Trump: Torture Works

220px-AbuGhraibAbuse-standing-on-boxPresident Donald Trump gave a startling interview this week in which he expressly stated his belief that “torture . . .  works” and stated that he would order torture if his team asks for it to be used on detainees.  It is a position opposed not only by the military and both Republican and Democratic members of Congress but, more importantly, United States and international law.  In fairness to Trump, he added that his decision would be controlled by the law but also that he believed in the efficacy of torture: “I want to do everything within the bounds of what you’re allowed to do legally but do I feel it works? Absolutely I feel it works.”  Under international law, it does not matter if torture is successful or useful. It remains a war crime. Indeed, it was the United States that played a key role in defining torture as a violation of international law.  In other words, there is no legal basis for the use of torture or the commission of any war crime under domestic or international authority.

President Trump insisted that we have to “fight fire with fire.”  Despite the widespread view that torture is not effective in producing reliable information (and the conclusions of intelligence reports that it did not produce significant intelligence), Trump said that he had “spoken with people at the highest level of intelligence and I asked them the question ‘Does it work? Does torture work?’ and the answer was ‘Yes, absolutely’.”

Fortunately, Defense Secretary James Mattis  has clearly ruled out a return to a torture programs and various members of Congress, including Republicans, have warned Trump that they will not allow a return to the program launched by George W. Bush.

To Trump’s credit, he at least called waterboarding what it is: torture.  Bush officials danced around the term torture despite long-standing rulings that it is a clear form of torture.  Trump did not shy away from the turn but rather openly embraced it.

What is worrisome is that he did not even acknowledge that he would be ordering a war crime and subject the country and himself to potential international charges.  Instead he defined our actions by the depravity of our enemies:

“When they’re shooting, when they’re chopping off the heads of our people and other people, when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when Isis is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since Medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?”

In the end however Trump affirmed that (while he believes torture works) he would yield to the law.  That law is clear.  Congress prohibited the use of torture, including waterboarding, and such tactics are not allowed under the military code.

If we ever resumed our “enhanced interrogation” program, Trump’s words could be used by an international tribunal. He is shown openly endorsing the use of “torture” — dispensing with the rhetorical evasions of the past Administration.  Torture is expressly defined as a war crime under governing treaties and international law.  By saying that he believes in effectiveness of torture and the willingness to order torture, Trump has created a record that could be used by other countries to establish knowledge and intent.

Finally, by expressly stating that torture is effective and permitted, Trump’s words could be used to legitimate the torture of American military personnel or civilians.

What do you think?

491 thoughts on “Trump: Torture Works”

  1. There are many actions which are effective but should still not engaged in. Slavery is or has been an effective component of many economic systems, both past and present. Yet, many people do not engage in slavery because it is wrong to do so. It has also been made illegal in some nations. People caught engaging in this profitable from of abusing other human beings are thus subject to arrest, even though they are making a good profit (it’s working for them).

    Genocide also works. Taking out whole groups of people one’s own group doesn’t like is an effective method for not having to deal with people one’s group doesn’t like. Yet many nations do not condone genocide and it is considered a crime. Yet it works.

    Thus we must reckon with the nature of certain actions. We do not engage in many actions which might work yet cause great suffering and harm because we have decided as human beings, that these actions are so evil that we simply cannot condone them. We don’t disavow them because of their utility or no utility, we disavow them because they are evil.

    In the case of torture we have an action which does not work and is also evil. If you want accurate information, you don’t want to torture someone. You need a working mind to get accurate information. If you want garbage, then you’d use torture. So here’s a technique that doesn’t work and is evil. Why would a president order this?

    As above, we see people say–those people are animals! O.K. I think this is a slur on other animals but I take the point that we see other people performing heinous acts of sadism that shocks the conscience. So it becomes bizarre to say, well we’ll perform horrendous acts of violence that shock the conscience but it will be o.k. because we are good. That type of argument does not make sense. It is actions which make us good or bad. That’s been the mistake of Democrats the last 8 years. “Their president” engaged in war crimes but that was o.k. with them because he was a really good guy and he was on their side! In fact, engaging in war crimes precludes the appellation “good”. It’s just evil.

    You can’t get out of this argument. Torture is evil. Either you have a set of ethics or you don’t. If you don’t have ethics then you have no basis with which to criticize terrorists for doing the same types of things you are willing to engage in. Engaging in torture makes you an evil person. (In case you don’t think anything much happens during “good American torture” please take the time to read up on what has been taking place.)

    Here’s an excellent analysis of torture:

    It’s not lawful. It’s not smart. It’s just evil. No Torture.

    1. I agree with the thrust of your comment but I know of no war crimes ordered by President Obama.

      Possibly I am unaware. I do know that he ordered the killing of an American citizen and therefore ought to be tried for murder; this is unlikely to happen.

    2. Jill it isn’t important except to supporters of the Constitution etc. if Trump or others would or would not it’s only important that the criminals think he or they would. To paraphrase Patton.

      and the criminal class now includes those who want to protect foreign criminals but not domestic criminals. which makes them accessories to a crime. How do we know this? They got arrested for committing a crime of course and then the documentation problem came up as a result.

      The Mayor of Seattle and the Police Chief for that country in Texas FAILED to understand the law and apply it for the purpose of protecting their own citizens simple as that. Accessory to….after the fact.

    3. Jill, I like your comparison with other unacceptable practices such as slavery. Good comment!

  2. Besides being a war crime, waterboarding does not lead to actionable intelligence.

    That is a different purpose than vengeance. And whose is vengeance?

  3. I see our biggest mistake as being the whole creation of a war on terror in the first place. 9/11 was an international criminal act and should have triggered a criminal response. Saudi Arabia was apparently deeply involved and this was not brought out. Osama Bin Laden should have been charged with an international crime and been brought to trial along with every member of his group including high members of the Saudi aristocracy that were involved.

    Creating a war on terror and taking that to Iraq, that had nothing to do with the original act, simply created more terrorism and gave the administration the excuse to crack down on civil liberties. Obama took that concept to whole new heights that even Bush couldn’t match and here we are spending trillions in nation destabilization that could be used at home. Even the war in Afghanistan was, thanks to Obama, ultimately counter productive resulting in huge suffering of the people there with no clear reduction of terrorists or solution to a problem we seem to be creating faster than we are resolving.

    Our progress in the war on terror always looks upside down. “Ladies and Gentlemen, We have made great progress against the 1000 total initial terrorists and now have only10,000 to go and can expect get that down to 100,000 or so if we keep at it.”

    1. “Ladies and Gentlemen, We have made great progress against the 1000 total initial terrorists and now have only 10,000 to go and can expect get that down to 100,000 or so if we keep at it.”


    2. We do not take enemy combatants and put them on trial.

      Terrorists would absolutely love a high profile trial as a platform to spew their indoctrination. We take them out or we capture them and interrogate them to try to foil more murderous plots.

      I recall K C McFarlane describing the terrorists in the ME as constantly probing. We push them back and they probe and we push them back and they keep coming, and then as soon as we relax our guard they come at us hard. And then we shove them back hard, and they go back to nit picking at us. She went over the previous escalation trends over the past couple of decades.

      1. If one believes in the rule of law then that is what should be used to deal those that oppose by using violence against the innocent.

        Individuals commit crimes. War is between Nation States and is almost never about right and wrong so much as perceived conflicting national interests, real or otherwise. Even when the two are difficult to tease apart, war is also a horribly blunt instrument that punishes the innocent along with the guilty. And there, in part, is the problem of creating more terrorists than we manage to kill in any given campaign of war for the injustice committed in killing and maiming so many innocents inspires only more hatred and violence.

        1. The sad continuation of idea BB is that this horrible situation is very profitable in the end. It’s a great business model. I feel this entire exercise about torture is a waste of time when fighting the larger issue is what is needed. The torture stance would largely take care of itself going forward.

          1. If you examine the Constitution or even an oath of office closely you find three important pieces of information.

            A. Government was created first and foremost to protect it’s citizen participants in the social contract from enemies foreign and domestic. If the government cannot or will not do that job is should be rejected and replaced.

            B. Enemies does not mean other countries nor does it mean military only or only in uniform or only declared but not undeclared. Another way of saying enemies is criminal activities. Some are small in sixe and scope some as Tom Clancy used to write ‘are writ large.’ And some are caused by nature or man.

            C. Traditionally and per the Constitution the job was divided in three parts. Law Enforcement with it’s missions, regulations and codes or rules of conduct . Military with it’s version of the same thing and Emergency Services such as fighting forest fires or building fires or AIDs etc.

            The third part is it is the responsibility of the abosolute ultimate rulers and holders of power to ensure those missions are properly accomplished.

            and when they find they are not they must make changes. the blame or the credit always goes back to the citizens who are ‘able to govern themselves’ or if not will suffer the consequences.

            Ours is the first and the oldest Constitution to embody those ideas and give means and methods to protect them and enforce them.

            IF the citizens do their job and demand upon pain of replacement if necessary when things have gone too far with a counter revolution. To Preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

            and that’s all that happened on November 8th.

            Using ballots in the prescribed manner. Not by using bullets, riots, the burning of cars or…I’m going to pick up my marbles and go home.

            At present California is showing it’s ass but it is doing it step by step by step.

            They face serious problems since it is not a unilateral decision. on their part except for leaving as ‘former citizens.’

            OR they can follow the law as written and make change in that manner.

            The wall they face is the oath of office of the military and their ability too, if necessary change two vowels in the method.

            and they hold allegiance to no state, county, political party, nor any group or invidividual Only to the Constitution – and nothing else.

            So….you might want to read the rules. Someone in California did so they are making small tiny incremental and very carefully worded steps so as not to be declared enemies domestic or have the military on it’s own as is their right and duty invoke martial law.

            What the the steps for dissolving one State. None short of a constitutional convention and then it’s all or nothing.

            Practically speaking how would they as a start up natioin with no treaties, trade agreements, no bank account AND not owning a good chunk of their land mass, having no military except empty bases, no planes, rifles, tanks, ships….and owing a huge amount of money as they are a debtor state. They would lose the Colorado river water and face two nations that wanted that issue changed,

            It’s as long process it was meant to be difficult. Took the whole of one war and 12 more years under rather good circumstances to set up the first one.

            First question? Can any state secede and if so how? If not what other steps are available. On the other hand…

            They could try reading the rule book and following it and do what we did. Kicked the RINOs in the ass , smashed the DINOS and got rid of a good deal of the polticians ALL without firing one shot. Amazing all it took was self governing citizens acting as they had every right to do as the ultimate source of power.

            Are Californians that smart. Give me a break.


            1. Excellent post Michael!

              “Are Californians that smart. Give me a break.”

              However “many of us” do live among them. 😉

          2. You raise a good point, Slohrss about the purse, but while keeping the larger picture in mind, at the end of the day there are certain things, such as torture that need to be addressed and the best place for that frankly is among the public because ultimately we are the ones affected.

            Government may have been created to protect its citizens, but there is no mention of exactly how it must go about doing that in every instance and convention has established generally that it do so with as little destruction as possible both of life and limb as well as of purse. The rule of law, particularly as it has been joined among nations internationally by treaty and agreement over the last century has been one of the most successful in history in addressing international instances of crime with measured response appropriate to the event.

            And, we did not bring the subject of torture up, Trump did, but we have every right to address it.

            1. “And, we did not bring the subject of torture up, Trump did…”

              Just for clarity and accuracy, during this interview it was Trump that brought up the subject of torture? Or was it he interviewer?

              1. I didn’t bring it up, you didn’t bring it up, she or it didn’t bring it up, we didn’t bring it up, y’all didn’t bring it up and they didn’t bring it up, and beyond that, it’s splitting hairs.

                1. I imagine it was the interviewer as that’s the pattern: Question -> Answer ->Repeat.

  4. Torture will always be an option, whether it’s hidden or stated. We need to feel superior to the thugs that are running amok even though we and previous colonial powers routinely expressed opinions at the cost of millions of innocent lives. Fried in napalm or crucified, take your pick. War is madness and a force of nature. The most important ingredient in an evolving civilization of the awareness of this as wrong. Whether it is done or not is for the most part a result of the circumstances of the moment and the distance kept. The advanced nations, although they commit crimes, recognize them as crimes. This is what sets us apart from the other species. We recognize and attempt to regulate forces of nature. What is the United Nations, imperfect as it is, if not recognizing and attempting to regulate the forces of nature in mankind?

    The animals who celebrate slaughtering innocents are less than the lowest of the other species. No other species celebrates killing. No other species attempts to stop it. The thugs terrorizing the world are lower than the lowest species. Our recognition of our own imperfections puts us at the other end, above these animals. The advanced nations have all but contained and controlled religion and basic forces of nature. Attaching religion to this filth is our first mistake. This filth has nothing to do with any religion.

    The thugs seeking power and treasure must simply be exterminated. They are there, exposed for now. There is the manpower and technology to eradicate them. Obama was doing a decent job balancing the public opinion of not wanting to get involved with being involved. Hopefully DDT will continue and perhaps even refine it up a bit. We need to hear about a regular eradicating of thugs. We are still forces of nature and have our bloodlust.

  5. It’s one party with two faces and not a dimes worth of difference between them.

    1. Oh hush! The people you report on, make flicks about people getting waterboarded and “punished” in various ways! Or at least they will as soon as they find a replacement for the Armory.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  6. Serious question: why is waterboarding considered torture? My understanding is that it causes no broken bones, no bleeding, no physical scars, no disfigurement…

    1. Pain or in some cases causing extreme emotional suffering, can be considered elements of a torture crime.

      Title 18 U.S. Code § 2340 – Definitions

      As used in this chapter—

      (1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;

      (2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
      (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

      (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

      (C) the threat of imminent death; or

      (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and

      1. Always a good place to start but I’ll give you another compeltely legal act that does away with that particular act and it is the Patriot Act. The entity that is empowered to use the provisions of same are the DHS Department of Homeland Security. Two specifics. Within 100 miles of any coast line, navigable waters, or borders the Constitutiomn is suspended. That was approved by the Supreme Court in specific instances.

        The other is replacing probable cause and due process with ‘suspicion off’ which inlcudes no requirement to provide proof, no definitions of the target or any excludded targets and has zero zip nada goose egg civil rights. The use of the eavesdropping laws without a warrant and then per a ruling by :Loretta Lynch the information gathered can be passed out to other entities nto limited to defense, national securithy and intellience or law enforcement.

        Something else to be examined and brought into line. The reason is if we have to give up everything we thought we stood for and thought were our rights then did we or did we not win the war on terror or did the terrorists just change their spots?

        TSA may be a joke but they are a more costly joke than your probable thought. Their purpose to my way of thinking is get you used to, incrementally, a suspension of civil rights.

        DHS purpose was WAS not Homeland Security but the control of the homeland using a very fascist style protective echelon. (That’s German for Schutzstaffel with it’s own Waffen SS.) That was Obamas openly stated plan to counter his inability to control the military or gain their allegiance to himself rather than the Constitution.

        One reason we encouraged the new President to pick a strong military leader to clean up those folks who themselves and for the most part did not seem to pay attention to what they were becoming. Certainly none who work in the Fourth Branch of Government and that’s the one’s who will be cut.

        Back to watrerboarding as a torture. The law is worded with a very wide definition. A parent spaning a child can now be labeled as a terrorist abd charged with torture.

        Back to SERE Training. The first school was run by and for the 5th Special Forces Group and both supported and monitiored by the 1SF Regiment but a great many interest parties., Medical, psychologists and psychiatrist included. i don’t think they bothered with sociologists just the real sciences.

        The training took place on Eglin AFB in Florida at the old Son Tay Raiders training site so it was a duplicate of a real POW camp. conditions were made as real as possible within certain limits. It was hard enough to weed out some – in the manner of an SAS inspired selectioin process.

        To quit one only had to walk to the main gate and say “I quit.” They were immediately disqualified from SF and transferred elsewhere.

        That after all the previous selection they had gone through..

        Not all present day techniques were used in that first go round and even then we all know there was a limit the instructors could not exceed for two reasons. One the Rules of Conduct and the other the simple fact that dead people can’t give up information..

        Consider that on a downed pilot or crew exfiltrationi exercise we made contact. took fingerprints sent them to the ‘head office’ and if any came up false did it again and were given key words to expect or ask. When all else failed the recovered downed pilot was execute if extractioin wasn’t feasible. Up to the point when they figured out that shot was blank round.

        The 24 hour rule was established. The fact was that no one could hold out and the idea was anything you knew would be changed prior to that time.

        Another procedure that came from those early go rounds answered the question why wasn’t the training give before we went to war instead of afterwards?

        But most of that applies to no very many in this discussion.

        In the list of possibilities the very fast gain from the water boarding technique versus the amouont of physical or psychological damage was so minimal as to not be worth mentioning. Other techniques that worked was tossing people out of a helicopter at the end of a tether….they hoped or spending the night in the icy cold water of the people’s pool all the time while wearing a set of hospital pajamas as a prison or POW uniform.

        I can see why some present company would object but then consider the source.

        So back to the initial article. Look at the facts as presented

        Yes I believe it works (In fact I personally know it works)
        But it’s not used by any of our military and banned by our military leaders.
        And by or regular civilian laws.
        And as President I am sworn to uphold the lawws
        No matter what I know or think I know.

        Do you think an Obama would have hesitated?

        If so you really do need shock treatment.

        It’s also why as stated strongest military leaders available were chosen those who have proven they can and do up hold their oath of office.

        Which wears out the discussion on this subject other than asking when are the fascist parts of the Obama version of the Patriot Act going to be changed?


        1. This is a very good post Michael. We really do need to have a discussion about the role of our government and these terrorist organizations. We know the CIA has been the creator/enabler for a lot of these actors out there. Like ISIS and the nice new Toyotas they were traveling from job to job with. And why, when these dregs of the earth were heading up the road to Mosul, didn’t A-10s relieve the world of these varmints?? I don’t think this ISIS thing is a BW situation, and I don’t think we’ll like it when we find out the entire truth. Hopefully this “Fourth Branch of Government” will be cleaned up and out.

          Along the same lines, Tulsi Gabbard laid it out there today about her visit to Syria, and she wasn’t letting the fake newzer Tapper at CNN color the commentary. And she has been just about the only person to go on the record saying we fund ISIS and others.

          Plus, I believe it was Mattis who isn’t big on torture. I think his words were along the lines of “give me a six pack and a pack of cigarettes and I can get more out of someone than torture.”

          You also noted

          Something else to be examined and brought into line. The reason is if we have to give up everything we thought we stood for and thought were our rights then did we or did we not win the war on terror or did the terrorists just change their spots?

          That’s the rub. That’s my question–relevant to Jill’s below as well–don’t we just give away civilization when we partake in those methods? Can we still claim the high ground? I would imagine the truth is that these are late questions, and have been resolved a generation ago.

          I’ll go back to my earlier comment, a clear and just foreign policy would clear up a lot of this crap. We need a strong military person to confront and clean up this “Fourth (and apparently independent) Branch of Government.

          1. Didn’t we give away civilization when we gave up our civil rights? and better part of 16 years later don’t have them back? When you see the government in the role of the Tupamaros? There’s depths to this swamp that should be drained but should never be exhibited.

        2. I read your synopsis with great interest. I went through SERE in the early 90s under the auspices of FASOTRAGRUPAC. I lost about ten pounds during the field training portion. I creaked up the stairs to my apartment fully expecting to take a shower and order a pizza. I sat down to get undressed. I woke up 18 hours later flopped out on my bed with my pants around my ankles.

          1. I’m no one special, by the way. If you want to meet someone who is ex-special forces I know several bar tenders.

            Figure the odds.

            1. Especially Singapore which, despite being a tiny nation, produces probably the highest level of Special Forces/Bartender ratio in the known world.

          2. The first week of the first cycle at Eglin that led to your experience we went on survival evasion mode with one ration. If one eluded capture you still spent the next part in the POW camp doing resistance and escape. There we got a handful of salty rice and some mullet which I hate to this day. We were able to get some folks out as there was an escape tunnel about two feet down in the outhouse that led almost to the tree line. It took a diversion to let the escapees cover that distance.

            I got myself sentenced to the people’s pool just to get a washup and something to drink. Our ending was a bit more elaborate. Just before sun up we fell into formation for accountability. the lights came on. Old glory hit the top fo the flag pole and the natinal anthem was played. In front were our boots and uniforms and the announcement was . Training is secured and over congratulations.

            No one twitched and someone muttered. Don’t fall for it it’s an F’n trick.

            It took one week to get us to that point. But no one moved and the table behind the boots was filled with a ton of food.

            After a bit we figured out it was over and left not a scrap.

            Theyi had some psych evaluators as monitors and they did the ‘soft interrogation phase. was offered a cigarette took it lit up put the pack and lighter in my pocket and the guy didn’t notice from taking notes. i also snagged his car keys. Later I went back in the peoples pool but the keys went in the outhouse hole.

            I don’t think he ever figured that one out.

            Not FUN. but it had it’s moments.

            The only comment was why wasn’t this training given before we went to the war zone instead of after.

            Apparently the military agreed

            We slept on the plane all the way back to Bragg. Once the adrenalin went down. I still have the lighter.

            1. If your remarks are not intended toward me please let everyone including me know. But if they are directed toward me, thank you. I want you to know what my father, the sainted Senior Chief knew. And my DI, the anti-Christ. But if you are who you say you are, you helped me on the road to where I am. Not a quitter. I can always do one more push-up, take one more step.

              But if you aren’t who you claim to be you’ve just made an enemy of someone who won’t quit.

              1. Steve I think we are the only two in this conversation so…you are welcome!

      2. Darren – I keep trying to post a comment but Word Mess won’t let it go through. Can you please find it in the vortex of doom and let me know what’s catching on the filter? Thanks!

    2. If it were Christ administereing the sacraments or a pop quiz in a college class they would consider it torture.

  7. I seriously doubt there is one rational person here that would not do everything imaginable to protect their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. If not, damn. Now extend that out further to our social contract and wouldn’t we want our government to do the same? We as a culture struggle with any number of moral obligations in our civil society but we usually do what any post-17th century culture should do. When we don’t, we typically will measure that action against some agreed moral absolute and make one more step at forming “a more perfect union”.

    The problem we face is not every culture on this planet follows the post-enlightenment era rules. What then are the options our government should take to provide us the national security we expect? The first thing to understand is that we cannot unring our past foreign policy bell. We can make reasonable assessments of the impact our policies have had throughout the world, but the question is what do we do now? What do we do with our enemies? What do we do with enemies that subscribe to a culture that does not respect ours? The Paul Schulte “their country, their laws” is certainly one way to go IF they would not be trying to export their culture to places that do not desire it. Again, the fact past American foreign policy DID NOT respect that principle cannot be undone. Do we have a moral obligation to protect the planet from evil people, including our own? What are our guiding principles?

    Just a reminder to all those people that applauded when previous administrations ignored the rule of law: YOU own the government you created. Please fix your worldview, because no post-enlightenment civil society will survive with a majority of its citizens believing saints are being elected to office.

  8. Whether a person thinks torture works or not, it’s a violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Detainee Treatment Act, and a war crime. Trump swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and faithfully execute the Office of the President, so he better not be violating his oath.
    Mattis is giving Trump good advise.

    1. Neither of the legal instruments you mention are part of the Constitution and ‘war crime’ is a term that has degenerated into a tool of rhetorical gamesmanship.

      1. We signed the 1st and 4th Geneval Conventions, ratified as a treaty by the Senate, and so has the force of law, which the president took a Constitutional oath to faithfully execute. Article 9 allows the Red Cross to have access to detainees and Article 12 requires that detainees be treated humanely and not to be tortured. The problem is that the only body that can prosecute the president for war crimes is Congress via impeachment and removal, but why give liberals the ammunition?

        1. The Geneva Conventions is woefully out of date and out of sync with modern warfare. We and the other countries who have signed the Geneva Conventions need to take stock in the state of war as being fought by the radical Islamic jihadists. They don’t represent a country. They don’t look like what one expects an army to appear. They don’t recognize the Conventions.Their business is torture. Nothing is done when ISIS pours gas on a man in a cage and sets him on fire but the U.S. if vilified for dribbling some water down a terrorist nose. It is reminiscent of the Revolutionary War. The Colonists used what tactics they could including ambushing.The Red Coats were not too happy and shouted “Cheater”. We weren’t playing by the rules. War changes and the rules should be re-evaluated.

          I am not saying what should or shouldn’t be but I do have a problem when someone proudly says they don’t indulge in the “torture” and does not want to put American soldiers in harms what but seemingly has no problem doing in a terrorist leader and anyone else in the vicinity with a drone. Big cost to get no information. We actually got a great deal of our information without water boarding. What information did we get once Obama came to be the man in charge.

          1. Good post Nancy!

            There is so much outrage over the torture of truly evil people and yet there is so much support for the brutal termination of human life through abortion.

            I’m finding it very difficult to find the logic in that.

            1. The problem with this argument is that it implicitly agrees that barbarity is wrong by the standard of taking an unborn life and thus supports the notion of drawing lines regarding torture beyond which one simply should not go.

              It then uses people’s supposed double standard as an argument that they can not challenge the barbarity of torture because they are (supposedly) hypocritical about abortion and it further conflates the two by implying there must therefore be something wrong with the argument against torture.

              What about the individual who is against abortion. Do they have the right to be against torture? If so, then their argument is valid or not regardless of what they feel about abortion. You have simply given them permission to judge the one, because they agree with you on the other.

              1. First of all BB thank you for the previous apology, I accept. The difficult part in putting my thoughts into a post is to capture the entire context of my point without writing a novel. In doing so I end up with a post that would have to assume people understand the full context without actually providing that underlying foundation.

                I do not believe ANYONE on this blog or in any civilized nation supports the practice of torture simply as a matter of law enforcement or national security; unless of course they have some form of mental impairment. The baseline of that statement is that nations are sovereign and the citizens of each nation lives under the basic principles of Vattel’s, “The Law of Nations”. We know that’s not the case but it does lay a foundation for civil society to establish government and laws the provide for the security of life, liberty and property.

                You should find and if not please correct me, that everything I post is rooted in the existence and security of natural rights. I didn’t always believe this way. Until about 9 years ago I had never even knew unalienable rights were even a thing. I had never read the constitution nor had I read the DoI, at least for understanding. I hadn’t studied any of it but once I did, that was it. Once there is clarity on what rights we have that are unalienable, and then to understand the self-evident truths in the DoI and the actual purpose for government, then everything must flow from that; equality and the security of life, liberty and property.

                The arguments against the use of torture falsely imply those that support its use somehow have a barbaric tendency and that they would still support it even if other humane methods of intelligence-gathering were proven more beneficial. That is an intellectually lazy argument to make. There are standard rules of engagement and they typically flow from the least to the most aggressive forms of actions. Each level has some reasoned justification for its use. If a US Destroyer in the Gulf is having its right of way challenged by an Iranian small craft, the necessary response wouldn’t be to send a tomahawk cruise missile into Tehran. Nor is the correct response to go DIW, haul down our ensign and hand over the keys to the Iranians.

                My comment regarding abortion was based solely on my belief in the unalienable right to life. For most of my life I supported the practice. I can make an argument to support it but only in the sense that it protects the mother’s natural rights. I won’t get into that here. My opinion, and I don’t have any data to prove it, is many of the people arguing against torturing really evil people in the interest of national security will unabashedly support the indiscriminate practice of killing an innocent human life.

                1. The arguments against the use of torture falsely imply those that support its use somehow have a barbaric tendency and that they would still support it even if other humane methods of intelligence-gathering were proven more beneficial.

                  Yes, that implication is part of the problem of making the “absolutest” argument against Torture; a sort of unjustified arrogance, though I don’t think it central to the argument itself so much as the way it’s made. But the utility argument against torture is also problematic because it remains so subjective, particularly in the public domain. I would almost rather leave it up to the military (who I believe still has a very solid backbone of a true meritocracy – if only as evidenced by the successful management of such a large organization) to sort the whole thing out. But…one, that is not our way and two, the top and bottom edges of the military do not seem to merit my assessment and they would be ultimately be involved in any such decision.

                  I still prefer the absolutest argument, acknowledging it’s weakness, because it obviates the discussion of whether or not torture is effective which has a nasty way of legitimizing the practice via a subjective back door. Also, while your point remains true that the vast majority of people that would defend torture in certain circumstances are by no means wedded to its brutality in any way, it is also true that those who actually perform torture have – by most publicly available accounts and by various studies, a strong tendency to forget that distinction and go over to the dark side. Fact or not, that point is NOT central to why torture is barbaric, but if true, it is revealing about something inherently corrupting and thus wrong with the practice.

                  Anyway, you do indeed have the underlying strength of character to take short cuts in your comments (and as you point out, it’s a necessity anyway). And your general tenor that we are but human in our ways of approaching this, that is, prone to mistake but presumably of good intention, is the strongest argument, that there is some point to our back and forth.

                  As always, best…

            2. BTW, Olly, I apologized above and mention it in case you come back here. I’m not justifying my offending comment, simply drawing your attention to the apology.

            1. Olly,
              There’s been reference to the Geneva Conventions requiring POW status for members of terrorist groups.
              I’m not that knowledgable about the Geneva Conventions, but the debate about required treatment of “unlawful combatants” has been going on for some time.
              Based on what little knowledge I do have about the issue, it seems that “unlawful combatants” are protected by the Geneva Conventions.
              American CAN chose to treat them as “regular POWs” rather than “unlawful combatants”, but it doesn’t look like the Geneva Conventions gives unlawful combatants the same protections as “traditional” POWs.

              1. No they are not covered by the Geneva Convention that’s for legitimate and semi legitimate countries. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they got that status and security council seats in the UN. Good thing we have a President who understands there is no higher authority than the Constitution and the citizens of the country who are Constitutionalists. The rest are substantive only in a mind over matter situation. I don’t mind and they don’t matter.

                God Loves The Infantry.

                1. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if they got that status and security council seats in the UN.”

                  Nicely done! Given the Nobel Committee’s track record on the Peace Prize, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would be on their short list IF the caliphate stayed out of Norway.

                  1. Nah.. it’s the infantry army or marines. I heard a gunny say that once when we were training together.

                    1. Well then, far be it from me to dispute a Marin Gunnery Sergeant. This is, no (expletive deleted) my DI.

                      Maybe you’re the man to trust me on this, I dunno, but I’d swear on a stack of Bibles this was not the nice, sweet character I confronted at AOCS. Something happened during the course of making this flick.


                      “Pressure Point (1990)”

                2. Just kidding.


                  “…The small assault force was not entirely alone as it came in to a hostile shore. The British destroyer Talybont, which had taken part in the early bombardment of Pointe du Hoe at range of 2.7 miles, saw the flotilla heading in on a wrong course, and found it difficult to understand, “as Texas’ fall of shot on Pointe du Hoe was obvious.” As the Rangers corrected course and came under fire from the cliff positions, the Talybont closed range and for 15 minutes (0645-0700) raked enemy firing positions with 4-inch and 2-pounder shells. Meantime, the U.S. destroyer Satterlee, 2,500 yards from Pointe du Hoe, could see enemy troops assembling on the cliff, and opened with main battery and machine-gun fire.

                  …A few grenades were thrown down or rolled over the edge as the first Rangers crossed the sand, and enemy small-arms fire came from scattered points along the cliff edge. Particularly dangerous was enfilade fire, including automatic weapons, from the German position on the left flank of the beach. Once at the foot of the cliff the Rangers were better off, for the piles of debris gave partial defilade from the flanking fires, and the enemy directly above would have to expose themselves in order to place observed fire or to aim their grenades.

                  Naval support came to the aid of the Rangers at this critical moment. The destroyer Satterlee watched the craft reach shore, and saw the enemy firing from the cliff above. The Satterlee immediately took the cliff tops under fire from its 5-inch guns and 40-mm machine guns. Fire control was excellent, despite attempts of enemy machine guns and a heavier gun to counter the destroyer’s effort. Comdr. J. W. Marshall, commanding the Satterlee, believed this fire was decisive in enabling the Rangers to get up the cliff. However, his impression that the assault force “was pinned under the cliff and being rapidly cut to pieces by enemy fire” is not confirmed by the speed with which the escalade got under way, or by other details of the landing. Curiously enough, only three or four men out of 120 survivors interviewed remembered noticing naval fire after touchdown. One of these was Colonel Rudder, who “had the living hell scared out of him” by explosions which brought down a section of cliff just over his head, and which came from an unknown source. Both impressions�the Rangers’, that there was no fire support worth mentioning, and the Satterlee’s, that the Rangers were pinned down�are easily understandable under the circumstances of battle and the difficulties of observation. The probability is that the destroyer’s fire on the cliff top, at the moment when the Rangers were starting their assault, did a great deal to prevent effective enemy opposition at the decisive moment.

                  In any event, the assault went forward without check. Ranger casualties on the beach totaled about 15, most of them from the raking fire to their left. In something less than ten minutes from landing, the first Ranger parties were getting over the cratered edges of the cliff top. The story of the boat teams will be given in order from right to left, roughly the order of landing…”

                  It turns out the Navy loves the infantry, too.The skipper of the Satterlee said if he had to run his ship aground to see those soldiers make it to the top, that’s what he’d do.


                  1. This isn’t an exact quote, but the Army types told the Satterlee to stick around, as her accuracy and efficacy had been “excellent.”

                  2. Nice. A month or so ago they would have been abandoned for sure four plus years ago.

                    Nice to have a Commander-In-Chief again

    2. Trump beat you to that view in his original statement. But I’m sure he thanks you for the support.

  9. JT completely misses the point of the President’s comment, naturally. The point is that the captured enemies of America must THINK that they could be tortured.

    The reason that Islamoterrorists feel totally comfortable committing their terrorist acts on Americans is that they believe that Americans are soft, stupid, passive, and compliant to Islam. And they are 100% correct—under Obama, the Islamopander-in-Chief presiding over the U.S. for the previous 8 years.

    The point is to CHANGE that perception. Are we getting it now, Leftists libtards?

  10. Trump is laying the bricks for the rise of the Democratic party from it’s well earned ashes in two years. We will have the choice of pure iron fist or iron fist cum identity politics to paper over the continued give a way of a nation to a hand full of rich old farts. Opps, sorry, old farts -> Young AND Old farts.

      1. Don’t quite follow. I assume my snark-O-meter needs a little whack, but still don’t quite get the gist.

        Speaking of deportation, I strongly suspect the Deep State will use things like Torture to impeach Trump if he does not play ball with them. Bush and Obama both used torture, but they also DID play ball. Boy did they play ball.

        Trump, however, is threatening not to play in ways including massive deportation of cheap labor, nixing highly sought after international power transfer deals (called trade deals), upsetting the give away to rapacious insurance companies – at least until something yet more rawly exploitative is there to replace it, and frustrating well laid plans of economic and geopolitical war with Russia. All these things will add up to removal if Trump continues them in earnest. It’s not enough that Trump’s ultimate aims align with theirs. These are cautious people that want no interruptions in dividends and can’t abide frustrating -one man band – deviations in such a position of power.

        So Trump has two choices, he can continue to thumb his nose at the deep state and risk impeachment or more definitive means of removal, or he can aim his bombast at other less sensitive targets, and let his current foom-pas quietly settle back into meaningless paper tigers.

          1. Found that you tube at Counterpunch. Forgot to mention the pain his executive orders are causing native Americans along with Muslims and Mexicans today.

            1. Joe – he has offended maybe 20 Sioux, that is not all Indians. No one has an automatic right into this country, so the Muslims cannot be offended. And the Mexicans deserve to be insulted lately. The peso is dropping like a rock. Trump will get a call from Pena by the end of next week.

        1. My point is that Trump is playing identity politics when he targets Muslims, Mexicans and now cities. I think Trump is fully aboard with the deep state after getting of to a rocky start with a portion of it. If he gets impeached, it will be either because he is loony tunes or has committed a financial indiscretion that even the most corrupt can’t overlook. As to insurers, the insurance companies love the vouchers and health services accounts that Trump is touting. Their stocks are at highs and they are feeling no pain thus far. We apparently view the situation differently.

          1. We apparently view the situation differently.

            Indeed. I wasn’t very clear and the point isn’t worth elaboration. But if you see Trump as already conforming to the deep state, I think you’re missing a lot of what’s going on.

            1. I do. He blew a kiss to Comey. Also in the Counterpunch publication, there is an article about Trump’s white identity politics. You claim that the democrats engage in identity politics which is often the case but ignore the white identity politics played by Trump and some of his supporters.

              1. Now there are some real facts in evidence.

                ‘blew a kiss to…” sounds kinky to me.

                CounterPunch is a bi-monthly magazine published in the United States that covers politics in a manner its editors describe as “muckraking with a radical attitude” …

                Kinky and racist. Ought to win in any court in the land. Question is …which country?

                No wonder the centrist moderate supporters of the Constitution won the election. This left wing stuff gets wilder al lthe time.l

                1. Yes well as Olly says above, being honest about depravity is apparently a refreshing virtue. Fox for instance, calls it’s muckraking, “fair and balanced reporting.” Hardly honest like Counterpunch, but indeed muckraking. 🙂

                  I’ll concede that NBC, CBS, and their cabal outlets and the other flameing fake news outlets are no better and at least at present considerably worse. But that is no excuse.

                  Anyway, as to your comment, it actually makes sense. So congratulations on that. But you paint with a broad brush and the obvious fact you didn’t even glance at the link points to the typical self important bloviating quality of your strokes.

                  1. Well after finding out the main references were crap I thought hey? It’s not my place to prove your assertion especially after the main article already did so. especially when the garbage spewing has replaced any resemblence to facts. i can imagine somo defending seeing you in the jury on his or her trial and going oh shit.

                    The GUARDIAN for BS’s sake? And you build on that with more personal opinion?

                    How do you arrive at evil? How do you arrive at ethics? Not through the path of mysticism and blaming some other world. and then you quote the same baseless crap?

                    The original article dumb ass stated in not uncertain terms.

                    Do you think torture works? Yes.

                    But it’s against the law and as President I am sworn to obey the law.

                    Now let’s look at who started all this crap.

                    Patriot Act changed probable cause to ‘suspicion of and removed all civil rigthts simply by prounouncin with or without proof ‘act of terrorism. Obama extended that incude ‘supporting terrorism.’ All civil rights gone. No Mrianda Escobedo, no attorney , no jury, no judge, no right of appeal and the sentence can be lengthened at the whim of some faceless bureaucrat. For those arrested under that law anything goes.

                    Obama not only strengthened that law which by the way defines nothing much less excludes citizens but publicly stated he wangted to build the DHS into a force equal to or greater than the military. It was your sides politicians who called for concentrations camps.

                    and all you can quote is Guardian, and a series of left wing fascist publications?

                    Now let’s ask this. Would you agree with surgical shears into the skull with a little slicing and icing perhaps in front of other people to encourage les autres? You know sort of a demonstration. How about sticking a big syringe full of formaldehyde in their heads and slowly emptying it and pickling the brain?

                    And now you want; to rewrite some one elses interview and misquote it?

                    What part of a. Yes it works but b. it’s illegal and c. it cannot be used because it is against the law did you f’n fail to understand. Well Stupid is as stupid does.

                    What part of the ban on late term abortion ban did you fail to understand? the methods i stated is the one that used to be used in the USA until murdering viable citizens wads banned and the second is used in China. Now we have a movement to move viabilty to six weeks using the mothers heart beat as proof of viability and that isn’t going to wash either. but ability to survive a premature birth IS. And it’s the law. No matter what or who your are. Same with torture. Trying to twist and reframe that IS evil.

                    There’s damn good reason we fnally had enough and drove you sick puppies out of power. and then you keep trying to make yourselves look all goody two shoes?

                    Try that frame for size and tell your programmer your metaphors and your sources lost out again.

                    You can’t have ethics without morals and you can’t have morals without reason and you can’t have reason without thinking and you can’t think without consciousness awareness and you can’t attan that as part of the secular progressive collective blindly following your programmers.

                    You see I don’t care about you. You are nothing by your own choice. But you are a useful tool to demonstrate so go ahead get repogrammed and look stupid once again.


                  2. “Yes well as Olly says above, being honest about depravity is apparently a refreshing virtue.”

                    Shame on you Brooklin Bridge, I expected better from you.Here is part of my comment at 9:18am that you completely misrepresented.

                    “I view his comments as absolutely refreshing; truthful AND a warning to our enemies. Don’t f*ck with us. Don’t do things that would warrant a response by this President because he will use EVERY legal measure to address them AND will be supportive of “other” measures should he be asked to approve them.”

                    1. Apologies Olly, it was indeed a cheap shot and should have been qualified.

                      What bothers me about your statement does not justify my remark.

                      Again, sorry. 🙁

                    2. To be fair, my disagreement is that your original comment has the clause, […] AND will be supportive of “other” measures should he be asked to approve them.

                      That, “other”, I found to be insidious.

                      To me, this simply means that if there is a bit of an issue with torture, a hiccup of conscience for example, then the President can just support “other” measures by approving them. Other measures meaning torture, I suspect (rightly or wrongly) only expressed in a cagey manner. If torture, just say it. If not, be specific.

                      Then, assuming torture is meant, If the President can change the law so easily and suddenly make torture legal with a mere signature, then acts of depravity – which is what I claim torture to be – are indeed lightly taken and the only redeeming value I see is that one is at least honest about it.

                      Ultimately, one can only put a veneer of polish over such a decision. The President does not have authority over what constitutes right and wrong or good and evil. One might challenge the President’s authority to do so, but even that is not my argument. My argument is that torture is barbaric, an act of depravity, regardless of any other act of depravity and regardless of a Presidents (dubious) ability to change established treaties without consent of congress.

              2. For heavens sake, Joe, this isn’t tit for tat. Yes, both parties do bad things. No argument. But they have distinct personalities. Democrats tend to hide economic neoliberalism behind Identity politics issues that don’t impact the economy – that’s the Democratic form of Pavlov’s bell ringing, ostensibly helping blacks or gays or women or immigrants while hiding the fact they will cut your SS if they get half a chance – and Republicans tend to be up front about their neoliberal economic views, cut SS rather than perpetual war, because their think tanks have already conditioned their base to respond favorably to that particular form of pavlov’s bell ringing and they use identity politics as a means of arousing fear that supports the “conditioning” of such a view.

                1. I will say that Trump is using identity politics to get support for his wall. Do you support the wall and if you do how should it be paid for?

                2. I think the good people that voted for Trump as a change candidate are becoming disillusioned but those that voted for him because of white identity politics will stay with him until the bitter end. And it is too bad that the democrats did not offer a better alternative because we are now all in this sinking ship.

                  1. Agree very much with your last sentence. No matter what happens to the Democrat party, I hope we start to get choices that mean something in the future. I’ve stopped voting for the lessor evil that is always nevertheless more evil than the time before. And even if that gambit had worked on me, Hillary and her war mongering was simply too toxic for me to swallow under ANY circumstance.

                    I am under ZERO illusions she would have condoned torture but she would have done it in secret rather than out in the open.

                  2. But you dont ‘think’ thats why your bunch got kicked out, lost their party and are irrelevant. Being programmed daily is not thinking. and white identity politics is a description of secular regressives. and that’s why you are in a sinking ship. the moderate centrist supporters of the Constitution are doing just fine. You din’t think and you can’t thwim and you can’t rely on a programmed whim but please. Don’t step on the grass or pollute the oceans in your thoughtless devotion to your ruling class.

    1. As to identity politics,Trump plays a role in this. He is causing Mexicans and Muslims to have knots in their stomachs today.

      1. Now they’ll know how Christians, Jews and American Conservatives felt for the last 8 years. Do you hold equal concern for all persecuted groups or only those that identify with your worldview?

        1. That really makes no sense since I am a christian married to a Jew. Oh, and most Mexicans are Christians, too. Even George Bush proclaimed that most Muslims are peace loving. P.S.Torturing someone is a very grave sin against humanity.

          1. So are or so they claim are most of the Democrats and so wwere most WWII Germans. Try another frame that one must have been worm eaten. hell we had an Army Chaplain who was a former Trappist Monk and ended up marrying a Jewish lady. What’s that got to do with facts or evidence of your original charges? The way it works you make the statement the burden of proof is on you. No one really care about how much you embarrass your wife.

            As the rest of you can see the typical run of the mill garden variety secular regressive playbook. Boring…

          2. You made the comment that “He [Trump] is causing Mexicans and Muslims to have knots in their stomachs today.”

            “Do you hold equal concern for all persecuted groups or only those that identify with your worldview?”

            Your reply did not answer my question. Let me rephrase it:

            Do you stand in defense of ALL groups that have “knots in their stomach” because their natural right to life, liberty and property are being infringed by the government? I’m not talking just about perceived infringement, but actual, provable infringement?

      2. and law breakers. So let’s address this sancturary stuff.

        The people who are going to get rounded up and ejected are criminals. How do we know that. Because they were arrested for commiting carious crimes by the local authoritied and THEN found out to be undocumented.

        So what the Sanctimonious Sancturaries are saying is…IF you are an undocumented alien who commited a crime we will protect you. But if you are a local citizen who commited a crime we will punish you. How do we differentiate. Because you got arreted commiting a crime.

        The list of those to be ejected calls for criminals aliens. Criminal comes first, alien comes second.

        But Mexico – and my friends down here since I am in Mexico have two comments – say we’re trying to concvince local people that arresting and deporting criminals is a good thing and saves Mexico money since many of them are not Mexicans but from other countries further south. Second they wonder why anyone in their right mind would support a criminal that they know is a criminal and turn tthem loose again and again simply because they are undocumented while presumably punishying their own citizens who are criminals.

        Well that bit of logic didn’t escape anyone who can read, think and reason.

        Dreamers are being exempted

        Those who are undocumented but are not criminals are being put in some sort of legal status even if it’s wait in line.

        Our own people who are caught paying substandard wages are in for a surprise for violating labor laws.

        We’ve got a huge amount of infrastructure to rebuld and the means to pay for it but do we have workers?

        So that means two things. IF the employer cannot find employees at the employment office the employer can register for Green Carders or Braceros. or some such version.

        IF the unemployed but able on welfare refuse a certain number of job offers they can have their welfare pulled.

        If employers short change employes the can be jailed to pick lettuce themselves.

        BUT the real criminals are out of luck.

        The qud pro quo perhaps is Mexico cooperates with an interchange of criminal information to weed that element out and Mexico cuts the cost of passports so they are obtanable and they are in no need to try the desert route.

        Now of course the real reason comes out. Can’t control people who are happy and have hope and a future that is attainable. That’s how we’ll get our voting base back and then it’s business as usual.

        conclusion…Sancturary cities are a power grab by the left wing socialsts and secular regressives practicing their wierd religion.

        But jailing our citizens while giving aid and comfort to foreign citizens when both are criminals?

        Defines logic but then I did’t write this for you but the cognizant conscious self governing thinking and reasoning class. You know them as the one’s who figured out how to win an election against someone who DID NOT get a majority electorl 55 to 45 percent or popular she only got 48.2 percent.

        Since it looks like the african americans are goingi to take over the Democrat party what are you secular regressive white identify extremists going to do?

  11. Top seven State Department career officers resign. Chief Border Patrol head resigns? fired? Mexican president cancels his trip.

    Looking good, Trump. The folks here will have their twisting truth abilities tested.

    1. No, a bunch of people at the apex of the management cone of the Foreign Service saw their pro-forma letters of resignation accepted (being discretionary appointees, they submitted them in due course on 20 January). One will be retiring and the others are seeking re-assignment to career positions. A couple of these people have been in their jobs for about 18 months and another is occupying a slot so crucial HRC left it vacant for two years.

  12. Torture is barbaric; it is the primordial slime of humanities’ worst and darkest impulses and for this reason highest among others we have joined and created internationally binding laws against it.

    The only thing torture is successful at in the long run is 1) hollowing out the moral substance of the Nation State that succumbs to the temptation and 2) granting the final victory to those blood thirsty fanatics, external and internal, that would endorse torture for any perceived gain, long or short term. Welcome to the club of truly sick twisted minds; of North Korea, of terrorists groups that have lost the last vestiges of humanity due to the final victory of fanaticism, pain and anguish. Welcome to the final stop – rock bottom – of lessor evilism, and it’s howling contradiction It’s OK if we do it (just this once), cause we‘re the good guys. (what better proof of being the “good guy” than to succumb to torture – what better way to protect civilization than by eliminating it).

    1. Gibberish about respecting the law on Torture but re-inventing it if we have to is NOT 11 dimensional chess or any substitute for it. It is the ravings of the utter weakling that will use any kind of force to get his or her way.

      The rule of law is meaningless if it is not a rule you need obey, but only one you need impose.

    2. Abortion’s barbaric in the extreme. Your ilk defend it without qualification.

      1. What a pathetic shot in the dark. You have no clue what I think about abortion and even less of a glimmer into “my ilk.” How could you? Hatred is ignorance, and brimming, you add only the veneer of sense.

        1. What a pathetic shot in the dark. You have no clue what I think about abortion

          Unless your name is ‘Peter Steinfels’, I know exactly what you think about it.

          1. As I said, the come backs are weak AND pathetic. But they act as training vehicle and serve to get more votes for the Constitutional center and the pradtioners of representative democratic principles.

          2. No you don’t. You couldn’t even begin to.

            What you are doing is blowing a Republican dog whistle for the purpose of character assassination so as to conflate the issue of Torture with my presumed deficiency in standards. Even assuming I have the double standard you imply, it has no relation to the inhumanity of Torture except one.

            You agree, or at least your argument does, that human rights legitimately include protection from barbaric behavior. If not, your argument looses all its air and slithers back to being merely a dog whistle to put in question my character and along with it the absurdly conflated notion that that has anything what-so-ever to do with Torture.

      1. JC you might remind the idiot that this nation state did succumb when it cancelled the Bill of Rights and all Civil rights using the Patriot Act and that law is still in effect. One largely undefined word is the magic key.

        Probable Cause and Due Process with a warrant required etc. became ‘arrest on suspicion of acts of terrorism or supporting terrorists’ No proof required and no civil rights warning etc. And US Citizens are not exempted.

        His buddy Obama the great legal expert read that over and added the part about ‘supporting terrorists and approved another that extends sentences.without legal representation.

        Coming soon to a concentration camp near you. Will that happen. Maybe not but if does it’s legal.

        Hows that for torture.

      2. What Brooklin Bridge wrote. That some in this country would support it reflects their unwillingness to be of better character and to live in a civilized society.

    1. I had a friend who was a veteran of the Battle of Leyte (and was later on the staff of Vito Marcantonio). He was perplexed about these controversies. He said when he was in the service (1943-45), irregulars could be executed on the spot at the discretion of field commanders. He suggested we put the Guantanamo detainees on rafts, point toward the east, and tell them ‘there’s Asia’.

      1. One of my relatives was in WWII, and was a gunner on an aircraft carrier(?) or some kind of boat in the Pacific. He says in one battle they they tried to shoot down Japanese pilots who were parachuting to the ocean. IIRC, it was near some place where the pilots would be able to fly back the next day and attack again. He’s dead now, so I can’t confirm this.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl reporter

        1. Happened in more than one country in more than one war. WWI pilots were denied the use of parachutes as it might tend to make the home team look cowrdly (British.) By WWII Germans were shooting down pilots and paratroops hanging under their chutes. So were a number of others. WWII our side shot down an unarmed transport plane. Of course it contained the Commanding General of the Japanese military. My grandfather related stores of German POWs being marched to the rear herded into shell holes and machinegunned. The Germans killed of about 40,000 poles in the Katyn forest. In the USA not a few years ago we had elected officials at the federal level calling for the use of Concentration Camps. PS They weren’t Republicans. These looney and two bit hollyweeds wanting to blow up the White House.

          It’s not unusual.

          1. Michael Aarethun – I think you will find the Russians were found responsible for the Katyn Forest massacre.

    2. Pierre Leuillette’s memoir of the Algerian War is instructive. Irregulars when caught were lined up and shot on site.

      1. Women and children were also shot, to make a point. The French did it mostly person to person. In Vietnam we did it mostly from the air. Over a million and a half civilians were killed during the Vietnamese War of Liberation. Most the result of a jet pilot pressing a button. The question that is rarely asked is when an innocent dies from the push of a button what is the difference between that and slitting someone’s throat? Oh yeah, us or US.

        1. You asked, ” The question that is rarely asked is when an innocent dies from the push of a button what is the difference between that and slitting someone’s throat? Oh yeah, us or US.”

          Regarding “collateral damage” or civilian casualties, might I quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, — ‘Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.’

          Apparently, you are not as smart as a dog.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

  13. What part of “Isis is not your run-of-the-mill enemy combatant” don’t some of you get? They don’t just kill prisoners who are soldiers. They kill civilians, with glee. Here is one, a woman whose crime was being a Christian:

    There are more gruesome pictures at the link:

    These are not outliers, or some rogue Isis unit. This is the whole group’s modus operandi.Now who do some of you good concerned citizens worry about? The woman? Hell no, the guys slitting her throat! That’s who you have a soft spot for! The psychopaths. You worry that they might be uncomfortable being water boarded or slapped around some.

    Absurd. And sick.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Your comment personifies your moniker. That you view such images, let alone post them, says volumes of your character. Torture is not about other people. it is what it says about US! WE cannot let ourselves stoop to such depths, or we become no better than they. Simple concept.

      1. Darn straight it says something about you! You says you are some kind of a narcissistic twit who is more concerned with how they appear to the world, than a caring human being who desires to stop psychopathic murdering animals! While you are patting yourself on the back for being such a caring and tolerant human being, this poor woman and thousands others are mouldering in the grave somewhere.

        And if this image bothers you, and you aren’t the kind of person who looks at such stuff, then that just means that you have been blathering on about “character” without a hint of knowing what you are talking about. Because you can’t be bothered to look at the image. So you don’t even know how brutal these people are while you are whining about waterboarding them.

        And no, waterboarding a throat-slitter is not as bad as being a throat-slitter. If you think so, then you are not much of a thinker.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

          1. Hogwash. You two guys get help. You are worried that somebody is going to be mean to throat-slitters, burn people alive-ers, and head-cutter offers. You’re the sick ones.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. I agree with you on your decision to post that photo and I do not care what your critics say about that. It’s their problem that they do not want to see the truth about the bloodlust of this juggernaut of terror. I also believe that they deserve the same exact fate and that it should be administered in a way that is convincing that their imagined reward won’t come to them in the afterlife. However it is necessary for an army to conform with the international law of war even if the enemy pisses on it. Trump has decided that way in spite of his horror over the innocent people who fell to these butchers. That is all that matters now. He will bow to the advice of General Mattis who has the respect of the military. Since Trump’s detractors have determined themselves to be the thought and speech police there’s nothing I can do about that erroneous mantle. Neither can you. So I suggest that we pray that this bloody vermin ISIS is eradicated by standard legal means to include projectiles coated with lard shot by female warriors. That scares these barbarian freaks. It’s not torture when you send them home to the devil they came from.

              1. Years ago I made the decision that I would look at every picture my enemy took of their victims, as the were victimizing them. I could not function as an intel officer if I was afraid or unwilling to face the truth. Squeeky, you done good.

      2. Have decided she or he has psychopathic tendencies and seeks to horrify with words and pictures.

      3. You would prefer to blind yourself of the reality of what these animals are doing to other human beings? I can only imagine the pure terror this person was going through while this scum of the earth held him helpless. All you left wing liberal weenies should view such atrocities maybe it will give you the nerve to lift arms to destroy these animals. Did you think that if you closed your eyes to this photo this scum who threaten all peace loving humans will go away? Wake up, Squeeky is not like those broads wearing their pink hats demanding God knows what, she tells the truth and as we all know the truth hurts.

        1. Thank you! I don’t think some of these people have any earthly idea what we are dealing with when it comes to Isis. They’re going on about “rules of war” when Isis does not follow any of those rules. Isis kills its prisoners, often in horrible ways. Isis murders civilians, in the same horrible ways. And some of these are prattling on about decency. My advice is, take that message to Isis. Take it to them in person, if you dare.

          And no, waterboarding is not as bad as burning somebody alive, or slicing off their head with a butcher knife. People who get waterboarded usually live to see the morrow with naught but a bad memory.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl reporter

        2. Well said. It’s just that the coddled sugar lumps do not know what real evil looks like and it soothes them to deflect. That is sad but this is the new wave of normative moral relativism that has infected the feminist movement and made pathetic weenies of too many American males.

      4. Finding terrorists on the battlefield performing murder such as depicted in the photograph is punishable under rules 5.56 x 45 and 7.62 x 51.

        1. LOL! That will be over some people’s heads. Technically, this kind of murder during a war is a war crime or a crime against humanity and the perps can no longer be summarily executed, as they could be a century ago. They must get some kind of a trial first. I suspect the Kurds, Russians, Syrians, Iraqi troops, and probably ours too are not too finicky about the trial stuff.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

      1. It wasn’t me. If you had bothered to got to the link, then you would know that. But I guess that is Liberal Hypocrisy to the Rescue! If you don’t look at what Isis actually does on a routine basis, then you can hop on a soapbox and wax wroth about cruel waterboarding somebody is. And there is no context to view the waterboarding in. Plausible deniability, you know.

        I guess that is also why Liberals hate those pictures of aborted babies. Makes it kind of hard to pretend that they are good and kind. And not a bunch of baby-murdering monsters.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. Can you be a Christian and a Liberal? Why yes you can. Pick one of the 300 plus versions or no version at all do a quicky confession and acceptance speech – to yourself- and there you are. It’s the religious version of ‘saying is the same as doing’ and it only counts on Sunday morning…if you want it to other wise. Home Free!! Then go out and sell used cars.

          However…when you get to the guy and he asks a point blank question… his hands. One lever opens the gates the other is a FREE FUN RIDE at SEVEN FLAGS!

          And if you believe that you can be a liberal whatever that is Christian – or Muslim – or Bhuddist or….Secularist

        2. Can you be a Christian and a Liberal? Why yes you can. Pick one of the 300 plus versions or no version at all do a quicky confession and acceptance speech – to yourself- and there you are. It’s the religious version of ‘saying is the same as doing’ and it only counts on Sunday morning…if you want it to other wise. Home Free!! Then go out and sell used cars.

          However…when you get to the guy and he asks a point blank question… his hands. One lever opens the gates the other is a FREE FUN RIDE at SEVEN FLAGS!

          And if you believe that you can be a liberal whatever Christian – or Muslim – or Bhuddist or….Secularist… or something.

          1. Damn I must be a liberal I thought about the last two words and presto there they were!

        3. Girl Reporter: I knew it wasn’t you and I did check out the site, which seemed to me a hell-bent attack on Muslims rather than criminal elements using that faith as a shield like demagogues do. But I do sense in you a rather one-sided view of human rights consistently since I started posting on this site.

          1. Those “criminal elements” are the ones that people are distressed might be made uncomfortable by waterboarding. Which people are entitled to be distressed about whatever they wish to be distressed about. But I am also entitled to have a low opinion of those who seem to worry way too much the throat-slitters. And who express the idiotic theory that if we waterboard a throat-slitter, then we are just as bad as the throat-slitter. Huh??? Let’s play Pick Your Poison!

            You have been captured by an unknown entity that provides you a multiple choice questionnaire about your next planned activity. Here are the choices!

            1. Be burned alive;
            2. Have your head cut off with a butcher knife;
            3. Have your throat slit over a wash tub;
            4. Be drowned in an iron cage;
            5. Be thrown off a high building;
            6. Be hung;
            7. Be machine gunned down in front of your soon to be mass grave; or
            8. Be waterboarded.

            Why do I think number 8 is going to be the unanimous choice???

            Because, no. There is no possible Universe where waterboarding somebody is as bad as doing the other 7 things. Period.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

  14. We used to throw guys from the other side of the war out of helicopters over their own villages where their families could see them arrive home. Not as bad as what they did to us. Ask that dork in the Senate named McCain. He might remember what they did to him.

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