewed as absolutely equal (if not superior: that’s another story) to heterosexual people. In fact, Sullivan views the gay cause as a sort of spiritual cause of moral perfection (homosexual love, in this view, is “purer” than heterosexual love because the latter has procreation as a component while homosexual love doesn’t).

    To cut it short, conservatism is the last barrier against the establishment of his sole political cause. For Sullivan, it must be destroyed.

    And when Sullivan – old or new – wants to destroy something, he’ll use anything handy to do so. Dishonesty, half-truths, distortion, lies, yep, anything.

    SteveMG (9d0a76)

  16. In Newspeak, it’s called Doublethink.

    As Rosy would say, google it! :)

    brothertrav (0fca6e)

  17. You seem to have an … obsession… with Sullivan.

    It ain’t nothing compared to Sully’s creepy infatuation/obsession/stalking of Palin’s family, including Trig. That was beyond parody.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  18. Leave Sully alone, it is not nice to pick on a deranged degenerate. The election caused him to him to multiple self manipulating orgasms into lunacy. His writing ever since has no logic, no facts, no evidence just babble.

    Magic (4f2403)

  19. From Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:

    “This is a song for Mayor Daley,

    “Though your brother’s bound and gagged,
    And they’ve chained him to a chair,
    Won’t you please come to Chicago,
    Just to sing.

    “In a land that’s known as freedom,
    How can such a thing be fair?
    Won’t you please come to Chicago,
    For the help that we can bring.

    “We can CHANGE the world!
    Rearrange the world!
    Is dying,
    To get better….”

    Hopey Changists all?

    Democrats, want to limit torture? Look inward.

    arch (84c50a)

  20. Which “non-torturing foreign governments” are these, supposedly?

    So, our change includes continued renditions (which I think are often appropriate), a continued bailout, the continued placement of obviously incompetent people in high positions (taxes are hard!), and enough Clintonistas to run a dress dry-cleaning service.

    Other than the bailout and the incompetence, I’m for the non-change. But it’s still a lot less changy than promised.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  21. Why comment about Sullivan…pointing the hypocrisies of the left is pointless. Just be assured that the left’s view of rights depends on who is in office.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  22. The problem with extraordinary rendition, is that one, you can’t trust the Syrian, Egyptian, Jordanian or Saudi General Intelligence to be humane in any way shape or form; consequently we can’t trust information from them. The Maher Aher
    case, where a Syrian tip, allowed for a Canadian citizen to be shipped back there; in part to pressure a Muslim Brotherhood relative, is a case in point. Ibn Al Libi, the Libyan dissident, rendered to Egypt, where he provided some questionable intelligence under duress is another
    example. Than again Mssr Nassiri, the Algerian born Belgian State Security contact in AQ, speculates that Libi, freely gave that information
    in order to involve the Americans in Iraq. The other problem, as with the return of Gitmo detainees, is that the security forces in these countries are likely infiltrated with Salafi/
    Wahhabi sympathizers that might them escape, as we have seen with those involved with the Cole bombing or Effendi Al Shehri, the No. 2 in AQ in Yemen

    narciso (57971e)

  23. I say, leave Angkor Wat alone!

    Dan Collins (4dc2da)

  24. It’s just … it’s not even two weeks and already Andy is an apologist for torture. Reactionary antitorturism has been Andy’s biggest fetish since his barebacking with anonymous strangers days. This is troubling. What else will Andy approvingly let his Baracky do? Where does it end? Is there nothing what can be done in His name that Andrew will not approve?

    This is way not a good sign.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  25. Andy needs to reflect I think that he’s not in any kind of vanguard. That’s just a domestic NPR NYT MSNBC illusion what he’s bought into. In this world of ours what he seems so unaware of, there’s much much more propagandist interest in continuing the Great Torturey Satan meme than there is in propaganda exhorting people to prostrate themselves before the dirty socialist messiah. He’s not picking his battles very wisely I don’t think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  26. “Why comment about Sullivan”

    Jack – He’s the most influential one man blog on the intartubes.

    He says so himself.

    Q.E.D.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  27. Strange that you should mention the Kama Sutra and old “Power Glutes” in the same sentence.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  28. And “flaming pants.”

    As for the “obsession” with Sullivan, Jack may think that the winner of “Best Blog” in the 2008 Weblog Awards, a guy named one of America’s most influential liberals by Forbes magazine and who was invited to meet with Obama isn’t worth mentioning. But it is, and not just to takje a poke at Sullivan.

    In a larger sense, Sullivan stands in for a significant segment of the public, while Obama stands in for Col. Nathan Jessep. Publicly, Santiago is not to be touched. Secretly, it’s a different matter. And Sullivan is the person at the cocktail parties who is fine with it… until it becomes public. Then we move on to the next Jessep.

    Karl (f07e38)

  29. I think I’m going to skip that load of milk on my cereal this morning after reading this thread.

    Thanks everybody!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  30. Also: feets!

    Karl (f07e38)

  31. Truth? Jack doesn’t want to hear the truth!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  32. Hi Karl! – glad to see you back. I’m really really hoping you take on this stimulus package thing. Graft on this scale is worrisome I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  33. B-B-But Karl…

    Obama said we weren’t going to sacrifice our ideals or the rule of law; that the choice between our saftey and the need for eeeeeevil BusHitlerCheneySatan Torture! was a false one…

    Obama said Karl…

    I mean, haven’t you noticed peace breaking out all over the world, everyone everywhere loves us again, the sea level is falling, global warming is over (sorry Al), and the unicorns of hope-n-change and unity are on the march across the entire globe…

    [next line said with lower lip quivering]
    Obama said, Karl…

    Just Words?!

    Bob (99fc1b)

  34. In a larger sense, Sullivan stands in for a significant segment of the public, while Obama stands in for Col. Nathan Jessep.

    You want me on that unicorn. You need me on that unicorn.

    AKA Pablo (99243e)

  35. In a larger sense, Sullivan stands in for a significant segment of the public, while Obama stands in for Col. Nathan Jessep.

    “Look at this! Last night he’s swimming in Jack Daniels, and now he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  36. I knew I shoulda gone for the Jessep analogy in the main post…

    Karl (f07e38)

  37. Sullivan bitched about President Bush giving Americans their own money.
    He doesn’t bitch about ZerObama giving our money to ACORN.

    gus (36e9a7)

  38. One reads Sully only for comic relief… that is if one has any functioning gray matter in his skull. If not, then one reads Sully for information and THAT is rid – ic – u – lous!!!

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back on Patterico's Pontifications (85dcd7)

  39. Also: feets!

    Also: Karl!

    Dmac (2fab96)

  40. I don’t follow or care about Sullivan much, but as for Obama’s approach to rendition, read on:

    so let’s see. President A creates a clusterf*ck of Executive Orders and DOJ rubber stamped politically influenced decisions supporting a program of questionable constitutionality, wrapped up in surreal lapses of morality, ethics and competence, that goes on to ensnare hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Some the real deal, but most innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time who happened to be Muslim and/or have the wrong names or beard lengths. In the process creating the most effective recruiting tool Muslim extremists have ever had, short of Israel and making the United States appear to be one of the most hypocritical countries in the history of civilization.

    President B, has in office 13 days, and is working with a recalcitrant, irrelevant, obsolescent, misguided, self-sabotaging and deeply stupid opposition party under the sway of some fat self-aggrandizing dipsh*t on the radio, to help the nation avoid, or at least not descend further, into economic disaster (also the legacy of President A and the deeply stupid GOP party) and begins the work of putting into place mechanisms and processes to deal with and dismantle aforementioned sh*tstorm of illegality and incompetence and, somehow just because he hasn’t changed everything overnight in the blink of an eye and magically erased it all in 13 days, that and Andrew Sullivan, is cause for this level of a self-congratulatory circle jerk.

    If you guys weren’t so frightening in your desire to see President Obama fail by having the nation permanently assfu*ked by Bush, you’d be hilarious.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  41. Irrational often, Peter. Good Allah. The amount of lies, distortions, and pure bile filled rhetoric in that comment is breath-taking.

    I will just pick on one silly little comment, that President Barack is working with the … blah blah blah opposition. Evidence of that please? This is an oft stated, but never actually occurring phenomena. Barack states he is working with the other side and his evidence of same is his statement that he is doing so. Objective evidence be damned.

    The rest of your rant is a spittle-flecked BDS diatribe, that one might suspect would begin being cured now that Teh One is in office, and there is a unicorn in every pot.

    JD (2ff541)

  42. How about Democragoguery?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  43. President A creates a clusterf*ck of Executive Orders and DOJ rubber stamped politically influenced decisions supporting a program of questionable constitutionality, wrapped up in surreal lapses of morality, ethics and competence, that goes on to ensnare hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

    Clinton has been out of office for 8 years, peter. It’s time to let it go.

    Pablo (99243e)

  44. Clean-up on aisle #39, please. Someone vomited.

    JD (2ff541)

  45. Peter always resorts to using multiple swear words during his posts, for he can never make his points in a more comprehensible manner. Truer marks of a Troll one will never see.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  46. If you hate us all so vehemently Peter, why come back here, again and again, just to vent your spleen and spew your invective?

    Dmac (2fab96)

  47. If you guys weren’t so frightening in your desire to see President Obama fail by having the nation permanently assfu*ked by Bush, you’d be hilarious.

    If you weren’t writing incomprehensible run-on sentences, so frightened that your brilliant insight would be lost by a mere period, a full stop, a hyphen, a freaking double-dash, you’d almost be readable.

    carlitos (9e0bdf)

  48. Comment by Peter — 2/2/2009 @ 11:52 am

    I’m sorry, did I stumble into DailyKOS by mistake?

    AD (b72706)

  49. I have to wonder how much “freedom of speech” we would have if we went to Peter’s blogs-of-preference and spewed as much hate there as he does here. Would we be allowed to continue to post or would we be banned?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  50. I wonder if Geitner’s $34K in unpaid taxes is a “shitstorm of illegality,” or you have to have a Daschle-like $140K to be a shitstorm.

    carlitos (9e0bdf)

  51. […] does not actually mean a “comprehensive assessment:” as Karl over at Patterico notes in a different controversy, it means something more like “to move an issue onto a back […]

    Oh, my aching head: Time for a “study” on DADT. - Redhot - RedState (796605)

  52. […] does not actually mean a “comprehensive assessment:” as Karl over at Patterico notes in a different controversy, it means something more like “to move an issue onto a back […]

    Moe Lane » Oh, my aching head: Time for a “study” on DADT. (da2344)

  53. Hi Dmac:

    “..If you hate us all so vehemently Peter, why come back here, again and again, just to vent your spleen and spew your invective?..”

    That is the mark of a troll. Some people post to discuss and debate. When a poster feels very, very passionate about something, and is disagreed with, they try to engage, or they leave…or they pick fights and curse and carry on.

    Getting back to this situation, as you know, a string of curse words is a sign of true intellectual superiority. A sign you are clearly “winning” the debate, and have all the facts on your side.

    To people like this person, it is all about the fighting. Why are they wasting energy and electrons on it? Haven’t they heard that internet posting generates greenhouse gasses?

    Seriously, it’s about feeling tough and powerful in an anonymous and risk free setting, I suspect.

    Eric Blair (53ab22)

  54. Karl – sadly, I cannot claim to have originated the term on the Web, but I perceive Andrew Sullivan’s contortions (and those of the MSM, like C hris Matthews) more as apt for the Obama Sutra

    Worse yet, he seems to be suffering from Democramentia … I don’t know if there are any meds for that, yet, sadly …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  55. I was already a bit grossed out by seeing Sully and the Kama Sutra mentioned in the same post – ew – and then I read Potty Mouth Peter’s. What is this? Jr. High school? Peter, more serious thought and consideration of your comments would be given if you would clean it up. Most of us have already endured our own teenagers testing out the verbal waters. We’d like adult discussion now.

    Dana (be9504)

  56. But that’s why Peter is so enamored of Sully – screaming profanities obviously gets him off.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  57. Peter, just why is it that you post so many comments filled with your nonsense inventions?

    SPQR (72771e)

  58. Dmac – I think Peter must have a lot of old socks laying around.

    fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  59. […] that also don’t condone torture; you know, places like Britain and France and whatnot. As Patterico explains, this argument pretty much breaks both the stupidity scales and the naivete scales. Enter good old […]

    Hey, Digby, I can help. - Redhot - RedState (796605)

  60. I think Peter must have a lot of old socks laying around.

    And I have a feeling that they’re standing up in a corner somewhere in his bedroom.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  61. I’m still stuck on why Peter’s comments so often sound like they are written from some alternative history fiction book by Harry Turtledove.

    SPQR (72771e)

  62. Hey guys, Peter amuses me.

    If you guys weren’t so frightening in your desire to see President Obama fail by having the nation permanently assfu*ked by Bush, you’d be hilarious.

    Hmmm, I wonder if Peter spent the last 8 years running down all things Bushie and the economy hoping all would fail. Why do I suspect that he might have. Or, if not, is he a Lib just hatched since January 20th?

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back on Patterico's Pontifications (85dcd7)

  63. GM Roper, Peter’s inability to recognize the amount of projection he has drooled over the front of his shirt would be legendary were it not that he’s tied with every other troll here.

    SPQR (72771e)

  64. Clean-up on aisle #39, please. Someone vomited.

    That is indeed a fine example of projectile vomiting.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  65. “And I have a feeling that they’re standing up in a corner somewhere in his bedroom.”

    Either that or he’s got some funky-assed spiked hair.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  66. Peter, don’t get the idea that we don’t want you around. It’s just that your arguments don’t make any sense, your sentences are run on and your BDS is so obvious.

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back on Patterico's Pontifications (85dcd7)

  67. I knew I shoulda gone for the Jessep analogy in the main post…

    Comment by Karl — 2/2/2009 @ 9:17 am

    You really should have, it was excellent!

    Cowboy is a compliment (874456)

  68. […] does not actually mean a “comprehensive assessment:” as Karl over at Patterico notes in a different controversy, it means something more like “to move an issue onto a back […]

    ChooseTheHero.com » Blog Archive » Oh, my aching head: Time for a “study” on DADT. (c8cd02)

  69. […] does not actually mean a “comprehensive assessment:” as Karl over at Patterico notes in a different controversy, it means something more like “to move an issue onto a back […]

    ChooseTheHero.com » Blog Archive » Oh, my aching head: Time for a “study” on DADT. (c8cd02)

  70. […] that also don’t condone torture; you know, places like Britain and France and whatnot. As Patterico explains, this argument pretty much breaks both the stupidity scales and the naivete scales. Enter good old […]

    ChooseTheHero.com » Blog Archive » Hey, Digby, I can help. (c8cd02)

  71. I wonder if Peter is from one of the large blue cities in the Blue states that overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Cities like Detroit, Oakland, Newark, Chicago are very heavy into voting their functional illiterates and Obama had ACORN search them out and guide them to the polls.

    If it weren’t for the illiterate, functional illiterate and readers of Dick and Jane, Obama would not have won. it has to make the intellectuals, the Media, the elite very proud to be thinking like an illiterate.

    Typical White Person (9f4d2e)

  72. oh. What happened to DRJ? He was nice and made interesting postings. By nice I mean a genuinely gracious person. Also he’s from Texas.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  73. happy…DRJ is a she, and has retired due to troll fatigue.

    AD (b72706)

  74. from some alternative history fiction book by Harry Turtledove.

    …or Howard Zinn.

    Dmac (2fab96)

  75. oh. She I meant. Ok for real I didn’t know that. She did good work. Trolls should just cut it out I think. Except some of them are sort of neat.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  76. feets,

    Maybe, but not the troll at issue here, who was more like She Who Must Not Be Named.

    Karl (2491e1)

  77. You sure it is the Messiah’s posterior that Andy keeps his lips on?

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  78. You sure it is the Messiah’s posterior that Andy keeps his lips on?

    You can’t imagine both are possible in proximal sequence? You must have lived a sheltered existence, Mr. Alles. Or perhaps it’s just an Islamic cum Germanic culture thing. Why, they even have colorful terms for such proclivities. The source of many oral arguments, I’m sure.

    allan (a2d106)

  79. I’m just surprised to read that Andy is now pro-torture, because the Big O! is for torture, too.

    Does his head swivel as fast as his moral compass?

    steve miller (3381bc)

  80. […] Reality. Patterico posits the obvious conclusion: “Andrew Sullivan’s contortions to keep his lips planted firmly to The One’s posterior […]

    Four stages of denial: contortions, gyrations, hypocrisy, rationalization | Cold Fury (6f4592)

  81. “Clearly, neither Sully nor Hilzoy knows much about Chicago politics.”
    Nicely put. And true enough.

    sleepy (09c352)


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