Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bob Dutko and I Talk Torture

Bob goes into full spin doctor mode in this one, repeatedly misrepresenting what I'm saying, denying what he himself had said. The Nazi style spin of how mild the torture techniques are continues, though I wasn't able to come back on him for this. Listen to my talk here.

Bob reads caller emails before he opens up the phone lines. One email expressed shock at how wimpy these terrorists are. As mild as waterboarding is, as silly as a caterpillar in the box is, their leaders must be furious when they return that they gave up so much information after the mild treatment. Bob also thinks this is funny. It doesn't occur to them that perhaps Bob's descriptions are way off the mark. In fact Abu Zubaydah's interrogators suffered trauma simply from observing the depths of human depravity on display as they waterboarded him repeatedly when he had nothing further to say.

A couple of points on facts Bob and I discuss. Bob denied that Nazi's were convicted for "enhanced interrogation." See here. He asserts that waterboarding KSM prevented an LA style 9-11 and I say it didn't. See here and here. However I also made a mistake in that I claimed that José Padilla was released from prison, but in fact that's not true. He was ordered to be released, but that order was subsequently overruled. So I withdraw that claim with apologies. However my point that the majority of detainees at Guantanamo have been released without charge is true.

The next two callers after me partly discussed my own call. I failed to record the first one, but got the second one, which you can hear here. The caller says that torture is barbaric. Bob responds by saying that dropping grenades in caves or shooting people is also barbaric, but you have to do what you have to do. He demands that his caller show a distinction. Apparently Bob figures there's no difference between the two. All those war crimes tribunals, international law, even military rules regarding this kind of behavior are all off the mark as far as Bob is concerned. Strange that our own military resisted the call for torture, but was overruled by Rumsfeld. We should make no distinctions, and have no more prohibitions on torture than we would on legitamate kills in a combat zone.

1 comment:

Steven Carr said...

Almost drowning people works really well.

Remember how well it worked in finding all those witches in the 16th and 17th centuries?