Monday, May 3, 2010

From A Guy Who Knows

This interview is worth a read, especially if you're a torture-lover. Written by a man who taught torture techniques for the SERE program -- the existence of which has been used by the Cheneys and their apologists of this world to pretend waterboarding isn't torture, and a variant of which I went through on my way to my year in Vietnam -- it makes a pretty strong case. It's particularly hard on the former Bush speechwriter and now Washington Post columnist, Marc Theissen, who loves everything about Dick Cheney and loves torture even more:

Marc Thiessen is a fool of the highest magnitude if he thinks he knows anything about waterboarding. His claims are based not on first-hand experience but on a classified briefing from people with an agenda of justifying what was done. That makes Thiessen into a court stenographer for war criminals rather than a person with any real claim of expertise. As for his claim about the relationship between Pol Pot–era waterboarding and what we have done derived from the SERE program, he’s wrong. Before I arrived at SERE, I went to S21 prison in Cambodia. Right next to the Wall of Skulls sits the exact waterboard platform that the SERE program copied for our own use in the training program. Remember, our goal was to prepare pilots for the techniques they might face if they fell into the hands of our enemies. I was waterboarded on arrival at SERE, and then as a senior staffer, I performed the technique or supervised it through hundreds of evolutions.

[...] He claims that these techniques are unpleasant but have no long-term physical or mental impact. Really? I challenge him to put up or shut up. I offer to put him through just one hour of the CIA enhanced interrogation techniques that were authorized in the Bush Administration’s OLC memos–including the CIA-approved variant of waterboarding. If at the end he still believes this is not torture, I’ll respect his viewpoint. But not until then. By the way, I can assure you that, within that hour, I’ll secure Thiessen’s written admission that waterboarding is torture and that his book is a pack of falsehoods. He’ll give me any statement I want in order to end the torture.

There's lots more in the interview on which to chew, and it rings true to me. Not least because I've been making the same points here; but also because the guy is an expert. As opposed to most of the talking heads, smugly virtuous and military virgins all, who opinionate about it until hair grows on their palms.


  1. Military Virgins???
    Oh you mean like the President(Peace be upon Him) the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, Attorney Gerneral, and so on and so on, and so on...
    So do they not do Waterboarding at SERE anymore?? I mean since the Commander in Cheese is against it and everything,
    just like he's against holding terrorists in Guantanamo, "Don't Ask Don't Smell, and if they do ask, plead the 5th"
    at least he is pulling the boys out of Iraq this Summer, as long as you don't count the 50,000 Advisers, I mean "Support Troops"...
    I experienced waterboarding too, didn't bother me a bit...
    coulnd't even here the screams through the soundproof glass...


  2. The Atlanta Talibubba TeaBagger (AT&Tman)(Pees Be Upon Him) moons again! His pale spavined cheeks sag obscenely from his scruffy racing striped shorts, as his fetid phraseology offends again!

    Drekman... What exactly is the problem? When Bush did all of those things, you thought it was wonderful, and praised him to hell and back.

    Logically (I know,logic isn't your strong point), believing that Obama is channeling Bush should make you his biggest fan.

    You accuse Obama of hypocrisy, but hypocrisy is (and always has been) the leading feature of your fascist mentality.

    Are you now against all of the torture, murder, racism and gay baiting now? So you're a progressive now; an "acorn" of truth has grown into a mighty oak?

    So, you finally looked in a mirror darkly and loathed what you saw! Well good on you... Kill the fatted calf, the prodigal son returns!


  3. Ewww...Gene,
    Its YOUR Muslim-in-Chief who's actually practicing Fascism, look it up sometime in your Funk&Wagnals when you look up another of your $5 words
    OK, I'll do it for you...
    "A Political system based on close relationship of business and a centralized government, business/government control of the marketplace, repression of criticism/opposition, leadership cult, and exalting the Party/State over individual Rights"

    Sound like any nappy haired Birth-Certicio-penic Constitutional Scholar you know???

    Eww, Gene...

    Frank "I'd rather be tasing A-rabs" Drackman

  4. Eugene,

    Frank is like a five year old boy who thinks that his passive aggressiveness won't be noticed if he does it while bringing in the funny. He sits at his computer, biting his fist to stifle his giggles every time he hits the post button and congratulates himself on yet another comment so full of win that Sid won't know what to do with himself.

    Frank doesn't get enough positive accolades being a doctor, husband and father and this (obviously) frustrates him. He needed an outlet for gathering attention for no one can resist the troll. He
    leaves juvenile commentary on Sid's blogs because Sid once wrote something that offended one of Frank's internet "friends".

    As long as his family and colleagues merely tolerate him, and withhold the true affection he craves, I fear we are stuck with Frank.

    So, best to avert your eyes and move along. :D



  5. Such bitterness Anna,
    How long HAS it been since you've had 6 inches of pleasure in your mouth???
    Seriously, get off whatever diet your on and enjoy a Philly Cheesesteak, the 6 inchers aren't quite so high in calories...
    And its almost like you know my innermost thoughts, be honest..
    Are you my 11th grade Algebra teacher? The one who stole my innocence, but it was OK cause it was 1980(Such a Great year:)...
    You know where to find me...


  6. Drekman...(Pies Be Upon You)-

    "A Political system based on close relationship of business and a centralized government, business/government control of the marketplace... You left out something - the Church Drekman - the Church of the Antichrist! And the party propaganda arm of course (Faux News).

    Can't have a fascist government without a lot of religious nuts (like you and SSWoman) to shriek amen to the racist preacher's rants and warble praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

    Of course we all know which party has the amen corner and party line stenographers completely in the bag. Right?


  7. Eww, Gene, say it don't spray it...
    Yeah, like the Nazi's were really into dat ole' Time religion...
    its your side that molests little boys, I mean, makes such a big deal of there Pious-ossity...
    the Right Reverends Wright/Sharpton/Jackson/MLK, and JC himself,
    (Jimmy Carter)
    I haven't been to Church in over 40 years, you know, when Mary Jo Kopechne was still alive...

    Stay Classy San Diego,

    Frank "there is no God or why is Fidel Castro still alive" Drackman

  8. Huh, huh. Frankie said "Stay classy." Then Charlie Manson said, "Be nice to your neighbors." Huh, huh.

  9. Anna:

    What you say about Drekman is perfectly true; it is also true of others of his ilk. Thus my replies to him are not based on a captive mindset that is determined to have the last word with a five year old.

    His comments, puerile as they are, reveal, in their stark hostility and wanton ignorance, an evil face that is usually hidden behind a mask of pious posturing in the name of God and Country.

    I welcome his revelatory remarks because they provide an opportunity for me to comment on all that is to be seen, in that face, for all to see.

    We can speculate about his motivation; but true affection is not an option for people like Drekman – withholding affection makes them feel powerful and in control; thus they have no true affection to offer or return.

    Having no affection to give, there can be no return.

    At best they have temporary alliances - based on insincere bonhomie and mutual suspicion - that evaporate when the political wind changes – as Charlie Crist, and Drudge et. al. quickly found out.

    This is as true of their families as it is of their party. I have seen it.


  10. Might wanta get some help for that Dr. Phil addiction Eww-Gene...
    and how's that Psychology Degree workin out for ya??
    First step is the hardest...
    and y'all the only ones demonstrating any hostility, I'm as friendly/cuddly as a playful puppy...
    Now get your last word in like a 5 yr old...

    Frank, "Don't Taze Me Bro" Drackman

  11. Eugene - seriously?

    "Can't have a fascist government without a lot of religious nuts (like you and SSWoman) to shriek amen to the racist preacher's rants and warble praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."

    Your comment is so off base's ludicrous and not worth the effort to defend myself.

    I basically gave up in here anyway because my points are discounted or ignored when I know they are valid. Or when I bring up something that can't be refuted that the progressive activists have's ignored and FOX gets spewed out as the reason for my conclusions .. regardless of the media source I use.

    I have to say ..the *mean* comments that label people with awful labels in this blog have not come from any conservatives that have come in here ..Frank aside... cause Frank is Frank and Dr S and he like to spar... and are an amusing pair.

    Eugene ...suffice it to know that I have never even one time called you anything negative or anyone else in here and won't start now.

    I am truly sorry you perceive things that way.

    Ammunition? (Bill Ayers, etc., etc, etc.,)Racist preachers? (rev Right)I am seriously wondering who the real racists are and I am realizing's the ones wrongfully accusing innocent people of that. That is a heinous thing to do. Reprehensible. And sadly because of this ..they've watered the seriousness of it down. When you average Americans are referred to as racists, nazis etc ..the people that have done it have lost all credibility.

    Eugene, I believe anyone who wrongfully accuses people of things that are not true ..racist, etc., are "projecting".

    Any church I have ever been in preached about the love of God and loving others and salvation and things like that... not that America's chicken's have come home to roost, etc.

    I think of all the sacrifice of time and money that faith organizations have given to help people in need ..both in this country and around the world ..sometimes at the expense of their own lives and certainly risking them. Feeding the hungry, clothing, drilling wells in parched country sides in 3rd world countries, building homes, building and staffing orphanages building schools and teaching,farming, medical supplies, building hospitals, medical supplies ..going into areas ravaged by earthquakes, tsunamis, disaster zones,getting toys to children at Christmas,rebuilding, etc.

  12. Damn... Ya beat me to it Drekman...(Poop Be Upon You)will ya just squat on the newspaper please?

    Like a good puppy?


  13. SS...
    As Garrison Keiler succinctly says:

    "Going to church no more makes you a Christian than sleeping in your garage makes you a car."

    As I have told you many times: I distinguish between Christians and "Christians"

    I think of you as a "Christian" because, while you tell me all of the wonderful things Christians do in the name of God's love - and I agree, they do wonderful things - you support persons and ideology alien to the words of Jesus.

    "Christians" usurp the mantle of love and humility to drive their political agenda of bigotry "prosperity" gay bashing, male dominance and racial hatred.

    They would also have it that Jesus is a war God.

    I ask you the Bush question, that you have never answered, again:

    If George Bush told you, personally, that God had told him to take us to war with Iraq would you have accepted that as a reason to go to war?

    A "Christian" would; a Christian would not.

    Until you are willing to give me a straight answer, spare me your pious pep talks.


  14. Ewwwww-Gene,
    no fair responding to the voices in your head, I mean, own comment...
    but I'll answer your hypothetical question with a hypothetical answer...
    If George W. Bush told me the Ghosts of the Original 3 Stooges told him to Invade Iraq, I'd have accepted that as a reason to kick Saddam's Butt, cause thats what Larry, Moe, and Curley told ME...

    nyuck, nyuck, nyuck,


  15. Part I

    Eugene - I used to believe you were sincere with your comments ..but sincerely wrong.

    Now ..I believe you are so out there that you are just trying to get a rise when you discuss these things because you are so off the mark about Christianity.

    I have never said that I go to church. I want to and hope to soon again ..but the fact is I have spent more time away from church than in. Got really lazy when I worked 3-11s at the hospital on weekends and then out of the mode. But not working now and so no excuse. Jesus called us to fellowship together. We can be a blessing to the church and other parishioners that go and they can be a blessing to us. God's word is never wasted and there is always something to learn. No one can ever know all there is to know about God. But ..I have gone to Bible studies, read a lot and christian programming and some Christian friends was a mentor ..but she died a couple of years ago. I learned much from and because of her. I have much to learn. We all do. Theology is a most fascinating subject to me's like it comes alive and I think that is because God says it is the living word.

    I wrote a loooong comment in response (kind ...but explained some things in depth regarding Christian facts, hx and the love of God and Christ.), but then realized people don't come here for a theology lesson.

    Aside from the theology lesson ..Christians come from all walks of life ..socioeconomically, politically and nationally. Being conservative no more negates one from being a Christian than being a progressive and only God can see a persons's heart and make that call.

    A Christian is someone (child through elderly), who embraces that salvation message and accepts Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. It is so simple that a child can understand. Jesus himself said the gospel message should be so simple that even a child can understand.

    No one can force you to be a Christian or take it away. God knows the sincerity of the person.

    God is with us where ever we are church ..not in church..we can't hide from him ..he is there... but he is a gentleman and never forces himself on any one person. It is a personal decision between the person and God... a choice.

    Man gets in there and complicates it with man made traditions, etc.

    Ugh! I am sorry! It is difficult for me to NOT say something about faith. Perhaps different Christian churches ..both Catholic and Protestant and the many denominations within Protestantism may have different ways of teaching the salvation message ..or different traditions (God's message about his son will come through), but anyone who acknowledges that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, came down as the son of God, died for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day and anyone who believes in him and asks Jesus to be their savior, forgive them of their sins and that they want him to be Lord of their lives ..will have eternal life. It is important to learn about him, to read the Bible and try to live as according to the teachings. But we are all imperfect people and works in progress and it is a gift from God and we cannot work or earn our way to heaven. Through grace is a gift... a free gift.

  16. Part II

    Dr S..I've watched your video (anti-God) and read your stuff and I am not trying to be offensive here and another Christian may disagree with me. I am explaining *as I understand* the Gospel message. And I am not trying to be offensive to anyone of another faith. I am addressing Eugene's comments.

    Also ..people are far from perfect and a lot of things were done over the ages in the name of Christianity that God had no part in... then he gets the bum rap.

    There is a lot of Christian bashing in this country and that is very sad. It didn't used to be that way.

    Eugene ..NO ..I would not go to war because Bush or anyone said that. I am sure our congress, etc did not vote to go because of what you say Bush said.

    It was unanimous because *at the time* they all (DEMS & REPS)believed (because they were mislead by erroneous intelligence) that there were weapons of mass destruction.

    And I did look at your sources which were from liberal news media and you never produced a video... a youtube ..something on film.

    We did not go to war because God told Bush to go. It was because of weapons of mass destruction.

    And hypothetically speaking you really think that our politicians on both sides would commit our country to war because Bush said God told him to? Fortunately we do have checks and balances.

  17. Frank ...thanks for my first laugh of the day. :)

  18. SS...

    Congress was mislead alright, with lies by Bush and Cheney.

    Christians do come from all walks of life; so do "Christians."

    Theology is crap, so is the belief, that belief is enough. Jesus' brother said: "You may well say that your belief justifies you, but I say your works mean more than your words do."

    If you think Drekman's comment was funny, then you must think that war is a joke.

    If war is something to laugh about - and joke, the joke is on you and all of those who blindly trusted - and still trust -
    "Christian" politicians who fan the flames of fear and hatred in the name of God, family and country.

    As John Prine says:

    "Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore

    They're already overloaded from you dirty little war

    Now Jesus don't like killin' no matter what the reasons for

    And your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore."

    That's a Christian speaking a very simple truth; a truth that seems to evade you.

    "but anyone who acknowledges that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, came down as the son of God, died for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day"

    Where did Jesus make that statement? See? Theology = Crap.

    It is not necessary to believe that Jesus is God to accept his truth.

    I do appreciate - finally - a straight answer about Bush.

    "you never produced a video... a youtube ..something on film."

    I never said I had a video or film, but I think you suspected that there was such material available, because for a very long time you refused to look at the links or even reply regarding them.

    I suppose you could write to him and ask him if he said that.

    Surely, given his well known habit of telling the truth, he will tell you the truth.


  19. Eugene are so off the mark with *everything* you said.

    I'm sorry you think theology is crap. But you are hardly anyone to be critical of people regarding Christian issues because you don't understand ..which is only because you don't care to.

    The things you say when you misquote scriptures and use them in the wrong context are revealing.

    You don't know me Eugene. Your argument is weak. You have nothing on which to base your erroneous claims about me. You don't accurately describe me in anyway. I showed younger son (21)today (and he laughed) because obviously I don't hold the beliefs you say I do, own guns, not bigoted ..yadda, yadda.

    Every single thing you said is just plain wrong.

    Lighten up ..Frank was being facetious. The 3 stooges thing was funny imo.

    I don't have a flag decal ..but I am fine with them.

    The virgin birth was prophesied ..even the crucifixion described thousands of years before his birth, and the story is told throughout the new testament.

    There is a scripture that says faith without works is dead and another that says we should not just be hearers of the word but also doers of the word.

    My point in saying salvation is through grace is true. You can't buy or work your way to heaven. Only through accepting Christ as your personal savior and all anyone has to do is ask him. But ..if serious about your new faith will want to do good things in his name as you grow in him. i get lazy and I count on his mercy too. Personally speaking ..I find life is more peaceful ..even amidst stressful times when I focus on his promises and faith, But ..I can be headstrong ... or just go off into my own stuff too... which is dumb considering I know how much better it feels when I am active in my faith.

    No normal person likes killing Eugene.

    No I did not suspect it ..I went looking when you put up your liberal reference sites as proof for what you said he said. No politician would have let that happen except for the misinformation which was the intelligence. Even Britain was on board with it. They could not risk ignoring it.

    Personally ..I think Sadam had between October and March and could've moved it out of there because we took so long to investigate. It is possible.

    This Afghanistan war is a deep concern. Russians lost after 10 years.

    I just wish we could go back to pre 9/11 and forget this terrorist stuff. can't blame a girl for wishing. And then there is reality.


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