Monday, November 05, 2007

Bush 41 on Torture and the American Ideal

He doesn't come out and say it, but I suspect, as does Andrew Sullivan, that his tears are for what his son has done to America's honor:

Chris Wallace: “The President remembered the courage and humanity of American soldiers and he grew emotional.”

Bush: “My favorite picture is a picture of American soldiers surrounding a guy who's been in a foxhole, Iraqi soldier, and the American guy says, we’re not going to harm you, we’re American soldiers.” (fights back tears)

...

Bush: “You see, that side of the war never got — the fact that we treated those people with respect in spite of the fact they were the enemy, it’s really good.



Watch the video. (Ignore the comments.)

6 comments:

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Please don't conflate the treatment of a captured Iraqi conscript and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They are worlds apart, and rightfully so.

Jewish Atheist said...

Yes, of course they are. Still:

1) If we torture anybody -- save perhaps in the Jack Bauer one in a million scenario -- we lose serious moral high ground.

2) It's highly unlikely that we are torturing only people like KSM. I've posted articles from a number of sources over the last year or two describing torture (or at least "enhanced interrogation techniques") being used routinely on people who may not even have been involved in the fighting against us.

See, for example, this post.

Excerpt:

Every time they went on a raid it didn’t matter who they were bringing back, they would just fuck these guys up. Old men, 15-year-old kids, they all came with bruises and broken bones. One guy came with a blister on the back of his leg. It was big, it was horrible, a burn blister. They’d made him sit on the exhaust pipe of a running truck.


Lagouranis says he once interrogated four brothers who’d been arrested during a general search because soldiers had found a pole in their house that they’d argued could be used for sighting targets for mortars. The brothers, interrogated separately by Lagouranis, contended they used it to measure the depth of water in a canal, and there was nothing incriminating in the house. Though he was convinced they were telling the truth, his superiors would not release the men. A man arrested because he had a cell phone and a shovel met a similar fate. The army contended the shovel could be used to plant an IED and the cell phone could be used to help set it off, and though Lagouranis bought his explanation, nothing he said shook that belief. The army wanted to be able to boast about the number of terrorists apprehended, and the four brothers with the striped stick, the two who ran the aid station at the potato factory, and the man with the shovel were close enough.

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

1) If we torture anybody -- save perhaps in the Jack Bauer one in a million scenario -- we lose serious moral high ground.

I don't see torturing KSM to extract valuable intelligence as losing the moral high ground, even if it's not the ticking nuke scenario.


2) It's highly unlikely that we are torturing only people like KSM. I've posted articles from a number of sources over the last year or two describing torture (or at least "enhanced interrogation techniques") being used routinely on people who may not even have been involved in the fighting against us.


I've seen in a few places that we've waterboarded less than half a dozen people. The stuff you've linked to seems to be people roughing up and beating captives just for the hell of it, something no one is going to defend.

Ezzie said...

Oh, I meant to say earlier - you're seriously deluding yourself if you think that's why he's crying.

Jewish Atheist said...

CWY:

I don't believe it's limited to just a few people and nor is that the public perception across the world, as far as I can tell. Maybe we're wrong -- I hope we are -- but I doubt it.


Ezzie:

It's an interpretation, to be sure, but it seems reasonable. Why are you so sure that's not why he's crying.

...the fact that we treated those people with respect in spite of the fact they were the enemy, it’s really good.

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

...the fact that we treated those people with respect in spite of the fact they were the enemy, it’s really good.

Well, yes it's really good. There's a quid pro quo in war. You treat our captured soldiers well, we'll keep your captured soldiers well.

But even if we keep captured Al-Quada types in the Plaza Hotel and gave them complimentary shiatsu massages, they'll still torture and behead any infidel soldier they capture.