Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Been Busy

posted by Armadillo Joe

Hey, Blog-O-Maniacs! I had such intentions of posting yesterday and the day before, but I got sucked into a head-to-head in the comments of a friend's facebook page over, of all things, torture. One of my friend's friends (I don't know this guy personally) has been spewing all the usual Reich-wing talking points, downloaded directly into his feeble brain from a trunk line hooked into the seething heart of Limbaugh Kee-ray-zee Land and it has been good sport, jolly good sport indeed.

Like shooting fish in a barrel. With a shotgun. Sawed-off. Point-blank.

I have been obsessively checking back in at about 10 minute intervals and just can't let this wingnut go. I've been trying to put my finger on exactly why and I think it is the first time in years that I have had a direct confrontation with someone this acrimonious wherein everyone's identity is fully known. It's facebook. The spat doesn't just involve me and this guy, either. It's my friend from high school's page and I know personally some of the other commenters. I get the impression that this exchange on facebook may be the first time many of them have even heard many of the arguments that are the coin of the realm in our Left Blogistan milieu and it's not because they're Fox News zombies per se, but simply because they are that scourge of democracies everywhere: the low information voter, too busy with kids and work to dig deep into issues. That characterization does not apply to Mr. Wingnut, though. He's a full hard-on while watching Top Gun, weepily holding a picture of Ronald Reagan, kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out Rethugli-goon.

I'll spare you the majority of our exchanges, except for the latest one:
Wingnut on facebook -
You probably think the New York Times is a valid news source so here is info from the Times where Obama's own intel director agrees the techniques did provide helpful intel in the fight against terrorists:

Intel chief: Harsh techniques brought good info

WASHINGTON - President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.

(And, I got this information from the MSNBC website -- and we all know how ultra-conservative they are!)

Armadillo Joe on facebook -
OK, one more time:

It doesn't matter if torture works.

A lot of things "work." Guillotines work. So do nuclear weapons. What "works" doesn't matter because, no matter who does it or for what purpose, inflicting pain on a person held against their will is torture. Torture doesn't stop being torture just because patriotic Americans do it for the ol' red, white & blue. Whether committed by Americans, Nazis, Soviets, Ba'athists, Sandinistas, or Janjaweed, torture is wrong, immoral, a basic violation of human dignity, or -- if it's your cup of tea -- a sin.

"All men are created equal" & inalienable rights and all that language isn't just fancy rhetoric to trot out on July 4th along with some pocket flags and a rousing rendition of "Proud To Be An American", or at least it shouldn't be and if you actually believed in those words, you'd not have to have all this explained to you over and over and over again.

And, by the way, nice try on the Blair thing, but next time actually try to read the whole article instead of citing just the part that advances your viewpoint. Did you see the part where Blair said this?...

"...these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."

Either you read that part and ignored it, you saw your original quote elsewhere and didn't fact-check your source, or you skimmed the article and just cherry-picked a quote. No matter how you came about it, what Blair said still does not mean what you think it means.

And round and round it goes, since Monday. For once, I know what the sadistic knuckledragger on the other end actually looks like and that he has a kid, because his profile pic shows him with one. I assume it's his kid.

I'm not drawing any grand, epic, life-changing lessons from the observation that for once I know my enemy's face, it just makes me sad for his child.

1 comment:

Matt Osborne said...

Everyone needs a good flame war now and then.