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Goddamn, I Do Hate Dennis Prager: “9 Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture”

He’s a jerk.

9 Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture

"Any human being with a functioning conscience or a decent heart loathes torture. Its exercise has been a blight on humanity. With this in mind, those who oppose what the Bush administration did to some terror suspects may be justified. But in order to ascertain whether they are, they need to respond to some questions…"

Just like the difficult but reasonable questions you took the time to answer about torture just before you pissed on America’s good name and the Geneva Conventions? I don’t recall your answers. And does this mean that once we blow your childish tantrum–disguised as ‘9 Questions’–out of the water, you’ll admit you’re wrong and apologize for the evil that you’ve been cheerleading? Because I seriously doubt you’re that intelligent or honest, Dennis.

C’mon, man, just look at your pretense here: "..those who oppose what the Bush administration did to some terror suspects may be justified. But in order to ascertain whether they are, they need to respond to some questions.."

You mean to say there’s no justification for opposing torture if the answers don’t make you happy? You want to know us before you can admit that torture is wrong? Geez, Dennis, you’re a strange one. Torture was evil before I was born, it doesn’t matter what I think right now. But if you have to know:

1. Given how much you rightly hate torture, why did you oppose the removal of Saddam Hussein, whose prisons engaged in far more hideous tortures, on thousands of times more people, than America did — all of whom, moreover, were individuals and families who either did nothing or simply opposed tyranny? One assumes, furthermore, that all those Iraqi innocents Saddam had put into shredding machines or whose tongues were cut out and other hideous tortures would have begged to be waterboarded.

It wasn’t worth a single American life. Evil is everywhere, but we’re not the self-righteous garbagemen of the world. If Americans are about to die, I’ll consider putting other American lives on the line. If you want to volunteer yourself or your family to assassinate dictators, be my guest.

2. Are all forms of painful pressure equally morally objectionable? In other words, are you willing to acknowledge that there are gradations of torture as, for example, there are gradations of burns, with a third-degree burn considerably more injurious and painful than a first-degree burn? Or is all painful treatment to be considered torture? Just as you, correctly, ask proponents of waterboarding where they draw their line, you, too, must explain where you draw your line.

We ‘drew’ the line a long, long time ago, and you guys are the dumb savages who erased it. Go look for yourself–read the U.S. Army Field Manuals and the Conventions of Geneva. I’m against waterboarding because it’s torture.

3. Is any maltreatment of anyone at any time — even a high-level terrorist with knowledge that would likely save innocents’ lives — wrong? If there is no question about the identity of a terror suspect, and he can provide information on al-Qaida — for the sake of clarity, let us imagine that Osama Bin Laden himself were captured — could America do any form of enhanced interrogation involving pain and/or deprivation to him that you would consider moral and therefore support?

I’d want to kill the fucking guy with my own hands, but then I’m a flawed human being. I’d let the professional interrogators have a crack at him. Those guys have been learning, developing and plying effective methods of extracting information for decades, if not centuries. Dennis, you do remember World War II, right? That was a fight for the future of everything, and we still managed to win without rotely torturing prisoners for intelligence gathering. And for refreshers, the relative threats of evil? September the Eleventh: 3,000 killed, Al Qaeda: 5,000 killed, Axis powers: 400,000 Americans and 20,000,000 soldiers and 25,000,000 civilians killed.

4. If lawyers will be prosecuted for giving legal advice to an administration that you consider immoral and illegal, do you concede that this might inhibit lawyers in the future from giving unpopular but sincerely argued advice to the government in any sensitive area? They will, after all, know that if the next administration disapproves of their work, they will be vilified by the media and prosecuted by the government.

Signed treaties are the law of the land, and for opinions so shockingly wayward of well-established American law, as the Geneva Conventions have been since the first one in 1864, the lawyers should be canned, shamed and stripped of their Bar standings. It’s the guys who hired and listened to these obliging incompetents who get prosecuted. The President, for starters.

5. Presumably you would acknowledge that the release of the classified reports on the handling of high-level, post-Sept. 11 terror suspects would inflame passions in many parts of the Muslim world. If innocents were murdered because nonviolent cartoons of Muhammad were published in a Danish newspaper, presumably far more innocents will be tortured and murdered with the release of these reports and photos. Do you accept any moral responsibility for any ensuing violence against American and other civilians?

What? Dennis, you’re the kind of idiot that would have held the Rodney King trial and verdicts in hermitic secrecy. When wrong is exposed and the world erupts, everybody learns that the consequences are dire–as they should be. Good citizens want to know how their decisions affect their communities, the society, the world. We’re not the Roman Empire, reaching for the Gods’ embrace while standing on the backs of twitchy slaves.

6. Many members of the intelligence community now feel betrayed and believe that the intelligence community will be weakened in their ability to fight the most vicious organized groups in the world. As reported in the Washington Post, former intelligence officer “(Mark) Lowenthal said that fear has paralyzed agents on the ground. Apparently, many of those in the know are certain that life-saving information was gleaned from high level terror suspects who were waterboarded. As Mike Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit in charge of tracking Osama bin Laden, said, ”We were very certain that the interrogation procedures procured information that was worth having.” If, then, the intelligence community has been adversely affected, do you believe it can still do the work necessary to protect tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of people from death and maiming?

Bullshit. Much of the intelligence community feels exactly the opposite way–Obama was received in Langley with a standing ovation, and exhorted them to ‘uphold our values.’ An FBI interrogator of Abu Zubaydah, Ali Soufan, personally recounted how torture failed in the interrogations. Nobody’s surprised by the revelation: all-out warfare has been going on for millenia, and torture doesn’t work.

It’s a narcissist’s tool: tell me what’s really going on, I know what’s really going on–there, see? I knew it. Reminiscent of your half-baked assertions I’m icing here, Dennis.

7. Will you seek to prosecute members of Congress such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who were made aware of the waterboarding of high-level suspects and voiced no objections?

Goddamn, I really hate you, Dennis. First, Pelosi was only apparently briefed that waterboarding, under Bush’s crap DOJ, was a ‘legal’ possibility. Her aide was informed of its use after it was employed. Second, she’s bound by law not to divulge the intelligence information she receives, so she really should have done…what? Third, you can only ‘prosecute’ people for ‘crimes’, you moron. John McCain was briefed as well, and yet the waterboarding continued: I assume you’ll ‘prosecute’ the Arizona Senator as a co-conspirator in your imaginary tribunal.

8. Would you agree to releasing the photos of the treatment of Islamic terrorists only if accompanied by photos of what their terror has done to thousands of innocent people around the world? Would you agree to photos — or at least photo re-enactments — of, let us say, Iraqi children whose faces were torn off with piano wire by Islamists in Iraq? If not, why not? Isn’t context of some significance here?

Context is only of significance if you see yourself as the same scumbag animal the terrorists are, which you obviously do. I am a better human being than that, so, no, I don’t need to see the photos of what they’ve done. But, then, if you really need to tell the world that America has descended into a moral swamp, then go ahead and release both sets of pictures. Let good people compare them, great idea.

Incidentally that bullshit ‘Iraqi children’s faces’ story started here. You’ve got some nerve, Dennis, being such an idiot in public.

9. You say that America’s treatment of terror suspects will cause terrorists to treat their captives, especially Americans, more cruelly. On what grounds do you assert this? Did America’s far more moral treatment of Japanese prisoners than Japan’s treatment of American prisoners in World War II have any impact on how the Japanese treated American and other prisoners of war? Do you think that evil people care how morally pure America is?

No–but good people, like us, care. That’s why we’re upset when our country fails its own standards so luridly. And torturing enemy prisoners sure as hell isn’t going to help our P.O.W.s, that’s for sure. Why don’t you care about our P.O.W.s, Dennis? Thousands of years of warfare have shown that treating prisoners humanely pays off in the long run. Torturing them is a crime that’s remembered universally and eternally. And why not–it’s evil. It wipes out whatever moral high ground we ever once tried to occupy, it’s a permanent stain upon the nation’s character. Why don’t you care about America, Dennis?

If you do not address these questions, it would appear that you care less about morality and torture than about vengeance against the Bush administration.

Go Fuck Yourself, scumbag.

[cross: thump and whip]

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