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August 28, 2009


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So, if I understand the CIA's position with respect to its actions during the last few years and disclosure of said, it's that (a) what we do is vitally important to defending the United States; (b) what we did during the Bush years was especially vital; (c) what we did during that time was fully legal; (d) what we did was also appropriate; (e) what we did was fully approved by the DOJ; and yet (f) if what we did is disclosed to the American people it will damage our morale and hurt our ability to protect America?

Because, if (f) is true, doesn't that obviously call into question all of (a) through (e) (or maybe not necessarily (e))?

I believe (e) exists in a reality-frame of its own, a never-ending black eye for that DoJ and those who fed & fostered it.

I still don't see how Al Gore fits into any of this.

Ugh, your logic may seem sound, but it neglects the painfully obvious truth pointed out in the video: if we publicly admit we're using waterboarding, or disemboweling, or walling, or whatever, there's no possible way the detainee could ever guess that they should prepare for that sort of thing if captured.

I mean, all of these techniques were created ex nihilo by the interrogators, after all. Hmm... is there any way we could get an injunction against our traitor media and DoJ for disclosing proprietary trade secrets? I think the corporations who hired out contract interrogators to the CIA should really look into that - seems like a clear case of the anti-capitalist media and government sticking their noses into the private affairs of business - a place they plainly don't belong.

"...or whatever, [future detainees would know what to expect - since] there's no..."

Is it too late in the day to claim it's too early in the day?

it's all a bunch of CIA CYA Bush/GOP BS.

NV: How early in the day it is is a function of coffee consumption, not clock time. HTH.

A minotaur is a human-animal hybrid and therefore an abomination unto the right(eous). That opens the discussion where the beast comes from and if it can be used provided it was not produced by the righteous explicitly for that purpose. If the liberals or the terrorists (as if there was a difference) created it (likely, given their proclivity towards sexual perversions), its use by the righteous would be using the enemy's weapon against him, which is usually considered as fair and allowed. [Let's not steep into tricky details about enticing the enemy to create the weapon in the first place, so it can be used by the righteous against him.].
So, my conclusion would be that an existing minotaur could be used but that it would be immoral to create one for that purpose.

We had at least three of those things in my fraternity. Hazing, sure, but torture?.

Wow, three minotaurs in a single fraternity?

At least you didn't have gryphons. That would be wrong.

How can it be torture when our own military exposes American soldiers to mythical man-beasts in the course of SERE training? Didja ever consider that, huh?

This whole witch hunt is just going to embolden our enemies and create a chilling effect on our intelligence agents, who will now have to weigh the risks of prosecution every time they want to employ so much as a friendly centaur in an interrogation.

Of course the military tortures SERE recruits. What else would you call it? The whole point is to prepare recruits for torture by the enemy.

The thing is, SERE is voluntary. If it's voluntary, it's brutal but it's legal and ethical between consenting adults. The CIA was torturing and sometimes killing prisoners.

PP, evidently I'm losing my ability to distinguish between parody and serious discourse. Occupational hazard. Sorry.

S'OK, Lindsay: given that a not-too-dissimilar "argument" to pain perdu's parody at 12:13* has been (and probably still is) a staple of right-wing commentary fulminating at every and any criticism of US torture policies under the Bush 43 Administration, your momentary confusion is understandable.

*but, sadly, meant seriously

I hope everyone noticed that one of the pro-Minotaur commentators in the Onion video is identified as: "Columnist, National Review Online."

(h/t Adam Serwer at TAPPED)

I'd love to see an episode of Punk'd in which the staff of NRO is made to believe that the Bush administration secretly used crucifixion on detainees, just to see if any of them balked at defending it or explaining it away. On second thought, I'm not sure I want to know the answer.

This Minotaur stuff is for wussies. If we really cared about getting results, we'd be using Dementors.

This Minotaur stuff is for wussies. If we really cared about getting results, we'd be using Dementors.

That's a good suggestion. Under the Bybee memo definition, the Dementor kiss couldn't possibly be torture, since it carries no risk of "serious physical injury...organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

I loved this -- I actually posted on Facebook when i saw it. The "griffins" line was my favorite, and it's of course aweomse that she was an NRO columnist

"Dick Cheney's personal involvement in the building of the maze."


Wasn't the Minotaur a victim? Born of parents who did not want him, locked away alone in the labyrinth in shame with only the occasional detainee to meet for dinner?

It just concerns me that he is made out to be some kind of monster, when he is clearly just trying to do the right thing, mistaken though he may be. Certainly should not be prosecuted.

Given that the Labyrinth was on Crete - that is to say, a Greek island, not American territory, and similar to Cuba in that respect, what are the rendition and no-controlling-authority aspects of all this? And what right do we have to interfere with the noble traditions of the Cretans? Why shouldn't we believe the testimony of the Cretans as to the humane treatment they accord to their prisoners?

And what about the claims that increased use of interrogation by minotaur could have revealed a plot by in which two inmates used wax, thread, and feathers to escape their detention on Crete, an attempt in which one succeeded? Especially as this escaped mastermind is rumored to have subsequently murdered his former jailer?


On a less snarky note, if no less disrespectfully, I'm curious as to whether this video, which is sweeping across the liberal blogosphere, has gotten any mention on Conservative websites such as, well, The National Review Online.

Didn't Marcus Vindictus win a famous Roman victory over the Spartans at Crete? Or was that over the Cretins at Sparta?

I'd love to see an episode of Punk'd in which the staff of NRO is made to believe that the Bush administration secretly used crucifixion on detainees, just to see if any of them balked at defending it or explaining it away. On second thought, I'm not sure I want to know the answer.

You could use the case of Manadel al-Jamadi, which would be awesome because it would save you the effort of manufacturing a story about crucifixion. However, the story's not the hard part. Getting the staff of NRO to believe the truth is the hard part.

(In fairness, your scenario appears to involve a story of intentional crucifixion devised by the GWB administration, which isn't what the al-Jamadi case was about.)

The thing is, different people are going to react to goring by Minotaur in different ways. Some might not even mind it.

Hell, toreadors face goring every day. What if the terrorist is a former toreador? The Minotaur is going to be like another day at the office for that guy.

What we need to do is get to know our prisoners, to understand their deepest fears, and then craft a truly poignant real-life, classical-mythology-based, enhanced interrogation technique suited precisely to each prisoner's own worst nightmare.

Maybe it's being chained to a rock and having your liver ripped out each day by an eagle, like Prometheus.

Maybe it's having yourself and your children strangled by serpents, like Laocoon.

Maybe it's getting a daily rough rogering by the Great God Pan.

The classics offer a rich and varied smorgasbord of archetypal horrors. We need to get creative and start thinking outside the box.

Or was that over the Cretins at Sparta?

Cretins would be pretty easy to defeat, given their developmental problems. (But maybe you meant "Cretans.")

We need to get creative and start thinking outside the box.

No, you need to think inside Pandora's box and get the evils in there out to use on the terrorists. Except you mustn't let hope out, because you mustn't give the terrorists hope. (That would be un-American).

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