May 4, 2011

Lame and easy line about tortured analogies here

Desperate to find something, anything that makes the Bin Laden mission the pride of the Bush administration, right-wing pundits (and blog trolls) have pitched the idea that we got the information that led to Bin Laden through torture. The responses to that are 1. it's completely untrue; sorry, you violent, angry losers, and 2. even arguing that it is true proves how wrong people were about the "benefits" of torture.

The torture fantasy was mired in visions of action movie endings and Jack Bauer. It was how, if we captured an alleged terrorist, rules and trials and verdicts be damned--that man had to have a firehose implanted in his rectum right now because we have less than five minutes to make him give us the deactivation codes. Also: aaaaaaaaaaaagh! Boo!

What's hilarious to watch is how even giving the best benefit of the doubt to the 'wingers right now, they are effectively saying that torture would have helped secure information from a suspect that led to information.... six or so years later. That's not "we need this information in five minutes." Being generous, that's 2,191 seasons of 24.

Nothing has altered the simple reality that the Hollywood fantasy of extracting instant information from torture remains that: a pure fantasy. The "ticking time bomb" scenario simply doesn't exist. Sunday's raid didn't invalidate that; it proved it. There is not a single right-winger or pro-torture pundit who has ever come close to suggesting that torture is beneficial because it might lead to capturing or killing a high value target in six years, maybe. Jesus, six years ago, most of those people thought the war in Iraq was going to end two years before that.

Update: Felt it went without saying, but since Oliver already eviscerated one of his stalkers on this, worth emphasizing as well: this all applies to Gitmo, too. There is nothing the military did or didn't do this weekend that relied on high-value suspects being held indefinitely without trial for all eternity as opposed to being caught, arraigned, tried and sent to a supermax for the rest of their lives.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:17 AM

May 3, 2011

"The Next Big Thing"

Latest comic - click here!

Monday's strip has been up since, well, Monday, but of course there were some complications starting around Sunday night related to addressing anything other than the president on the teevee. In what I hope you all acknowledge as a sign of respect to you, the artist and chief executive of this site did not immediately rush to replace what he just finished inking with anything related to eagles, puns, "death certificate" jokes or anything else seen in the last few days of terrible cartoons that would make you cry worse than the Statue of Liberty did on September 12, 2001.

Actually, the point I was going to talk about before Bin Laden was shot in the face is only more significant now, in that for at least the next few days Americans might have a slight sense of clarity about how unbelievably awful the options for President Obama's replacement are right now. It has been a terrible weekend for Donald Trump, what with him being pubicly pantsed on the epically popular cable network C-SPAN and then ignored on his television show when his dynamic firing of Meat Loaf was interrupted by someone who was actually important doing something likewise.

But as Thursday or so will prove, Americans have short memories, and it's amazing how quickly we'll forget that Republicans find their next great hope on a routine basis. I agree strongly with Atrios that the recent love of Trump is based mostly on his openness in being a complete asshole. Mayhaps this week is a better reflection of why that means one should not be given access to SEAL strike teams.

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Posted by August J. Pollak at 3:14 PM