Carnac The Magnificent Speaks

holds sealed envelope to his head

Obama will do very well; Clinton will do badly; she and the media will spin it so that it sounds like she did better than she in fact did; she will vow to continue till the bitter end, and if it costs the Democrats the election, that’s too bad, they can try again in ’12 with her as a candidate.

opens envelope, reads

It says “What will happen in Pennsylvania tomorrow?” Gosh, I got lucky. I was answering as if it said “what has happened in virtually every state so far.” But I was right anyway.


Waterboarding is Torture… Period (Update 2) (SWJ Blog):

Before arriving for my assignment at SERE, I traveled to Cambodia to visit the torture camps of the Khmer Rouge. The country had just opened for tourism and the effect of the genocide was still heavy in the air. I wanted to know how real torturers and terror camp guards would behave and learn how to resist them from survivors of such horrors. I had previously visited the Nazi death camps Dachau and Bergen-Belsen. I had met and interviewed survivors of Buchenwald, Auschwitz and Magdeburg when I visited Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. However, it was in the S-21 death camp known as Tuol Sleng, in downtown Phnom Penh, where I found a perfectly intact inclined waterboard. […]

Waterboarding is a controlled drowning that, in the American model, occurs under the watch of a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a trained strap-in/strap-out team. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. How much the victim is to drown depends on the desired result (in the form of answers to questions shouted into the victim’s face) and the obstinacy of the subject. A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience, to horrific suffocating punishment to the final death spiral.

Waterboarding is slow motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of black out and expiration –usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch and if it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia. When done right it is controlled death. Its lack of physical scarring allows the victim to recover and be threaten with its use again and again.

This is what I want to hear asked of any politician who supports torture under the name of “enhanced interrogation techniques”:

“Do you support the use of these techniques on our own soldiers who are captured by the enemy?”

Because that is what you have to support in order to support our use of these techniques. It is not just a religious mandate from George Bush’s “favorite philosopher,” it is a basic fact of war that, with regards to prisoners (even if you call them “unlawful combatants”), you must do unto others as you would have them do unto your own. You can expect no better treatment for your own soldiers as prisoners of war than you give to enemies. You may get worse treatment, but you will certainly get no better treatment.

No wonder so many generals hate George Bush and Dick Cheney. They have guaranteed the torture of U.S. soldiers. Guaranteed it.

What were things like before Bush and Cheney took over? Stuart Herrington lets us know.

Seasoned interrogators know that an important first step is to disarm one’s adversary by resorting to the unexpected. Treat a captured general or colonel with dignity and respect. Better yet, treat a sergeant like he is a colonel or general.

In interrogation centers I ran, we called prisoners “guests” and extended military courtesies, such as saluting captured officers. We strove to undermine a prisoner’s belief system, which we knew instructed him that Americans are unschooled infidels who would bully him and resort to intimidation, threats and brutality. Patience was essential. We rejected the view that interrogators could merely “take off the gloves” and that information would somehow magically flow if we brutalized our “guests.” This notion was uninformed and counterproductive, not to mention illegal, and we made sure our chain of command understood that bowing to such tempting theories would result in bad information.

Maybe It’s Time To Give Up

So there was another fake debate last night where only the people who’ve received the most big-money donations got asked any real questions.

It might be best to stop caring about this charade. In a year or so we’re going to have a choice between a corrupt Republican running as a Democrat on the one side, and one of several batshit-insane fascists running as a Republican on the other side. The best we can hope for is that we get ongoing corruption, malfeasance, and exploitation rather than Armageddon. I guess I prefer the former.

I think I might have an easier time if I just accept that right now.

Just Saw SiCKO

Holy crap, man. Americans are being played for chumps. Chumps.

It’s like some North-Korea-type freaky little totalitarian world where people are told how much Dear Leader loves them and how good they have it and how terrible it is in the outside world… But they don’t shoot you if you try to leave. Because the Ministry of Propaganda is so good that nobody wants to try to leave. Dear Leader would never lead them astray!

Canada’s not that far from here…

Pete Hoekstra (R-MI): Republicans Can Only Succeed By Frightening America

Leaked memo: “Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge, making the case that it will work, and explaining why the President’s new Iraq policy is different from prior efforts and therefore justified. We urge you to instead broaden the debate to the threat posed to Americans, the world, and all ‘unbelievers’ by radical Islamists. We would further urge you to join us in educating the American people about the views of Radical Islamists and the consequences of not defeating radical Islam in Iraq. The debate should not be about the surge or its details. this debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.”