You remember that popular lie?

The one promulgated by Cheney about how we never tortured anybody and besides we only tortured three people?

Yep. It was a lie:

They tortured men at military bases and detention centers in Afghanistan and Iraq, in Guantánamo, and in U.S. Navy bases on American soil; they tortured men in secret CIA prisons set up across the globe specifically to terrorize and torture prisoners; they sent many more to countries with notoriously abusive regimes and asked them to do the torturing. At least twice, after the torturers themselves concluded there was no point to further abuse, Washington ordered that the prisoners be tortured some more.

And yes, besides terror drowning (euphemized as “waterboarding” and then re-euphemized as “dunking” by our lying Veep–just as “child murder” was euphemized as “abortion” and then later re-euphemized as “choice” by our lying Planned Parenthood shills) there were other forms of torture including, but not limited to beatings, suffocation, and cold cells–all three of which resultied in deaths of prisoners. When the prisoner dies, I think we can all agree that it was torture.

And there are still two major groups in American society eager to excuse this barbarism: the Obama Administration and conservative Christians. Strange bedfellows indeed.

Obamaphiles are often ignorant of and hostile to the gospel, having a different Messiah. What’s our excuse?

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  • Andy, Bad Person

    terror drowning

    Yes. Finally, an apt description of waterboarding. Not “simulated drowning,” since there is real water being actually poured down somebody’s throat. That it can be stopped at anytime is irrelevant. Try claiming “simulated choking” on your wife sometime and see what the judge says.

    “But, but, I stopped before doing any real physical damage! I let go! It was only simulated choking.”
    “Then I sentence you to a simulated 8 years in prison for said simulated assault. Coincidentally, said simulated sentence will take place in actual jail, apropos of the simulated crime.”

    Yup. Waterboarding is actual drowning, and its purpose is to inspire fear in the prisoner. Terror drowning couldn’t be a more apt phrase.

  • Funny how the regime was opposed to it when the former regime was in power; which tells me they just swap play books every 4~8 years. If this doesn’t further your point Mark that it’s us versus the ruling class, I don’t know what will.

    • CK

      “They just swap play books every 4~8 years”

      Well, I’m no defender of this administration’s conduct in war; assigning oneself the right to assassinate American citizens at will because they are bad guys — no really, trust us! They are bad guys. — but give credit where credit is due. Obama ended torture. If he’s guilty of anything in that narrow regard (i.e, only on the torture question), then it’s being spineless in the face of overwhelming evidence that war crimes were committed by his predecessor’s administration. In THAT limited sense, I agree with you. One administration (and party), once in power, simply carries water for the previous. Possibly you could link the two by arguing that Obama remains silent about Bush/Cheyney on torture in order that silence be maintained about Obama and the right to assassinate American citizens.

      • Mark Shea

        I think it’s more accurate to say he *suspended* torture. It’s neither illegal, nor has he prosecuted the war criminals who ordered it. But he has refrained from it, preferring instead to legalize the suspension of habeas corpus and the murder of citizens on his godlike whim alone.

  • Beccolina

    It just makes me ill every time I hear them bragging about it. If you would classify something as torture when it is applied to your children, spouse or parents, it is torture when it is done to anyone. Every time I would hear the excuses, I would remember Corrie Ten Boom (Who wrote The Hiding Place–read it if you haven’t) and loving your enemies. We are never going to defeat Islam with military might. We will defeat it with Christ.

    Mr. Shea, if you see this, I think you wrote a post at some point about the Christian founding/roots of our country, but I can’t seem to find it. Did you, and if so, do you know where I can find it? I would like to send the link to my cousin.

  • Ted Seeber

    I would still like some proof from the pro-torture crowd that torture actually *works*. As in provides accurate information and not just some twisted, perverted pleasure for the torturer.

    • There is no proof, Ted, and the pro-torture crowd consistantly refuses to accept that. Instead, they revert to Jack Baur-esque scenarios over and over and over again. “If the clock is ticking on the A-bomb and you could either torture this guy or let millions of people die, it’s a no-brainer. Torture!” Not that that ever happens outside of TV and movies, but never mind.

      Not only is there no proof that torture “works,” but there is reams of proof in the opposite direction: that treating prisoners humanely consistantly yields reliable, actionable intel, and that the most untrustworthy, unreliable “intel” is that that has been extracted by torture. It also is inadmissable in court — as the Slate article says — which is why we have yet to see any 911 or War on Terror suspects put on trial.

      Years ago, I heard Janet Smith explain the natural law this way: when you keep the natural moral law, you get success (such as if you give your tomato plants pleny of water and sunshine, you get a bounty of tomatoes), but if you violate the natural law, you get chaos (such as, if you pour sugar in your gas tank, your car won’t work).

      So thanks, Bush/Cheney, and Obama, for bringing us chaos.

      • Will

        And of course, your suspect will ALWAYS tell the truth under torture, rather than just make up anything to get you to stop. They do on “24”!

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I would still like some proof from the pro-torture crowd that torture actually *works*.

      The lack of effectiveness is good for pointing out that torture isn’t even about results even when consequentialism is used to justify it.

      However, I caution anyone putting too many eggs in the “it works/doesn’t work” basket. The effectiveness of torture has nothing to do with its morality.

      I equate it with the argument over ESCR. Pointing out that there are currently zero (0) cures to disease that use ESCR is good for pointing out that is proponents are more interested in baby killing than actual medicine. However, if tomorrow ESCR had a breakthrough and was the source of a Cure to Anything that Ails You, it would still be immoral.

      So I’m just saying to be careful on that line of argument.

  • Jillian

    Are there absolutely no sources to back up this assertion? This is not journalism, folks….

  • Jeanna

    I have been reading, “The Gunpowder Plot”, by British historian,Hugh Ross Williamson. He provides some examples where plots “by Catholics” against the crown (Elizabeth I) were obviously (and ridiculously) made up -likely under the distress of torture. His implication is that no historian worth his salt would believe that many of these plots were conspired by Catholics, and suggests they were likely conspired to inflame the general population against the Catholics. How will historians tell our story? I seriously doubt that that Dems are the only ones who “never want a serious crisis to go to waste”.

  • Lisa

    I find myself agreeing with Alan Derschowitz, that torture, if used as a last resort, should be conducted in the open. I think it’s fair enough to oppose torture on moral grounds, but I feel it’s a bit laim to use the efficacy argument. I know for a fact that torture would work very well on me. I’d sing like a canary. Even John McCain, who is opposed to torture, admits that it is somewhat effective. The Israelis have had a certain amount of success with sleep and food depravation and have stayed away from the icky gray areas of waterboarding and humiliation.

    • Ted Seeber

      What would you do, Lisa, if the torturer didn’t want the truth? Or if you were accused of something you knew nothing about?

      You’d still sing like a canary alright- but what you would be singing would be of no use whatsoever and might actually add some harm.

  • Ted Seeber

    The one thing (well, the other thing is time) that was preventing me from printing up a bunch of Guy Fawkes stickers, was the idea that he was an idiot. Thanks for removing that stumbling block.

  • Lisa

    Remember when we tortured Noriegra in Panama by blasting Barry Manilow music into his compound? Whoa, that was sick.

    ***However, I caution anyone putting too many eggs in the “it works/doesn’t work” basket. The effectiveness of torture has nothing to do with its morality.***

    I agree. The same could be said for drone strikes. They happen to be effective and immoral at the same time. But it’s BHOs answer to indefinite detainment: simply assassinate them. And hope they actually guilty.

  • j. blum

    And if they’re not, he still gets to show how fearsomely awesomely powerful he is and that you all better toe the line if you don’t want to be next. And by “you,” I mean “we all.”

  • pookie6

    @ Ck .” Obama ended torture.” Really? @ Mark .*suspended* Really? Have either of you ,or others speaking as you both are here, ever witnessed an abortion.?Step inside the womb of a pregnant woman and open WIDE your eyes to torture. A chemical solution inserted into the womb slowly burning the helpless baby to death. I imagine similiar to someone pouring acid over you, while you were confined to a small area unable to escape the horrible burning pain. How about a large instrument/ needle that stabs and kills the baby( makes for easier removal?) Or partial delivery until the head comes out and then the spinal cord is severed,and a vacuum that as it sucks you out of your “mother’s” womb, you are dismembered.Oh wait, some babies make it through a gruling abortion ALIVE only to be stabbed with scissors or the likes, or simply left to die. We have the most PRO ABORTION Presidents this country has ever seen. I can’t imagine that what I have just described isn’t some of the worst torture done to humans in both this country or int he entire world, (minus Ireland.) God Bless Ireland! Bravo.! Look at the big picture… the “real” picture… before you use words like ‘end’ or ‘suspend.’ Those words couldn’t be further from the truth. P.S. Obama has vowed that while he remains president, he will fight for everyone to have the right to choose “torture.” Oops! I mean abortion. Geeh! If only he…we…would call it what it is TORTURE!