The opponents of “torture”

During the Bush administration, opponents of torture* were making absurd claims about how torture does not work. These claims were absurd because there was no way the people making the claims could know if torture worked or not. Some blogger claiming “torture does not work” is like me claiming “hash arrays are relatively inefficient in C++ programming.” Just because I know the definition of every word in a sentence that states a technical problem does not mean that I know the answer to that technical problem.

Now that Obama is in charge, I do not hear people saying that torture does not work.

Maybe these people are delusional or optimistic enough to believe that no one is being tortured. Ha.**

These same people probably think there are no extraterritorial prisons besides the one or two they know about. Ha.

Now that Bush is out of office, I do not hear those people saying torture does not work. Instead, they want to imprison Bush administration officials. The people who once took the moral high ground now reveal themselves to be proponents of rule-by-law, and the subjugation of the court system to political revenge.

Instead, I know hear opponents of torture say that torture can work. But, they say, the only case where it would need to be used is to save an American city from a nuclear bomb, and in that rare event, it would be fine to force some guy to commit criminal acts and send him to prison, because, after all, he would be a hero.

These opponents of torture suffer from the delusion that victims of terrorism would be sympathetic to the guy who is trying to save them.



Instead, imagine that a terrorist has planted a bomb, which will likely kill some black children. Not many. Say four. Maybe this is happening in Sudan in some attempt to save the Darfuris. Or Somalia, in an attempt to protect an anti-pirate village. Or Alabama.

And it is some guy’s job to keep this from happening. Some guy who is professional, who is trained, and does not particularly care for the people he has to protect. He would die for his mission, of course. But not put his career at risk in a fit of zealousness.

He is too well trained for that.

So this guy captures the terrorist who planted the bomb, and has very few minutes to determine where it is. Or four kids die. And they’re not even the same race of the American — they are just black — so it’s not like a career-ending decision is going to be made here.

This is what the torture debate comes down to. Not college-age rallies against 24. But a boring, real case, of the kind that you would even hear about.

Because you have better things to do than keep up with acts of violence against black kids.***

Or acts of violence that save them.

Opponents of torture say that the right of the terrorist to avoid painful interrogation techniques trumps the right of those four black kids to live, and the power of the guy whose job is to save them.

They are fine with that logic.

I am not.

[ * By “torture,” read “painful interrogation techniques.” Every recent Administration has been forceful in its condemnation of “torture,” whatever that is.]

[** By “ha,” read” the opinions of these people are ridiculous. ]

[*** If you disagree, what are the name of the last four black kids killed by violence in Darfur? Or Omaha? ]

How to treat the Oligarchs

The Oligarchs are those members of the politically powerful speculator class who can count on being bailed out by the Treasury, because of their political connections. Large investors and high-ranking officers in firms such as Citi, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs are Oligarchs. Officials like former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner support them.


The Treasury is going to give the oligarchs more capital. this will be done by makign the cash we already gave them unsecured, like we did with Chrysler.

How else are the oligarchs going to afford their second mansions?

Why is Geitner doig this? One commentator on this blog claimed that the Oligarchs should be an unofficial branch of government, as it was only because of the Oligarchs that we won the Revolution against Britain (!). The pro-Geithner crowd can barely be bothered to come up with a coherent argument, excecpt to cite bizarre historical theories and assert insider information (If you only knew…).

I think it is simpler to safe this is a case of regulatory capture.

Meanwhile, one Fed chief wants to shut the Oligarchs down. I agree.