Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Here's a little gem that reinforces my claim of hypocrisy leveled against folks like Dan who are oh-so concerned about the moral dilemma of harsh interrogation techniques applied against uncooperative terrorist detainees believed to have actionable intel regarding plots to murder our own people or allies. I believe this concern to be totally fraudulent particularly when considering what actually occurs during the termination of a pregnancy. The same people who wring their hands over the discomfort of a sadistic terrorist have no problem defending the "choice" that results in the dismemberment of an infant. To support such a heinous procedure gives weight to the opinion that concern for a detainee's comfort is little more than a ruse to disguise the desire to further attack the Bush administration for the crime of having legally won the 2000 election. Just as they didn't care about winning the war, or more accurately, losing it if it would reflect badly on Bush, they now have no care for the consequences that war crimes investigations would have on our security, the ability to gather intelligence or the ability to protect our people. Their regard for the moral highground is a lie.


Dan Trabue said...

MA said:

I believe this concern to be totally fraudulent particularly when considering what actually occurs during the termination of a pregnancy.

And you are free to have that hunch (that are concern is fraudulent). You are free to believe in fairies and unicorns or that the moon is made of cheese.

In fact, you'd be wrong. In the real world, actual people (including many conservatives, folk like my very traditional parents, for instance) are appalled by the practice of torture and wholly opposed to it for reasons of morality.

But you can believe whatever little thing you wish to believe, brother.

Anonymous said...

Good link, Marshall. I loved the closing line: "Just remember next time a liberal challenges you to discuss his moral objections against your implicit or explicit assent to torture, to simply look him straight in the eye and blithely respond that you have always been personally opposed to torture, but remain steadfast in your conviction that -- lest we jeopardize our freedoms -- torture should remain legal, safe, but rare."

Once again, here's a quick quiz: Would you rather be waterboarded or crushed and dismembered without anesthetic?

I’ll take the former.

Dan Trabue said...

As to the abortion thing, I (and most "liberals" I know) are consistent:

We oppose gov't doing either. We don't want the gov't to go around aborting babies nor do we want the gov't to engage in torture.

Where's your consistency?

Mark said...

Dan still hasn't answered the question of what he would do rather than torture to obtain the info necessary to prevent a terrorist plot.

Dan, you have no right to comment here if you refuse to answer simple questions.

Marshall Art said...

I oppose torture on the same grounds. I don't oppose holding back even torture if it means saving lives of my people or allies. Then, it would immoral NOT to torture if all other means to procure the information failed. Not to mention stupid.

Where's my consistency? Right here:

Abortion is wrong. It's a heinous procedure that should be outlawed. But in the case where a mother's life is threatened by bringing the child to term, that is, doctors have a legitimate concern that the pregnancy will kill her, then abortion is an acceptable choice if the woman decides to employ the procedure. See the difference? In this case, abortion is not immoral. In fact, abortion is not immoral per se, but immoral depending on the situation. There's only one situation where it is not immoral.

In the same way, torture is immoral, but there can be situations where it is the right thing to do, as this whole debate states. I don't approve of torture for the sake of torture, for sport, to procure info that doesn't have an immediate, clear and present danger to anyone (such as how many troops are coming, what are the battle plans, what's Dan's IQ). But for those occasions that MIGHT arise where info obtained can save lives that are in danger NOW, torture is the right move if all other means of procuring the info have failed. This is totally consistent with my entire view of life and how to respect it. It is moral and it is Christian.

Yours isn't because not only are you willing to risk lives for the comfort of a known evil-doer, but you are willing to allow to stand the legal torture and killing of the unborn. Don't give that crap about gov't involvement when you vote for people BECAUSE one of their positions is to keep abortion legal. YOU support that crap that says that because a living human being hasn't yet passed through the birth canal and seen the light of day that that person is fair game to be assaulted in the manner described in the article at the slightest whim. Whatever your motivation, your a fraud.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall stated incorrectly (yet again):

Yours isn't because not only are you willing to risk lives for the comfort of a known evil-doer, but you are willing to allow to stand the legal torture and killing of the unborn. Don't give that crap about gov't involvement when you vote for people BECAUSE one of their positions is to keep abortion legal.

1. My position has nothing to do with the comfort of anyone. Not a thing. Wrap your mind around that. I hold my position against torture for one reason: Torture is wrong. It has nothing at all to do with the comfort of a prisoner. It has to do with moral rectitude. Conservatives used to know something about moral rectitude (indeed, many still do), you know?

2. I don't vote for people because they are supportive of abortion. This is yet another blatantly false statement. I vote for people because of their positions on a wide range of issues, not one issue. If someone held something approaching the "right" position on all positions and yet were opposed to legalized abortion, they would likely get my vote.

That's 0 for 2, Marshall. Really, why don't you just try to make your case without the stupid and ridiculous false charges and attempts at guessing what our motives may be? It just makes you look goofy because you are so, so, so wrong so, so, so many times.

Craig said...


Ever read Memorial Day by Vince Flynn. Great fictional account of exactly the kind of circumstances you are talking about.

Marshall Art said...

Thanks, Craig. Consider your suggestion recorded for future reference.

Marshall Art said...


I'm pasting a comment from the previous thread because it's relevant to your first point in your last comment here.

"My problem with that question, Marty, is that it presupposes that we can take corrupt actions IF the ends are good. But the problem with that is the ends do not justify the means."This is where your sense of morality is totally pulled from your hindquarters.

Suicide is wrong. We are forbidden by God from taking even our own lives. Yet, the soldier who throws himself on a live grenade to protect his comrades has not only committed no sin, but he has shown great love. The end justified the means.

The Hebrews were forbidden to eat the food donated to the priests, yet David took some of that food for himself and his hungry troops. Though he did what was normally forbidden, David was not considered to be sinning for this action. The end justified the means.

It is wrong to kill another human being. If the only way to prevent Dan from being shot to death is to shoot the shooter, I have committed no sin, nor done anything wrong by killing his attacker. The attacker was about to murder, but I only killed. An important distinction recognized both by civil law as well as God's law. The end justified the means.

It is wrong to lie. But if by telling the truth I put people's lives in danger, to lie is neither sinful nor unethical. The end justified the means.

It is wrong to torture. But if I need to inflict pain or suffering or threaten to do so in order to procure information that would save countless lives, my actions are neither sinful nor unethical. The end justified the means, even if it turns out that I was wrong about what I was sure the suspect knew, or if procuring the info failed to save the lives. My intention was for good, and the suspect will heal.

It's completely stupid to suggest that because I "might" be wrong, that then I should step back and HOPE that lives won't be lost when every indication says otherwise. This is key. The harsher techniques won't be used without the conviction that it will serve a greater purpose. The evil is in doing nothing and allowing others to suffer a far greater harm than employing a technique that SIMULATES drowning or employing one that inflicts temporary pain, fear or discomfort. Only a misguided fool would take such a dangerous gamble and consider himself noble. No. That's not right. Only a misguided idiot would do so.

This is not the actions of a fearful person, but the actions of one who is concerned for the lives that could very well be lost. They are the actions of one who has assessed the situation and as well as the character of the suspect being interrogated and acted accordingly. It's NOT living in fear. What your position is is living with your head impacted firmly in a dark, smelly place. And worse, it's false goodness based on appearances rather than substance.

April 29, 2009 5:26 PM

Now for point two.

"I don't vote for people because they are supportive of abortion."Of course you do. I'm not saying you're a one issue voter. I'm saying that a candidate's opinion on abortion is on the pro-abort side is seen as a plus to you. In other words, if there were two good liberals who equally supported all the stupid things liberal candidates support and the only difference was that one was pro-abortion and the other was pro-life, you'd vote for the pro-abortion guy. So I'm totally right regarding how you vote.

Getting back to your first point, I'm totally right there as well. The reason I say this is because there's on reason to oppose torture if it causes no harm whatsoever. How could it then ever be immoral or wrong? What would make it so if no harm was caused in any way. To try to say that your position has nothing to do with the comfort of anyone is preposterous to the extreme. In the above reprint, I explained how torture and other normally wrong or sinful behaviors can actually be the moral, or the less immoral, or the lesser of two evils, and as such the right choice, even with the harm to the suspect still inflicted. So if there's no harm inflicted, then there's nothing to oppose, nothing to consider wrong. Thus, your concern is greater for the comfort of the terrorist is more important to you than the lives that are considered to be in danger.

So tell me again how my charges could possibly be ridiculous, false or stupid. Tell me again how I've missed the mark regarding your motivations.

Here's your problem with torture: you judge the act, but I know God judges the heart. Our president has to have the green light to do terrible things if the alternative is the loss of life on our side. His job is to insure our protection. I am satisfied that our nation by and large is already morally superior to our enemies in the way we conduct war AND law enforcement. I am satisified in my belief that anytime harsh techniques would be used they would be used reluctantly for a greater good, and that I am in support of prosecuting any who use such techniques outside such boundaries.

We defend ourselves against our enemies by killing them on the battlefield. We do so to protect our people and our way of life. We kill them. We kill them dead. But you find torture, no matter how mild, to somehow be the greater hurt. Which would YOU prefer: a few days of getting slapped around, perhaps even waterboarded several times, or the rest of your life dead?

Marshall Art said...

One more thing. Just to avoid confusion, let's keep the discussion on this thread, should you or anyone have more to say on the subject.

Marty said...

Marshall you and Mark are under the assumption that "terrorists" aren't normal people. But I would suggest to you that any of us, given the right circumstances, could become terrorists as this article explains.

Major Moran was an interrogator at a time when the Japanese Kamikaze pilots were desperately trying to break down the U. S. Naval fleets. They knew they had no chance at defeating the U.S. military and so resorted to suicide bombing. Isn't that the same situation today?

There is really very little difference in the mindsets of those who will kill enmasse by blowing themselves up. And for that reason, Moran's techniques are extremely relevant to the situation we face today. He knew enough about human nature to know that torture will not work with those who are willing to die for a cause. Perhaps being a missionary for 40 years taught him that insight into the human condition.

Craig said...


Can't believe you haven't read Flynn. Enjoyable, and timely.

Jim said...

And fictional, as you mentioned.

Marshall Art said...


It's beginning to seem as if you're willing to put up any kind of wacky stuff to oppose my position on the issue. The so-called "experts" that are interviewed for the article are such that their lame premise conjures the old joke, "You gotta be crazy to go to a psychiatrist!" I guess I could be persuaded to kill civilians by blowing myself up in their midst if I, too, was a devout follower of a false religion that preaches I should do such things. If I was raised in such an environment and taught from childhood that the people I'll murder are apes and pigs, yeah, I guess I might fall for that crap.

But that's not the case. Nothing in my Book explicitly refers to my fellow man in those terms, and indeed, expects me to love my enemies (which has nothing to do with letting them kill us).

McCauley makes the same mistake that Dan does in his arguments when he draws parallels to the people of whom Lincoln spoke in his speech. Both groups believing they are giving their lives for a noble cause. This is when looking through the eyes of our enemy is folly. We can only act on what WE believe to be noble. What is the terrorist cause, but world domination and the forced conversion of all who survive their savagery? The cause of either side of the American Civil War can be argued as noble by most Americans (the South's cause was states' rights, not slavery). But more importantly, the deaths of which Lincoln spoke were largely a result of battle between armies, not one group of civilians slaughtered unexpectantly by cowards.

Even the Japanese pilots didn't start the war looking to die in battle, but to win. When the tide had decidedly turned, only then did suicide bombing become an option and who did they try to kill? Allied military personnel, not civilians (though they had little care for POWs or defeated peoples).

But the radical Islamists use suicide as a routine tactic, and the targeting of civilians, even school children, is also routine. The rationalizations to which the article refers are only that, rationalizations, and cheap ones at that.

Also cheap is the premise itself, that anyone of us, under the right circumstances, could be terrorists. Well, the right circumstances would have to be crazy circumstances. In fact, the premise is total crap. Good people don't say, "Well, we're weak, they're strong, let's kill their unarmed and unsuspecting civilians."

But here's the real problem with you're offering of this article: I don't give a flyin' rat's patooty if the terrorists like to kill themselves or not. The main problem is that they like to kill us. That they are eager to die, because of the promises of their silly religion simply makes things worse in trying to threaten them to come clean or to change their thinking. They're opinion of us is not one that suggests a real and honest possibility of lasting peace, unless it is totally on their terms.

Their nonsense has been ongoing since Mohammed fouled the earth. Listening to reason is not amongst their strong points. We can talk to those who no longer wish to partake of such extemism (as well as those who never did), but those aren't the people trying to kill us. And we are talking to them. So your article really doesn't make the case against either the use of harsh interrogation techniques or the stupidity of releasing the memos.

Mark said...

Marty, no, it isn't the same thing. The Islamic terrorists are a whole different breed of animal.

The Japanese Kamikaze's attacked military targets. The Islamic terrorists murder innocent civilians. The Japanese were brutal to their military enemies and their military captives, but they left the innocent civilians alone.

These Islamic terrorists intentionally target civilians.

And how do we know American interrogators didn't use much stronger interrogation techniques than waterboarding during the world wars, anyway?

We don't know, because our previous Presidents kept them secret, which is another post about Obama's abuses of power altogether.

Marty said...

The "so-called experts" in that linked article were advising Homeland Security during the Bush Administration.

Look guys, I understand where you are coming from. I do. Maybe even at a deeper level. My son and 7 of his fellow soldiers are alive today because of information that was extracted from an Iraqi taken into custody.

But even at that, and while I am thankful my son is alive, I believe torture is wrong.

And it's true that we don't know everything about the techniques used during WWII. But we do know what Moran did and we also know that he was the most successful at extracting information.

We want the same outcome. We just want to employ different methods to get there.

Marty said...

An interesting article in the Houston Chronicle:

The intimate link between violence and religion

Craig said...

Yes, fictional. Yet relevant. Enjoyable too. How great is that.

Craig said...


As are, I'm pretty sure, all of Jesus parables. (fiction that is) Don't know that anyone would argue that fiction can convey truth,be informative, and entertaining all at the same time.

Marshall Art said...


Just read your last link. You really need to be more discriminating in whom you give credence. His last comment, praisng Obama's non-use of the phrase "war on terror", shows his notions are just psuedo-intelletual crap. One can argue that the phrase in not the most perfect description of the conflict, but to pretend we aren't in a war against a force that uses terrorizing populations as a main strategy is foolishness. Reasonable people who pay attention know who the enemy is, what their motivations are, and what their end game is.

If this guy's idea of "cosmic war" means an ideological struggle, then we are too win that war as well, as the alternative is to live under the Islamist's ideology. Not what I'd like for my children and grandchildren, thank you very much.

When asked about religions being violent, he said, no, people are violent. He's being deceptive. Islam IS a violent religion. That moderates don't adhere to the violent aspects is a good thing, if that's true about them. But to say that the religion itself is one of peace is to buy into deceptive marketing. They're only a religion of peace when others believe as they do. Even within Islam there is violence between sects due to that dynamic.

Such is not the case with either Judaism or Christianity. Nothing in either religion mandates any force to spread the faith.

So, thanks again for trying, but it was simply another link that went nowhere. You're welcome to continue offering links, however.