Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bachmann, Cowardice and WaterBoarding

Michelle Bachmann is an arrogant coward.  Also gullible, but that is nothing new (no, anonymous sources in India are not something you should believe - not even for a second.)

Recently she was confronted over her ridiculous opinion over water-boarding.  Here is some background information first.   Water-boarding is long established as torture.  Nazis were tried and convicted of torture for water-boarding people. 

However, one moronic lawyer in George W. Bush's Department of Justice (DOJ) thought it was legal.  We know he was a republican because Bush's DOJ illegally refused to hire or promote Democrats - and was also accused but not proved to have fired lawyers because they were Democrats.  So this one lawyer gave permission for American agents to water-board.

Eventually people found out what they did and reminded us that the world had long (over 50 years since the WWII war crimes) considered water-boarding to be torture.  Eventually the DOJ admitted it was illegal and a crime.  Obama decided not to charge the agents because they acted 'in good faith' - they were specifically told it was legal.  They also decided it would be too difficult to charge the idiot lawyer.

But in the process, a lot of people tried to defend the decision.  Hence the GOP's party line became that even though the US had charged Nazis with war crimes for water-boarding, it wasn't torture.

Bachmann has followed that party line.  When asked would she let someone water-board her?  She said "Well, I think that would be absurd -- to have the president of the United States submit themselves to water-boarding.  There are those who have submitted themselves to it so that they can talk about it, and speak about it afterward."  (Source).

I need to respond to this directly (though I doubt she will read my blog).

First,  Ms. Bachmann are definitely NOT the president.  You aren't the GOP's nominated candidate, you are not even the front runner for their nomination.  Chances are you will never be the president.  It would be absurd for President Obama to participate in a GOP primary debate, but for you it is fine. So the fact that the it would be absurd for the President to do something, doesn't affect YOU at all.

Second, multiple people have come claimed it was not torture, then tried it and changed their mind.  So those people you talk about as 'back up'  say you are wrong.   (Source)

Third, American soldiers undergoing SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) undergo water-boarding.   This is not illegal because it is voluntary and done for training purposes and not for the objective of causing pain or obtaining information.  Amputating a leg to cause pain and get information would be torture, but doing it to stop a gangrene infection is not.  Torture is about causing pain for either no reason or to get information.  (Source - look for the quote of UN Convention)  Voluntary training to resist torture is not torture - but by it's very nature should include activities that if they were not voluntary and done "for real" WOULD be torture.  SERE training is not torture.  If you were voluntarily water-boarded for the purpose of learning what it is like, it would not be torture.

Fourth. The President is the Commander in Chief.  As such it is certainly NOT absurd for him to undergo any training that his soldiers do.  That includes SERE I mentioned above, which includes water-boarding.  In fact, it sounds like a VERY good idea to me for the president to prove himself or herself to those he/she commands by undergoing some of the training they go through.

So I say to you, Ms. Bachmann, almost every single thing you said in that quote was wrong.   It is not absurd to have the president water-boarded.  In fact, any candidate that undergoes waterboarding would be demonstrating bravery and the willingness to do part take in some small part of the sacrifices that those under his command do..  Finally people that, unlike you, know what they are talking about, do consider it to be torture.

P.S.  my personal opinion is that torture should be encouraged under certain rare circumstances.  But I don't think it should be legal even then.   If we actually have a "There's a nuke going to go off if we don't know the code to turn it off" or even a "A little girl is going to die if we don't find out where he buried her", I am fine with torturing a person.  The courts should have the right use 'exigent circumstances to downgrade the charge to a misdemeanor if you can prove that the torture was the only way to save lives. If the cop/agent is not willing to be fired and go to jail for 11 months (more likely just get probation given our current legal system), then he should not be torturing people.

But if the government official thinks this particular incident is worth risking his job, then he should be expected to do his duty, torture the suspect, then accept whatever punishment our courts dish out to him.  Frankly, I've seen how our courts work, and I think this system would work fine.

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