Monday, June 08, 2009

Your Ticking Bomb Scenario

The terrorist who assassinated Dr. Tiller last weekend has now proclaimed to the Associated Press that he possesses information about other terrorist activity still in the planning stages.
Scott Roeder called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail, where he's being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller one week ago.

"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Roeder said. When asked by the AP what he meant and if he was referring to another shooting, he refused to elaborate further.
Maybe he's talking about the "martydom" that Newt Gingrich was enthusiastically helping his new best-friend-forever Lou Engle sell this past weekend.
Hmmm. If only there was a way to break Mr. Roeder's resistance to interrogation.
Roeder declined to elaborate. That means we have a suspect in custody who has admitted to having knowledge of specific terrorist attacks planned for the future. In order to thwart those alleged plots, we need more information from Roeder -- information he doesn't seem likely to give up voluntarily.

By the logic of the ticking time-bomb scenario, we should be waterboarding Roeder already -- or at least banging his head against the wall. After all, terror attacks could be imminent, with an unknown cost in terms of human lives and the creation of a climate of fear. It's a no-brainer, right?
The moar gooder news, of course, is that President Obama has made sure that America doesn't torture anymore. Oh wait.
Loophole 1: Torture is prohibited only of persons detained in an “armed conflict.”
The executive order applies only to “armed conflicts,” not counterterrorism operations.
Loophole 2: Only the CIA must close detention centers.
President Obama has ordered the CIA to close detention centers, except those “used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis,” which can stay open indefinitely. Exactly how long a duration is “short-term” and “transitory” is unclear.
Loophole 3: Officials may still hide some detainees and abusive practices from the Red Cross.
[...]Here again, if a detainee is not one captured on the battlefield by US soldiers in an armed conflict, Obama’s order provides no guidance as to his fate.
And my personal favorite...

Loophole 4: Abuses not labeled “torture” may continue.
I wonder if Scott Roeder is getting much sleep these days. I wonder how cold it is in his jail cell. I wonder if he's getting all his medications on time.

I wonder if inducing hyperalgesia by the combination of sleep deprivation and exposure to temperature extremes is ever going to be regarded as torture, or if it will continue to be labeled as merely a "harsh interrogation" technique. I wonder if drug treatments as an interrogation technique are still permitted.

I wonder about a lot of things. So does Josh Marshall [again]:
For some reason, we haven't seen any torture advocates clamoring to see those "harsh interrogation techniques" applied to Roeder. In fact, we asked four prominent defenders of torture for their views on the issue -- and all four stayed mum.

The world's most prominent torture advocate, Dick Cheney, didn't immediately respond through his "transition office" to a message we left about whether he'd support using enhanced interrogation techniques on Roeder.

The office of Sen. John Cornyn, who posed the ticking time bomb hypothetical to Eric Holder in his confirmation hearings earlier this year, likewise didn't respond to the same question.

Neither did Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who wrote in a recent column that, in the ticking time-bomb scenario, "the choice is easy."

And neither did Rich Lowry of National Review, who in a 2006 column, used the ticking time-bomb scenario to slam Sen. John McCain for seeking to modify the Bush administration's torture polices.

We'll update if any of them get back to us.
I'm waiting with bated breath.

You know... actually, I'll bet none of those monsters would mind very much if Scott Roeder were to be subjected to human rights abuses in the course of interrogating about his knowledge of terrorist activity. They're just not willing to step up and call for it publicly in this case, because they know it would be poorly received by the large faction of terrorist sympathizers in the GOP wingnut base to be seen arguing helpfully against the forced birth movement. Plus, they know they can count of whiney godless liberals like me to be consistent about opposing torture under all circumstances, even when public false confessions by Roeder to all manner of crazy weirdness could seem to be politically useful under the right contrived circumstances.

But we should be putting them on the spot. Those assholes really ought to be made to explain to us why we shouldn't be burying Scott Roeder alive to induce him to give up the names of his associates and accomplices. Why... I'm sure that with the proper application of a few cups of water and a stereo system with a good copy of Orbital's Satan, we could learn all about how he personally loaded Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons into Iranian flying saucers bound for Al Qaeda cells operating in the basement of San Francisco's world famous Nob Hill Male revue.

I'd have a tough time resisting the temptation myself.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


That's right, I'm calling a 2012 shot. Jeb will run, and he will be formidable. He is assembling his forces, even now...

The cabal has spoken...

mojo sends

Gingrich and Huckabee Meet Lou Engle and Ron Luce

Okay, now this is what I'm talking about. From the often very reasonable Talk To Action, we read this:
As Christian Newswire just announced four hours ago [prior to the time of the Talk To Action posting —s9], "Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Lou Engle, Ron Luce and others link up this week to inspire people of faith to reclaim the Nation's spiritual foundation." The event will be broadcast over GodTV, a Christian media network founded in 1995 which claims to be able to reach hundreds of millions globally.

On Sunday May 31, 2009 late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was allegedly gunned down in the lobby of his Wichita, Kansas church by a man, Scott Roeder, who had ties to the racist wing of the militia movement. The next morning CBS's Jeff Glor reported, "We did speak with the accused shooters' ex-wife yesterday. She said she was not surprised this happened and that she believed Roeder wanted to be a martyr for the cause."

If the event goes as planned, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee will appear, only days after Tiller was slain, with a man who has publicly agitated against George Tiller and called for Christian martyrs to stop legal abortion: Lou Engle of TheCall.
I've not written here about Lou Engle and Ron Luce before, but I've been meaning to do so for some time. If you don't know about these guys, go read what the Talk To Action article says about them. They are the real deal. It is NOT a good sign that Gingrich and Huckabee are embracing them in public like this.