Thursday, October 25, 2007

Aggressive Questionable

Concord, NH -

I don't know which is worse, Giuliani blaming torture on the "liberal media" or the audience applauding him. The Caucus (who recently linked to a piece I worked on) reports from Mr. Mayor's latest trip to Iowa as he talks about waterboarding as torture.

"Well, I’m not sure it is either. I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately."


Read all about it!


netto said...

I hate how glibly these politicians are talking about torture. It is the worst thing you can do to another living thing and, yet, there they, musing about it. The only one with experience with it, McCain, says it doesn't work. I was reading the other day (was it in Frank Rich's article or possibly on the blog Balkinization?) about how American interrogators got all the answers they could ever want out of Nazi leaders after WWII over games of chess. This issue is to serious for us not to codify an answer right now.

More specifically about the quote Bissell posted. I read it and I become disgusted with Guiliani. Have some convictions. "I'm not sure that it is." You are basically drowning a person. Here I would like to quote Chester Bowles, a prominent liberal politician from Connecticut, who was JFK's go-to guy during the 1960 campaign, but then pushed aside by JFK after JFK was elected President in favor of more hawkish advisors. The quote is from David Halberstam's book "The Best and Brightest" about how JFK assembled a team of brainiacs to handle foreign policy and how those brainiacs created the quagmire in Vietnam.

"The question which concerns me most with this new Administration is whether it lacks a genuine sense of conviction about what is right and what is wrong...Anyone is public life who has strong convictions about the rights and wrongs of public morality, both domestic and international, has a great advantage in times of strain, since his instincts on what to do are clear and immediate. Lacking such a framework of moral conviction or sense of what is right and what is wrong, he is forced to lean almost entirely upon mental processes; he adds up the plusses and minuses of any question and comes up with a conclusion. Under normal conditions, when he is not tired or frustrated, this pragmatic approach should successfully bring him out on the right side of the question. What worries me are the conclusions that such an individual may reach when he is tired, angry, frustrated, or emotionally affected. The Cuban fiasco [Bay of Pigs] demonstrates how far astray a man as brilliant and well-intentioned as Kennedy can go who lacks a basic moral reference point."

BTB said...

Yeah, I read that, too. I think it was just in a NYTimes article about WWII interrogators last week. Seriously, I hope that one of these days at a GOP debate the torture question arises and McCain just turns to the others and looks them straight in the eye and drops a SMACKDOWN on them.

BTB said...

Plus, clutch reference to Chester Bowles. Isn't Rte. 9 near Middletown named after him?