Tuesday, May 12, 2009

GOP Strategy - To Prove Torture Works

The GOP spokesmen Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh do not want any moderates within the GOP.

So, they will no doubt be successful in that effort, because of their new doctrinal push to prove torture "works", and to prove it with "missing", "classified" documents that Dick and Rush say the bad guys won't give them.

Why can't they prove it works with logic if it really is that good? Is it because they know it does not work to accomplish the mission of bringing democracy and peace to the world?

Are they in effect saying "if you want peace and democracy in the world you must torture and make war"?

If so they have a tough case to prove, because peace and democracy were around before Dick and George started torture; it is just that they did not recognize it.

Consider the case which commences a torture session. A case where you do not know something. Where you have no idea whatsoever about a subject but you have a suspect in custody.

Lets put it in cowboy movie mantra mode like that portrayed in the song "Along Came Jones":
I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on [FOX news]

A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was chasin' poor Sweet Sue

He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh, "If you don't give me the deed to your ranch I'll saw you all in half!"

And then he grabbed her ... (and then)

He tied her up ... (and then)

He turned on the bandsaw ... (and then, and then ...!)
(Along Came Jones). Lets add a couple of facts to the story, the first being that we are the CIA and Agent Jones is on the case. We have Salty Sam's buck board driver Dirty Dick in our custody.

Dirty Dick delivered a leather parchment with a demand written on it, from Salty Sam, which said "Give me what I want or Sweet Sue is a goner".

The problem at hand is that we don't know the location of the threatened future crime so we can attempt to stop it.

We don't know where Salty Sam is holding Sweet Sue (add scary music here).

The story goes that things are happening fast, fast, fast, that we must act quickly or else. We do not have "normal time".

The theory of conventional interrogation is to try to find some good cloud floating around in the head and soul of Dirty Dick. We tell him "you will be a murderer too, it is not worth it, come over to the good side", and that sort of thing.

We try to turn the tide quickly by using the same pressure Salty Sam used, by making "there is no time" statements to him.

If Dirty Dick comes clean we can test his statements by a quick high yo silver ride to the scene of the crime and hope we win the shoot out with Salty Sam.

The rationale for torture goes like this. If Dirty Dick won't talk we do not have time to deprive him of sleep for 11 days. No, we must torture now. So we get out the water board and the water.

In some amount of time after a few sessions, perhaps an hour, Dirty Dick is screaming and coughing and gasping for breath and when near death he blabbers something out.

"Stop and I will talk" Dirty Dick screams, coughs, gasps, and blabbers. We warn him that he gets more if the does not tell us where Sweet Sue is being held by Salty Sam.

But we do not even know if Dirty Dick knows where Sweet Sue is. If Salty Sam is worth his salt he would not have told Dirty Dick that information.

And we would not know whether to believe Dirty Dick or not when he says "I do not know where Sweet Sue is!" when he ask him where she is.

He tells us she is being held in a place other than the old mill because he really does not know. We do not know if he is telling the truth or not, and would not know if it was the truth either if he said the old mill. Neither would he.

We simply have no way of knowing, just by the fact that Dirty Dick tells us anything, whether the information is valid.

How do we ever know a criminal is telling us the truth if we do not have enough information to test the information we are given? To prove it?

Do we all of a sudden simply have faith in the bad guy being tortured when we didn't have that faith in the bad guy when we were on better terms before the torture?

Who says torture creates good faith we can believe in?

Anyway, the only way any information can be believed or disbelieved is to test it.

So we send Barney out to the location Dirty Dick gave us. Barney rides out and then rides back after a while. He is empty handed so we start up on Dirty Dick again.

The point is that we have no way of knowing when the torturer is telling the truth and when he is not unless and until the information is verified.

If we know nothing about a suspect whom we have paid someone to say bad things about, which is what happened in many Afghanistan cases, we really don't even know what questions to ask.

The question "where are the bombs hidden?" is a useless question unless the suspect is a bomb maker. Even if we ask him first "are you a bomb maker" how do we verify any of that type of questioning? We don't really know whether he says "yes" or "no" if he really is a bomb maker. Much of the subject matter cannot even be approached with torture, much less resolved.

In the case of Dirty Dick maybe an ex girlfriend, who was jilted, tells us he is a criminal and is a cohort of Salty Sam.

How do we know how to verify the information at the investigation stage? Do we just believe any accuser who says anything? In the world of competent investigation everything must be verified before acting upon it. It is a proven technique to avoid wheel spinning or wasting time.

And when suspects are from a country we know less about by far than our own country, the situation is all the more difficult, requiring more verification.

The GOP will never convince me they are telling the truth, now, when they have not been doing so for the past decade. They developed a reputation for lying led by Cheney and Bush. I certainly would not believe any information they gave while they were being water boarded.

They are just like a suspect who could not be trusted in the first place, and especially if tortured, cannot be trusted to give valid information.

There are better ways to find out what the GOP is up to. It does not take a lot of intelligence to see through them.

Like the terrorists, their agenda is no secret that can only be discerned with a gallon of water and a dirty old bandana.

UPDATE: The sequel Voodoo Interrogations - Torture is now available.


  1. You have to wonder. If Bush's policies were so bad why is Teleprompter Jesus working so hard to maintain them?

    My theory is that if there is a major slip: (9/11 II) the public will demand that the government DO SOMETHING. The current admin has decided that Bush's policies have a good chance of preventing 9/11 redux.

    Or else IDIOT II is in the oval office.

    OTOH there is Simon's Law:

    It is unwise to attribute to malice alone that which can be attributed to malice and stupidity.

  2. M. Simon,

    I don't know which bad "bush policies" are being maintained which you would be in reference to.

    Certainly not torture, the subject of this thread.

    It may be difficult for some to interpret "no more torture" after 8 years of the Bush II regime.

    Let me do it for you so you can pass it on. It means stop the wicked Bush II policy of torture.

    Evidently in RNC land, as a spastic reaction, torture is becoming a plank in the GOP platform.

    In my estimation, as I said in the post, that plank will push more moderates from the already smaller tent.

    Rush and Dick both support that eventuality, evidently driven by a notion that small is pure; either that or torture purifies.

    "Teleprompter Jesus" is too much of a brag. It is undeserved and unearned. He will have to do a heckuva job before he earns that coveted GOP title.

    Around here, just because someone can read does not qualify them to be "Jesus". You can contact Jeff Foxworthy for the details.

    I think that if there is 9/11 II the people will demand a real criminal investigation, not a heckuva job.

    The type of Bush II policies like torture that make people of the world hate us, and join the cavemen, are being shut down one at a time.

    The cavemen in Afghanistan the Bush II regime could not stop are going to have to advertise to get recruits, make logical arguments, and be presentable; just like the torture advocates here.

    Does Simon's Law mean torture is ok Bybee Yoo?