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Subject: The subject is torture

Hey Bart,
After reading your great page today i followed some of the links and followed some of those links
and I eventually ended up at MSNBC.Com. Over there they had an article about Santorum (that frorthy mixture....)
defending some comments he made about (mad dog) McCain. I refuse to comment on anything Santorum.
Suffice to say it was an article about torture.
What really caught my eye was the reaction comments from the readers. They uniformly adopted the
"lets-all-join-together in saying that torture is never, in any set of circumstances, acceptable" line of crap.
Well, i really didn't want to do it, but if I didn't point out a few things to these lock-step morons, who would?

I joined up so that I could respond and to do so gave out far more personal information than really required
and that made me uncomfortable right there (why do they want this stuff anyway?). I posted the following
(way below), but it never turned up in the comments section. I am left to wonder if all the seemingly lock-step
comments saying "no torture, ever", are the only ones that get into this debate over at MSNBC.COM in the
way of a public viewing. Wait, no that can't be right. Our "mainstream media" manipulating and sanitizing
the news for their own purposes? No, never, not "our media"... Sheeeesh... Below is what they would have
seen from my key board if the playing field was level.


Over at, the "hammer in chief" often proposes the following senario to those who insist that
torture is never justified. (What follows is what he offers in general in my own words). Let's say that you
just got information that a nuclear weapon was going to be detonated in 12 hours in a major U.S. city.

You don't know the city, but you believe the information to be reliable. Let's say that the government has
been watching a group of suspected terrorists and the government has intercepted messages form this group
that indicate that they have an interest in things nuclear. The authorities pick up the group and question
them seperately. One of the group blurts out, without any references to anything nuclear, that "we" should
get ready for something terrible to happen, worse than Hiroshima- and then refuses to say anything else.
Let's say that you ("you" are one of those against torture) are the interogator. The clock is ticking.
To save lives, to save a major city, to save the world from the aftermath of a nuclear bomb detonation,
would you request that "enhanced interrogation" be applied to the subject in question if nothing else seemed
to be working? I for one would seriously question your loyalities (and your sanity) if you did not use every
possible tool at your disposal to find out where the bomb was planted - including torture - in this instance.
Where do you (you that think that torture is never justified) think your place in history would be if you
failed to use every tool at your disposal to avert such a calamity and the bomb went off? And if the torture
didn't produce reliable information or no information at all and the bomb went off, at least (I feel) that
"you" would be able to live with yourself knowing that you used every available tool to save fellow
human beings. I am personally against torture as a tool of general policy. However, I feel that in certain
situations it is acceptable and to state a blanket policy of no torture ever is unrealistic and shortsighted.
As a former service man and a Vietnam Vet, I can state without reservation that its a good thing for my
country that while in the service i didn't do much and I didn't know anything. If someone captured me
(in Viet Nam) and they even hinted that they were going to pull one of my fingernails out with a pair of pliers,
I would have denounced my very own sainted mother if necessary to save myself.

To insist that torture NEVER gets us anywhere, to insist that torture elicits only faulty information,
well, you must never have served (and never been frightened out of your skull) and as a result, you don't
know what your talking about.  And by the by. Do we have any reliable information on just what the
Distinguished War Hero John McCain said or didn't say when he was being tortured while in the custody
of the enemy?

I hope he was one of the very few that lied and got away with it, but..........


For newer readers, we tried to have a torture discussion years ago but the debate
never even got started because I was flooded with a tsunami of liberals who said:

"Torture is wrong in EVERY case.
I would not use torture to save the lives of my kids.
I would not use torture to save the lives of my parents.
I would not use torture to save the lives of everyone in my church.
I would not use torture to save the lives of everyone in New York."

...and I thought, really?

You would let everyone in New York die to save one terrorist fingernail from being pulled out?

Seems to me one fingernail is nothing compared to the lives of 8 million New Yorkers,
but the most liberal amongst us wouldn't hear of it - no way, no how. Never!  Ever!

I am 99.9 percent against torture and I think that's the position everyone should take.

Bush & Cheney tortured everyone with a beard - and that's certainly crazy, cruel and inhumane.
We know they videotaped the torture sessions - the CIA admitted destroying the tapes.

*I* would only permit torture in the most extreme cases.

What if you found out some Columbine-type handjobs put a bomb on a school bus,
but your town has 1,000 busses and they all have kids on them at this moment - 3 PM.

Would you really be against slapping the scumbags a few times to find that bus?
Would you be against the threat of turning angry police dogs on the scumbags?

You would stick to your principles and let 50 school kids die?

Crazy me, I'd rather have my kids alive and I don't even have kids.

Had we been allowed to have an adult, rational debate on the subject, maybe one side
could've been persuaded to accept some of the other side's points but the discussion was
not even allowed to take place by the Never!  Ever! crowd.   I was shouted down.

I am 99.9 percent against torture and I think that's the position everyone should take.


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