Wednesday, May 20, 2009

argue for the selectively racist use of torture

Kudos to Jesse "The Body" Ventura for pointing out, among other bold truths, that those who currently try to justify torture (and/or "enhanced interrogation techniques") do so in a racially selective manner. And of course, it's always good to see Elizabeth "The Apologist" Hasselbeck get totally pwned.

Jesse Ventura is a former professional wrestler who served as the "Independent" governor of Minnesota, from 1999-2003. As Ventura says in the video clip, he himself has undergone waterboarding, while training to become a Navy SEAL.

For those who can't view and/or listen to the video, here's most of what he said about torture and race:

If we hadn't waterboarded to begin with, none of this would be a controversy, would it?

Torture is torture. If you're going to be a country that follows the rule of law, which we are, torture is illegal.

If waterboarding is okay, then why don’t we let our police do it to suspects so they can learn what they know? If waterboarding is okay why didn’t we waterboard McVeigh and Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers, to find out if there were more involved?

We only seem to waterboard Muslims. Have we waterboarded anyone else? Name me someone else we’ve waterboarded.

It’s a good thing I’m not president. I’m an Independent. Because I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people who ordered it and they would all go to jail.

Look how outraged we were when waterboarding was done to our vets in Viet Nam. Where do you think we learned it from? We created the Hanoi Hilton right in Guantanamo, that’s our Hanoi Hilton. People have died there. People are tortured there. I’m ashamed of my country.

We should be above them. Torture is wrong. "Enhanced interrogation" is Dick Cheney changing a word. Dick Cheney comes up with a new word to cover his ass.

I’ve said it before you give me a waterboard, one hour, and Dick Cheney and I’ll have him confessing to the Sharon Tate murders. One hour.

h/t: Renee @ Womanist Musings


  1. wow, that comment caused a rare moment of silence on this show.

    ventura: "torture is wrong because [insert intelligent reason]!"
    elizabeth: "nancy pelosi lied!"
    ventura: "torture is wrong because [insert second intelligent reason]!"
    elizabeth: "barack obama killed pirates!"

    I mean really. I hope SNL picks this up.

  2. yeah and her use of the whole "enhanced interrogation techniques" made me lol. uh, hello, that's still torture. reminds me of other bullshit phrases our government uses. like "friendly fire." ugh.

  3. I'm a Jesse Ventura fan. His first book "I A'int got Time to Bleed" is definitely worth reading.

  4. This video & Ventura and Hannity made my week.

    Logic trumping warmed over mush masquerading as talking points.

  5. I'm really pleased that Ventura actually came out and asked why it was that we only waterboard muslims. The religious targeting is something that doesn't get enough discussion.

  6. Hasselbeck is brainless and I wish that she'd hurry up and realize that.

    It made me smile to hear Ventura boldly question why the US waterboards Muslims and why they hadn't used the same tactic on our homegrown domestic terrorists.

  7. water boarding wasn't a readily used form of interrogation when the OKC bombing happened. Are you all really that oblivious?

    Remember the Lawyers that had to OK the tactic... Not only that, we are at war. Wartime interrogation is going to be different than the peacetime kind.

    and Americans didn't have OTHER OKC bombers sending video tapes of them beheading Americans or threatening more attacks.

    you guys should really go watch some more Oprah and talk about your feelings...

  8. Anonymous,

    1) waterboarding isn't the only form of torture covered under the slimy euphemism of "enhanced interrogation techniques."

    2) why should we remember the lawyers?

    3) wartime torture is still torture, and it's still illegal. Being at war doesn't mean that laws suddenly don't apply.

    4) are you so sure that Timothy McVeigh wasn't withholding anything? Citation, please.

    5) what the hell does expressing one's feelings while watching Oprah have to do with anything? Oh, wait, I think I get it--you think those of us who agree with Ventura are expressing unwarranted sympathy for terrorists. This leads me to my last point (though I could make others), which is another reason to be against torture:

    6) if information extraction is the goal, torture doesn't work as well as other methods.

  9. The Russians found that small injections of sulphur, administered over time, caused a burning sensation where ever there was a pressure point. Standing, your feet burned, laying down, your back or your side. They had to stop using this approach when they found the subjects were losing their minds before they could impart any meaningful information.


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