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Nothing says “I love you” better than a gift of a nice rifle!

Ah Sarah Palin… hardly a libertarian, that is true (to put it mildly, with her casual penchant for torture of prisoners) but she does have an endearing talent for saying the right things to annoy the right people by suggesting a ‘scary looking’ rifle makes a wonderful present!

And indeed it does! When she is right, she is right!

Perry_M16short_Bang

57 comments to Nothing says “I love you” better than a gift of a nice rifle!

  • Vinegar Joe

    Sweet! An A1 with what appears to be an original Colt scope! You lucky dawg!

  • That is indeed me many moons ago :D

  • Snorri Godhi

    How do you get a rifle like that in the UK??

  • I was living in the USA at the time.

  • Palin is hardly the first politician to make tasteless jokes.

    What everyone seems to forget about waterboarding is that since the 1970s the US government has waterboarded tens of thousands of its own citizens (who happen to be in the military) as part of their survival training.

    I wonder if Palin’s son went through the training when he was in the army ?

    Under Obama the practice continues.

  • Ann K

    Ooh–scary looking! LOL!

  • CaptDMO

    Where’s the grenade launcher, silencer/muzzle brake/flash hider, bayonet lug, laser sight, and flashlight?
    You know, all the scary looking stuff that magically transforms a rifle into a military assault weapon of mass destruction of “our” children.
    Don’t those rifles come with “common sense” 5 round magazines or something?

    Back in reality, what was the cost/per shot “back in the day”?
    What was the “free market” availability of ammunition?

  • It did not have a ‘flash hider’ so much as a ‘flash enhancer’ :D It was an AK-74 style muzzle devise that meant even on rock-and-roll it hardly moved at all when I emptied the mag… and you can cook dinner with the flash. Used to use nice cheap Chinese made ammo, haha.

  • CaptDMO

    Makes a nice gift? I suppose.
    But if you REALLY loved me, the name Manlichter-Styer would be somewhere. (maybe Sharp’s)

  • Dave Walker

    It’s worth noting that she recommends an AR-15 – Eugene Stoner’s original high-velocity assault rifle, rather than the M-16 it was watered-down into. Seems the former Governor actually knows a thing or two about guns.

    Given a free choice, I admit I’d sooner plump for a nice Parker-Hale – or, given the remarkable feats of CoH Craig Harrison, an L115A3. I’ve long fancied trying-out an M82A1, but really wouldn’t want to have to lug it around…

  • The thing is, Dave… when I lived in the USA I had that toy and a Kalashnikov and an SMLE No.4 and an SSG (with a Parker-Hale bipod and a Zeiss scope) and the handgun you see at the very top of this page and

  • Nice rifle, jams a little too much for me. I’ll stick with my Hungarian AMD (AK variant), thankee. (Of course, I have well over a thousand rounds of AK ammo and none of .223/5.56mm, which helps keep me loyal.) Don’t need all those bells and whistles, either. And if I need to (ahem) reach out and touch something, I have my faithful Swedish 96 Mauser (mfg date: 1906), which is more accurate a rifle than I am a shooter.

    Then again, I’m just a 1911 man trying to live in a 2014 world, so what do I know?

    As for Sarah Palin: I bet that more American men fantasize about her than about Michelle Obama, despite the 10-year age difference. Tough pioneer woman versus affirmative action poster girl… no contest.

  • chuck

    I’d like to see the argument that connects libertarianism to anti-torture. And please, don’t assume everyone is libertarian and well behaved or that the individual has super powers. Use the world as is, with war, criminals, and terrorism.

    I recall the story of some American soldiers who captured three Germans during the battle of the bulge. They were expecting an attack and asked the prisoners for informations. No luck. So they shot one in the head the and the others became voluble. Nor did the remaining prisoners seem shocked at the behavior. The point here is that when your life, and that of your friends, is at stake, things change. Just as cute bunnies, pets, and sometimes people become dinner where starvation sets in.

  • I’d like to see the argument that connects libertarianism to anti-torture.

    I think a better argument is connecting anti-torture with pondering “does torture fucking well work?” to use the vernacular.

    But if you insist on a libertarian one, ok, here is one from the pragmatic angle (I will not waste my time on the moral argument given what you have already written). Governments, and their employees, are typically untrustworthy. Why? Because everyone is somewhat untrustworthy and when someone has a significent degree of protection from the consequences of their decisions, somewhat untrustworthy people become extremely untrustworthy people. And the more untrustworthy people are, the less I want them to have the authority to torture people because they think those people know something, but are not willing to say what said government employee wants to hear. Libertarian enough for you?

    But an even better argument for your ilk is probably: does it even work all that dependably? When someone is being tortured, do you think the manner in which they reply is most likely to be (a) the truth (b) whatever they think the person torturing them wants to hear in order to stop torturing them? If “I don’t know” ain’t working, then I suspect whatever plausible fantasy the torturer might accept starts to be a good Plan B. “I didn’t do it! Abdul the Shopkeeper did it! He is a bearded Muslim that ticks all the boxes! Go torture him!”

    This is hardly a new notion. Commentators opposing the use or torture by the Inquisition pointed this out!

    And the difference between torture and eating cute bunnies, or even people now that you mention it, is that bunnies are always yummy if you know how to cook them properly (which I do. Perhaps people are too, never tried). But eating critters (or people I suppose) always achieves the desired objective. Torture on the other hand is very hit-and-miss (ha ha) way of finding out information. Moreover jobs that have “you get to torture people!” in the description tend to attract the kind of people I would rather not have my tax money supporting. Indeed such people are why I support civilian ownership of lethal weapons. I am not a pacifist.

  • And again we wander off on one of those delightful Samizdata comment tribitaries. What the hell, I’ll pitch in.

    Speaking from personal experience (don’t ask): torture works. It has to be done properly, but torture works. It can be indirect torure — “Tell me or I’ll chop up your child in front of you” — or direct — “Tell me or I’ll apply the cattle prod to your genitals again” — but it’s pretty effective. The fact remains that every intel organization acknowledges that eventually, everybody talks, and they allow for it both in their training and in the degree of information shared (“need to know” is the best example of the latter). Extreme pain, sensory deprivation, fear of execution, concern for family — all these and many others have been proven to work.

    Torture doesn’t work when the technique is faulty: “What’s the name of your contact?” is wrong, “Is your contact Fred or Jim?” is better. And so on. The secret of successful torture is finding out the subject’s weakness, and using that to its best result (cf. Orwell’s 1984 where, in the immortal words of O’Brien, “Everybody knows what’s in Room 101″).

    So it works; and really, the only point of discussion is: when is the appropriate time to inflict torture, who should be tortured, and who whould do the inflicting thereof. And all that’s really a matter of personal opinion. But in the final analysis, all that depends on the amount of power being held by the decision-maker.

  • You missed the point utterly Kim, which is why you are therefore utterly wrong.

    The reason torture is rubbish is not because people do not respond to a blowtorch to the bollocks. Nope. It has nothing whatsoever to do with technique.

    It is all about “is the right person being tortured? Do they ACTUALLY know what you think they know?”. Because if the wrong person is being tortured, they will say whatever they think the torturer wants to hear. They will use every bit of whatever IQ is available to come up with something… ANYTHING… that plays to the prejudices and preconceptions of their torturer, to tell them something even a little bit plausible to get them to stop. And that means they will provide convincing wrong information, because the clever people doing the torturing are almost never as smart as they think they are, or you think they are.

    So yeah, of course it can work. But it can also not work and actually produce a cascade of shit information in the process. So it is not just morally wrong under almost every situation, it is rubbish as well. And how often is a torturer going to say “Whoopsie! Might have got that one wrong! We better refine our ‘techniques’!” Well maybe in Texas state employees are happy to admit to mistakes, but not anywhere I am familiar with. Most state meat-drones will not admit to errors in the recycling regs lets alone the torture regs.

  • No, Perry, you missed MY point utterly. Everything you argue is ivory-tower stuff. Of course torture is nonsense if the wrong person is being tortured. Of course you’re going to get crap info if the wrong questions are asked. All that is indisputable, and under those condtions, torture is morally wrong.

    But using Chuck’s example of the German POWs (above), can you argue that that torture was wrong or immoral? That the informtion gathered was not worth the means by which it was gathered?

    Now, if we’re going to argue whether an imam from Birmingham should be tortured to find out whether he’s recruiting and harboring putative Al-Qua’eda terrorists: well, let the discussion begin. But to proclaim that torture is always wrong, or always unjustified, or always immoral, is a naïve position, it seems to me, because it runs contrary to experience.

    Which was my point.

  • Re-read what I wrote then because you clearly didn’t spot my key word almost.

    And if you think state torturers can be trusted to just torture “the bad people” and to get it right often enough to make it justifiable even on a reasonable utilitarian basis… what was that you were saying about “naïve and contrary to experience”? But maybe in Texas public ‘servants’ are just better than the ones I know of and if so, well ok, lets have torture in Texas, but not in places where state employees tend to be really rather bad at their jobs.

  • Darrell

    I am forever grateful to Kim for getting me into Swedish Mausers. :)

  • Perry, don’t get personal. Texas is no better than anywhere else. I think it’s because I’ve seen how torture works, I mean, “in the same room as”, “getting splattered with gore” kind of seen, that I have a more dispassionate perspective than you might have.

    As to whether the State can do it properly: hell, the State can’t even manage highway system repair properly, and they have maps and everything to help them. As with all State-sponsored activities, a lot of bad things are going to happen — hell, every week I read of how some granny was neglected unto death by the NHS — so we can all agree that the State is going to fuck up torture as much as it does everything else.

    All that said: should we abjure torture altogether, then? (I know what the libertarians are going to say in unison at this point: “Yes, and every other State activity as well.”)

    Sadly, however, that’s not how the world works. At some point, something has to be done, and in the case of torture, I’d rather it was the State. Know why? The torture I once witnessed was an ad hoc affair (read: “private enterprise”), and let me tell you, without any kinds of State-applied rules and regs to act as a brake, it got pretty bloody, pretty quickly, and it lasted a hell of a long time, too.

    That’s my answer. Torture absolutely sucks, until it’s absolutely vital. At that point, it happens, and it should. And believe me, having once been in the presence of a State torturer whose favorite method was to drive a 6″ nail through a subject’s penis into a block of wood, and make the unfortunate prisoner dance around the room until he talked — let’s just call it one more reason to be thankful that apartheid has ended. (Not that I think the current ANC government might not be doing much worse, by the way.)

    It’s just that as the enemy becomes more brutal (eg. SS Einsatzgruppen, Islamic terrorists who film beheadings, etc), so, inevitably, will the incidence of things like torture likewise increase. It’s the way of the world.

  • Darrell, yer welcome.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Palin’s “casual penchant” may have more to do with her gender than her politics: see Kipling on the subject of female mercy, or ask your wife/girlfriend what ought to be done to, say, child molesters.

    And don’t worry, the sense that you don’t dare turn your back eventually goes away.

  • And I know several people who have been tortured, Kim, so lets not get into that pissing contest. I have seen a war so up close I could smell the corpses, so please, spare me the voice of experience. I too know how the world works. That is why *I* think the things I do. Doubt we are going to convince each other ;-)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Chuck said,

    “I’d like to see the argument that connects libertarianism to anti-torture.”

    -
    Being pro-liberty and pro-individual rights is to necessarily be anti-torture. The loaded word “torture” pretty much eliminates self defense. That was easy. Do you have a rubiks cube you need solved? ;-)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Perry said,

    “…but she does have an endearing talent for saying the right things to annoy the right people…”

    -
    It appears that the anti-gun people seem to think that their neighbors are all plotting their blood-spattered death, and such tools would only make them more efficacious. Me? I think I have nothing to fear from law abiding citizens. After all, what’s the difference between a neighbor trained in gun safety who has a rifle, and a neighbor who has 6 boxes of rat poison? Personally, I would prefer the bullet to rat poison any day.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Kim, torture will continue whether your know about it are like it or not. Why? Because it can and there are people willing to do it. As to the gov, they’ll do whatever they feel like doing. If it’s officially illegal, they’ll do it clandestinely or “outsource” it to Egypt, etc. It’s impossible to stop anything that there is a market, (supply and demand) for. Hell, there’s still homosexuality in Saudi Arabia.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Perry, just as no logical argument can prove it’s premises true, verifying that Bob is the right person to torture for information would not be determined in the process of torturing him. Ergo, yes, you would get shit information IF you are torturing the wrong person and if you’re merely fishing, but you’ll no doubt get the specific, unequivocal information you’re looking for if the person indeed knows it. The above is simply reasoning, I’m not advocating torture.

  • Clearly Kim is correct that torture will happen, for humans are what they are.

    My problem is institutionalising it, then trivialising it and making it seem like a perfectly normal weapon of war, rather than something that could only ever happen under the most extreme of circumstances within that most extreme circumstance called ‘war’.

    That is how governments get used to the idea that ultimately, if they decide you know something that they want to know, in the final analysis your bollocks are something to be put in a vice for the greater good… and once they get that notion into their heads, the bar gradually gets set lower and lower and lower and lower. That too is just the way people are.

  • you’ll no doubt get the specific, unequivocal information you’re looking for if the person indeed knows it.

    That is probably true most of the time, but then again there are historical stories of people who did know but lied anyway. So the notion that if you get the right person, you are 100% certain to get the right info is also not true. Odds are quite good that you will, I imagine, for few are committed enough to do otherwise… but it sure as hell ain’t 100%.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Taylor said,

    “Palin is hardly the first politician to make tasteless jokes.”

    -
    What makes you think she was joking? And AR-15 would make a great gift, especially to a woman. (Light weight, little recoil, more accurate than a handgun for self defense during a home invasion). Remember, it’s like flood insurance. One doesn’t need to expect to use it in order to get it.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Perry, so I’m 99.999999999999999999999999999999999% correct. LOL I’m good with that. ;-)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Perry said,

    “My problem is institutionalising it, then trivialising it and making it seem like a perfectly normal weapon of war…”

    -
    Agreed. Logically, there can never be a right to violate rights, as that’s a contradiction, but that being said, I must confess that I’m about 96% Objectivist and 4% (atheistic) Satanist. I rationally recognize that there is no right to torture, but if some fuzzy face jihadist has my family in a basement somewhere, I’m reaching for the pliers.

  • Laird

    “The loaded word “torture” pretty much eliminates self defense.”

    Sorry, Lucis, but that’s not strictly correct, or rather it’s not an accurate description of the libertarian “non-aggression” principle. One can properly use force in defense of another as well as in one’s own defense. And torture can be both moral and effective in the proper circumstances. (Example: My child has been kidnapped, and I’ve captured one of the kidnappers. I would not hesitate for an instant to apply as much gruesome torture as necessary to learn where the child is being held.) That’s neither immoral nor unlibertarian.

    And it’s also the answer to Perry’s point. Torture to obtain confessions is clearly wrong because, as Perry noted, the victim will say anything to make it stop. But torture is a proper tool in circumstances where it provides immediately actionable intelligence and the circumstances are dire. Obviously “circumstances are dire” is a slippery concept and open to debate, and I agree with Perry that I don’t want my government routinely applying torture. But there are circumstance where it is necessary and morally justifiable (the terrorist has set a nuclear bomb to go off in Manhattan* in two hours, and we need to find out where it is), so I won’t unilaterally take that tool off the table.

    * If it were Washington, DC, it would be a harder case.

  • In those circumstances, torture will happen whatever the law says… there will always be a Jack Bauer around I imagine. But that is really not the problem… the problem is once the state gets into the ‘torture habit’, it is a very hard habit to kick. No one in Guantanamo Bay ever had ‘immediately actionable intelligence’ because of the time involved. But then that was not the criterion I fear. The threshold is clearly a great deal lower than that.

  • the other rob

    “Then you end up torturing your neighbor, to find out if it was his dog that pissed on your lawn.” As Dirty Harry almost said.

    On the original topic, SWMBO has been very good about buying me firearms for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and (a couple of times) even Valentine’s Day. Together with my own purchases, I have quite the collection – though while I have (left handed )AR-15 and other modern firearms, the largest part might be classed as “British guns that I had to move to America to own”. I have an almost complete set of service rifles, from the 1851 Enfield to the L1A1, but sadly shall likely never own an SA80.

  • Sounds like you have a very fine SWMBO indeed! Gratz! ;-)

  • CaptDMO

    May 17, 2014 at 8:39 , Chuck.
    “I’d like to see the argument that connects libertarianism to anti-torture….”
    OK, Here’s ONE. Inference required.

    “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms.
    Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, may your chains rest lightly upon you, and may posterity
    forget that you were our countrymen.”

    Of course, THAT was just from some Ante-American (how’s THAT for elitist, dog whistle, code speak, micro-aggressive, Chauvinist, mockery?) beer/ale maker that went on to hide behind trees and rocks to shoot at Redcoats, still…

  • CaptDMO

    Lucis Ferre

    May 17, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    “… torture will continue whether your know about it are like it or not. Why? Because it can and there are people willing to do it”(cut)” If it’s officially illegal, they’ll do it clandestinely or “outsource” it to Egypt,…”

    OR…perhaps the local prison population? In the US, one artful “slip” of the word skinner, true or not, “justifies” all sorts of torture.

  • Plamus

    PdH: “When someone is being tortured, do you think the manner in which they reply is most likely to be (a) the truth (b) whatever they think the person torturing them wants to hear in order to stop torturing them?”

    Perry, come on. This is a very naive view of torture, and you know it. Effective torture is not “Tell me who/what/where X is!” [applies blowtorch, listens to response, done]. It is a multiple-step process – “You have been hanging strappado for 2 minutes. Give me something, and you are coming down. I’ll confirm it. If you told the truth, we chat again, and you get this Snickers bar. If you lied, you get 5 minutes, and only then we chat again.” Add to that blackmailing, sleep deprivation (which can be terrifyingly effective), and pharmacology.

    I agree with you that governments must not be allowed to torture at all and especially while shielded from public judgment, but to argue against torture from ineffectiveness? Do you seriously believe that?

  • Anon Y. Mous

    Ah Sarah Palin… hardly a libertarian, that is true (to put it mildly, with her casual penchant for torture of prisoners)

    This doesn’t look promising. Palin, hardly a libertarian… Because she told a joke about waterboarding. I never heard about that test before.

    It’s funny, at another site I frequent, some commentors were questioning her Christianity because of the other half of that joke – using the waterboardding as a baptism. Some were arguing that it was disrespectful to true Christians because baptism is no laughing matter. Even though Palin is known to be Christian herself. Or claims to be. Maybe with that joke, she isn’t really. Just like the joke proves she isn’t a libertarian.

    Next, you had this to say in the comments (speaking of torture): “But an even better argument for your ilk is probably: does it even work all that dependably?”

    Your ilk? Whatever. The fact is torture is an interrogation, but with an additional tool set. Yes, that is cold. But, cops interrogate people all the time. Some of the interrogees don’t talk, but some of them do. Yes, you have to account for people that lie. People who are intimidated because they are scared of being prosecuted, who are afraid because of whatever lies the cops are telling them, etc. Yes, yes, and more yes. It all happens. But, what also happens is that the cops get some real info from this process. Now, if you add the ability to torture those who refuse to cooperate in a non-torturous interrogation, is it conceivable that in at least some of those cases, the people who refused to talk without torture, will quickly change their tune and start talking once the torture begins? Of course there are. It defies logic to say otherwise. Would the info be reliable, given that people will say anything to get the torture to stop? Obviously, that would be a problem. But that is always a problem with any kind of interrogation. People will lie. Steps would need to be taken to verify the info.

    Of course none of that touches on the morality of torturing another human being. But, that isn’t the question you raised. Instead, you wanted to address the efficacy of torture.

    I would be interested in hearing a substantive argument about Palin’s libertarian leanings. My view is that as far as mainstream Republicans go, she is much more libertarian than most. Granted, that isn’t the most rigorous test, but still, I would be interested in seeing something that isn’t based on a joke she told.

  • I’m all for the abolition of torture provided torture gets properly defined. Problem is, whole swathes of wankers want activities such as mishandling a Koran defined as torture, which means any such agreement is impossible. This then allows the same wankers to make a moral equivalence between a Gitmo guard who splashed water on a Koran with Saddam Hussein’s son’s plastic shredder. I’m sure this is deliberate.

  • Of course none of that touches on the morality of torturing another human being. But, that isn’t the question you raised. Instead, you wanted to address the efficacy of torture.

    You casual supporters of torture are pretty much by definition a waste of pixels to engaged in moral arguments. So yes, because it is waste of time. So all that is left is the utilitarian arguments.

  • Tim, I tend to lean the other way, with the same caveat: make torture legal, but first get it properly defined. Very narrowly defined at that, in every possible sense: what may be done, to whom, under what circumstances, under whose approval and supervision. Last but not least, get it done in the open.

    As others have rightly pointed out, it will be done, whether we like it or not, and that includes governments. To me, logic dictates that as with any other human activity that I may not like (such as drug use, prostitution, war), but that long-time experience tells us is going to happen regardless, better make it legal. And, if that is something governments are bound to do, better define it and condition it on such narrow terms as to make it as rare as possible.

    Regarding Palin, I truly couldn’t care less if she’s a libertarian or not. I do care however that she proved to be careless and unwise enough to make a joke about something as unfunny as torture. I’m glad she’s not in the White House.

  • It is a multiple-step process – “You have been hanging strappado for 2 minutes. Give me something, and you are coming down. I’ll confirm it. If you told the truth, we chat again, and you get this Snickers bar. If you lied, you get 5 minutes, and only then we chat again.” Add to that blackmailing, sleep deprivation (which can be terrifyingly effective), and pharmacology.

    Lol. Oh really? So… Abdul Abulbul is in Guantanamo Bay getting waterboarded…

    “Mohammed Hamed is the one you want! Not me!” he screams.
    “Oh yeah?” replies Captain Donatien Alphonse François, “what’s his address?”
    “He lives on Camel Shit Avenue, Dalbandin, Pakistan!” Abdul screams.
    “Ok, here is your snickers bar… “our brave Captain says, “Lootenant! Grab a team and get down to Camel Shit Avenue, Dalbandin, Pakistan, and arrest Mohammed Hamed!”
    “Yes Sir!” the Lootenent replies, “we’ll get back to you in, oh I dunno, maybe two or three weeks, provided the Pakis can secure the area for us and there are no glitches with the drone strikes and it doesn’t clash with my scheduled gender and racial sensitivity awareness counselling!”

    Three weeks later.

    “You lying sack of shit!” Captain Donatien Alphonse François snarls, “no Snickers Bars for you! Where’s my cattle prod? Hamed Mohammed is a six year old boy with one leg due to a drone strike!”
    “I said Mohammed Hamed, not Hamed Mohammed!” Abdul Abulbul screams.

    and so on…

    These are state employees… and it is a rather challenging environment. Stop watching “24″, I suspect the reality is much more protracted and messy like that. But yeah, what could possibly go wrong? ;-)

    I’d be easy to torture however. Make me eat a Snickers Bar and I’ll break within seconds.

  • Tim, I tend to lean the other way, with the same caveat: make torture legal, but first get it properly defined. Very narrowly defined at that, in every possible sense: what may be done, to whom, under what circumstances, under whose approval and supervision. Last but not least, get it done in the open.

    That makes a lot of sense actually.

    Indeed it should be a matter of public record, even if the secrets (or bullshit) yielded are a matter of less public record. That said, to judge the efficacy, every failure that yields bullshit should indeed be fully and completely public, so that the dynamics and utilitarian value can be meaningfully weighed and judged. I am sure it would be a much visited YouTube sensation I suspect, people being what they are. Not joking at all I might add.

  • Molly

    Donatien Alphonse François

    I LOL’ed

  • Paul Marks

    To give someone the means of self defence is indeed a noble deed.

  • Mr Ed

    There were some Spanish Socialists in the Spanish Civil War, I’m told, who gave their Anarchist co-belligerents nice rifles to fight the Nationalists, but did they love them, as they loaded them with blanks? – turning them into a sort of Soviet ‘Penal Battalion’ sent to die by drawing fire from the enemy but unable to harm the Socialists in their fratricidal dispute.

    You see, when a Socialist loves you, a Socialist loves you to death.

  • Often I like to say to people who dislike anyone but the state having guns… “why do you support woman being helpless when threatened by larger violent thuggish men?”

  • David Clune

    Donatien Alphonse François

    I LOL’ed

    So did I, as in snorted coffee on my keyboard. He’s a naughty naughty boy!

    But back on topic, sorta, I think Palin is actually kinda hot My spider sences makes me think she’s a beast in bed ;-)

  • Midwesterner

    Coerced testimony may be necessary in some circumstances. I agree with Perry that, particularly when time is of the essence, torture may be less than useful. The bomber can send you on a false scent until the bomb explodes and then what are you going to do, torture him after the fact? Or maybe the plan is to torture him (or her) continuously until the bomb explodes or is found whether you have received any information or not? Just in case it was a lie?

    Coerced testimony may be necessary but first, a Constitutional protection. Coerced testimony must carry with it a blanket grant of immunity. When Bush II decided he was going to use coerced testimony in prosecutions, that was so far beyond the pale it is indicative of a third world tin pot dictator.

    Second, when testimony must be coerced (after having decided that the evidence expected is valuable enough to be worth the obligatory immunity) our understanding of neurology and brain chemistry gives chemical interrogations a much greater probability of gaining useful and honest information. Even quite recently this was probably not the case, but I believe we are at or beyond the point in which chemically assisted forced interrogations will stand the best chance of yielding generous and accurate information. And far from containing the moral and philosophical issues of torture, the person being interrogated may enjoy the experience immensely. Until it wears off and they realize what they have disclosed, that is.

    Being forced to let people walk after forced interrogations will also have the useful benefit of reining in zealous interrogators.

    I see no alternative to automatic immunity for anything discovered or proved with a forced interrogation, chemical or physical. Anything else, well, these are governments we’re talking about. NSA is forbidden from domestic spying. How’d that work out?

  • newrouter

    perry writes:

    >with her casual penchant for torture of prisoners<

    waterboarding at gitmo was used maybe 4 times(please correct me if i'm wrong). one of the prisoners waterboarded was khalid sheik mohammed mastermind of the nyc 9/11 attacks. but do clarify if subjecting the troops to such treatment is "training" isn't ksm being "trained" rather "tortured"?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Good points, Mid.

    Also, agree with Tim Newman and Alisa: Torture legal, in narrowly circumscribed conditions and narrowly defined.

  • newrouter

    i think perry should to give to us his definition of the term “torture”.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    So that’s where I’ve been going wrong all these years- I usually buy girls flowers and chocolates. I should have been buying them cocktails a la Molotov!