But not torture. Not torture. Watching and reading the blogs it is amazing how many people out there are defending these actions. Here is a partial list. And here, Chris Matthews interviews a Republican congressman who defends torture and further denies that anyone higher up ordered the same kind of atrocities at Abu Ghraib. (Even though retired Maj. General Antonio Taguba says otherwise. But as Yglesias notes, he is clearly some kind of hippy leftist.)
Liz Cheney told Norah O'Donnell that since we developed this program from SERE, and SERE was used on our own people, it cannot be torture. Watch Lawrence O'Donnell's head nearly asplode trying to make sense of such stupidity. (And here is O'Donnel on why Hannity thinks that torture works. Oh, I do love a righteous and well deserved rant!)
As I have said repeatedly, I grew up Republican and evangelical. I cannot tell you how disturbing it is to see those two groups endorsing the techniques of the former Soviet Union as compatible with American (or Christian) values. That is a disconnect that I am not sure I will ever reconcile. Truly astounding. And yet, each day, people from the right go on the media to assure us that, while they might not like those individual techniques, they were employed to make us safe by people acting in good faith. And further, those people should not be prosecuted by any court. They deserve a medal instead.
Sully quotes from AL
...the Republican party has allowed itself to become a party of torture apologists. This is the kind of "analysis" that used to spill forth from the politburos of our communist enemies. It's really rather shocking to me that there aren't more conservatives out there who are embarrassed by this, that movement conservatives are so invested in protecting the reputation of the Bush administration that they're willing sign their names to this kind of morally bankrupt rationalization. It's beyond sad.It is beyond sad.
OU's own David Boren attended a briefing on our techniques and came away shaken.
Boren, who chaired the Senate intelligence committee from 1987 to 1993 and is now president of the University of Oklahoma, said that attending the briefings was "one of the most deeply disturbing experiences I have had" and that "I wanted to take a bath when I heard it. I was ashamed of it." He said he concluded that "fear was used to justify the use of techniques that violate our values and weaken our intelligence" and that the agency did not prove those methods "are particularly effective at getting the truth."
Sully reminds us that when Bush introduced McCain at the RNC convention, he studiously avoided calling the VN treatment of McCain "torture." After all, if what the Vietnamese did to McCain was torture, then so was what Bush ordered, and Republicans now defend.
And here, a musical version of the torture memos. Chilling.
It is hard to not believe that the Republican party has become completely morally bankrupt. My own party has not shown itself particularly well either, but at least most of my party are not out there defending torture as moral and American. Until the Republican party repudiates torture, they will be the party OF torture.
I am a little sick.