Monday, March 30, 2009


Keith Olbermann reports on the failings of torture:

I'm afraid that one night in the near future I'm going to turn on the TV at 3am and see Dick Cheney with his own infomercial selling torture. It's kind of like his own Snuggie... but at least the Snuggie works. Torture doesn't.

Why are we doomed to learn these lessons over and over? Six decades ago, the US military understood how to get information from prisoners of war:
"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.
So why should we be surprised today when we read that "not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions"? Well, I'm not surprised, but I think I now understand why the CIA destroyed the videotapes showing these interrogations. Certainly Cheney is not embarrassed that the CIA tortured with his authorization. That fact is well established and advertised, but I believe those tapes would have shown just how crappy the extracted information was. That's why they got rid of them.

So the coming Spanish Inquisition can continue without the tapes. At least they have these infamous memos that President Obama recently declassified. However, I'm not certain how the Spanish courts will round up Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith, David Addington, John Yoo, Jay S. Bybee, and William Haynes. If our government chooses not to pursue trials in American courts, I doubt they're going to just hand these guys over to Spanish courts. Any Spanish arrest warrants would be simply symbolic...

So ask Attorney General Holder to appoint an independent prosecutor. Nobody is above the law. I only wish we didn't have to beg Obama and his administration to do their damn jobs.

In lighter news, that other snake-oil salesman -- the ShamWow guy -- was arrested for his own harsh interrogation techniques.

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